William Salas is a Cuban American Animator from Miami, FL currently freelancing in Los Angeles, California. He is an expert RealFlow user, making the best use of the software in combination with Cinema 4D. You can check out his company FAELISM’s web, Twitter, or Vimeo channel.
Having created the Big Brother rebrand after 15 seasons in 2014, Charlie Co approached William and FAELISM to redesign and develop a new fluids system that could be done in a two-week time-frame. He was given a week to start the RnD phase and develop a system that would be modular and easily adjustable. The previous year, Charlie Co had about four separate RealFlow artists working off-site using different techniques and would provide the meshes via courier in the morning. This was not going to work given the time frame.
William and his team’s objective was trying to figure out a way to make custom streams of fluids per contestant. Working closely with the Lead Compositor Josiah Taylor, they did motion tests in C4D to help visualize how each stream could work timing wise using animated sweeps. Then they attached a sphere to each sweep to use as the parent of each emitter once inside of RealFlow.
The most challenging part of the project was getting the emitters to play nice with the speed of the animated spheres.
The way they overcame this problem was with the use of some Python Scripting. Using a script that Brandon Young shared online back in 2008, William was able to use the velocity of any object to drive the speed of any emitter. This gave him the control he needed as animating the speed of the emitter for every frame would have been a tedious and time-consuming task. Creative Director Ryan Riccio helped Willian sculpt the flow and feel of the fluids during the RnD phase.
FAELISM decided to use RealFlow for this project because they knew they needed a program that could make realistic looking fluids and produce high-quality meshes on the fly via the RealFlow RenderKit.
The RenderKit allowed for Josiah and William to quickly render out still frames of the meshes without having to go through the standard method which would have been costly on time.
They used the standard SPH solver as it allowed them to add extra details on all of our simulations. They also had to develop a wide assortment of secondary “splash” elements to avoid using stock footage as much as possible. The SPH solver was key for this as they wanted to have as much detail as possible.
The benefits of working in RealFlow are all the tools and daemons available, and also being able to have more control of the projects with the use of Python scripting, the possibilities are endless.
All the meshing was done using the RealFlow RenderKit Plugin for C4D.
William says that the great thing about this project was the freedom he was given on developing a new fluid system. The client had already been extremely pleased with what FAELISM created the previous year for the rebrand and gave them complete creative control this time again. The feedback William received internally from Ryan was key in getting them to hit the delivery date. They were extremely pleased with how the fluids looked and how they were custom-tailored per contestant.