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Realflow 2012.png
Realflow 2012 running on Windows 7
Developer(s) Next Limit Technologies
Initial release 1998
Development status Active
Operating system Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux
Type Computer physics engines

RealFlow is a fluid and dynamics simulator for the 3D industry, created by Madrid-based Next Limit Technologies. Currently at version 2014, the stand-alone application can be used to simulate fluids, water surfaces, fluid-solid interactions, rigid bodies, soft bodies and meshes. Victor Gonzalez, Ignacio Vargas and Angel Tena were awarded a 2007 Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the creation of the RealFlow software application.[1]

The technology uses particle based simulations. These particles can be influenced in various ways by point-based nodes, known as daemons, which can do tasks such as simulating gravity or recreating the vortex-like motion of a tornado. RealFlow can also simulate soft and rigid body collisions and interactions. The inclusion of Python scripting and C++ plug-ins allows users to program their own tools to improve RealFlow capabilities, adding control to most aspects of the RealFlow workflow including batch runs, events, daemons, waves and fluids.

Uses of RealFlow[edit]

Feature motion pictures

Television series


System requirements[edit]


Mac OS X


Hardware requirements

  • 2Ghz Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 or better
  • 2GB minimum, 4GB recommended
  • 300 - 1,000MB hard drive space, depending on operating system
  • Hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card
  • 3 button mouse[4]

List of features[edit]


  • Particle based solver (liquid, gas, elastic and particles)
  • Interaction bitmaps
  • Custom particle behaviour
  • UV data and weight maps
  • UV texture mapping
  • Automatic mesh generator
  • Force fields
  • Python / C++ plugins


  • Hybrid fluid solver technology to simulate large bodies of water with secondary effects such as splashes, foam, and mist


  • Rigid/soft body dynamics solver
  • Mix animation and dynamics


  • Physically accurate water surfaces

Python scripting / C++ plugins

  • Daemons
  • Waves
  • Fluids
  • Events
  • Batch runs[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "10 Scientific and Technical Achievements to Be Honored with Academy Awards". 
  2. ^ "RF4: Fluids & dynamics simulation tool". Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  3. ^ Next Limit Technologies. "Disney "World of Color" - by Motion Theory". Real Flow Case Studies. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Realflow :: Product". Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  5. ^ "Features & Specifications". Archived from the original on 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 

External links[edit]