Is it possible to use Blender to simulate realistic wind forces that take into account the aerodynamic properties of objects in the model?

My use case: I modeled a windmill and want to use Blender to simulate that windmill rotating in the wind, taking into account the shape of each of the blades of the windmill, etc.

I can also see this being useful for a number of other cases: flags blowing in the wind, tumbleweed or trash blowing across the ground, trees bending in the wind, etc.

Can any of Blender's physics simulation engines (either built-in or from addons) handle this?

  • $\begingroup$ blender.org/manual/physics/force_fields.html $\endgroup$ – Daniel Nov 15 '15 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ If you're using Cycles or Blender Render, you can set your scene up with Wind Force Fields. Each object that you want affected must have appropriate physics set up, the extent of that conversation being too long to have here. In short, your verdant growth and flags would use cloth simulation and your wind mill would have to use rigid body simulation. It is best read about at the link I provided. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Nov 15 '15 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ I found this on the manual, blender.org/manual/physics/soft_body/… but applies to soft bodies..? maybe if your mill blades sails can be done as softbodies..? But realistic aerodynamic is really though, i think, there's turbulence also to be taken into account... $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Nov 15 '15 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ If you're using the BGE, you can easily simulate cloth by subidividing your target cloth objects and using softbody physics. Play with the settings for optimal effect, but I set my margin to .03, iterations to 5 and threshold to 0. For your windmill in the BGE, you'll most likely rely on python. You could set the force of your wind to be applied to your cloth objects in script form, and use this same value to apply rotation to windmill screws. Force Field physics utilizes the particle system, which doesn't seem to have as much support in the BGE as Render/Cycles. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Nov 15 '15 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ For this please use Houdini, it can simulate air-fields. Blender's simulation is not realistic by any means and it's all fake just for the looks. Air-fields are not supported, force-fields won't take airflow into account. If you'd like physically correct data you would have to use very expensive dedicated software, not even Houdini will help you. $\endgroup$ – Jaroslav Jerryno Novotny Nov 15 '15 at 15:18

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