Friday, April 16th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos releases Phoenix 4.40 for 3ds Max and Maya

Chaos – the software developer formerly known as Chaos Group – has released Phoenix 4.40, the latest update to its fluid simulation software for 3ds Max and Maya, itself formerly known as Phoenix FD.

Name changes aside, the update adds support for collisions between floating objects using Bullet physics, a new Massive Wave Force for ocean surfaces, and colour absorption in smoke.

Support for collisions between objects floating in water, like ice or debris
Phoenix 4.40 introduces a new Bullet solver for Active Bodies, its system for simulating interactions between scene objects and the fluid itself.

Unlike the old Basic solver, the new system – based on the popular open-source Bullet physics library – supports collisions between objects, simulating floating bodies like debris or ice more accurately.

The update also adds a new Massive Wave Force option to Phoenix’s Wave Force component, used to simulate waves in a liquid surface.

As well as working over the entire volume of a simulation to generate… well, massive waves, it provides finer control over their form, affecting not only the liquid but surface foam and spray.

It also generates consistent results when changing the grid resolution for a simulation, making it possible to test a sim with a low grid resolution, then raise the resolution for the final render.

Control the colour of objects seen through smoke with new volumetric absorption settings
For simulations of gaseous fluids like smoke, new Absorption settings in the volumetric rendering options make it possible to control the colour of shadows and the tint of objects seen through the volume.

Users can either set a constant colour for absorption or use a texture map to control the effect.

The update also adds support for motion blur on bubbles and splashes using Phoenix’s Particle Shader, when using V-Ray GPU, the GPU render engine in Chaos Group’s V-Ray renderer.

Other changes include a new Property Lister window summarising simulation properties for each scene object, and the option to control Phoenix’s standalone simulation preview via the command line.

Pricing and availability
Phoenix 4.40 is available for 64-bit 3ds Max 2018+ on Windows 7+ and Maya 2018+ on Windows 7+ and Linux only. New workstation licences of either edition cost $830; rental starts at $70/month.

Read a full list of features in Phoenix 4.40 for 3ds Max in the online documentation

Read a full list of features in Phoenix 4.40 for Maya in the online documentation