CG Supervisor Andrew Romatz describes how the team at Elastic usedRealflow-daredevil3
RealFlow to create distinctive, fluid looks in the main title sequence of
the new drama series, Marvel’s ‘Daredevil’.

Elastic Takes On Marvel's Daredevil with RealFlow

Andrew Romatz, CG Supervisor atElasticvisual effects studio, describes how the team used RealFlow to create distinctive, fluid looks in the main title sequence of Marvel’s ‘Daredevil’, a drama series streaming on Netflix. The sequence has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design.

Elastic’s task on this project was to render the entire NYC neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen in fluid, sticky blood. The blood needed to be detailed and nuanced in the way it behaved, but also seem elegant and simple as a visual form. Scale would vary from tiny objects to epic cityscapes, but all had to feel consistent and be technically achievable. “Our team consisted of about eight people in total, working within a timeframe of about a month,” said Andrew.

“Four to five people were active at any one time. We had a very specific vision for the stickiness and viscosity of the liquid, and that meant the team faced a huge challenge to create something on a vast scale that exactly hit that mark."


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"We used RealFlow to form phantom sculptures by flowing fluid around the shapes of models, which are invisible. We used directable velocity – that is, the speed relative to the direction we were interested in - and developed custom fields to control the fluids to flow along the surfaces of the sculptures. We also carefully remeshed and linked together various simulations and played with the world space scale to cheat speed.”

They did find some bubbles in the final meshes, which they had to paint out in compositing. They needed to use 2D textures for the mesh but because the UVs didn’t give enough control to do what they wanted, they decided to animate 3D texture projections in Maya to give the appearance that the textures were flowing with the liquid.


“We used RealFlow nodes to push as much simulation and meshing to the render farm as possible, which saved us a lot of time by freeing up artists’ machines and letting them continue moving forward creatively," Andrew said.

“We’ve used RealFlow many times before, and generally try using it first if a job requires realistic fluid behaviour. On this project, we wanted to be able to control the fluid behavior in a specific way, but still have the simulation feel natural. Also, the idea of coating models in a fluid seemed to cater to RealFlow’s strengths.”


RealFlow integrated directly into their pipeline, in which all work is rendered in V-Ray. The meshes are brought in as Alembic caches, and they had no problems rendering out the meshes for this project. Andrew noted that because it supports standard IO formats, it is quite easy to get data out of RealFlow and pass it along to other packages.