The VFX secrets of Avengers: Age of Ultron revealed

Timothy Hanson make great use of Reflow in creating the effects for Age of Ultron

If you work in VFX, you'll already know about Zoic Studios, one of the industry's most prestigious studios (if not, our interview with co-founder Andrew Orloff will bring you up to speed). But what you may not know about is how much use they made of RealFlow in the work on the latest Avengers movie, Age of Ultron.

"From literally the first frame of the movie you can see RealFlow Hybrido being used in addition to Maya N-Particles for the scenes involving Loki's scepter, and then later in the movie during the creation of Vision," explains Zoic's VFX/CG supervisor Timothy Hanson.

Perfect particles

For the early scenes where Tony Stark is acquiring the scepter Hanson used RealFlow D-Splines and noise Daemons to control the flow of the ethereal blue particles as they were being siphoned off into the batteries on the table.

For the creation of Vision, as Dr. Helen Cho is monitoring a screen showing the Vibranium fusing itself to his cellular structure, he used the RealFlow Magic Daemon to attract viscous Hybrido particles.

"I knew RealFlow would be perfect because Hybrido particles are very easy to manipulate, and they're extremely fast to sim allowing for multiple iterations," he explains.

"By simply manipulating the Hybrido domain cell size and core particle sampling I was able to iterate with low particle counts, and still have a pretty good idea what the high resolution sim would look like in the end without waiting for a long simulation."

Fluid solution

Hanson has been using the software since RealFlow 2013, and describes it as his go-to software for anything involving fluids. "The functionality is superb, and also the wide range of export options makes it easy to use with a number of our other software packages.

"Hybrido particles are very easy to manipulate, and they're extremely fast to sim"

"Using export central I can easily output Alembic files for meshes and particles, as well as PRT files for Krakatoa. Not to mention the support from Next Limit is second to none."

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