WIP: Arnold + Realflow in Maya

Continuing our exploration of rendering particles in Maya, this WIP clip is the result of testing Arnold MtoA RC1 and Realflow 2013 in Maya. The simulation is about 40 million particles, and each frame took about 8 to 9 minutes to render using .ass files in Kick. There is a definite flicker that I am working to resolve, at this point I’m not sure if the issue is derived from the particle cache not being read correctly in Maya, or with the way Arnold reads the cached particle data at render time. A similar test done with Vray had significant flickering problems as well so I’m inclined to believe the problem lies with the way Maya is reading the cached particle files. I will update as soon as I can get this issue resolved.

Also please note that this render reflects only the core particle simulation being rendered. There are no secondaries like splash or foam, or meshed particles included in this render. I wanted to see how close I could get to a beauty without calculating for secondaries.

The render settings used for this example were…
AA: 8
Diffuse: 2
Glossy: 0
Refraction: 0
SSS: 0
Volume Diffuse: 0

Ray Depth:
Diffuse: 2
Glossy: 0
Reflection: 0
Refraction: 0
Transpareny Depth: 5

Motion Blur:
Keys: 3
Length: 1.5

ARnold_from_Nuke 2 (0-00-03-24)


13 comments on “WIP: Arnold + Realflow in Maya

    • admin

      There’s still room to tighten a few things up, but all in all RC1 is absolutely fantastic! It’s too soon to give a detailed breakdown because things are still changing, but as the kinks get ironed out I think it’s going to be a thing of beauty. You should be excited is all I can say!

  1. strob

    That’s cool. Even though it looks a bit more like a mix of water and smoke flowing down. very intersesting for making stylised water.

    • admin

      Yes at the moment it’s only the core simulation, without the secondaries like splash etc its definitely missing that last bit of realism. I’m working on the secondaries now. This is a work in progress! Thanks for your feedback!

  2. zdroski

    It looks great but on the top of the waterfall the lack of a mesh surface is very profound. Except if you just wanted to test the scene only with particles.

    Why do you chose this kind of workflow? I mean 40M pacticle sounds cool but there is no way Realflow can mesh that. I am not judging, just asking out of curiosity.

    Btw the rocks are super cool!


    • admin

      Thanks Zdroski,

      You are correct this rendering was specifically to test how Arnold could handle rendering large scale particle sims alone. The final version for which I am creating a tutorial, will also include a mesh, and secondary splash etc. I do have to disagree with one point though, Realflow has no trouble meshing particle sims of this size especially in the 2013 version. I have successfully meshed a sim with over 180 million particles with no problem other than the time it takes to wait for the creation of the mesh. If you have not tried the new 2013 Realflow you are missing out! It’s light years better than 2012, and hybrido 2 is amazing!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Eduardo

    Thanks a lot for bringing out all of this information to the community. I think it looks quite nice.

    If you don’t mind, how did you get the mesh sequence into .ass files and have arnold understand motion blur? This is coming from a complete sim beginner so I apologize for the probably simple question. 😀 I do know how to use arnold (took an fxphd course) so I will probably understand that part, haha.


    • admin

      It’s actually not a mesh Eduardo, I’m rendering the simulation as particles using the .rpc direct from Realflow.

      • Eduardo

        I guess it would have helped if I knew how to read, haha. I just re-read where you mentioned that, “There are no secondaries like splash or foam, or meshed particles included in this render.”

        At any rate, do you know if Arnold supports mesh sequences with motion blur? Most of what I’ve read on other renderers suggests using a Motion Vector pass to get the blur in post. I’m completely new to this, so this may be a pretty naive question.

        Thanks again, and your tutorials are really great.


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