The origin of the heavy elements is one of the fundamental problems in modern science. To solve this problem, the knowledge of nuclear properties is essential. Before the new generation of nuclear facilities can provide the missing data, reliable and accurate theoretical predictions are indispensable. In this presentation, approaches based on the relativistic density functional with continuum and deformation effects are introduced. Related physics applications are discussed, including masses and shapes of exotic nuclei, bound states beyond the neutron drip line, and the tensor force manifestations.