Standard File Types

RealFlow writes out a wide variety of cache file formats to save the simulation's data:

  • In many cases you do not have to worry about the different file types, because RealFlow enables the standard formats automatically by default. 
  • "Cache format" means that RealFlow uses the files for displaying the simulation results in the viewport.
  • These files can be imported via the "RF Connect" plugins to your 3D program, where they are shaded and rendered.
  • The default location for simulation data is the project folder with its standard directories such as "objects", "meshes", or "particles".


The most important default formats for exchange with your 3D application are:


Imported via
DyversoRPCRealFlow Particle CacheOne file per frameRF Connect
Hybrido Core FluidRPCRealFlow Particle CacheOne file per frameRF Connect
Hybrido Secondary FluidsRPCRealFlow Particle CacheOne file per frameRF Connect
Hybrido MistVDB 1)OpenVDB Volumetric CacheOne file per frame3D program's native OpenVDB import
Standard Particle FluidsBINRealFlow Binary CacheOne file per frameRF Connect
MeshesABC 2)Alembic CacheOne file per frame3D program's native Alembic import
Rigid and Soft BodiesSDRealFlow Scene Data FormatOne file per simulationRF Connect
MultiBodiesSDRealFlow Scene Data FormatOne file per simulationRFConnect
RealWaveSDRealFlow Scene Data FormatOne file per simulationRFConnect


1) The current OpenVDB version is 3.1.0.
2) RealFlow's Alembic files use the Ogawa backend by default. If you need the MD5 backend change the → "Export" preferences. The current Alembic version is 1.5.8.

Changing File Formats

There are situations where RealFlow's standard file formats cannot be used, or where it is necessary to activate additional resources like wet-dry maps or displacement maps. Maybe you also want to change the path where the files will be stored.

You should also think carefully which data types you want to store and always try to minimize the amount of exported files as much as possible. Large data files and multiple exports can slow down RealFlow.

In all of these cases, the export resources have to be managed manually and we provide two main methods to do that:

Export Central

The → "Export Central" window is a control centre where you have the export resources of the entire project in a clearly arranged tree structure.

All you have to do is to look for the nodes you want to change, expand their resources, and disable or enable them. A section with buttons helps to complete time-consuming tasks with a single click, e.g. "Export Node", "Export All", or "All Dyverso Domains".

RealFlow's "Export Central" is also the place to go when you want to export → previews or renders

Export Tab

Every project node has its own → "Export" tab in the "Node Params" panel. There it is possible to disable and enable export resources, change paths and file names, activate channels, and maps.

If you Shift-select multiple nodes of the same type, e.g. Dyverso domains, then it is possible to change their common resources at once.