This video shows coloured ink droplets falling into a tank of clear water. This type of filming approach is often called a “cloud tank” in traditional physical special effects books.

This filming test was done as a real-world reference which I then used to compare against “Navier Stokes” based fluid simulations on computer software like Aalias | Wavefront’s Maya Fluid Effects.

The reason I filmed this footage was that I needed to see for myself the speed and fluid characteristics that ink droplets in water created.

I was amazed at the variety of patterns created by the ink as it swirls around the tank. The ink slowly diffuses into the water and the colour dissipates over time.

The footage was colour corrected in post-production to invert the video colors so blue ink droplets I used in the cloud tank were turned into fiery orange looking fluid. A nice side effect of inverting the colors was areas of darker thicker blue ink turned into brighter almost luminous reds and yellow colors.