v4.40.00 Chaos Phoenix FD for Maya – Perpetual

Chaos Phoenix FD for Maya – Perpetual


Download demos and trial versions, product documentation, free presets and more.

Chaos Group Phoenix FD

All-In-One Fluid Dynamics for Maya Artists

Phoenix FD for Maya – Perpetual – an all-in-one solution for fluid dynamics. With Phoenix FD, artists can simulate fire, smoke, liquids, foam, ocean spray, and more. Specifically designed for fast-paced production, artists used Phoenix FD in multiple television series such as Game of Thrones and The Flash. Phoenix FD integrates seamlessly into Maya and is optimized to render with V-Ray.

Key Differentiators in Phoenix FD for Maya – Perpetual

  • Powerful: Phoenix FD is an all-in-one solution for fluid dynamics. Simulates fire, smoke, liquids, ocean waves, splashes, spray, mist, and more.
  • Artist-friendly: Built for 3D artists who want to create dynamic FX using quick presets, fast setup, and intuitive controls.
  • Interactive: Capable of preview and interactive rendering in the viewport. Simulations can be adjusted on the fly.
  • Creative control: Artists can create all types of physically-based fluid effects with fast, flexible controls for rendering, retiming, and refining simulations.
  • Smart integration: Integrated seamlessly into Maya and optimized to render with V-Ray.
  • Compatibility: Compatible with top industry tools such as Alembic and OpenVDB.

What’s New in Phoenix FD for Maya – Perpetual Update 4.4

For full details on this update, see the Updates tab.

What’s New in Phoenix FD for Maya – Perpetual Version 4.0


Chaos Phoenix FD for Maya - Perpetual VoxelNew Voxel and Particle Tuners

Change each voxel and particle’s properties during simulation, and use customizable conditions to delete particles.


chaosgroup_phoenix_active bodiesActive Bodies

Float your objects over pools or wash them away in floods with basic rigid body simulation for Phoenix liquids.


chaosgroup_phoenix_tex uvTex UVW

Transport texture coordinates along with fluids during the simulation and uses them for advanced render-time effects.


Chaos Phoenix FD for Maya - Perpetual PreviewThe Standalone Cache Preview tool

Load AUR, VDB, and F3D cache files preview them, and save image sequences.


chaosgroup_phoenix_foamFoam texture

Create procedural foam coloring of ocean waves without simulation.


Prefer to rent a license?

Chaos Group Phoenix FD for Maya – Rental Options

Key Features

phoenix splashesLiquids, splashes & foam

Create realistic liquid simulations with splashes and foam directly in Maya.


phoenix smokeSmoke, fire & explosions

Create all types of fire and smoke effects with Phoenix FD’s powerful adaptive dynamics engine.



Fine-tune simulations interactively in the viewport with Phoenix FD’s GPU-accelerated preview.



Increase simulation resolution and add detail without changing overall shape or behavior.


phoenix turbulenceTURBULENCE

Perfect for generating small wisps of smoke and steam.


phoenix particlesPARTICLES

Render particles as bubbles, drops, points, or fog.

phoenix vorticityVORTICITY

Simulate highly-realistic and complex vorticity effects with full control over large-scale vortex strength and ultra-fine details.

phoenix emissionEMISSION SOURCES

Use a wide range of customizable emission sources – animated meshes, texture maps and particles – to drive complex simulations.

phoenix optimized renderingOPTIMIZED RENDERING

Render photorealistic liquids and volumetric effects using V-Ray’s optimized Phoenix FD shader.


Create a series of simulations that trigger and interact with each other.


Speed up or slow down simulation playback. Perfect for slow motion effects.


Easily create ocean surfaces that never repeat using procedural ocean displacement. Preview and render the ocean surface without simulating cache files.

phoenix forcesFORCES

Influence simulations with forces like waves, wind, spline follow, mesh attraction and more.

phoenix simulation licensesSIMULATION LICENSES

Use Phoenix FD simulation licenses to submit jobs over the network to Deadline and Backburner.


Please make sure that your system fulfills these requirements before installing Phoenix.


Please Note

Phoenix for Maya comes in 2 build types – compatible with V-Ray 5 and V-Ray Next. If you don’t have V-Ray, it does not matter at all which one you install – Phoenix would still be able to simulate, load, save and preview caches. If you do have V-Ray 5 or V-Ray Next, please take care to install a matching Phoenix build.

