Real Flow -> TG2 project idea

Started by TheBadger, March 05, 2012, 03:48:08 pm

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TheBadger

March 05, 2012, 03:48:08 pm Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 12:16:24 am by TheBadger
Hello,

I was wondering if some of you who have used Real Flow would mind sharing your thought on it in general, and specifically your thought about interactivity. Are you importing and rendering or compositing?

Tangled-Universe had a thread a while back with an animation he used real flow in the production of, but I couldn't find it. But at least I know you guys are trying it.
@T-U
If your reading this thread please share your thoughts!

My idea is to make in terragen2 a waterfall shot, and rather than using tricks in TG2 to simulate the falls we would bring in animated water from real flow.
We could all work on a single file or work on our own projects and share our processes.

Please see the image links for the kind of dramatic work I was thinking of...
http://static.desktopnexus.com/thumbnails/63079-bigthumbnail.jpg
http://dark.pozadia.org/images/wallpapers/88440229/Fantasy/Temple%20Waterfall.jpg
http://api.ning.com/files/Z1b9cuBKsSA4FsXh87Fmg5IefSggY7U8mhWsLwCe8jkmVZM6jVOwKcA0GRFH3fIZ-tTggpvCWH86W*9cMT-Sx7RB9WbYeV3f/FantasyWaterfall.jpg
http://digital-art-gallery.com/oid/12/872x1000_3916_Waterfall_Castle_2d_fantasy_waterfall_castle_matte_painting_lord_of_the_ring_picture_image_digital_art.jpg
http://fc08.deviantart.com/fs13/f/2007/016/1/3/_waterfall__by_noah_kh.jpg
http://images.epilogue.net/users/nathie/waterfall72.jpg

And so on...

Real flow offers a learning addition that is relatively affordable: http://www.realflow.com/rf_licensing_learning_ed.php
But if you will look at the retrictions, Im not sure what they all mean.
What does the following mean, and will it pervent me from doing things like I mentioned above?
RFRK not included
XML import/export locked
No -nogui option or node compatibility
It has been eaten.

freelancah

March 05, 2012, 07:39:03 pm #1 Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 07:44:18 pm by freelancah
Personally haven't used for such thing but here's mostly why..

As far as I know Realflow doesn't have any rendering capabilities so what you would have to do is use the plugin to import your simulation into a 3D package. This would be either: 3D max, maya, Lightwave, Houdini, Softimage or C4D.

What you would need to do is:

-Bake the terrain you made in terragen to .obj for simulation
-simulate the scene in realflow
-export particles that you simulated for the waterfall into 3d package of your choice
-render the waterfall with the right materials
-composite renders with terragen  OR render the whole scene including terrain in the 3d package of your choice.

The only way you can get your waterfall into terragen is to bake the particles to a mesh. Waterfall made of a mesh wont look good, so the only solution is the above. Ofcourse you can get good looking running water by baking to a mesh but the splashes, foam and whatnot  better be particles.

An alternative solution: I think I read earlier that you are studying houdini, so I assume you have the free apprentiece version. Houdini can simulate the particles for you, it also has flipfluids for flowing water. And ofc its free.

Kadri


I do not use it but from what i found on their site :
RFRK       http://www.realflow.com/rf_renderkit.php
NOGUI     http://thevault.realflow.com/first10steps.php?id=378
XML         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XML

An exert from their manual:
"The XML format is a versatile and flexible file format. RealFlow now supports the Extended
Markup Language format for easy data exchange. Nodes, previously saved with "Selected
nodes as XML", can be loaded again with this function. XML files can be edited and changed
with any ASCII-capable text editor! In some situations it's also helpful to export nodes or
even entire scenes for backup purposes."

You seem to try many programs you do not know TheBadger .
For a first project i would not try many programs at ones.
Some things do look easy at first but when you try the software then the real problems begin to arise.
The pictures you linked are mostly paintings (i know you know this) and can be made with polygons imported to TG2 too
without learning and buying a bigger software like Realflow. Of course Realflow is very good at what it does but is it really so necessary ?

Of course you know better what you have to do. Just curious TheBadger   :)

Edit : Saw your post now freelancah :)

TheBadger

March 05, 2012, 10:33:52 pm #3 Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 10:45:43 pm by TheBadger
This is great information from you Freelancah! I now know more than I did, thank you for that :)
I am very serious about the project I mentioned, I have been thinking about it for a long time, but not yet sure how I will go about doing it. I knew if I posted here you guys would help me understand the best way forward.
Yes I do have houdini now (apprentice version), I did not think I should try water with it, but I will now. My thinking was that real flow would be worlds better, and easier, because thats what its for. But I wont buy until Im sure.

Quote from: freelancah on March 05, 2012, 07:39:03 pm
Personally haven't used for such thing but here's mostly why..

As far as I know Realflow doesn't have any rendering capabilities so what you would have to do is use the plugin to import your simulation into a 3D package. This would be either: 3D max, maya, Lightwave, Houdini, Softimage or C4D.

