Simulation - Network

With RealFlow it is possible to share simulations via a network. For this purpose we have added a set of tools and applications and developed the so-called IDOC concept. The idea behind RealFlow network simulations is easy to understand: 

  • Prepare your scene, subdivide it into IDOCs.

  • Start the “Job Manager” and “Job Node” applications on each computer you want to use with the current job.

  • Send the simulation to the “Job Manager” and monitor the progress with RealFlow's built-in web interface or directly from a web browser (this also can also be done from mobile devices)


In fact, anything that is able to interact inside RealFlow can be simulated separately. It is possible to distribute multiple Hybrido domains in your network, split splash domains into jobs or send side-by-side comparisons from SPH simulations to the “Job Manager”. This also applies to rigid and soft body simulations. The only restriction is that the scene elements, which are simulated on separate nodes, cannot interact. They are treated as if they were individual scenes or projects.

The idea is to split the simulation into several independent domains – the IDOCs. Fluids inside a particular IDOC, for example, can interact with each other, but not with fluids from other IDOCs. Virtually, each IDOC can be simulated by a different node in your network and, for each node, an appropriate license is required. But, of course, there are scenarios, where a scene contains 15 IDOCs, but only five nodes are licensed. In such a case, the “Job Manager” will simulate the IDOCs in the order of receipt. A comprehensive web interface helps you to organize and monitor your simulation jobs.

If you want to read more about IDOCs, how they work and how to prepare a scene for network simulation, please take a look at this page:

Nodes - IDOC

As mentioned, fluids from different IDOCs cannot interact, although they are located in the same scene. The fluids will act as if their connections in the “Relationship Editor” were broken. With Hybrido secondary elements, this is not a problem at all and you will hardly recognize a visual difference between scenes with and without IDOCs. The only really noticeable difference is simulation time.

The positive effect on simulation times opens another possibility: Even if you “only” possess a single computer with a RealFlow GUI license, IDOCs make sense, because you can simulate each IDOC separately. Due to the lacking interaction, the simulation will be finished faster than in a scene, where all emitters are able to interact.

On the following pages we have compiled a lot of useful information for you. There you will learn how to install and adjust RealFlow's networking system.

A network simulation is only possible with appropriate licenses and, with RealFlow's standard GUI license it is not possible to use the manager-node system. Each simulation node (= individual computer that can perform a simulation job) requires an individual license. Please contact Next Limit's Salesdesk or the website for pricing information and purchase options. From time to time we offer attractive bundles and promotions – so please keep an eye on the RealFlow website under

Elements of the Network Simulation Toolset

First of all, it is important to have a look at the different applications of RealFlow's network simulation feature. There are several applications, panels and interfaces sharing the same name:

  • Job Manager” application

  • Job Node” application

  • Job Manager” preferences and the “CmdSendJob” plugin

  • Job Manager” web interface


The “Job Manager” and “Job Node” applications are stand-alone programs. The manager is used to control and distribute a network job, while the node application will actually do the simulation. You can get both programs from Next Limit's customer portal and there you can also find the latest version for immediate download. Here you can find detailed information about how to install them:

Simulation - Network > Job Manager and Nodes


The “Job Manager” preferences are part of RealFlow and provide some of the global settings to share simulation jobs over the network and provide access to the manager application's interface. There is also the “CmdSendJob” plugin. With this tool you can choose which jobs should be simulated in the network. It also requires an installation process within RealFlow's GUI, but this is just a matter of seconds. Please visit the following pages to learn how to adjust preferences:

Simulation - Network > Adjusting Preferences


With the “Job Manager” web interface it is possible to manage jobs and nodes and track a running simulation. In the web interface you can see how many frames have already been finished and which nodes are currently working. The web interface can be launched directly inside RealFlow with the “Job Manager” window. If you do not have access to a RealFlow GUI application it also possible to monitor the current status with any other web browser. A complete user guide for the web interface can be found under:

GUI - Main Elements > Job Manager