Note that reading textures during simulation, e.g. by Sources, Mappers, etc, would be faster if you also have V-Ray installed.


  • Processor: Intel® Pentium ® IV or compatible processor with SSE4.2 support.
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM and 8 GB swap minimum – recommended 32 GB or more RAM, 32 GB or more swap file
  • Operating system: Windows ® 7 SP1, Windows ® 8.1 and Windows ® 10 Professional; 64-bit versions only
  • Maya 2018 – 2022
  • USB port: Required for dongle licensing, USB 2.0 or newer
  • TCP/IP: Only IPv4 is supported. IPv6 is currently not supported.
  • Chaos License Server 4.5.1 or later
  • V-Ray: All V-Ray 5 and V-Ray Next versions are supported

The following table shows the versions of Autodesk Maya and operating systems on which Phoenix FD is supported. Note that Phoenix FD is only supported for 64 bit operating systems and 64 bit versions of Maya.

Maya 2016: x64 Windows ® 7 SP1, Windows ® 8.1 Professional, and Windows ® 10 Professional
Maya 2017: x64 Windows ® 7 SP1 and Windows ® 10 Professional
Maya 2018: x64 Windows ® 7 SP1 and Windows ® 10 Professional
Maya 2019: x64 Windows ® 7 SP1 and Windows ® 10 Professional


  • Processor: Intel ® Pentium ® IV or compatible processor with SSE4.2 support.
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM and 8 GB swap minimum – recommended 32 GB or more RAM, 32 GB or more swap file
  • Operating system: Red Hat ® Enterprise Linux® 6.5 and 7.2 WS, or CentOS 7.2 for all Maya versions; CentOS 6.5 for Maya 2018; 64-bit versions only
  • Maya 2018 – 2022
  • USB port: Required for dongle licensing, USB 2.0 or newer
  • TCP/IP: Only IPv4 is supported. IPv6 is currently not supported.
  • V-Ray: All V-Ray 5 versions are supported. Oldest supported V-Ray Next is Update 1

The following table shows the versions of Autodesk Maya and operating systems on which Phoenix FD is supported. Note that Phoenix FD is only supported for 64 bit operating systems and 64-bit versions of Maya.

Maya 2016: x64 Red Hat ® Enterprise Linux® 6.5 WS, or CentOS 6.5
Maya 2017: x64 Red Hat ® Enterprise Linux® 6.5 and 7.2 WS, or CentOS 6.5 and 7.2
Maya 2018: x64 Red Hat ® Enterprise Linux® 6.5 and 7.2 WS, or CentOS 6.5 and 7.2
Maya 2019: x64 Red Hat ® Enterprise Linux® 7.2 WS, or CentOS 7.2

Hardware Advice for Faster Simulating

Here are some tips to help make sure your Phoenix sims calculate as fast as possible.

  • Bus speed – Phoenix transfers huge amounts of data between memory and the CPU. The entire simulation grid gets processed tens to hundred times per simulation step, so the bus speed is the bottleneck in most simulations.
  • CPU speed – Processor speed is more important than core count. Also, NUMA and multiprocessor architectures do not perform well with Phoenix. Simulating on one NUMA node is often faster than waiting for multiple nodes to synchronize.
  • Fast Storage – Both large and small simulations take significant time just to write the cache files from the simulation and to read them back for the preview, so good storage speed can help decrease simulation times up to 30%. Turning off the preview for all grid and particle channels during large simulations could also help speed up the simulation.
  • GPU – GPUs are currently only used for the GPU preview of fire/smoke simulations.

Software Advice for Faster Simulating

On some machines, the Anti-Virus software may treat Phoenix FD’s files .aur, .f3d, and .vdb as a potential risk and consume significant processing power to scan them. Since cache files are often hundreds of Megabytes or more, this could cause the simulation to slow down several times.

Consider adding an exception in your Anti-Virus software for these file formats.

You may also add Phoenix FD log file extension (.log) or the log file directory (accessible through the Phoenix Preferences) to the exceptions of the Anti-Virus software.

It may also be beneficial to add an exception for the Maya process (maya.exe under Windows).

Here is a short step-by-step guide by Microsoft on Adding an Exclusion for Windows Defender.

Version 4.40.00

Official release

Date – 15 April 2021

Download – Build 4.40.00

Active Bodies collision

Complete control over collisions between Active Bodies using the Bullet solver. Easily create effects such as colliding ice cubes in liquid, floating ocean debris, or objects washed away in floods.

