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Leaving Next Limit

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:28 am
by tsn
Dear forum members,

Unfortunately I have to leave Next Limit by the end of July and I want to say good bye to everyone. Next Limit's decision to dismiss me hit me like a hammer and it will also change every aspect of my life. In terms of profession and future work this also means that I won't be using RealFlow anymore, because it is actually out of the game - at least in the VFX industry.

The downfall of RealFlow over the last years is something most of you certainly recognized. This forum and the official board are very good indicators for a fundamental problem: RF has lost its user base ad there's no living community as we all know it from other tools. On the software's side it's a lack on invention/features, regular bug fixes, and completely outdated tools like RealWave or Caronte. Most of the forum's long-term users will remember the ongoing discussions about adding fire and smoke, distributed simulations, or the Bullet dynamics solver.

Despite all these problems and technical issues I always tried to be an advocate for RealFlow, and gave my best to promote it and help users to navigate through the software's countless bugs and limitations. RF was always a huge and fascinating part of my working life, and I deeply regret that these times are over now. Although it was very frustrating sometimes I always tried to keep my faith in RF and that things will finally come to a good end. The main reason for this faith are RF's developers. I had the great privilege to work with incredibly talented people and I will always admire these brilliant minds. Losing my colleagues is probably the saddest chapter of this story, and I was always proud to be a member of an extraordinary team.

Another consequence of having to leave Next Limit is that I also had to discontinue my "waterline magazine" project - a free publication exclusively dedicated to RF. Many readers told me that they were eagerly waiting for new issues. I had many things prepared already, but the main obstacle was that it took enormous efforts to get results which meet today's demands. Getting high-end large-scale results with RealFlow became incredibly difficult, because it lacks so many tools and features, which are common in other tools.

But I don't want to look back in anger, because I had a really fantastic time with RF and I met so many nice, talented, and creative people - probably enough for two lifes. I've also seen so many artists who did fantastic, almost incredible things with RF. Thanks for all your ideas, critics, creative input, visions, and questions. It was a pleasure! My own future is open at the moment and I don't have anything new in sight, but maybe I'll be doing something completely different. Who knows? The only thing that's certain for now is that I'll be watching this forum, because I'm still interested in what you people come up with.

All the best and Happy Simulating,
Thomas Schlick

Re: Leaving Next Limit

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:38 am
by Oldcode
Hey TSN,

So sorry to hear you're leaving. :( Thank you so much for all the support and help over the years. I wish you the best of luck and am confident you'll find another opportunity to use your incredible talents.

Take care and don't forget about us! :D

Re: Leaving Next Limit

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:04 am
by katisss
I wanted to thank you for everything you have done for the community all these years.
And also; thanks for your candid assessment where realflow is at, maybe its time to have an open discussion.
I do really hope things will be OK for you personally.
It is a small world hope to see you thrive in your next adventure

Re: Leaving Next Limit

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:35 pm
by Forester

Thomas, I'm so very sorry to hear that you are leaving Next Limit. What a bummer! It is hard for me to express how disappointing that is. So sad, and such a great loss!

If I can be of help in any way, I'm here. If you need to re-locate the Waterline web site or its contents to some other place, due to cost etc, please let me know. The entire community would lose an incredible asset if that were to go under. I'll be happy to host the entire existing contents on my own web site, or pay for a host. It would be OK if you added nothing more - but we can't lose the exisiting great works of yours.

If there are other ways I could be of help, just let me know. I've dabbled in Houdini, and the Bifrost in Maya, but, personally am not ready to give up Realflow for either of those. (While in total agreement on the lack of bug fixes and sorry state of Realwave.) So, I'll stick with RF (and Maxwell Render), and if there is something I can do to help bring your WIPs into conclusion, or something, please let me know.

And a bright good future to you, Thomas! All the best wishes I can think of for you!

Re: Leaving Next Limit

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:48 am
by Alekorv
Hello, does anybody know where I can download Waterline magazine now? Or could someone upload it on Google drive or something and give the link?

Re: Leaving Next Limit

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:54 am
by tsn
Many, many thanks for your replies and your kind words. This really helps!

No, I won't forget you and I'll definitely monitor this forum. If there's something I can help with I'll do that, of course.

I also think that an open discussion might help to shed some light RF's future. And I really want to encourage you to get in touch with Next Limit. You all invested a lot of money and you deserve to know if it really makes sense to stay with RF. But when you take look at RF's current state in all objectivity you will certainly see where the journey will most probably end.

Thank you so much for your generosity and your offer. Currently I don't know what I'll finally do with the magazines. I've found a couple of "bugs" and some things have changed with RF10's patches. Updating the magazines is something I always wanted to do, but you know how things go: not enough time, not the right mood, wrong moon phase, etc., etc. ;) I'll definitely keep your offer in mind and if I should decide to publish an updated version you'll be the first to know!

And if you want to stick with RF that's absolutely Ok, of course. I really don't have any intention to pull away users from the software and if you're happy with RF it's great. I can only speculate about the future of RF standalone as well, but I think it won't hurt to look for alternatives in the mid-term. For the plugins (C4d, Maya, 3ds) I have more hope, but I think they'll only focus on Dyverso. Dyverso, on the other hand, has great potential and if it's someday equipped with external constraints or a function for the creation of secondares like splash and foam, then it's going to be a powerful solver.

Re: Leaving Next Limit

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:19 pm
by Forester
Thank you for the reply, Thomas.

Please DO keep me in mind for faciliating continued publication, or at least, access to Waterline. Or for any other form of help, of course.

Re: Leaving Next Limit

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:35 pm
by virtual_francky
I am sorry to hear that, I hope you'll find something soon. It has been a real pleasure to have help from you, and thank you for the support of the community.
I am afraid you are right about RF, a company that does that much promo, all the year, it doesnt smell good.

Re: Leaving Next Limit

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:28 pm
by ChriFF
wow, that's bad news... esp. for you personally, but it's probably not a good sign that NL let you go.
Thanks for your work in the past years, and also thanks for your honest opinion about RF in general...
It's a nice program and i like to use it for small/medium-scale stuff, but i also had / have some trouble with larger scale simulations. Long sim times & artifacts in secondary simulations for example...
Also hoping for the addition of splash/foam to Dyverso - it would actually be hard to believe that they are NOT working on that; i mean, it's the most obvious thing to do...
... anyway, i too hope you'll find sth. new soon and i wish you all the best :!:

Re: Leaving Next Limit

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:24 am
by tsn
Again thanks to everyone for your kind words and your support.