View Full Version : Lightwave and fluid (liquid, not gaseous) dynamics? Decent?

12-02-2014, 01:38 PM
Just had a promising initial meeting about an industrial animation gig involving a lot of liquid flows (oil and water separation, sludge, stuff like that). I haven't tried simulating liquids yet with Lightwave's built in tools, but am thinking I will probably want to break down and just get an add on like realflow for this.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

12-02-2014, 02:34 PM
At present there is no really good native solution for simulating real liquid dynamics. I've done some simple stuff using a ton of particles from ParticleFX and the processing the render to look like liquid in comp. This can look convincing for blood, oil, water, being thrown in the air, but it's a cheat and a far cry from real 3D liquid simulations. Luckily, there are a few options that may be considered affordable to indie artists.

I don't use RealFlow, but at places I've worked, that's usually been the go to. Where I am currently, I'm sitting next to a RealFlow artist who has been exploring Houdini for really big water effects and he's been very impressed so far. Depending on which licensing terms you can comply with, Houdini could be a good inexpensive choice. ($200/year for the 'indie' license.)

Blender also works with Lightwave. Do a search in the forums for threads on workflow and i/o plugins. Again, I have little to no personal experience with this so hopefully a more knowledgeable user will jump in.


12-02-2014, 03:05 PM
Not LightWave I'm afraid. I have the $99 realflow edition which you probably can't use for your commercial project but its worth for learning/evaluating it and for personal projects.

12-02-2014, 04:06 PM
Thanks, Guys; good tips. I was looking into the Houdini Indie license, but it appears your client can't bring in over $100k a year, either. These guys make that selling one unit so that's out the window. :oye:

Blender has some interesting aspects to it (not the least of which is FREE) but also seems to have some problems with how the liquids behave. I'm still looking into it but my willingness to chase down a rabbit hole if the clock starts on this gig is limited. Assuming I land it my asking price would easily cover a regular Realflow license so that is currently at the top of my list—though I'm still very interested in other ideas if any are out there.

Thanks again! :thumbsup: