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Real Flow 4.0

Mac OS can go with the flow By Ko Maruyama
Now available in both Universal Binary or in regular Power PC mode, the newest version of Next Limit's Real Flow is finally ready to go.  While Real Flow has been available for the Mac before, the Mac OS version hasn't caught up with the Windows and Linux versions until now.  If your tunnel vision is focused on Mac-only software, here's what you should have in your sites now.

Real Flow 4.0 has not only been made to run on the Mac OS, but it runs under both the older PowerPC and Intel Mac machines.  This is a great boon to many.  Especially studios who have not made the move to upgrade dozens of machines which will run limited software natively.

What's new?  Well there are a ton of new features to take advantage of - but if you're a Mac Real Flow user, chances are, you've had your eyes on the NEXT LIMIT website for months now, waiting for the new release.  You probably already know.

If you're new to Real Flow, you've come in at the right time.  If you don't know, Real Flow - my usual answer is that it's a fluids simulator, but it does so much more than that.  What Real Flow actually is, is a simulator that is more than just fluid dynamics.   It does particles, soft bodies, rigid bodies, surfaces and OF COURSE fluid dynamics.

Real Flow also allows users to write their own scripts (Python) to take advantage of the underlying controls of some of the most popular parts of the software.

Fluid dynamics are amazing in Real Flow - the control is fantastic.  But the simulations found in version 2.5 were fantastic already.  The powerful new simulator engines make the calculations absolutely phenomenal.   The new collision detection routines allow for a much faster calculation.

Everyone is on a tight schedule, and computing time is at a premium.  Even with multiple nodes increased speed is always welcomed.  In addition to the speed comes a more ergonomic layout, and the ability to customize the windows to a format that works for each individual.  Sometimes this seemingly small feature can shave minutes, hours, even days off of a project time.

More time savers include new automation between steps, which help you get from setting up the project to exporting to render, using only necessary steps along the way.

The feature that will certainly open the application to stronger, or more aggressive users is the addition of Python scripting.   Python is a fairly straightforward programming language that is not only free to use, but also has a well-established user base with plenty of scripts to get you started.  I think we'll start to see more Python scripting in many more graphic applications as well.

The speed and ease of use in RealFlow affords motion graphic designers access to beautiful particle simulation.  Now that RF4 has been released on the Mac OS, realistic dynamic particle interaction is available for everyone.  The new, customizable interface design and access to Python scripting make the sophisticated application perfect for both newer users and advanced users alike.  Now that RF4 runs on OSX for PPC and UB, it's  a "Must Have" for all 3D particle pros.

I will certainly have more to say about RealFlow in the coming weeks, and you'll be sure to find specific tutorials about projects in the CINEMA 4D Channel here on DMN, and questions about RF4/Mac and C4D in the DMNForums (click here)

Be sure to subscribe to RENDERS - the free email magazine that will deliver top animation stories and news about software like this to your mail box.  Click on the column at the left to subscribe.

click to visit Next Limit site

For a demo copy of REAL FLOW 4 for the Mac, head over to Next Limit's website, where they've created a special web page specifically for Mac users.  You'll find links to the downloads as well as links to free Python scripts that you can use or examine to make your own modifications.

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:real flow, next limit, RF4, liquid simulation, CINEMA 4D liquid, DYNAMICS, 3D particle flow, soft body, ko maruyama


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