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Sneak peek: see the new features in RealFlow 2015

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Originally posted on 2 February. Scroll down for the new tech demo of all of RealFlow 2015’s features.

Next Limit’s Luis Miguel Mora has posted videos on his blog showing a sneak peek of the new spline tools and spreadsheet functionality in RealFlow 2015, the forthcoming update to the fluid simulation software.

More intuitive spline workflow
According to Mora, the update will improve the usability of the existing DSpline daemon and Spline Emitter by enabling artists to control them directly in the viewport, rather than by adjusting numerical parameters.

“The spline node will be able to import and create curves”, he writes.

The video at the top of the story shows “the possibility [of] importing splines by using a Python script inside RealFlow. This kind of utility will be included in RealFlow by default, of course”.

A separate post covers RealFlow 2015’s new Spreadsheets feature, which enables users to filter and visualise huge particle sets using familiar spreadsheet tools.

The video above shows Mora filtering out and changing the display colour of particles with velocities above a given threshold value from an 84-million-particle Hybrido simulation.

According to Mora, the functionality is available for “most of the RF nodes”.

For a practical demonstration of RealFlow 2015 in action, the video above from Spanish VFX artist Ivan Suarez shows a render of a simulation created using an alpha build of the software.

Suarez doesn’t discuss any specific new features, but notes in his description of the video on Vimeo that the software is “now much faster and [more] stable than before”.

Updated 13 March: There are a couple more RealFlow 2015 videos we didn’t cover in our original story. (They’ve been online a while, but we only spotted them when Next Limit mentioned them in its newsletter.)

One shows a new method for calculating the geometry distance field (“invaluable for geometries which are not well-defined, watertight or manifold”); the other, the new Crown daemon for creating crown splashes.

Updated 23 July: Next Limit just posted a tech reel for RealFlow 2015 (above), showcasing the release’s remaining major new features. It’s quite an impressive collection.

First up are the Dyverso solvers: new smoothed particle hydrodynamics and position based dynamics solvers written “with the GPU in mind”.

The new solvers promise a “huge speed-up on small-to-medium simulations”. In the video, Next Limit cites typical speed boosts of 3x over the old SPH solver, and 6x for PBD.

In addition, OpenVDB meshing is now enabled by default for simulations created with both the particle-based and Hybrido solvers.

Users can also render simulations directly within RealFlow, using Next Limit’s Maxwell Render engine, rather than needing to export to an external renderer to check the results.

The UI has also been overhauled. Highlights include a new, more compact relationship editor; the addition of common tasks as one-click actions in the Nodes panel; and a “massive revamp” of the parameters section.

RealFlow 2015 is due to ship by the end of July.

Watch all of the the RealFlow 2015 sneak peeks on Next Limit’s Vimeo channel.

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