Teaser Image


This paper explores methods for synthesizing physics-based bubble sounds directly from two-phase incompressible simulations of bubbly water flows. By tracking fluid-air interface geometry, we identify bubble geometry and topological changes due to splitting, merging and popping. A novel capacitance-based method is proposed that can estimate volume-mode bubble frequency changes due to bubble size, shape, and proximity to solid and air interfaces. Our acoustic transfer model is able to capture cavity resonance effects due to near-field geometry, and we also propose a fast precomputed bubble-plane model for cheap transfer evaluation. In addition, we consider a bubble forcing model that better accounts for bubble entrainment, splitting, and merging events, as well as a Helmholtz resonator model for bubble popping sounds. To overcome frequency bandwidth limitations associated with coarse resolution fluid grids, we simulate micro-bubbles in the audio domain using a power-law model of bubble populations. Finally, we present several detailed examples of audiovisual water simulations and physical experiments to validate our frequency model.



Timothy R. Langlois, Changxi Zheng, and Doug L. James. Toward Animating Water with Complex Acoustic Bubbles. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2016). 35(4), July, 2016.


Code and Model Data

Interactive bubble example: bubbleDemo.py

This is a simple script to demonstrate the frequency shift experienced by bubbles. It uses an infinite plane approximation. It requires python3, the python packages simpleaudio and wavefile, and the library libsndfile (required by wavefile).


  • The National Science Foundation (HCC-0905506, CAREER-1453101, DGE-1144153)
  • Intel (ISTC-VC)
  • Pixar Animation Studio
  • Adobe
  • Gerris
  • BEM++
  • Maxwell Renderer