What you would need to do is:

-Bake the terrain you made in terragen to .obj for simulation
-simulate the scene in realflow
-export particles that you simulated for the waterfall into 3d package of your choice
-render the waterfall with the right materials
-composite renders with terragen  OR render the whole scene including terrain in the 3d package of your choice.

The only way you can get your waterfall into terragen is to bake the particles to a mesh. Waterfall made of a mesh wont look good, so the only solution is the above. Ofcourse you can get good looking running water by baking to a mesh but the splashes, foam and whatnot  better be particles.

An alternative solution: I think I read earlier that you are studying houdini, so I assume you have the free apprentiece version. Houdini can simulate the particles for you, it also has flipfluids for flowing water. And ofc its free.
It has been eaten.

TheBadger

@Kadri
Thank you for those links, I read them and understood most of it.
Your advice is good. And your right, I do tend to dive in head first, but I'm looking first this time. :D
I dont know if I need real flow, I do know I need a cutting edge demo. To tell you the truth, if I could get the money I spent on my education back, I would spend it on software and hardware, I would even give them their degrees back. The demo is everything, the degree seems like nothing right now.
It has been eaten.

Tangled-Universe

Hi Badger,

I'm still extremely interested in pursuing this idea of making a waterfal with TG2 and Realflow, but I lack 100% of the skills to do so, lol :)
Well, I do know how to export from TG2, set up a simulation in Realflow and how to export it. But my knowledge of Maya/Max/Compositors is zero.

I don't have much time to reply now, but I'll do so tonight. I've read swiftly through the thread and it seems most of the information is there on what you'd need to do.

Cheers,
Martin


freelancah

Do you already have a scene that you want to simulate? I could take part in this quest of yours to make this happen. I'd do it with houdini tho ;)

Tangled-Universe

Quote from: freelancah on March 06, 2012, 01:48:37 pm
Do you already have a scene that you want to simulate? I could take part in this quest of yours to make this happen. I'd do it with houdini tho ;)


Who? Me, or Badger?

freelancah

Badger. Tho this could easily be a multi collab of sorts. One base scene and everyone iterates ;)
[/quote]

Who? Me, or Badger?
[/quote]


TheBadger

March 06, 2012, 03:56:51 pm #11 Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 04:17:49 pm by TheBadger
@T-U and freelanch and other who may be interested.

I have houdini, and because at least one other person has it, and because it has the most generous free and Non-commercial versions ($99 for HD) I suggest that we all use that (Real Flow requires a 3rd party package). If we all use the same software (as much as possible) then it will be easier for everyone to communicate and work through problems together. On the other hand, if some have any of the other programs, and are really good with them they could probably translate the techniques rather easily.
At any rate, I admit I am a noob to 3D, and these are just ideas. I look forward to hearing more from you guys.

Also, I have After Effects, its not nuke, but if the cameras line up right native to the files, I can definitely composite them! I'm no master compositor, but I can make things work in AE.

@freelanch
I think we should all start with the same terrain builds and concept, at least for the early stages. Then yes, I imagine everyone would end up with very different looking art. My only concern it that if ideas are to far apart, will be hard to make the falls work with the different terrains. That is, different terrains will have different looking falls. So the question then is, how hard will it be to "fit" one water animation to another terrain. If we all use the same software we can show how to make changes. Alter clip files and what not.

I have more of a fantasy theme in mind for my self, but other may want total photo realism. Its such a different way of looking at it that its a guarantee everyones work will look different.

I think step one is to figure out a work flow, and get it working/understandable.
It has been eaten.

TheBadger

March 08, 2012, 01:49:13 am #12 Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 01:53:13 am by TheBadger
Ok, so now Im totally hooked on this idea.
Im almost certain we can do movie quality at least, if not photo. Im finishing a render now of other work... by morn. Then I'll start on the terrain.
O yeah, I just saw that I still have a copy of shake on my system, never used it could be a better way to do the compositing.
It has been eaten.

Tangled-Universe

I'd like to collaborate on this as well, but I'm pretty sure I won't be of any use with Houdini.
The $99 for Apprentice version looks very good and definitely affordable, but if I'd buy it now it would still take me ages (I'm afraid) to get the hang of it on such a level I can add something to this collaboration.
I have to think about this, but definitely would like to hear your ideas as well.

So, if possible, I'd like to work on the terrain part as well.

Cheers,
Martin

TheBadger

Hi T-U
I think this was all your idea, or at least you put it in my head. So I wouldn't want to do it without you.
Now thats you me and freelancah, I think we can figure it out together. We can all work on the terrain, freelancah is good with houdini, you have worked with realflow, and I can composite. This will be a blast!
Its super late for me now, but I will send you and freelancah my ideas for the terrain when I wake up, and you guys can tell me what you think and we can go from there.

...Man I'm such a nerd. I used to like chasing girls and drinking beer, now I like TG2. lol
It has been eaten.