Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Ephere releases Lucid Physics for 3ds Max

Ephere has released Lucid Physics, its new multiphysics solution for 3ds Max. The plugin is capable of simulating fluids, solids, grains, cloth, ropes, gases, and soft bodies in a single integrated system.

A complete, GPU-accelerated multiphysics system
Like AlphaVFX’s BulletFX, released last year, Lucid Physics is a complete GPU-accelerated multiphysics system, capable of simulating a wide range of real-world materials, and having them interact dyamically.

You can judge the breath of the plugin’s capabilities from the demo video above, which ranges through sand, cloth, rubber, water, foam – and even jam.

Based on Nvidia’s FleX technology
Unlike BulletFX, which began as an implementation of the Bullet physics library, Lucid is based around a proprietary technology: FleX, Nvidia’s particle-based simulation platform.

Being designed for real-time applications, FleX is fast – Ephere promises “unprecedented simulation speeds” – and it’s based on several years of development work: Nvidia presented it at Siggraph back in 2013.

There are limitations: FleX imposes a pre-set limit of 1.3 million particles on Lucid simulations. Depending on your GPU, you can increase the setting, but you “run a risk of crashing your graphics driver”.

However, if you avoid large liquid simulations, Lucid Physics looks to be a capable, versatile solution, which has already drawn a number of testimonials from working TDs.

Familiar native workflow
The workflow also looks to be familiar: Ephere says that Lucid Physics has “deep integration” with 3ds Max, with the new Lucid modifier used in conjunction with 3ds Max’s native Particle Flow operators and forces.

It can also be controlled entirely via 3ds Max’s native MaxScript scripting language via its built-in functions.

There’s a lot of documentation on Ephere’s website, including videos of most of the key features, and there’s a trial version so you can try before you buy.

Pricing and availability
Lucid Physics is comaptible with 3ds Max 2009 and above, running on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. Being based on FleX, you’ll need an Nvidia GPU with CUDA Compute Capability 3 or newer.

The plugin has an MSRP of $249, but is currently available at a launch discount.

Read a full list of features in Lucid Physics on Ephere’s website