Lava Lamp with Raymarching + Signed Distance Functions in Unity

Hey Everyone,

I’ve been learning some volumetric rendering techniques. I think raymarching will become increasingly relevant to real time vfx as time goes on.

In any case, this is a quick attempt to use these techniques to hit a visual target. I’m excited to try more applications of the technique in the future.

Thanks for taking a look!
Jeremy Griffith

References (there are more but apparently new users can only post two links):


It looks too dark for me. Needs some light scattering. Could be faked really simply by just adding a gradient based on distance from the bottom, maybe with a little half lambert to bias it’s effect towards the bottom of the shape. Or you can look on shadertoy for some other examples (ranging from other fakes to actual path tracing).

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Not sure how realistic you want to go with it, but I saw you made a comment on the Facebook group about going for a Mass Effect look, everything glows in that game so maybe add a small emissive to it? I know that lava lamps don’t actually glow, but hey maybe this one does.

Thanks for the comment – I’m definitely not going for any sort of Mass Effect look with this – in the FB group I was just musing about the sort of situation in which using raymarched SDF could be viable in terms of performance.

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Ahhhh. My bad! Re-reading that comment in the group I realize that I completely misread that. :stuck_out_tongue:

Looks cool Jeremy. I’ve been playing a lot with some 2D and 3D SDF stuff in Unity. I’d be curious to hear more about the raymarching stuff your’e incorporating. Thanks for sharing. Also, was good to run into you the other night at the tech art GDC party!


HI Jeremy
Lava lamp effects look really good using Raymarching in unity.I need your help to develop same effects in my current project. The project is about welding .In which you can weld two parts using gun in VR.
I want same effect in weld puddle . Here whenever I put the weld material on Iron parts and continuing putting paddle on iron parts it should give me effects like two hot metal parts are joining with each other.
I think your lava lamp example is best suitable for me.

It will be great if you can give me some guideline or Can help me with it.