Sunday, November 24th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos Group ships Phoenix FD 4.0 for 3ds Max and Maya

Originally posted on 18 September 2019. Scroll down for news of the commercial release.

Chaos Group has released Phoenix FD 4.0, the next major update to its fluid simulation software for 3ds Max and Maya, in beta.

The update adds support for basic rigid body dynamics, a new texture co-ordinate system, new particle and voxel tuners for modifying simulations, and a standalone viewer for simulation caches.

In addition, the 3ds Max edition has been integrated with thinkingParticles, cebas’s physics particles plugin.

Both editions: new rigid body solver, TexUVW channel and pixel and voxel tuners
New features common to both editions of Phoenix FD include a new rigid body solver node, described as providing “basic” rigid body support.

In the initial implementation, rigid bodies can interact with fluid simulations, but not with one another.

The update also adds a new Texture UVW channel that moves with a fluid simulation, making it possible to map textures to the fluid surface at render time, including colour, opacity and displacement.

Other key changes include new tuners for controlling simulations on a per-pixel or per-voxel basis.

Users can delete particles, modify any particle channel value, or modify grid channel values based on “values, textures or distance to meshes”.

Outside the core application, Chaos Group has added a standalone viewer for AUR, VDB and F3D simulation caches, described as “much faster” than the native viewport previews.

The viewer shows both the voxels of a simulation and a new preview of velocity streamlines.

In addition, both 3ds Max and Maya editions have been decoupled from V-Ray, Chaos Group’s production renderer, making it possible to load Phoenix FD and run a simulation without V-Ray installed.

3ds Max only: thinkingParticles integration
The 3ds Max edition gets new Birth, Sample and Force operators for thinkingParticles, cebas’s VFX industry-standard particle and physics plugin.

The integration makes it possible to emit fluid via Phoenix sources from thinkingParticles geometries.

Updated 24 November 2019: Phoenix FD 4.0 is shipping for both 3ds Max and Maya. As well as the features listed above, the Maya edition gets a new Foam Texture for use with the Phoenix FD Ocean Texture.

Chaos Group has also posted combined changelogs showing all of the new features added to both editions of the software during the 3.x release cycle. You can find them via the links below.

Pricing and availability
Phoenix FD 4.0 is available for 64-bit 3ds Max 2015+ on Windows 7+ and Maya 2016+ on Windows and Linux only. New workstation licences of either edition cost $830; rental starts at $70/month.

Read an overview of the new features in Phoenix FD 4.0 on Chaos Group’s blog

Read a full list of features in Phoenix FD 4.0 for 3ds Max in the online documentation

Read a full list of features in Phoenix FD 4.0 for Maya in the online documentation