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Chaos Group ships Phoenix FD 4.20 for 3ds Max and Maya

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Originally posted on 14 March 2020. Scroll down for news of the 4.20 updates.

Chaos Group has released Phoenix FD 4.10, the latest update to its fluid simulation software for 3ds Max and Maya, speeding up the particle shader and improving the GPU preview.

In addition, the 3ds Max edition can now use any 3ds Max particle system as a fluid source.

Both editions: faster particle shading, improved GPU preview
In both editions of the software, particle shading is faster: the particle collection process that takes place prior to rendering is “up to 2x” faster for Maya, and “up to 5x” for 3ds Max.

The Maya edition also gets a new Count Multiplier to increase the number of particles in the particle shader.

In addition, the GPU preview for simulations has been improved, getting controls for light direction, the option to preview fire sims, and a range of new output options.

In addition, there are a range of smaller performance improvements and bugfixes: FLIP fluid particle resimulation is “up to 20%” faster on “some scenes”.

3ds Max only: support for PRTReader and PRTLoader particles as fluid sources
The 3ds Max edition also now makes it possible to use any particle system as a fluid source, adding support for Phoenix PRTReader particles and Krakatoa PRTLoader particles.


Phoenix FD’s new Texture UVW system being used to simulate thin smoke. In the 4.20 updates, Chaos Group has added the option to fill a simulation volume using TexUVW.

Updated 24 June 2020: Chaos Group has released Phoenix FD 4.20 for 3ds Max and Maya, the next versions of the software: despite the jump in version number, there were no intervening 4.1x releases.

Both updates improve simulation previews, with Particle Preview mode now supported in the standalone preview as well as viewport previews; and the viewport preview now supporting Velocity Streamline mode.

V-Ray users can also now render scenes with Phoenix FD’s particle shader in Fog mode.

The Texture UVW feature introduced in Phoenix FD 4.0 has also been “improved … for smoke simulations [including support for] filling an emitter’s volume with TexUVW and RGB”.

In addition, the 3ds Max edition gets support for 3ds Max 2021 and V-Ray 5. There are also a number of smaller changes and bugfixes: you can find a full list via the links below.

Pricing and availability
Phoenix FD 4.20 is available for 64-bit 3ds Max 2015+ on Windows 7+ and Maya 2017+ on Windows and Linux only. New workstation licences of either edition cost $830; rental starts at $70/month.

Read a full list of features in Phoenix FD 4.20 for 3ds Max in the online documentation

Read a full list of features in Phoenix FD 4.20 for Maya in the online documentation

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