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Flowmap Generator: Create flow map textures using a fluid simulation

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Flowmap Generator is a tool for creating flow map textures for use in shaders using a fluid simulation. It exists as both a plugin for Unity and a stand alone application. The flow map textures created can be used in any game engine that supports creating custom shaders.


What is a flow map?

A flowmap is a texture that contains velocity vectors that can be used to create the illusion of flowing water, blowing sand, etc. Flowmaps can be difficult to create, especially on a large scale. Several tools exist for hand painting the velocity vectors, but this can be time consuming and if the geometry changes it is necessary to repaint the flowmap. Flowmap Generator lets you set up a simulation that can be easily edited and resimulated when needed.



-Control the simulation using fields placed in your scene, such as directional, vortex, and calm.

-Calculate foam accumulation based on the velocity of the fluid in the simulation.

-Dynamically updating flowmaps let your flowmap react to changes in the scene. Add and remove fluid, change the scene geometry and move fields around.

-Render heightmaps from your scene so your geometry will be used in the fluid simulation*

-Import textures as heightmaps, including support for 16bit .raw textures.

-Support for simulation fluid flowing on surface, which can also be used for other types of flowing substances such as snow and sand.

-GPU accelerated* and multithreaded simulations.


* Requires Unity Pro for the plugin version

All features are supported in the stand alone application.


The Unity plugin version includes several shaders to get you started. I plan on trying to make some more for future updates. If you have a specific request, let me know and I’ll try to get it in the next update.


A video showing some of these features:


More information, including documentation and a web player demo can be found here:


The Unity plugin version can be purchased from Unity's asset store for $40 USD


A link to purchase the stand alone version which costs $25 USD via Paypal and a free demo of the stand alone version:


Upcoming features:

The next round of feature updates focus on adding better support for fluids flowing on surfaces, raindrops running down walls for example. Here’s a short video showing the current progress:


Flowmap shader resources

A good write up for creating flow map shaders (using HLSL/CG):


Valve has some good information on how they used flow maps in Portal 2:


There’s a thread on Polycount that has lots of good information on using flow maps, including some tips on creating shaders for UDK:


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Looks very useful!

I just forwarded this link on to some friends who have been looking for something like this in Unity land biggrin.png

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