Watch video

Color Absorption

A whole new level of volume rendering effects using Colored Absorption. Achieve more control over smoke shading—change the light’s color as it travels through the smoke.

Watch video

Massive Wave Force

Build highly realistic ocean simulations. Create real-world ocean waves, using the Massive Wave Force feature.

Watch video

Extended motion blur support on V-Ray GPU

Leverage GPU power to add motion blur to splashes and bubble mode in the Particle Shader.

Faster rendering and simulations

Take advantage of various speed gains on simulation, rendering, and previews.

Property Lister window

Quickly access and change the Phoenix properties of each object in your scene—all in one place.

Autodesk Maya 2022 support

Phoenix is now compatible with the latest Autodesk releases.

With Phoenix FD 4.40 we added support for Maya 2022.

We implemented mutual collisions between Active Bodies so now you can create complex rigid body dynamics with Phoenix. In order to aid scenes with many interacting objects, we added a new Property Lister window, allowing you quick access to the per-node properties of the scene nodes.

Simulations of large-scale stormy oceans or tunnel waves are now possible with the new Massive Wave Force.

A new colored absorption option allows for more interesting volume rendering effects, and can also be mapped via a texture. We added support for motion blur of Bubbles and Splashes in V-Ray GPU (requires the latest V-Ray 5).

The Phoenix standalone previewer can now be fully controlled via the command line, allowing you to change options and save image sequences of cache files in all different preview modes.

In this version of Phoenix, we multithreaded all remaining parts of the simulation, and also sped up the simulation, previews, and rendering significantly.

We improved our shelf presets, added more options to the cache converter tool, and as always, fixed many issues.

