After experimenting with the physics engine and the fluid simulator separately, I decided to mix them both in a little experiment: a glass breaking with liquid inside. Still needs polishing, the results are promising. Here is a series of stills with different lighting and materials.
Click on each image to see a larger version.
Lighting was rather simple for the first still in this series: global lighting on and a single emitter plane in upper right corner of the camera. Floor and wall in the background had the default white diffuse material. As for the liquid inside the glass, it’s a simple mix of glass and glossy material.
For the second still I moved a few frames forward in the simulation to a point where the fluid started to adopt very attractive shapes. Another change here is the floor and background wall color from white to orange. I kind of like the warm effect of the red liquid on the orange surfaces.
Finally for this last still I chose the same frame I used in the previous one. This time I changed the color in the liquid to a bright green, I polished some of the shards of glass. Even so, the biggest change in this image is the lighting and the floor and wall materials.
Light sources now are the background wall, with gradient texture and a small but powerfull emitter plane on the left of the camera. The floor has been changed to a glossy material with very little roughness. Personally, I think this is the best one in the series, aesthetically speaking.
Next time, I will try to animate the full scene. I have to sort a few things out in the simulation first, though.