Liquid animation combines complex 3D animation processes to create visuals that are both strikingly realistic and immensely aesthetically engaging. Here we explain exactly what liquid motion is, how it is created and why you should consider it for your next visual marketing project.

What is 3D Liquid Animation?

Well, we would like to think that this is relatively obvious from the name alone. But we’ll go ahead and define it anyway. 3D liquid animation – or liquid motion graphics – is a form of animation that is designed to represent or mimic the real-life, physically accurate fluidity and movement of liquids.

Now, we’re not talking about dramatic waves splashing up behind the Little Mermaid as she reaches her magnificent crescendo (iconic scene by the way). No, this is a hyper realistic form of 3D animation that mimics real-life movements. It could depict anything from a spouting water fountain to liquid magma tumbling down a hillside to an indescribable other-worldly goo intent on taking over the universe. Any liquid movement you can muster up in your imagination can become a reality.

But how exactly does it work…

How is 3D Liquid Animation Created?

Well, it all starts with the right platform. You need a programme that not only suits the animation team but also the complexity of a liquid animation project. Our team uses X-Particles, which allows us to intricately mould the project into the visual masterpiece that our client has in mind.

Once you are all set up with the right platform, you need to decide how your liquid is going to act. This starts with the emitter. Or in layman’s terms, the place from which your liquid will start its journey. Think the nozzle of the hose or the brim of a volcano.

This is where your particles get involved. Particle animation is a big element of 3D liquid animation. The latter is essentially a version of the former with a glossy, realistic layer over the top to add to the effect. Begin with your particles and how they are going to move – liquid from a hosepipe is more inclined to fire from the emitter at high speed, whereas tumbling magma will more likely make its way at a more gradual, albeit absolutely terrifying, pace.

This can be adjusted with infinite precision by changing up the physics involved. We look into everything that could have an effect – gravity, friction, wind resistance – with the expert judgement of a veteran sniper. Then we adjust to make sure that the movements are just right.

Here is where the final layer gets put on – the stage that turns it from a collection of particles into one, seamless body of liquid mass. Throw in a few artistic touches in the form of light, shadow and texture and VOILA! You’ve got yourself a beautiful piece of 3D liquid animation.

How can 3D Liquid Animation be Used for Business?

In all honesty, this is a very open-ended question. The obvious applications come in the form of food and drink animation or elements of engineering animation, for example. But there are no limits to the way that liquid motion graphics can be used to deliver your business’ messaging.

For example, we utilised liquid animation as a means of depicting connections in the brain for our project with Parkinson’s UK. This helped visually depict a process that could otherwise be difficult to display to viewers when you only have a few moments to work with.

Other potential uses of liquid motion visuals include:

A Snazzy Logo Animation

Let morphing animation and liquid animation join forces to create a clip that gives more life to your logo, product or brand mascot. For example, you could transform a campaign’s theme into the product itself, like this social media project we completed for Belgian beer brand, Leffe.

Add Something Extra To Live Action Footage

The kinetic visuals and infectious energy of your animation bring an extra level of panache to your live action footage. By merging the real and fictional worlds using 3D liquid animation, you bring an extra level of relatability and accessibility to your brand.

If you are thinking of utilising liquid animation in your next big project, but aren’t sure where to take your first step, get in touch with our friendly team here or call us on +44 (0) 207 2886 319. Our 3D animation team combines technical knowledge with creative flair to help turn your project idea into a real life visionary experience.