MPC – Motion Design Studio
MPC’s brief was to create an ad for Martell’s new Cognac label to be shown in Nigeria.
MPC is an international creative studio. They make everything from visual FX for blockbuster films like “The Martian” to mobile apps.
The client had already produced a print campaign which told a story through text formed out of flowing Cognac. The brief was to add Fluid simulation with RealFlow and find a way to make this work in motion, which meant creating realistic, constantly moving, liquid letters. Given that this was for Nigerian TV, the budget was tight. We had a team of two animators working over 4 weeks.
We initially looked at faking the fluid animation by compositing multiple stock footage plates of flowing liquid. But I saw pretty quickly that this wouldn’t work. Every letter would take hours and hours to get right and there was no way to get specific animation I wanted for some of the bigger shots.
So I started doing some tests with RealFlow. I realised if I could simulate all the letters we needed one at a time, I could build a font of animated liquid letters. So we ran some tests. We started with 3D letters we built in C4D. Then animator Filiberto Chiarinelli ran simulations for each letter in RealFlow. We experimented with different scene scales and resolutions until we found something that felt right for Congac pouring into a glass. If the scale is wrong, you can end up with something feeling like a waterfall or an eye-dropper. So we wanted to get this right.
For the hero shots, where I wanted to run a single simulation over several letters or words, we built specific setups. You can see this best with the word SLICE. We animated a disk flying through the letters in C4D and then brought this into RealFlow as an SD file. Then we ran the simulation several times until we had something we liked. I think in the end we dialled the resolution up to 150. That’s why you see those wonderful tendrils of fluid drawing away and the text breaks up. I think it’s my favourite shot in the piece.
The one thing we couldn’t live without was the RealFlow Renderkit. This allowed us to skip the meshing process inside RealFlow and just mesh at render time, inside C4D. Without this we would have needed to load a mesh for each simulated letter into C4D and then position and retime it. Fluid meshes are heavy files and they can bring your 3D app to a standstill. With the Renderkit, we just loaded the particle sequences into C4D and placed them. The Renderkit creates the mesh as each frame is rendered and then deletes the mesh file. It’s a great way of working.
I’ve been using RealFlow off and on for about five years. I’m by no means an expert, but I enjoy using it. I think we’re reaching a point where it’s now practical to use it even on smaller jobs. The app is getting easier to use and more powerful with each version. And we can now run simulations pretty quickly on our standard work stations (2013 MacPro’s).
Features like The Maxwell Fire renderer, which lets us see high quality test renders inside RealFlow, and the Sheeter daemon, which stops fluid shapes from breaking up, help bring the app into the world of motion graphics artists like me. Things that used to require endless testing or even scripting are much simpler now because of features like these.
As a designer, there’s something extremely satisfying in pulling off a beautiful fluid shot. For about five minutes, you feel like a genius. Then you move onto the next shot and come back down to earth.
Next Limit Technologies has released a new plugin which is available now from Smarttec, RealFlow | Cinema 4D, that puts RealFlow fluid simulation software directly inside the Cinema 4D user interface. This creates a faster, simpler workflow for Cinema 4D users, without going back and forth between 3D platforms. You can use all of the native Cinema 4D tools combined with RealFlow, and connect fluid particles to MoGraph, Hair, Pyro Cluster and so on.
RealFlow | Cinema 4D produces small and medium scale fluids built on RealFlow’s Dyverso solver. The tight integration allows you to use native Cinema 4D modifiers and tools, as well as the RealFlow mesh engine, based on the OpenVDB library, and daemons to control fluids and splashes and create additional particles. You can exchange particles and meshes with RealFlow or other platforms. Results are also GPU accelerated, supporting CUDA and OpenCL.
Other specific tasks include using RealFlow nodes and Cinema 4D colliders together for particle-object interaction. C4D Cinema 4D splinescan serve as RealFlow particle paths, and Cinema 4D materials and textures as emission masks for fluid particles. Crown splashes can be created and customized on demand. You can also use RealFlow directly with Cinema 4D Mograph, converting fluid particles to thinking particles, and using particle instances and tracer objects. Configurable RealFlow WetMap Shaders will work on any Cinema 4D geometry.
The plugin is available for Cinema 4D R15 to R17 on Windows and OS X. www.realflow.com
Below is a fun web project for display using ‘Chrome’ as your browser and part of the Chrome Web experiments done by Evan Wallace. You can play around with some realtime water simulations with light and the resulting surface turbulence.
It shows simply what can be done simply in your web based browser.
It’s interactive, realtime and fun!
If you want to do real productive fluid rendering simulations of your own, splashes for digital media, digital photography, animations or any creative application you will need RealFlow 2015 to create your own scenes within your own modeller ( 3D Max, Maya, Cinema4D, Lightwave and others ) with amazing results.
Click below for an interactive webinar or RealFlow above for more details.
BASIC FLUIDS SIMULATION WORKFLOW WITH CINEMA 4D AND REALFLOW WEBINAR
MARCH 23 7-8PM AEDT
We have been able to organise a webinar that was originally run a month ago but at times that made it impossible to participate – so we are happy to announce a new dat form a repeat with the same presenter online at a time that is easier for local Australian and New Zealand attendees.
In the past, advanced fluids simulations were reserved for large film productions because of their immense cost, high-end software requirements and massive render times.
There are in fact numerous uses for these types of simulations: they are, for example, an integral part of advanced motion design and professional product visualizations. Even though the tools required to create these simulations have become notably more affordable and the advances in processor architecture even make it possible for freelancers and smaller studios to meet the requirements for rendering these simulations, the belief is still prevalent that convincing fluids simulations can only be created by experts with a corresponding scientific background.
In this basic skills webinar, Danish 3D designer and Cinema 4D lead instructor Thomas Andreasen shows that this belief is no more than a myth. Thomas, who himself only recently started creating his own fluids simulations, shows that Cinema 4D and Next Limit RealFlow have clearly lowered the bar significantly. Thomas uses a perfume advert as an example for demonstrating how to quickly create visually stunning results.
This webinar lasts about one hour and you can send questions during the session via chat. To allow more time for the webinar content, we will collect your questions and answer them comprehensively with the help of product specialists from Next Limit. We will make the answers available for all attendees as a downloadable FAQ document!