Tuesday, March 15th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

Cebas launches finalFluid for 3ds Max

cebas Visual Technology has unveiled finalFluid, its new gaseous fluid simulator for 3ds Max.

The GPU-accelerated software enables users to simulate effects like fire, smoke and dust inside 3ds Max in near-real time, then export the results to other DCC applications or renderers in OpenVDB format.

The software is currently avaiable as a free public beta. Anyone joining the beta program will have access to the final beta build until 2025.

Simulate fire and smoke directly inside 3ds Max in near-real time
A GPU-accelerated Eulerian fluid simulator, finalFluid enables users to simulate gaseous fluids like fire, smoke or dust clouds directly inside 3ds Max in near-real time.

The solver uses a sparse voxel grid method, improving performance by allocating simulation blocks dynamically so that system memory is only used to calculate active regions of the grid.

Users can guide the simulations with many of 3ds Max’s standard Space Warps, including Wind, Gravity and PBomb, or via an OpenVDB velocity field assigned using finalFluid’s own fF-VDBForce Space Warp.

Simulations can also be driven by native 3ds Max particle systems or third-party simulation tools like tyFlow or cebas’s own thinkingParticles.

According to cebas, “final VFX output will be done through industry standard file formats and not directly within or from finalFluid”, with users able to export data in OpenVDB format.

Simulations can be rendered in any third-party renderer with OpenVDB support, including Arnold and V-Ray.

A collection of R&D tests created with finalFluid by alpha tester Jignesh Jariwala using a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU. Simulations “mostly took [a minute] or less to preview”, while VDB export took 5-7 minutes.

Use the public beta for free until 2025
You can get a feel for what finalFluid is currently capable of from the video above, created by freelance artist Jignesh Jariwala, and posted in the finalFluid Facebook group.

It requires a Nvidia GPU, but the system requirements are fairly moderate: the minium spec is just a GeForce GTX or better with 4GB of graphics memory, although a more powerful card is recommended.

The software looks an interesting alternative to standalone real-time fluid simulation tools like EmberGen, or to non-real-time 3ds Max gaseous fluid simulators like FumeFX and Phoenix.

Cebas says that anyone joining the beta program will be able to continue to use the final beta build for free after the commercial release, albeit without product support. Beta builds will remain operational until 2025.

Pricing and system requirements
finalFluid is available as a free public beta for 3ds Max 2020+ running on Windows 10+. You will need a Nvidia GPU to use it: the minimum spec is a DX12-compatible GeForce GTX card with 4GB VRAM.

To access the beta, you need to register for a free account on cebas’s website, and accept the EULA. Beta builds will remain operational until 2025, but will not receive product support.

Cebas hasn’t announced a date or price for the commercial release.

Read more about finalFluid on cebas’s website
(Includes instructions for joining the public beta)

Read an overview of finalFluid’s features and workflow in the online documentation