- The first time we open RealFlow, we will be greeted with this announcement window. In this case, it's telling us that there are some useful demo scenes, and online tutorials available from the help menu. We can choose to not see this announcement dialogue again. We also get the project management window. We don't need to concern ourselves with this right now, because when we loaded demo scene the project will be set for us automatically. We can close this dialogue as well. Now, let's take a look at a demo scene.
Go into the help menu and choose demo scenes. They're organized by category. I just want to do a quick run down on what all these things mean. Each one of these is a plugin for the program. Caronte is the rigid body solver. Under generic we have standard particles. Graphs in RealFlow are user created Macros. You can basically create a script using graphic user interface. Hybrido is a fluid solver that incorporates aspects of a volume metric solver with a particle based solver.
Maxwell is the native renderer in RealFlow. Realwave is a plugin for generating open bodies of water such as oceans. Let's load one of these standard particles under generic. I'll just choose the first one filter_demon_basic. The scene files loads, and we also get a dialogue describing the scene telling us how it works, and what we can learn from it. I can close that. I can always get back to that, because the developers have provided those notes here in there Relationship Editor in the lower-right corner of the interface.
I can make that a little bit bigger. I can also navigate with the keyboard shortcut. To move around in the Relationship Editor hold down the Alt key, and the middle mouse button. You'll see that the developers have outlined each one of these nodes with some notes and also provided that same description here. All right, so let's play the simulation. Right now if I just press the play button down here nothing will happen, because the scene is not yet been simulated.
I'll rewind that. To actually see something happen, we need to click this simulate button, which will process the simulation, and also automatically store the results on the hard drive. Let's simulate. You can see that we're generating two fluids that are intersecting with one another. I'll let that run for a few seconds, so we can see a little bit of animation here. I can cancel this at anytime if I wish, just by pressing the escape key on the keyboard.
Then, I can scrub through, and also press play over here. Great, so we actually generated some data here. You can see here that this area of the timeline is outlined in orange, meaning that that section of time has actually been simulated. It's important for you to know that as you load and simulate a bunch of these demo scenes, they will start to eat up your hard drive. Each time you press simulate, you're actually saving data.
We can see that if we go into the file menu. We can go over to file, open project folder. That opens a file browser that takes us directly to the current project. If I scroll down a bit, you can see we've loaded a scene from the RealFlow program directory. Make this a little bit larger so we can see the full path here. Under Program Files, Next Limit, RealFlow, scenes, we have a bunch of scene files.
These are all the demos. This flw file is the actual scene file. Within some of these other folders, you'll find other data types. If I go into meshes, we will see all these bin files. These are the cashed frames that we just simulated. Okay. Well, if I want to load more demo scenes, I should probably clear out this folder, so that my hard drive doesn't fill up. Now close that dialogue.
I can just go into the tools menu here and choose clean data folder. That'll delete all of those cash files. Click yes. We still see that RealFlow's expecting to see those files when I scrub through. That's not really a problem. We can click reset over here, and that'll just clear that out. Then, we can proceed to open another scene file, another demo scene. We can go back up into the help menu and choose demo scenes, and load a different one, and go through that same process again.
Click simulate and let it play through. Then, when I'm done, I probably want to clean the data folder, so that we don't have a whole bunch of cruft left over on the hard drive.
You'll learn how to create small-scale effects with standard particles, create free-flowing water effects with the Hybrido solver, and simulate open bodies of water such as oceans and ponds with RealWave. Author Aaron F. Ross also shows how to control interactions between objects and fluids with Caronte, the rigid- and soft-body physics engine included with RealFlow.
- Understanding the RealFlow pipeline
- Importing scenes from other 3D programs
- Emitting standard particles
- Caching data
- Simulating a Hybrido fluid
- Creating a Caronte rigid body
- Converting particles and fluids to mesh
- Exporting scenes
- Rendering with mental ray