Joe Ryan // Get Wet

Joe Ryan // Get Wet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kdy9lyWSlmI?rel=0

Slo-mo video of a whirlpool forming between two emptied tonic water bottles.

For my first Flow Visualization assignment I decided I wanted to capture some interesting footage in slow motion, and I’ve always been fascinated with whirlpools, so this seemed to be a perfect combo. My final video consisted of a whirlpool forming between two emptied bottles attached at the cap. Unfortunately, this was not what I initially set out to do. I had hoped to capture video of food coloring mixing in with the water in the whirlpool, to see how it moved the fluid in the space not in the exact center. My plan was to cut the bottom off one of the bottles, so that I could get a clear shot of the top of the whirlpool, but numerous problems prevented this. For one, the whirlpool required me to spin the bottles as I flipped them over. If I didn’t spin them, the water would just slowly drip from the top bottle to the bottom. Without a bottom on the top bottle, spinning them would have made a big mess and cost me most of the water in the system. The next problem was that the water wouldn’t be able to stay in the top bottle long enough for me to add food coloring and set up the camera. I tried to build some sort of door between the two bottles that would let me release the water when I wanted to, but this proved too leaky, and I lost a lot of water that way too. The end product is a monument to compromise, but I still think it came out pretty cool.

Whirlpools in the ocean are formed by opposing tidal forces, but what I did is a little different. It was more like the whirlpools that form in sink and bathtub drains. As the water flows downward toward the drain, it’s pulled from all areas of the basin. Because of this constant pull, water particles are knocked out of the way by incoming particles, but since they are still pulled downward, they gravitate back toward the drain and create a spiral flow (Brian). I addressed this a little in my first paragraph, but in my set up I needed to spin the bottles to create the whirlpool drain system rather than the slow drip. I think this is because the hole between the two bottles was too small. The water wasn’t flowing through it fast enough to create all those bumping particles, and so it needed a little boost.

My set up was very simple. I took two clear tonic water bottles, but any two similarly sized bottles will do, and emptied their contents. Then, I glued the tops of caps together with a ring of hot glue around the circumference of the seam. It’s really important that this is a water tight seal. Next, I drilled a hole through the two caps, so that they could still be screwed on to the bottles, but water could pass between them. The last step is to fill one of the bottles about 3/4 of the way full, and screw both caps on the bottles, so that one bottle is resting on top of the other. To get the whirlpools, I just flipped it over, and gave it a quick spin.

I also added some food coloring to my water. This is by no means essential to the experiment, but I think it added a little flare. It was actually a remnant of one of my initial ideas, where I hoped to see the food coloring mix in the whirlpool, but as I mentioned earlier, this did not work. I do think that clear liquids would work best though, I don’t think the whirlpool would be as visible, or at least not as clear with an opaque liquid like milk.

I shot the video with my iPhone 7 Slow Motion camera. It shoots at 720p, the standard, basic 16:9 HD aspect ratio, at 120 frames per second, slowing it down by a factor of about 4. I would’ve liked to be able to shoot it slower, but my biggest complaint is the resolution. I think it would’ve been awesome to be able to get up really close to the spiral, but unfortunately my video gets blurry when I zoom in too much. I also shot it outside, because I really appreciate natural sunlight. Unfortunately, this also means I captured all the details in my backyard, which distracts from the flow. This could be easily corrected by holding up some towels or some other large opaque backdrop, though.

Overall, I’m fairly happy with the video. There are of course things I would like to do differently, like improve the resolution, or create a less distracting backdrop, but overall, I think the flow was illustrated well. I really like the beginning of the video, where the bubbles coming up from the bottom of the bottle gradually spin until they become a full blown whirlpool. That was not something I was expecting to see, and I’m looking forward to future assignments, and seeing other things that I was not aware of.

 

 

Works Cited

Brain, Marshall, and Robert Lamb. “How Tornadoes Work.” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 1 Apr. 2000, science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/storms/tornado1.htm.

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27 Comments. Leave new

  • William Tse
    Oct 1, 2018 12:42

    Art: Very dramatic yet calming with the background noise, seems like I’m within the whirlpool myself. Food coloring enhances the image. I like it!
    Flow: Creative flow and illustrates turbulent flow of a fluid, in this case looks like a tornado
    Photographic Technique: Maybe make it in landscape somehow and try for a higher quality video.

    Reply
  • Chad Sloan
    Sep 24, 2018 16:41

    This video is really well done! I like that fact that you added the in the sound effect of water. It really adds to the video. I think the flow that you captured is really cool too, it also brings back memories from elementary school.

    Reply
  • Duncan Lowery
    Sep 21, 2018 10:22

    The fact that you shot with a high frame rate benefits your visualization by allowing us to see lots of detail in a flow that we usually see play out in real time. I like that I can see the air bubbles from the bottom bottle increase in size and rate until a vortex forms. How would a different viscosity of liquid change the formation of the vortex? Do you think the flow would be easier to visualize if the dye was not thoroughly mixed in the top bottle?

    Reply
  • Owen Brown
    Sep 20, 2018 14:40

    What is causing this ‘tornado’ effect to form? Does it ave anything to do with the bottom jug? If so, it could be a cool idea to fill the bottom container with a smoke or something to visualize how the transfer is taking place.

    Reply
  • Jeremy Aparicio
    Sep 19, 2018 12:39

    Cool video on something we have all seen but never really admired. Background needs to have a little bit of thought and perhaps a soundtrack? Good job overall

    Reply
  • Noah Granigan
    Sep 19, 2018 12:25

    This is a cool video, I get some nostalgia and the sounds effects add to the video. Maybe the background is distracting, but the experiment was very well executed.

    Reply
  • Chris Davidoff
    Sep 19, 2018 12:16

    Nice! In a controlled lighting environment, this could be exceptionally cool! Already cool as it is, and a nice touch on the audio

    Reply
  • Winston Douglas
    Sep 19, 2018 12:14

    I like the slow motion effect a lot and also the sound of the water is pleasant. The only recommendation is to clear up the background going on.

    Reply
  • Michael Karns
    Sep 19, 2018 12:14

    I think this captures the flow really well, but in the future I’d suggest putting a panel to have the same colored background. Nice touch with the water color.

    Reply
  • Gregory Collins
    Sep 19, 2018 12:13

    Great die choice. It enhanced the image. The slow mo sound is soothing. You may want to control the background with a solid color.

    Reply
  • Peilin Yang
    Sep 19, 2018 12:13

    The background is a little busy but the reflection of the sky is lovely. I love the BGM which makes me feel like in the deep ocean

    Reply
  • Christopher McFadden
    Sep 19, 2018 12:13

    The background and the reflection off the bottle are really distracting. You can see you holding the camera. Maybe trim the video, its a little long but its nice to see the cone form. I really like the water sounds!

    Reply
  • Ross Cooper
    Sep 19, 2018 12:13

    This is a cool representation of a unique flow. I really like the idea of it and the food coloring helps make it extra interesting.

    Reply
  • Eli Kopp-DeVol
    Sep 19, 2018 12:13

    Getting to see the vortex forming is quite fascinating although choosing a different bottle with a smoother surface would greatly improve visibility in my opinion!

    Reply
  • Ivan Komodore
    Sep 19, 2018 12:13

    Slow motion and the dyed water make the flow very easy to see. The background and lighting are distracting.

    Reply
  • The video is very clear with the flow, maybe the camera could be a bit closer and as we said, a background would be helpful, but your artistic point is well done!

    Reply
  • Maxwell Rodgers
    Sep 19, 2018 12:12

    I really like how well the camera was able to capture the actual vortex of the water through the bottom. The sound is quite soothing and helps to bring out the effect of the vortex.

    Reply
  • Garrett Gerchar
    Sep 19, 2018 12:12

    The flow of the vortex is very well captured in slow-mo. The sound of the slow mo water really immerses you into the image.

    Reply
  • Brent T Eckles
    Sep 19, 2018 12:11

    This video has a very calming effect. Like the slo mo effect. Seems to be a good amount of glare and could select a different background to let the water stick out more.

    Reply
  • Chase Cleveland
    Sep 19, 2018 12:11

    The whirlpool is an awesome flow to capture! I like how the flow starts with bubbles coming up and then transforms into a full, connected whirlpool. I wonder if the shape of the bottle has an effect on this transition. The reflection on the bottle is a little bit distracting from the fluid flow so I would suggest using a less reflective container.

    Reply
  • Matthew Finney
    Sep 19, 2018 12:11

    This is an interesting video. This clearly illustrates the flow phenomena trying to be displayed. The outdoor background is taking away from the flow so using a solid background could enhance the visual effects.

    Reply
  • Wenjin Li
    Sep 19, 2018 12:11

    Great video. I like the slow motion of the liquid escaped. The sound looks awesome. The background maybe little bit busy.

    Reply
  • Justin Truong
    Sep 19, 2018 12:11

    The video turned out great! You could clearly see the motion of the fluid as it drains into the second bottle.

    Reply
  • Charles Keely
    Sep 19, 2018 12:11

    This looks good considering it was shot on an iphone! The shot may have been clearer had you used a less distracting background but good work!

    Reply
  • Ibrahim Alhajji
    Sep 19, 2018 12:11

    Great work. The video was captured in a great way. The slow motion water vortex was clearly shown. I like the physics and the idea.

    Reply
  • Nice job, Joe! I think you captured the whirlpool in the water really nicely, and it is clear to see. The blue coloring helps to see what is happening. The only thing is maybe having a solid background, like having someone hold up a sheet behind you. But overall, nice job!

    Reply
  • Dylan Crane
    Sep 16, 2018 13:03

    That looks so good! If you had done it in a staged setting with a solid background and a different clear container you could get some really great photos of it and make it look very artistic. Perfect visualization of flow though!

    Reply

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