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“Volumes” is an experimental art film by Maxim Zhestkov using physics-based particle animation. Waves and unseen forces send billions of color-changing particles aloft in the film. The motions – especially the way the particles seem to tear themselves – are reminiscent of a complex fluid, like yogurt. These substances have both liquid-like (viscous) and solid-like (elastic) properties depending on the forces they experience. Zhestkov’s particles are similar; they move like a fluid but tear more like a solid.

I particularly like the sequence beginning at 1:30. The upwelling of particles leaves behind a lower layer that looks like a snapshot of convection in a planetary mantle while the upper layer resembles the clash of ocean waves. The whole film is quite mesmerizing. Check it out! (Video and image credit: M. Zhestkov; GIFs via Colossal)

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