Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

Next Limit ships RealFlow 2013

Next Limit has released RealFlow 2013, a major update to its fluid-simulation software – and one that has been in development for a long time: it was originally announced over a year ago.

New Hybrido 2 fluid solver
The Hybrido grid fluid solver (shown above) has been rewritten from scratch, including a new mesh engine, new emitters for splashes, foam and mist, and support for GPU-acceleration.

(The acceleration is based on OpenCL, so it works with any graphics card, but it only affects Hybrido simulations: other features of RealFlow, including particle fluids, RealWave and rigid or soft body dynamics are not accelerated.)

Hybrido simulations also now happen within an adaptive grid, removing the need to define domains. Next Limit says that the system scales well to tens of millions of particles.

New visual programming tools
Next Limit has also added a node-based Relationship Editor, along with new Batch Graph and Simulation Graph visual programming environments, enabling users to customise RealFlow without Python scripting.

In addition, the Alembic file format is now supported; simulations may be rendered via Fire, Maxwell Render’s real-time preview; and the fracture and Caronte toolsets have been updated.

Price cut to the Learning Edition
RealFlow 2013 is available now for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Pricing remains unchanged at $3,995 for a single licence, including one year’s support and maintenance; a node licence costs $500.

However, the Learning Edition of the software has come down in price a lot: from $245 to $99, to be precise. Each licence also now comes with one free node licence and one free RenderKit licence.

On its original release, the Learning Edition was criticised for its high price and restricted feature set, but since then, Next Limit has gradually removed most of those limitations.

Data created in the Learning Edition still cannot be opened in the commercial version of the software, or vice versa, but the Learning Edition now works with third-party plugins. Overall, it looks like a much better deal.

Read a full list of new features in Maxwell Render 2013

Watch more demo videos of the new features

Download a 30-day trial of RealFlow 2013