View Full Version : Lightwave and Real Flow 4.1.1

Jack McGuinness
09-08-2006, 02:56 PM

Downloaded the Real flow 4 demo a couple of days ago. And since its a limited use for this tryout version I now wonder in theres anyone who is skilled enough in this software to teach me how to get started?

Darth Mole
09-08-2006, 04:37 PM
Not exactly 'skilled' but I can make it work and do pretty things. Whaddya wanna know?

Jack McGuinness
09-09-2006, 12:33 AM
Hi Darth Mole!

Easy step by step movements in the software, from a to z...

1. I have created an easy scene setup in LW including an easy box object for the Ocean and another easy axe-shaped object that are meant to symbol a boat. Both objects are tripled and the ocean box object is splitted up in about 20 radius segments in the x and z direction.

2. I then export the scene from LW with the Real Flow 4 "SD plugin". Next step is to import the LW scene into Real Flow 4 and it seems to pop up without any problems. But then what? How can I make the ocean box react with wakes, ripples and swells when the axe-shaped boat symbol runs across the ocean box surface?

3. Is it possible to make LW objects exported with the SD plugin to act as emitters or receivers that are attracted by other objects movements in Real Flow 4? I do not really understand if Real Flow only work with its own objects or if its possible to attach Real Flows unique features to imported LW objects?

4. I have also tried to export Real Flow simulation to LW but never figured out where and if its saved? Where do I tell Real Flow 4 the direction of where I want the simulation to be saved? The object, scene and particle information seems to pop up in places I do not want them to take place. How and where do I tell RF4 to save them where I want?

5. Another question would be if Real Flow export and saves object sequenses for LW or if its bump maps or particle files?

But as said in the beginning of this message... an easy step by step tutorial for how to handle LW objects in Real Flow 4 and how to export them into LW would be a cracker. Similar to this easy tutorial would have been great:

09-09-2006, 12:55 PM
Did you check the samples (on the same download page)?

For interaction with LWO objects, you need to set up their node params (e.g., rigid body for dyanamics). When you simulate, RF4 saves the particles in the dir where you created the proj file.

You then pick those up in layout by creating a null and choosing the RF4 particles for deform and selecting the bin files (pick the first one in the list). Then choose HV (or RF flowtracer, though I didn't find this plugin for RF4 on the download page) and render.

Jack McGuinness
09-10-2006, 07:00 AM
... you mean at this place?



09-10-2006, 07:08 AM
do not forget the free real flow tuts from kurv
goood stuff

Jack McGuinness
09-10-2006, 07:12 AM
I thought they only had stuff you had to pay for... I bought a few DVDs from them earlier but fell asleep... ;)

I will go direct and check out on the stuff for RF4

09-10-2006, 07:30 AM
hi plus this
its not free but sweet


Darth Mole
09-10-2006, 11:50 AM
Hoo, that's a lot of hard questions.

1) I've only done a few Realwave sims, but the wave itself is made in RF, not in LW. For example: open a new scene, add a RealWave object from 'Waves' icon. Then add a type of wave using the icon underneath (two arrows pointing down). Choose 'Fractal' and simply click the 'Action' button. You will see the wave flowing realistically.

To add a LW object to the scene, make a 1m tesselated sphere and in Layout keyframe it moving along the X axis for 4 or 5m over 60 frames. Export the scene as an SD file (in the Master Plug-Ins panel).

I've made a RealFlow folder that I store all the SD files, RF scene files, particles, etc in. Doesn't matter where it us, as long as you point RF to it when you make a new scene - RealFlow will automatically set up the necessary folders inside, under the project name that you give it.

So, for example, my path is HD > MyName > Documents > Realflow > 'Name of new project' > Images/Meshes/Objects/Scene file (xxx.flw)/Particles/Preview

In RealFlow, create a new scene (make sure the app is set to 'LightWave' and the scale to 1.0). Import the SD scene - you should see the ball move along one axis.

To make the ball interact with the wave, click on Objects and under 'Sphere' you should see a bunch of grey panels for Particle Interaction, Texture, Dynamics and so on - click on Realwave and next to 'Realwave' click the box so it says 'Yes'.

Now press the Action button and the ball should leave a ripple as it moves through the wave. To make a bigger ripple, under the Object>Sphere panel change RealWave 'Strength V' and 'Strength H' to 40 or 50 and the Max Height to 0.5 for a big bow-wave! Like this...

Darth Mole
09-10-2006, 12:05 PM
Right. Hopefully, your scene is working okay - experiment with values to get a wave you like. Now under the Export Central all you need is to click on REALWAVE > 'Realwave01' so it has a tick by it. If you open it up (click the + sign), you need to activate Surface deformation (.sd) and Surface Deformation (.lwo)

Click on Action to run the simulation and save these files.

What this does is export the wave mesh as a LightWave .lwo file and its deformation as an SD file. Now, becasue the sphere isn't being deformed or having any action applied to it, we didn't need to export it from RealFlow - we'll just use the same scene. So switch back to Layout and add the Realwave01.lwo object. Then hit 'p' to open the properties panel. Under Deform, load the NextLimit SD Loader, locate the SD file, open it up and hit Play.

It should all look like this:

Darth Mole
09-10-2006, 01:14 PM
Now. I'm using RF3.1 with LW9 and there are some problems with files opening in LW, so sometimes you have to cheat. There's a weird 'Object Failed to Load' message which removes my sphere from the scene, but as long as you get the wave working okay, it's easy enough to re-load a totally new sphere and replicate the animation.

And here's a final render...

Jack McGuinness
09-10-2006, 01:54 PM
... thats some great information... I will try it tonight...

Up till now there have been some heavy problems with the demo I downloaded from Next Limit. It is 4.1.1. and I run it on LW 8.5, but I get these irritating messages that the plugin is to old and there are objects missing?

Doesnt seem to be a good program for $2400!

Darth Mole
09-10-2006, 02:33 PM
Well, it was pretty buggy on LW for a long time until Next Limit updated the plug-ins - for the time being, RF3 and LW 8-9 seem to work okay, most of the time.

But certainly for the money, you'd expect better support. I think that's why Next Limit don't bother with an official forum any more - it was just full of people complaining.

Here's a quick movie render.

Jack McGuinness
09-10-2006, 05:11 PM
Hey Darth!

Some stuff is really working now... ok I admit I just play around with the most easy parts... had some backlash when I tried particles for splashes! LW protested as posessed!

Thanks for the quicktime film it was nice! Do you have any idea of how long it toke to render it?

Darth Mole
09-11-2006, 01:32 AM
That little render didn't take long at all - maybe 20 minutes? (I cheated by adding the motion blur in After Effects).

You can add particle splashes by using the RW Emitters, RW Splash and RW Surface. You'll also need to add the RW Particle Interaction Daemon too.

DON'T turn on 'Particle Layer' for the Realwave01 object as it will crash instantly (at least it does in RF3).

miso popovic
09-19-2006, 04:37 AM
hi! I downloaded rf4 demo verison, but i can find the plugin's required to import and export sd files. I need this urgenly, can somebody please help me! tnx in advance!

09-19-2006, 04:45 AM
you can download them from the same page
just scroll down a little
you ll find them

miso popovic
09-20-2006, 12:14 AM
found them :))) tnx!