Class Details

Enrollment is being expanded; non-engineers with an interest in film, photography and fluids are particularly welcome. This is an upper division course, not suitable for first or second year students. Mechanical engineering students are expected to have had a course in fluids. The class is cross listed. Everybody will work together, and what each person brings to the table will be valued. My expectations will be tailored for students’ different backgrounds, but this is really a fail-safe course. What you get out of it depends on what you put in. See Is Flow Vis Right For You? for more info.

Fall 2023: Lecture MWF 12:20-1:10, ITLL 1B50. Lectures will also be zoomed and recorded, but in-person attendance is expected as much as possible. Zoom link will be in Slack and on Canvas.

Prof. Jean Hertzberg

p: 303.492.5092
Professor website:
Personal professional photography site:

Mail: 427 UCB
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
U. of Colorado – Boulder, 80309

Office: ECME 220
Office hours: Right after class, in ECME 220 or nearby. Or email me for an appointment in my actual office. Monday and Friday afternoons and early evenings are best, and Tuesday Thursday via zoom. I love to look at student work and hear about your setups and plans! I won’t edit for you, but I’ll counsel you through your own editing process.

TA: Shrey Naresh Solanki ( can help you with WordPress, Canvas, photography, video editing and administrative stuff. He’s a grad student in Creative Technology & Design.
Canvas website, for submission of archival work

Lecture Notes 2022 Fall

Zoom recordings are posted on Vimeo


01: Syllabus and Initial Assignments

02: Overview 1: choices, forces, seeded boundary technique

03: Overview 2: posting demo, refractive index technique

04: Overview 3: rheoscopic fluids, particle tracking, lighting. Sorry, no video for this lecture.

05: Overview4: Photography 1 – workflow and cameras

06: Photo 2 – Post Processing (darktable)

07: Teams and Facilities

07a: Critique: the Critical Response Method

08: Critique logistics and more CRM

09: Lens Specifications

10: Focus, DOF and Aperture

11: Exposure – Aperture, Shutter and ISO

12: Finish Exposure, Start Clouds

13: Clouds 2 – Skew-T

14: Clouds 3 – More Instability and Common Clouds

15: Resolution – Spatial. Sorry, no lecture recording.

16: Resolution – Temporal

17: Resolution – Measurand = Light

18: Exposure quiz

19: Dye Techniques – Do Not Disturb

20: Dye Techniques – Max Visibility

21: Particles 1 – Particle Paths

22: Particles 2 – Scattering and Sources

23: Particles 3 – Fogs

24: Particles 4 – Hydrogen Bubbles

25: Refractive Index Methods

26: Light Emitting Fluids

Lecture Notes 2020 Fall

Zoom recordings of the lectures from the semester are available; contact me for access.

01 Intro and Syllabus: PDF

02 Initial Assignments and start Overview: PDF

03 Overview: Common FV techniques: seeded boundary and refractive index: PDF

04. Overview 2/Photog 1: Refractive index, particle tracking, lighting: PDF

05. Photog 1: Cameras and lenses: PDF

06. Postprocessing: Filetypes and Darktable: PDF

07. Darktable and Critique Technique: PDF

08. Video Editing: PDF

09. Facilities and equipment: PDF

Byron Rudisill’s presentation on Idea Forge access for this semester.

10. Aperture, DOF, shutter speeds: PDF

11. Exposure: PDF

12.Clouds1 –  Skew-T intro: PDF

13.Clouds2 – Skew-T, instability and mountain wave clouds: PDF

14.Clouds3 – Ororgraphics and weather systems: PDF

15.Resolution1 – Spatial Resolution: PDF

16. Resolution2 – more spatial resolution: PDF

17. Resolution 3 – Temporal resolution: PDF

18. Resolution 4 – Bit Depth to Dye Tech: PDF

19. Dye Techniques and light/matter interaction: PDF

20. Light Emitting Fluids – combustion and fluorescence: PDF

21. Schlieren and shadowgraphy: PDF

22. Particles 1-  trajectories: PDF

23. Particles 2 – aerosols: PDF

24. Particles 3 – fogs: PDF

25. Vorticity: PDF

26. Guest lecture from Linden Gledhill: PDF

27. Aesthetics in Flow Vis: PDF

28. Art and Science, Engineering and Photography: PDF

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