  • NEW PHOENIX Support for 3ds Max 2022 (GPU preview and velocity streamline preview are temporarily disabled)
  • NEW ACTIVE BODIES Mutual interaction between Active Bodies, using the Bullet Solver option
  • NEW SIMULATION GENERAL Phoenix Property Lister window for quickly editing many obstacles or Active Bodies in the scenе
  • NEW VOLUME SHADER Absorption color for volume rendering which can also be mapped by a texture
  • NEW VOLUME SHADER Render the Fully Visible Fire Opacity Mode together with the Use Probabilistic Shading option
  • NEW PARTICLE SHADER Render the Particle Shader in Bubbles/Splashes mode with motion blur on V-Ray GPU, requires a latest V-Ray nightly as well
  • NEW STANDALONE PREVIEW Command line interface allowing to script image saving using different preview modes and options
  • NEW ASSET MANAGEMENT Support for Simulator cache files using the Transfer Missing Assets option in V-Ray’s DR
  • NEW WAVE FORCE Massive Wave Force allowing to exactly replicate the Ocean waves, to affect any Phoenix channel, even without Fillup for Ocean, and use any Level Of Detail of the Ocean Texture
  • NEW MAYA INTEGRATION Option to start a render after each simulation frame is completed – ‘Render On Each Sim Frame’ in the Simulation rollout
  • NEW MAYA INTEGRATION Support for simulations using Z Up axis
  • NEW BUILD Build Phoenix for Maya 2019, 2020 and 2022 for V-Ray 5 on Centos 7 instead of Centos 6
  • IMPROVED SIMULATION GENERAL Sped up low res simulations (below 10 million voxels) with up to 15%
  • IMPROVED SIMULATION GENERAL Enabled Grid Velocity for all Simulators and presets by default
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Emit pressure from Liquid Sources In Volume Inject mode without emitting liquid
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Allow Birth Volumes to interact with the simulation even if they are hidden
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Sped up FLIP simulations with up to 25%
  • IMPROVED ACTIVE BODIES A new ‘Collision Margin’ parameter which you can lower in order to keep groups of bodies in contact
  • IMPROVED ACTIVE BODIES Made it possible to select the Active Body’s originals in the Maya viewport. They need to be manually hidden from rendering though
  • IMPROVED SOURCES Affect RGB and Viscosity using Discharge Modifiers
  • IMPROVED SOURCES Affect Motion Velocity of Sources emitting from geometries and particles, using Discharge Modifiers
  • IMPROVED SOURCES Sped up texture mapped emitters by improving their multithreading
  • IMPROVED VOLUME SHADER The scattering strength is now equalized with 3ds Max and is correct
  • IMPROVED PARTICLE SHADER Sped up frame begin and frame end of the Particle Shader in Bubbles/Splashes/Cellular and Points Mode, especially with huge numbers of particles
  • IMPROVED MESHER Mesh surface from the Viscosity channel
  • IMPROVED CACHE I/O Sped up particle compression when writing AUR files. Older Phoenix versions will not be able to read the new AUR files
  • IMPROVED CACHE I/O Read VDB particle channels named ‘point_velocity’, ‘point_size’ and ‘point_age’
  • IMPROVED ABC I/O Support for the new VRayProxy in V-Ray 5 as an emitter, obstacle, or Active Body
  • IMPROVED OCEAN MESHER Ocean Mesh support for camera Overscan parameters
  • IMPROVED PRESETS Improved the Gasoline Explosion Shelf Quick Setup preset
  • IMPROVED PRESETS Improved the Burning Fuel Shelf Quick Setup preset
  • IMPROVED PREVIEW Option to disable preview cache load during simulation or when not rendering
  • IMPROVED PREVIEW Sped up viewport performance of many Simulator copies
  • IMPROVED GPU PREVIEW Support for orthographic projection in the GPU Preview and image saving
  • IMPROVED STANDALONE PREVIEW Options for specifying the resolution of the saved images
  • IMPROVED STANDALONE PREVIEW Option for enabling orthographic projection
  • IMPROVED CACHE CONVERTER -exportchannels option allowing you to write only specific channels to the output cache files
  • IMPROVED CACHE CONVERTER -removegridch and -removeprt options allowing stripping of grid and particle channels from the cache files
  • IMPROVED SCRIPTING Keep the Script File path relative to the Maya project so it can be found when the scene is moved
  • IMPROVED SHELF Delete caches from the Phoenix Shelf without a selected Simulator, using left click (there already is a right click menu on the Shelf button as well)
  • IMPROVED USER INTERFACE Added a new ‘Credits and Copyrights’ window, accessible via the ‘Phoenix FD’ menu
  • REMOVED PHOENIX Dropped support for Maya 2017
  • REMOVED USER INTERFACE Hidden the Particle TexUVW export option from the Output rollout
  • FIXED SIMULATION GENERAL Random Memory allocation error under Linux
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Emitting Foam/Splash from rigged geometry via a Source in Surface Force mode with Motion Velocity did not set the initial velocity of the particles
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER The Foam Birth Volume did not prevent foam to be born by the Splash’s Foam On Hit
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Lower Sticky Liquid multiplier values in scenes with overall low Sticky strength resulted in stronger Sticky interaction
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Foam and Splash particles could be born by a Source one voxel further outside the grid’s positive sides
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Liquid Particles flew to infinity when animated Time Scale reached value of 0
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Using Foam Patterns caused some foam particles to get stuck at the liquid surface near geometries
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Liquid was creeping up the walls of Confine Geometry, and Liquid and Foam particles sometimes got shot away on collision with Confine Geometry
  • FIXED ACTIVE BODIES The Active Bodies Ground plane elasticity affected the elasticity of the collision objects as well
  • FIXED CACHELESS SIMULATIONS Sometimes more than 1 frame remained in RAM
  • FIXED CACHELESS SIMULATIONS The Grid RGB channel was not visible in Cacheless frames
  • FIXED SOURCES Turning off Phoenix Source’s Motion Velocity checkbox did not disable the velocity effect in Surface Force mode
  • FIXED VOLUME SHADER Volumes were not affected by the V-Ray GI engine multipliers
  • FIXED VOLUME SHADER Setting the Self-Shadowing of the Fire lights to None fell back to the Ray-Traced mode using V-Ray, since Phoenix 3.13
  • FIXED VOLUME SHADER Rare random crash or memory leak when starting and stopping V-Ray GPU rendering
  • FIXED VOLUME SHADER Wrong sampling of smoke opacity maps by the Volume Shader when TexUVW was enabled
  • FIXED VOLUMETRIC ILLUMINATION Fire Lights were visible in surfaces with Reflection Glossiness below 1
  • FIXED RENDER ELEMENTS Crash when rendering several Particle Shaders which used different values for the Particle Age Render Element option
  • FIXED PARTICLE SHADER The Particle Shader “Fog” Mode was not rendering with V-Ray GPU 5 when Render as Geometry was enabled
  • FIXED PARTICLE SHADER Disable Liquid Shadows was not working in Points mode with Volume Light Cache enabled, or Bubbles and Cellular mode, since Phoenix 4.10
  • FIXED V-RAY IPR Crash during IPR of a Particle Shader in Bubbles mode with Render as Geometry ON
  • FIXED TEXUVW Crash when simulating TexUVW interpolation with certain Time Scale values
  • FIXED CACHE I/O Crash when rendering VDB particles with V-Ray Next
  • FIXED CACHE I/O Crash when exporting the ID channel of a particle system with more than 536’870’911 particles. Older Phoenix versions will not be able to read the new AUR files
  • FIXED ABC I/O Fixed several random crashes when emitting from Alembic files loaded via V-Ray Proxy. A latest V-Ray 5 is also needed
  • FIXED ABC I/O Using certain Alembic files via V-Ray Proxy as emitters worked incorrectly
  • FIXED ABC I/O Vertex Velocity of geometry loaded via V-Ray Proxy was ignored by Phoenix Sources
  • FIXED BODY FORCE Body Force’s Spread Speed could create huge velocities if the affected channel had negative values
  • FIXED WAVE FORCE Lowering the Rate of Change of the Ocean Texture reduced the effect of the Wave Force
  • FIXED GRID TEXTURE Crash during Maya Batch rendering with a Grid Texture reading the RGB channel, since Phoenix 4.30
  • FIXED PREVIEW Missing frames in the viewport right after simulation restore
  • FIXED PREVIEW Crash when previewing particles and simulating the same frame with less particles since Phoenix 4.30
  • FIXED PREVIEW Auto Reduction didn’t raise the Detail Reduction correctly with many Simulators in the scene
  • FIXED PREVIEW Crash when turning on Velocity Streamlines preview while having Force preview turned on
  • FIXED GPU PREVIEW Crash when using the Legacy Viewport
  • FIXED STANDALONE PREVIEW: Saved images were always recorded with the default name and in the default path on Linux
  • FIXED STANDALONE PREVIEW: Save file dialogue was breaking when canceling it on Linux
  • FIXED NPARTICLES Crash when rendering nParticles system created by the Phoenix’s Simulator particle groups with V-Ray 5
  • FIXED USER INTERFACE Stopping the simulation using Esc/Shift+Esc sometimes worked even when the Maya window was not focused
  • FIXED USER INTERFACE Aborting a Simulation where the Output cache path didn’t exist was not working, since Phoenix 4.30
  • FIXED MAYA INTEGRATION If a crash occurred during Maya Batch, the cache files were moved from the default path to a temporary folder
  • FIXED MAYA INTEGRATION Modify -> Center Pivot did not work correctly for loaded caches which did not overlap the grid origin
  • FIXED MAYA INTEGRATION Simulators with identical shape names under different transforms rendered identical even when using different caches
  • FIXED MAYA INTEGRATION If a project was not set, cache paths did not load correctly from a scene saved with the project and with the paths pointing inside the project directory

