FXPHD – RFL202 – RealFlow 5 Project Workshop

FXPHD – RFL202 – RealFlow 5 Project Workshop


RealFlow has become a commonly-used fx tool for film and commercial production, dominantly for creating fluids like water,

blood and molten chocolate, but increasingly for complex rigid and soft body dynamics.

Out-of-the-box, it can create beautiful, organic animations driven by physics, and with some practice and knowledge,

artists can achieve astounding, high-end, art-directed visuals at the cutting edge of visual effects.

Class 1: Oveview.

Like all mature CG packages, RealFlow is a maze of details, features and parameters.

This class functions as a quick overview to highlight those aspects that are crucially

important to most project work, to help you sort thru what’s important,

and what you can not worry about (for the most part).

In the class we’ll go over the elements of the UI that you need to know;

menu items that are important but often overlooked by even experienced fx artists;

the core functionalities so you know what’s RealFlow can do;

and the basic workflow that you’ll use over and over again in your work.

Class 2: Particle Fluids, Part 1 

Art-directed pour into a glass – If you start using RF for production,

you will be surprised how often you find yourself doing a pour of fluid into a glass.

Weirdly, each time you do it, the project needs will be sufficiently different that you’ll

find it challenging, making it worth a class.

Also, it makes a great intro to dealing with particle emitters, daemons, object interaction

and the standard workflow.

Here we’ll pour fluid from a bottle into a glass according to specific shot needs,

and make the fluid behave in a naturalistic, yet art-directed way.

The art-direction is always the source of the challenge.

Class 3: Particle Fluids, Part 1 

Forming a word out of rain hitting a windshield – In this class we’ll continue to explore

particle-based fluids and their interaction with objects, this time creating a rain storm

hitting a car, and using the fluid to form a logo on the windshield.

Class 4: Meshing and options for visualizing your sim results 

After you’ve created your simulations, you have to render them.

There’s now quite a wide variety of ways to do that, but typically this involves generating

meshes around your particles first.

We’ll cover the ways of meshing in RealFlow. Also, we’ll discuss alternative methods of meshing

and also particle rendering, to give you a broader feeling for how to turn your results into images.

Class 5: Getting to know grid fluids 

Flood-forming a logo – RealFlow 5 includes a brand new fluid solver called a grid fluid, and in this class

we’ll start working with it.

It’s designed for doing larger-scale simulations, so we’ll start by forming a logo with a giant flood.

Class 6: Grid fluids 2 

Beach scene – In this class, we’ll extend our knowledge of the grid fluid solver by creating an oceanside

simulation of waves washing up on a beach.


Class 7: Realwaves Intro

Making a basic ocean surface – Construct a choppy, open ocean surface using the new rwc workflow,

including some floating debris, and make it tile to create a larger ocean patch.Class 8: Rigid and soft bodies,and basic Python, Part 1 

Shooting a basketball – Set up a rigid body sim for a basketball shot. Make the basketball a soft body.

Use a python script to set a target direction for the initial velocity.


Class 9: Rigid bodies and basic use of Python, Part 2

Firehosing a moving target near a swimming pool – Set up a rigid body sim of a swimming pool scene

and a moving target. Use the previous targeting script to shoot a fluid jet at a pinata swinging on the

end of a chain over a pool. When hit, have it break apart.

Have the rigid bodies and the fluid interact with the pool.


Class 10: Extending Python

Building a custom force field to make a lava lamp

Create a scripted force field that makes fluid oscillate up and down in a container,

making a lava lamp.