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View Full Version : Realflow RFRK 2.5, now for Cinema 4D



Lazybyte
02-28-2012, 03:03 AM
Can't help feeling really left out now that even Cinema 4D has native RFRK support...
Does anyone know if NT are still talking to Nextlimit about releasing an LW native Renderkit plugin? There was talk about it a while ago, but apparently there were limitations to the LW SDK that prevented this.
Also Nextlimit were once talking about implementing Weight Map support for the RF-native Renderkit Mesher, at the moment you have to use the Standard mesher if you want to mix fluids. Which is painful...
Anyone know of any developments regarding RF?

Darth Mole
04-25-2012, 08:12 AM
Happy to bump this up. Surely as part of LW's 'we work well with everyone' mantra, better RF support should be forthcoming. After all, LW was one of the first apps to be supported - now we don't even have a plug-in that works properly...

Netvudu
04-25-2012, 11:28 AM
Yes, Iīm quite concerned about this. In this sense, Vancouverīs SIGGRAPH was pretty damaging for Lightwave despite Rob Powerīs efforts.
I remember one of Next Limitīs developers telling me "see? theyīre not even at their booth site. LW is gonna dissappear".
Apparently this guy didnīt think The Foundry was going to disappear even if they didnīt have a booth at all. :p

Maxwell on the other hand keeps on being updated for LW AFAIK, so probably itīs just a Realflow thing

3dWannabe
07-02-2012, 01:35 PM
Any status on this?

With NextLimit's 50% off deal, it's tempting to buy, but ... curious how well it works with Lightwave?

Darth Mole
07-02-2012, 05:18 PM
Ironically, LightWave used to have the best RF support as it could use the baked in motion vector data to add motion blur in a LW render. Now LW doesn't even have a plug-in that works properly. And I just don't believe it isn't much more than day or two's work to get it running properly - it just doesn't keep the surfacing from one frame to the next and is a real pain. But RF still exports native .LWO files and, in my experience, works well. If we could get the plug-in and RFK support it would awesome.

3dWannabe
07-02-2012, 05:22 PM
Would this fix the problem?

http://forums.newtek.com/showpost.php?p=1227226&postcount=3

Darth Mole
07-03-2012, 01:52 AM
At first I thought this plug-in required that you have all the objects loaded at once - but I'll check. If it doesn't then, yes that would be a major help. Shame we have to always rely on workarounds though...

3dWannabe
07-03-2012, 08:32 AM
At first I thought this plug-in required that you have all the objects loaded at once - but I'll check. If it doesn't then, yes that would be a major help. Shame we have to always rely on workarounds though...
Please let me know your results.

I'm considering buying a license, and if NextLimit isn't supporting the product, that will certainly factor into my decision.

Is RealFlow workable for you?

What about the subframe issue? Did anyone ever come up with a solution that didn't massively increase sim times?

http://forums.newtek.com/showpost.php?p=1196087&postcount=18

http://forums.newtek.com/showpost.php?p=1198729&postcount=20

Darth Mole
07-03-2012, 12:27 PM
Couldn't get it to work - probably not compatible with LW11 or Mac or a mixture of both.
:-(

3dWannabe
07-03-2012, 01:03 PM
Yeah, I used to run on a MacPro, and ... there are always going to be issues. I see a lot more issues reported on OSX with CS6. Macs are just problematic.

I got a response from NextLimit:
---
"We do not currently support LightWave for the RealFlow RenderKit - unfortunately our client-base using Lightwave is just too small to justify such a high allocation of our resources. Currently I am afraid that a RenderKit plugin for Lightwave just isn't a priority.

RealFlow, however, DOES support Lightwave so they will have no problems integrating the main software with their 3D platform.

I have forwarded your customer's comments to our technical support desk to see if they have anything useful to add.
---
If anyone has any bugs or issues outside of the RFRK, maybe if I buy I can get them to commit to resolving them?

