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Realflow Logo
Realflow 2014 running on Windows 7
Developer(s) Next Limit Technologies
Initial release 1998
Development status Active
Operating system Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux
Type Fluid simulation, 3D computer graphics, computer physics engine

RealFlow is a fluid and dynamics simulation tool for the 3D and visual effects industry, developed by Next Limit Technologies in Madrid, Spain. This stand-alone application can be used in conjunction with other 3D programs to simulate fluids, water surfaces, fluid-solid interactions, rigid bodies, soft bodies and meshes. In 2008, the Next Limit Technologies was awarded a Technical Achievement Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their development of the RealFlow software and its contribution to the production of motion pictures.[1] In 2015, Next Limit Technologies announced the upcoming release of RealFlow Core for Cinema 4D.[2]


RealFlow technology uses particle based simulations.[3] These particles can be influenced in various ways by point-based nodes (daemons) which can do various tasks such as simulate gravity or recreate 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.

The RealFlow Renderkit (RFRK)[4] is a set of tools designed to facilitate the rendering of fluids. The RFRK enables the generation of procedural geometry at render time and the rendering of individual fluid particles. With this interface, fluids can also be rendered as foam and spray.[5]

On July 30th, 2015 RealFlow 2015 was released to the public. The main features in this major release include:

  • An increase in the quality of simulations.
  • New DYVERSO solvers and GPU acceleration.
  • Direct-to-render feature using Maxwell Render™.
  • Enhanced User Interface
  • More controllabitlity: new splines nodes, text tools, daemons falloff, crown daemon, and spreadsheets
  • DYVERSO solvers and rapid OpenVDB meshing speed up simulation times by 10x.


Connectivity plug-ins

  • 3ds Max
Version Windows 32 Windows 64 OS X 32 OS X 64 Linux 32 Linux 64
2013 No Yes - - - -
2014 No Yes - - - -
2015 No Yes - - - -
  • Cinema 4D
Version Windows 32 Windows 64 OS X 32 OS X 64 Linux 32 Linux 64
R13 Yes Yes No Yes - -
R14 Yes Yes No Yes - -
R15 Yes Yes No Yes - -
  • Houdini (Production Bundles)
Version Windows 32 Windows 64 OS X 32 OS X 64 Linux 32 Linux 64
13.0376 Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes
  • Lightwave
Version Windows 32 Windows 64 OS X 32 OS X 64 Linux 32 Linux 64
11 Yes Yes No Yes - -
11.5 Yes Yes No Yes - -
11.6.3 Yes Yes No Yes - -
  • Maya
Version Windows 32 Windows 64 OS X 32 OS X 64 Linux 32 Linux 64
2008 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
2009 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
2010/2011/2011.5 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
2012 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
2013/2013.5 - Yes - Yes No Yes
2014 - Yes - Yes - Yes
2015 Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
  • XSI
Version Windows 32 Windows 64 OS X 32 OS X 64 Linux 32 Linux 64
2011 Yes Yes - - Yes Yes
2012/2013 Yes Yes - - Yes Yes
2014 - Yes - - - Yes
2015 - Yes - - - Yes

Third party plug-in developers

  • LoSim:[6] A background in engineering and mathematics allows IoSim to work analyticallly while still maintaining a highly creative approach to projects that require special behavior of particles for the VFX industry.
  • V-MOTION:[7] V-MOTION is a new company which aims to bring new and one-of-a kind software to the market.
  • Wet Work[8]

Version History[edit]

1998 RealFlow 1.0

RealWave 1.0

RealFlow 1.2

1999 RealFlow 1.3
2000 RealWave 2.0
2001 RealFlow 2.0
2002 RealFlow 2.5
2004 RealFlow 3.0
2006 RealFlow 4.0
2010 RealFlow 5.0
2012 RealFlow 2012
2013 RealFlow 2013
2014 RealFlow 2014
2015 RealFlow 2015



  • 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
  • Direct-to-render feature
  • OpenVDB meshing


  • 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

Dyverso Solvers

  • Drastic speed-up on simulations
  • Smooth layered meshes,

Use in industry[edit]

Motion Pictures[9]

Television series


Video games

See also[edit]


External links[edit]