View Full Version : RealFlow with LightWave?

08-05-2006, 12:30 PM
I'm thinking about getting RealFlow and need to know how it works with LightWave. Does anyone here use RealFlow?

08-05-2006, 01:24 PM
I use Realflow 3 and 4. Works great with LW. Getting the two programs to talk to each other is pretty easy if you read their stiffly written manual (they really oughta hire people who speak native English to rewrite their manuals, I must say). For all its complexity its a pretty easy program to use.

One thing is that in RF 4 I can't seem to find a new version of the flowtracer.p plugin. I guess I installed it wrong, but I can't find it on the disc, and its not mentioned anymore on their website (though it is in their instrcutions). This is a problem because the flowtracer.p included with RF 3 doesn't work with RF 4 .bin files (the particle files). You can use LW's hypervoxels to render the particles, but it just isn't quite as good as the nextlimit shader for particles. To get around this, you have to bake your simulations as MESHES and then its all good.

NextLimit really got the plugins working well. They need to get their own program from crashing so often though LOL. Though they do have an autosave now, and they also have a "reassign .bin sequence" so when RF 4 does crash you can be up and running in no time at all.

08-05-2006, 01:47 PM
I've used Realflow with Lightwave since shortly after it first came out.

How it works is that Realflow is its own program. You can either set up a simulation in Lightwave, using Tripled geometry, utilizing the next limit exporter or just use basic geometry provided by realflow.

Since you are using Lightwave you will probably get used to making special tripled geometry that will be a clone of your actual render objects.

YOu will then animate these objects and then export the scene to Realflow.

Once in realflow you create the emitters like Fill object or shaped emitters that are like the Lightwave particle emitters. You then add gravity and tell realflow which geometry the fluid is supposed to collide with. You will probably run a few particle simulations to see how the fluid is reacting and if the particles are dense enough to give you enough fluid detail.

After making your fluid settings you then generate a mesh. You set the mesh to wrap around the particles based on the density, fluid relaxation/tension, radius of particles, etc.

When you are finished you then export the mesh sequence *.lwo and then use the mesh sequence in Lightwave using the nextlimit mesh sequence plug ins.

You can also export the particle files (.bin) and use Lightwave's hypervoxels to make the fluid as well. But the best reults are from the mesh sequences in my opinion.

I downloaded the latest Reaflow (4) on Thursday and it works really fast and is more efficent then previous releases. It also includes the realwave (RF3 had it as well) for generating water surfaces.

You should be able to get the RF4 demo to try out and make sure it works properly.

08-05-2006, 02:14 PM
I'm thinking about getting RealFlow and need to know how it works with LightWave. Does anyone here use RealFlow?

You can download a 30day demo of Realflow4, to use with LW yourself,
might be the best idea before spending large amounts of cash.

08-05-2006, 04:33 PM
I have already downloaded the trial and am liking it. I think I'm going to buy.