Really a shame about the lack of support. The trouble is, this kind of issues is self perpetuating.

Not enough users -> lack of support -> not enough users.

Newtek should reach out to these important players and insure they support Lightwave, as knowing that 3rd party tools are available (RealFlow is really the only game in town currently for what they do), would help Lightwave to be recognized as a serious player - and the LACK of support, makes it look like they are not.

Darth Mole
07-03-2012, 03:39 PM
I meant the DPont plug-in.

CS6 is fine on my 12-core.

The phrase 'Macs are just problematic' is fantastically ironic given the computing alternative.

3dWannabe
07-03-2012, 03:53 PM
I meant the DPont plug-in.

CS6 is fine on my 12-core.

The phrase 'Macs are just problematic' is fantastically ironic given the computing alternative.
My MacPro recently got stuck in software update for iTunes, Apple's breadwinner - and the CS6 issues I'm talking about are for Premiere, which I'm observing for Mac users on the RedUser.net Adobe forum.

OSX is about 10 years behind PCs in terms of security, which is really becoming apparent now with all the security issues on OSX.

But, each to their own.

Humans tend to have a confirmation bias that affects their ability to see the validity of another political party, another religion or lack of religion, and definitely the pros/cons of Mac vs PC.

I own both, and used to develop software for the Mac starting with the Macintosh (actually, with the Apple II, come to think of it), basically hated Windows and PCs ... so I could be slightly less biased than most - or ... more biased, who knows???

Celshader
07-03-2012, 04:14 PM
Any status on this?

With NextLimit's 50% off deal, it's tempting to buy, but ... curious how well it works with Lightwave?

My RealFlow->LightWave VFX (a skull-splash made of Tanqueray gin) made the SIGGRAPH 2010 reel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTNfGZTnp3c#t=00m48s), so I think LightWave and RealFlow work pretty well together.

However, I have not yet purchased a personal license. It's not worth it because I do not do any paid RealFlow work at home. All of my RealFlow work has been at studios. I am grateful that Next Limit offers an inexpensive educational license for $245 (http://www.realflow.com/rf_licensing_learning_ed.php), so I'll probably buy that to hone my RealFlow skills at home.

Celshader
07-03-2012, 04:19 PM
it just doesn't keep the surfacing from one frame to the next and is a real pain.

For the record, I still use NextLimit's ancient surfrep.exe (http://lwplugindb.com/Plugin.aspx?id=87fdffbe) tool to batch-surface RealFlow mesh sequences. There may be other ways, but my old habits die hard.

3dWannabe
07-03-2012, 04:35 PM
My RealFlow->LightWave VFX (a skull-splash made of Tanqueray gin) made the SIGGRAPH 2010 reel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTNfGZTnp3c#t=00m48s), so I think LightWave and RealFlow work pretty well together.

However, I have not yet purchased a personal license. It's not worth it because I do not do any paid RealFlow work at home. All of my RealFlow work has been at studios. I am grateful that Next Limit offers an inexpensive educational license for $245 (http://www.realflow.com/rf_licensing_learning_ed.php), so I'll probably buy that to hone my RealFlow skills at home.
Very nice!!!

So you're using RealFlow 2012 now with Lightwave 11?

Any particular things to watch out for?

How about which plug-in version to use?

Or - how to deal with subframes?

Thanks!!!!

Celshader
07-03-2012, 04:53 PM
Very nice!!!

So you're using RealFlow 2012 now with Lightwave 11?

Any particular things to watch out for?

How about which plug-in version to use?

Or - how to deal with subframes?

Thanks!!!!

My workplace owns RealFlow 5. I have not yet tried RF2012.

Things to watch out for: RealFlow can and will punch you in the face at every opportunity.

RealFlow does not punch users in the face as much as it used to do, but it still has some annoying habits like occasional scene corruption. Once in a while a RealFlow scene will go corrupt, and you won't know until you try to reopen the scene after you saved it. Then it's too late -- you won't be able to open the scene, and you have to start all over again.

This is why -- for professional work -- it's worth paying $4000 for the full version over the $245 educational version. The full version offers incorruptible XML backup, which preserves 99.9% of your work.

I only use two of NextLimit's LightWave plug-ins at this time. I use NextLimit Manager for SD Export to RealFlow, and I use NextLimit's RF particle loader. I also use NextLimit's surfrep.exe to batch-surface RealFlow-generated LWO sequences and LightWave's native Object Sequencer and a vibrating Morph Mixer envelope on the "Speed" endomorph for the motion blur. Set the envelope on the "Speed" morph to 0% at 0, 100% 1, and set the Post Behavior to "Repeat." This will give you the motion blur that you need.

3dWannabe
07-24-2012, 11:50 PM
I ended up purchasing the full RealFlow 2012 - and am inundated with tutorials from different vendors!

I went back and forth with their sales & marketing team on the lack of Lightwave support, and sent them a number of long emails on the subject, and got some responses back which indicated they read them and will be evaluating Lightwave support shortly.

The disappearance of NewTek at a certain conference may have had a chilling effect, that will need some work to remedy - and I don't think they see the user base purchasing RealFlow.

I explained it was a chicken/egg situation. Without full Lightwave support, how can they expect Lightwave users to jump on-board a $4K package (I got mine at over 50% off that due to some sports win in some foreign country).

I hope that anyone interested in using RealFlow (I understand the $200 version will do 95% what the full version will), will send some emails to NextLimit [email protected] outlining your desire to have full Lightwave support.

As it looks kind of bad for Lightwave NOT to be supported, I'd hope that someone from the Lightwave team would get involved, and offer any assistance necessary.

RealFlow is still the standard for fluid dynamics .... at least until Turbulence has another few years under its belt ... and it really looks bad if Lightwave is not playing in the ballpark with the big boys (I have the AutoDesk suite if I need to use that, which was a factor in my decision to buy).

Celshader
07-25-2012, 12:12 AM
I don't think they see the [LightWave] user base purchasing RealFlow.

They might be right. I've used RealFlow in production since 2005, and I've used LightWave to render many of those RealFlow projects -- but always with a studio's RealFlow license. I have never owned a personal RealFlow license, since I do not use RealFlow at home.

I am considering a purchase of the $245 learning edition (http://www.realflow.com/rf_licensing_learning_ed.php) in order to keep up with the latest RealFlow developments, but not a full RealFlow license.

jwiede
07-25-2012, 04:09 AM
Buy the LE, you're unlikely to be disappointed. For the price, it's a highly efficient way to get/stay up to speed with latest RF changes.

Celshader
07-25-2012, 08:20 AM
XML import/export and the command line have no use to me (sadly)

For production work, XML support is my favorite part of the professional license. RealFlow still occasionally corrupts its own *.flw files, making them impossible to open once corrupted. This corruption affects all FLW backups, too. I've lost many FLW files that had to be rebuilt from scratch because my main file and backups got corrupted and could not be reopened after corruption.

If the RealFlow artist backs up his work to XML instead of FLW, however, he can recover 99% of his work. The only thing that gets lost are DSpline arrangements. XML files also benefit from taking up less space on the hard drive, too.

I can also use a full XML export/import to fix broken Links in a RealFlow scene. RealFlow sometimes disconnects its Links internally even though its GUI clearly shows the Links. For example, if I have an active Gravity daemon in the scene linked to the emitter, but RealFlow refuses to acknowledge the Gravity during simulation, then the Link between Gravity and the emitter is broken. To fix it, I can export the emitter and Gravity as an XML file, delete the originals, then reimport the XML file to restore the emitter/Gravity relationship. Without XML support, I would have to rebuild the emitter and Gravity setup from scratch. This can take a while when lots of emitters and daemons get involved.

