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RealFlow 2013 Review

By Jahirul Amin

Web: http://www.realflow.com (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 2nd August 2013

Continuing to edit the settings for the desired effect

Okay, so back to the first shot! Firstly, I had to get my head model into RealFlow. With the latest version of RealFlow, Next Limit has added Alembic to import and export assets. Unfortunately, the version of Maya that I was using is not Alembic a-go-go, so I had to stick with the good old OBJ file format for the time being.

Bringing assets into RealFlow was no issue at all for me, but I learnt pretty quickly to reduce the density of my models for better results! Once the mesh was fit for RealFlow purpose, I began playing with the different emitters to see what would work best for the effect I was aiming for. After some experimentation using the circle, square and sphere emitters, I finally settled for the sphere.

"RealFlow allows you to give these fluids personality. You can direct them, sculpt them, bend them to your will, and that opens up a whole range of fantastic possibilities!"

I did at one stage model a paint tub, imported it into RealFlow, filled it with particles, and then animated the tub to drop the fluid onto the head. The results were pretty good, but I was not getting the 'chaos' I was after. Playing around with some of the Daemons such as the Noise Field and the Magic also gave some interesting results, but still not what I had envisioned...

The key to getting the behavior of the fluid right in the end, for me, was in the Viscosity and the Int pressure. By playing with these settings I was able to get the 'character' that I was after into the fluid. And I think the word 'character' is important for what RealFlow can bring to your work. Not only does it allow you to create believable oceans, rivers and so on, but it also allows you to give these fluids personality. You can direct them, sculpt them, bend them to your will, and that opens up a whole range of fantastic possibilities!

Going back to the image I was trying to create, once the settings for the emitter had been set, I needed to adjust how my head model would interact with the fluid. By tweaking the Particle Friction, Bounce and Sticky parameters, I was able to get a result I was pretty happy with. Then I needed something extra to create the 'chaos' I mentioned earlier that I was after. This came in the form of a very nifty Daemon node called Sheeter. This node helps to fill the holes left open by high viscous settings - and not only did it do that, it also created some great streaking effects! Just the type of madness I was after.

Testing the results on the final mesh

The final node I used was the Particle Mesh to create the geometry that I would render out in Maya using mental ray. And that's it! A total of 6 nodes (including the Hub01) to create the final image.

A quick Maxwell render to see how the final results could be

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