Anselm von Seherr-Thoss and the team from Incendii used RealFlowRealflow-gatorade-incendii
to create effects for a Gatorade commercial featuring football superstars
Lionel Messi and James Rodríguez.

Incendii, GoldenWolf & RealFlow Fuel the Fire forGatoradae

New Orleans is well knownhesedays as a shooting location for movies, but not so much for post production or VFX. Nevertheless,Incendiivisual effects and 3D design studio has been based in New Orleans for 10 years producing CG effects and specializing in particle simulation and 3D animation for film, TV and commercials. They also handle on-set supervision and can scale up their operations to suit different sized tasks with a pool of freelancers, and develop tools and pipelines for a client’s studio or train their staff on tools and procedures.

Fluid Focus

VFX Technical DirectorAnselm von Seherr-Thossand the team from Incendii have recently createdfluidand other effects usingRealFlowfor a Gatorade commercial,Fuel the Fire, featuring football stars Lionel Messi and James Rodríguez. They worked with animation production companyGoldenWolfin the UK on this and one other Gatorade spot.

Anselm said, “Besides the Gatorade fluid itself, we needed to create a lot of atmospheric effects like dust and smoke. The fluid was definitely the focus here, besides the actual soccer players, so getting the message across that Gatorade refuels and powers the athletes was crucial. Lots of high velocity flowing through tiny tubes and pipes called for significant detail, even though the look was more on the toon-ish side, not entirely photorealistic. It made this project different from what I usually get to do, and I really like the look and feel of it. Besides the pipes and objects emerging out of volumes of fluids, we made a series of generic splash and paint bucket type elements to add as needed on the motion graphics side.”


They worked on the commercials for two months, on and off. Incendii also helped earlier on to pitch the project prior to the production schedule. "I would say on the Gatorade team, there were about ten over all at GoldenWolf, and on the Incendii side, two artists for fluid simulations and dust, rubble, fire and so on. But from there the lines blurred. Whoever was free for a task picked it up," said Anselm.

"Time is always against you on a commercial project. With budget constraints come time constraints - and shortcuts. Constant communication was very important. The new node based interface in RealFlow is making it easier to take on shots from other artists because the connections are so clearly visible and you can put notes alongside to get everybody up to speed."

SPH andHybrido

RealFlow was used in connection with Houdini for the Gatorade simulation, splashing and running through different sorts of pipes and for the big splashes in which fluids pour over barrels. They also had a running engine emerge from a pool of Gatorade, and filled up a battery - all usingSPH particle fluids.


“The techniques applied were a mix of RealFlow andHoudini,” Anselm said. “In RealFlow, SPH works better withHybrido, the grid fluid solver, for small confined spaces.Hybridoshines when you have large pools of fluids or huge pours. We used both on a per task basis. Because some of the pipes the fluids go through were very small in diameter, it took a bit of testing to get the detail we wanted to achieve. SPH worked better on some,Hybridoon others. It was great to have a choice.

"Alsothe emerging engine was a bit of a task since the pistons were running at a high speed. Adjusting thesub samplestook a good bit of care, as well as the new meshing options. Small droplets required quite a bit of detail.

You can view some ofIncendii'sRealFlow testshere.

RealFlow Exchange Plug-in

"The greatest benefit of RealFlow is how well it plays with 3ds Max through its exchange plug-in, and I love thenode basedinterface.AlsosinceThinkboxproducts can write BIN files now, making motions in other tools and importing it into RealFlow for further treatment works nicely. I like meshing in RealFlow, over usingFrostsometimes as well."


With the exchange plug-in for 3ds Max, Anselm says it is very easy now to render inVRayandKrakatoa,or just load the RealFlow particles into Particle Flow for further treatment like shape instances. Sometimes particles get cached out of 3ds Max and then meshed in RealFlow or even used as drivers.

"I use it both ways, really," he said. "Especially with tools like Thinkbox'sStoke, you can generate nice motion easily and then pull that into RealFlow for meshing or emitters. Though I am no RealFlow expert by any stretch, I like what I see and so do the clients. The rental option is also nice for a project that requires a little extra for a limited time."