XML export/import is also useful as a "Load from Scene" utility between RealFlow projects.

In short, I would not want to work on a RealFlow production without XML support. I don't mind the Learning Edition missing this function, since I would never use the LE for production.

3dWannabe
07-25-2012, 08:24 AM
Close to getting the LE as well - it does all I need to stay updated for "real" projects, where a clients license is used anyway. No restrictions apart from no commercial use, updates are not free(? Who'd assume that... o.O), XML import/export and the command line have no use to me (sadly), and the RFRK is missing - but we're wavers, so nothing lost there. :devil: Wrote to them a few weeks back, and RF2013 will not be out before Q4, so it's not even worth to wait (looking forward to the node graph!). There will also be a discount for current version owners - even on the LE, which is nice.

I get the impression you mixed up Turbulence with Naiad, which is the only commercially available tool as far as I know (sure, there are application specific ICE compounds, houdini solvers apart from the included ones, etc...). But unlike RF, it sadly has no (native) connection to LW whatsoever, as it exports to Arnold (ahem... ;)), Houdini, Krakatoa (which is one of those tools/renderers that makes people purchase Max), Renderman and Maya, though I'd like to know which file formats it uses exactly and if one of them could be LW compatible. Apparently they work on a direct link to Max (probably based on the stuff Pixomondo did (http://www.exoticmatter.com/pixomondo-and-naiad/)?) and Vray.

Turbulence right now is only meant for gaseous fluids (which are apparently based on the same computations (IF done using grid based simulations), while Naiad and RF use largely smoothed particle hydrodynamics (though RFs hybrido seems to be a ... hybrid. :D). Jascha mentioned solid "rendering" for a future update, but even then Turbulence will not come close to RF by including that feature - just as RF won't be used for flames/smoke/dust... I guess with massive tweaking one could obtain comparable results, but since they have their focus areas, better use them for what they're best at. That's probably what you meant when comparing those two anyway, so sorry, if I misunderstood. :thumbsup:

Great... simply posting on that topic makes my fingers twitch to the purchase button... :D
Yes, I purchased Turbulence while still in early beta. I understand that there is no comparison ... but, he's a pretty creative guy and in a few years ...


They might be right. I've used RealFlow in production since 2005, and I've used LightWave to render many of those RealFlow projects -- but always with a studio's RealFlow license. I have never owned a personal RealFlow license, since I do not use RealFlow at home.

I am considering a purchase of the $245 learning edition (http://www.realflow.com/rf_licensing_learning_ed.php) in order to keep up with the latest RealFlow developments, but not a full RealFlow license.
I think Lightwave users would be very interested in RealFlow, but ... the current lack of connectivity may be holding some back.

If they are smart business people, they should do anything they can to get new users into the subscription plan.

They kind of have it backwards, as you make your real money on the continued revenue stream of the subscription not on the initial purchase.

You find a way to get it into as many user's hands as possible at a very reasonable price - and then you have them for life.

They could really expand their user base if they would adjust the pricing (offer a special deal for the learning edition users to get them into the full product)- and offer full integration with Lightwave.

BTW - Cmi is offering 60% off their RealFlow videos until Sat.

cmivfx.com Enter in this code july1260 in the store cart and hit apply

Celshader
07-25-2012, 08:45 AM
Yes, I purchased Turbulence while still in early beta. I understand that there is no comparison ... but, he's a pretty creative guy and in a few years ...


I think Lightwave users would be very interested in RealFlow, but ... the current lack of connectivity may be holding some back.

If they are smart business people, they should do anything they can to get new users into the subscription plan.

They kind of have it backwards, as you make your real money on the continued revenue stream of the subscription not on the initial purchase.

You find a way to get it into as many user's hands as possible at a very reasonable price - and then you have them for life.

They could really expand their user base if they would adjust the pricing (offer a special deal for the learning edition users to get them into the full product)- and offer full integration with Lightwave.

