Tutorial: Rendering the alligator scene with Maxwell and 3DSMax.

Hi all,

Once we have simulated the scene in Realflow we are going to render it with MaxwellRender in 3DSmax. This working for maxwell in 3dsmax is valid for any 3dplatform you are using to render with MaxwellRender.

Rendering fluid with maxwell render

You can download the PDF tutorial from here

You can download the RealFlow and 3DSMax 2012 scenes  with meshes for the frame 87 here




  1. Thank you Luis , I was looking forward to better understand the way
    one can deal with water foam shaders render times etc…
    I think the Alligator series are awesome.

  2. Well, it is done. Maxwell doesn’t use mr Omni lights, and the positioning is a bit different, but you get the big picture 😛

    Also, MR couldn’t produce murky water for me.

    Lastly, MentalRay rendered this in about 5 minutes, Maxwell in half an hour!

    Failed with PhotoBucket, though it looked almost like yours 😛

    Mental Ray:

  3. Very Good Morning Hello Luis, who’s it going? At last! and after a long wait I have something to show for my little scene in which he took so much time working that has already become a challenge for me, I go into a bad decision and a portion of their frames, good to the point, I wanted ask for you to look at my scene and I discussed the failures you see and how it could fix it.
    What I finally convinced nothing is the foam, I let you capture the parameters of the foam that I have done, the only thing I changed is the MAX Lifetime, which in the video had 60 and now at 500 to see if improved foam.
    FOAM ———–> http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/573/capturafoam.jpg/

    Please appreciate that I will discuss all the little things that you see need to be improved.

    a Greeting
    And many thanks in advance thank you very much really.

    Soon put the link here.

    1. Hi Ivan,

      Nice!. I advice you to change the times for the fluid because it seems be out of scale. I think you’ll need more resolution and think that the fluid should be slower because if your lighthouse it about 30 meters, more or less, the water takes 1 second to get the lighthouse and it is weird. You can check some reference for sea in similar distances in youtube.

      About the foam and Maxlife time, keep in mind that these parameters, min and max lifetimes, are in seconds, so if you put 60 or 500, means that the foam won’t dissapear until 1800 frames for 60 secons or 30000 for 500 seconds. I advice to you to play with low values like 0.5 to 4.


  4. Hola Luis Miguel.
    Me gustaría que me ayudaras en como optimizar el ordenador para RealFlow, ya que creo que no está al máximo.
    Tengo un i7 2600k y 16 gb de ram y creo que no esta al maximo.

  5. Nothing Luis M. I recalculated the foam, but I still like the video out that I show up, the foam acts like flashes, I can not solve is that the simulation without the foam loses much realism.
    There is something to be taken into account or how to fix the flashing foam?

    PD.: Mikel, optimizar el ordenador para realflow? No hay tal optimización para eso como mucho lo que podrias hacer es optimizar tu escena de realflow, tienes un buen equipo no te tiene que suponer problemas para simular ni nada de eso, así que mucho ánimo y esperamos ver pronto algún trabajillo que hayas realizado con tu nuevo juguetito. 😉

  6. Hey,

    I agree with Ivan, you have a great machine to work with RealFlow. However, you should optimize the realflow scene keeping in mind that there is a thing which makes the simulations slower. It is checking the “distance collision” for objects when they are colliding with sph fluid like splashes or foam. By default, realflow put a large value for it and it would need to be a value between 0.06 and 0.01.


  7. hola luis m. muy buenas noches, que tal estás? por fin he terminado la simulación del faro famoso que estaba haciendo, la verdad es que probé los cambios que me comentaste en cuanto al foam y no conseguí un resultado positivo haciendo la mes, así que lo he renderizado en krakatoa, espero que no haya quedado muy mal, en cuanto a la escala de la velocidad de la ola que me comentaste cuando me lo comentaste ya estaba renderizando, así que volveré a hacer otra simulacion para probar, y nada eso es todo, por favor te agradecería que me comentaras tu mas sincera opinion acerca del video, si te gusta o no te gusta, que debo de mejorar, si realmente el agua parece agua o es muy viscosa, etc etc…
    muchisimas gracias luis por toda tu ayuda.
    un abrazo


    hi luis m. Good evening, how are you? I finally finished the famous lighthouse simulation was doing, the truth is I tried the changes you told me about the foam and did not get a positive result by the month, so I rendered in Krakatoa, I hope there been very bad, as to the scale of the wave speed when you told me you told me I was rendering, so I’ll do another simulation to test, and nothing that’s all, please I’d appreciate your most commented honest opinion on video, if you like or do not like, that I must improve, if the water looks really very viscous water, etc etc …
    luis thank you very much for all your help.
    a hug


    1. Hola Ivan,

      Lo siento, no he podido ver el video. Por alguna razon me dice que no esta en vimeo. Ten en cuenta cuando haces simulaciones con grandes escalas que el tamaño de la celdilla varia mucho en funcion de la resolucion. En este tipo de escenas en las que hay un fluido con un initial state es mejor poner una resolucion no muy alta, en la que tengas un buen nivel de detalle pero sin ser exagerado, y luego jugar con el particle sampling que por defecto es dos. El particle sampling metera mas particulas por celdilla, pero como no estas emitiendo constantemente y lo que estas haciendo es generando la ola, no notaras escalones y la particulas se distribuiran bastante bien y lo que es mas importante, el tiempo de simulacion sera mucho mas rapido que aumentando unicamente la resolucion para conseguir mas detalle.

      En el tema del foam, ten en cuenta que lo que cuenta es la cantidad de splash que hay en la escena. Todo el splash que se genere y caiga en el fluido se convertira en foam. Incluso puedes poner un foam por defecto con un mapa para que no comience la escena con ausencia de foam. Para controlar el splash que hay en la escena puedes variar los valores del curvature threshold y el position variation. Cuando vayas a mallarlo puedes usar la malla de renderkit que dependiendo de cuantas particulas haya, se podra obtener una mayor resolucion para esa malla.

      I’m sorry, I won’t be able to see the video due to the video doesn’t exits. Keep in mind, when you are simulating with huge scales, the cell size will be different depending on the resolution for your GridFluidDomain. In this kind of scenes, which you have an initial state for your fluid, is better to control the resolution so it can’t be very high. Is good to put a good resolution to get the good detail and then to play with the particle sampling parameter to put more particles per cell, because you are not emitting constantly to make the swell and the particles will be distributed in a better way. In addition, the most important will be that the simulation will be very faster than if you just increase the resolution.

      About the foam, keep in mind the splash you have in the scene. Each splash particle falling down in the main fluid will be converted in foam. You can put a foam map to start the scene with a foam by default. In order to control the splash in the scene, there are two important parameters and they are Curvature threshol and position variation. When you are meshing your foam, you can use the renderkit mesher that depending on the particles you have, you will be able to control in a better way the resolution for that mesh.


      luisM 😉

  8. Hi luismma
    I am using realflow renderkit 2.1 for mental ray in maya 2009/2011. By this plugin i am not able to render particle… i don’t know why… i load the splash particle (.bin files) and try to render it but it show only blank frame…

    Plz help me…

    Thank you

    1. Hi Manish,

      It is due to you’ll have a firewall or antivirus affecting the necessary ports to render. They are the 2223, 2224, 2225 and 2226. Make sure you have these ports opened.


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