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Chaos releases Phoenix 5.0

Friday, May 27th, 2022 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos has released Phoenix 5.0, the latest version of its fluid simulation software for 3ds Max and Maya.

The update introduces Thruster force and Axis Lock controls for scene objects affected by simulations, new options for controlling foam patterns generated by liquid simulations, and a new Voxel Shader.

In addition, a new standalone edition makes it possible to process Phoenix scene files from the command line, outside the host software; while the Maya edition now runs on macOS as well as Windows and Linux.

The software now appears to be rental-only, with the old perpetual licences no longer listed online.

New controls for liquid simulations and unified shading for smoke, fire and meshes
Phoenix 5.0 is the first version of the software to be released as a unified licence, Chaos having merged the old individual licences for the 3ds Max and Maya editions into a single licence late last year.

The update adds new options for controlling the motion of scene objects affected by simulations, including a Thruster force and Axis Lock, the latter for constraining motion to a given axis.

For liquid simulations, there are new Size Variation and Stringy parameters for controlling the patterns of foam generated by the FLIP solver.

For gaseous fluids, a new Voxel Shader makes it possible to shade both the meshes loaded in a simulation and the fire and smoke itself with a single shader.

There are also four new presets for generating storm ocean surfaces, boat wakes, ice cubes floating in liquid, and jet engine exhaust cones.

Process simulations from the command line, outside 3ds Max or Maya themselves
Phoenix 5.0 also introduces Phoenix Standalone Simulator, a new command-line tool for processing .simscene scene files exported from the 3ds Max and Maya editions outside the host software.

Chaos describes the workflow as “up to 40%” faster than simulating directly inside 3ds Max or Maya.

It’s still a work in progress: the initial release lacks supports for some of the advanced features available inside the host apps, including foam and splashes, textures, animated geometry and resimulation.

Users also get a standalone Node Viewer for debugging .simscene files.

Pricing and availability
Phoenix 5.0 is available for 3ds Max 2018+ on Windows 7-10, Maya 2018+ on Windows 7-10 and RHEL/CentOS 7.2 Linux, and Maya 2019+ on macOS 10.11+, Mac support having been added in the update.

Subscriptions include both 3ds Max and Maya editions, and cost $70/month or $390/year.

Perpetual licences of the software, which used to cost $830, are no longer listed in Chaos’s online store, or on resellers’ websites. We’ve contacted Chaos to check whether they have been discontineud.

Updated 30 June 2022: Chaos has confirmed that Phoenix is now subscription only.

Read a full list of features in Phoenix 5.0 for 3ds Max in the online documentation

Read a full list of features in Phoenix 5.0 for Maya in the online documentation

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