BTW - Cmi is offering 60% off their RealFlow videos until Sat.

cmivfx.com Enter in this code july1260 in the store cart and hit apply

Thanks for the CMI tip. :thumbsup:

RealFlow's connectivity to LightWave is not an issue for me at this time. I've used both packages on several RealFlow/LightWave productions, so I'm used to the workflow.

Regarding pricing: in 2006 one of the RealFlow masters told me that RealFlow 3 and its under-$1000 pricing was Next Limit's attempt to reach out to individual artists. He said with RealFlow 3, Next Limit discovered that it was easier to provide tech support for a few larger studios instead of for many smaller studios and individuals. So, Next Limit priced RealFlow 4 deliberately so that only larger studios could afford the software.

It's possible that Next Limit has changed since 2006, because the company now offers a Learning Edition that most artists can afford. However, I'm not sure if they want to attract individual artists with special deal pricing. I suspect the 50%-off Euro Cup pricing was as low as Next Limit was willing to go.

3dWannabe
07-25-2012, 08:46 AM
For production work, XML support is my favorite part of the professional license. ....
Thanks for the tips! That's sure to come in handy at some point!

BTW - do you use an SSD with RealFlow? Curious how to best use one as they seem to store everything in one place, with no options for separate cache files.

Celshader
07-25-2012, 09:11 AM
Thanks for the tips! That's sure to come in handy at some point!

BTW - do you use an SSD with RealFlow? Curious how to best use one as they seem to store everything in one place, with no options for separate cache files.

I prefer to keep everything under one directory on the company server, since a single RealFlow particle cache can take up gigabytes of data.

If you want to export the caches to a different drive, however, it should be possible through Export Central (F12 on the keyboard). By default the paths are relative to the scene directory. Uncollapse the particle listings and give them absolute paths to another hard drive if you want.

stevecullum
07-27-2012, 03:55 PM
For the record, I still use NextLimit's ancient surfrep.exe (http://lwplugindb.com/Plugin.aspx?id=87fdffbe) tool to batch-surface RealFlow mesh sequences. There may be other ways, but my old habits die hard.

I use version 1.21 of the Next Limit manager as the surfacing works perfectly for me. 64bit version I'm using.

Celshader
07-27-2012, 03:57 PM
I use version 1.21 of the Next Limit manager as the surfacing works perfectly for me. 64bit version I'm using.

That's great! Does it hold up when rendered over a render farm?

stevecullum
07-27-2012, 04:12 PM
That's great! Does it hold up when rendered over a render farm?

Not sure about that. I've not had any problems with it on other functions, so hopefully it would work.

Phil
07-28-2012, 08:11 PM
All of my RealFlow work has been at studios. I am grateful that Next Limit offers an inexpensive educational license for $245 (http://www.realflow.com/rf_licensing_learning_ed.php), so I'll probably buy that to hone my RealFlow skills at home.

It's even cheaper at Safe Harbor. Oddly, the bundle of Maxwell and RF is more expensive than buying them separately.

Celshader
07-28-2012, 08:55 PM
It's even cheaper at Safe Harbor. Oddly, the bundle of Maxwell and RF is more expensive than buying them separately.

Wow -- that is a good tip. I'll probably buy my learning edition from Safe Harbor if I can.

Thanks!

Julez4001
07-29-2012, 02:59 PM
It would be cool for Celshader's notes and a tutorial to be made for LightWiki or Lightwave3d site.

I think a lot of LW user feel overwhelmed about Realflow.
As I.

Dexter2999
07-29-2012, 03:27 PM
Wow -- that is a good tip. I'll probably buy my learning edition from Safe Harbor if I can.

Thanks!

"if I can" being the operative words in that. Safe Harbor has the Learning Editions tagged as "Academic". Often (not always) academic software requires proof of enrollment in a qualified program.

Great if that isn't the case, but just a heads up that this kind of thing does happen.