Friday, July 31st, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Next Limit releases RealFlow 2015

Next Limit has released RealFlow 2015, a significant update to its fluid simulation package, adding two new GPU-accelerated fluid solvers and a range of new artist and TD tools.

Dyverso: new OpenCL-based GPU-accelerated solvers
The headline feature in RealFlow 2015 is probably the new GPU-accelerated Dyverso solvers, shown above.

There are Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics and Point Based Dynamics versions, and Next Limit promises a speed boost of 10x over the old, CPU-based equivalents.

The new solvers make use of OpenCL rather than CUDA, so they should work with any modern GPU.

Faster, more accurate OpenVDB meshing
OpenVDB meshing is now enabled by default for both particle-based simulations and sims created using the Hybrido grid/particle-based solver – which again promises a 10x boost in performance.

Next Limit also says that “more in-depth integration” of the OpenVDB algorithms in RealFlow 2015 improves collision accuracy in Hybrido sims, particularly with complex or fast-moving objects.

RealFlow 2015 also introduces the option to render still frames or animations directly within the software, using Next Limit’s own Maxwell Render engine.

We imagine many users will still want to export finished sims to an external renderer for final-quality output, but it looks an interesting look-development workflow.

New control splines, text tool and crown splash daemon
In addition, there are a range of new tools for achieiving more precise user control over sims, including the option to use splines – which can be imported in SVG format – as fluid emitters or to control forces.

There is also a new text tool, which generates letters either as native RealFlow primitives for sims to interact with; or as splines, which again can be used as emitters or control forces.

In addition, all of RealFlow’s daemons now support distance-based falloff for fine-tuning simulations; and there is now a dedicated daemon for creating crown splash effects.

Less visually appealing, but equally important for TDs – or anyone else needing to troubleshoot large simulations – RealFlow 2015 now supports a spreadsheet-based workflow.

Most simulation properties can be displayed in spreadsheet form, enabling users to edit sims on a per-particle basis: for example, by filtering out and deleting particles outside the main fluid flow.

There are also changes to the UI designed to streamline workflow, summarised in the video above.

Pricing and availability
RealFlow 2015 is available for 64-bit Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Licence packs start at $2,245, including one floating and one node-locked licence, plus a year’s maintenance and licence of Maxwell Render.

Read more about the new features in RealFlow 2015 on Next Limit’s website