What’s new in V4.30

Date – 23 September, 2020

Download – Build 4.30.00

With Phoenix FD 4.30 we added support for V-Ray 5 for Maya.

We also added force tuning to Voxel and Particle Tuners. This allows forces to affect particles or voxels with certain channels, inside or outside geometries, or according to textures, effectively allowing you to mask forces and gain precise control over how, when and where forces affect the simulation.

Rendering of fire/smoke with the Use Probabilistic Shading option is now much faster with V-Ray 5. Both fire/smoke simulations, as well as large FLIP liquid simulations are also sped up.

We did some more changes to simulations, allowing for more control and quicker iterations, and we also improved our Standalone Preview and Cache Converter tools, so be sure to check them out!


  • NEW PHOENIX FD Support for V-Ray 5
  • NEW PARTICLE TUNER Choose forces to affect the particles when the Tuner condition passes. This allows forces to affect particles with certain channels, inside or outside geometries or according to textures
  • NEW VOXEL TUNER Choose forces to affect the voxels when the Tuner condition passes, same as the Particle Tuner
  • NEW CACHE I/O Cacheless Simulation option for speeding up large simulations. It keeps in memory only the last simulated frame and GPU Preview images or per-frame renders can be saved


  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Now the Wetmap sticky effect depends on the Sticky Liquid option and the WetMap Viscosity – the Liquid Viscosity does not affect it directly anymore
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Delete Liquid particles when a Source’s Inject Power is negative
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Change the Motion Velocity, Viscosity or RGB of existing Liquid particles with a Source in Volume Brush mode with disabled Emit Liquid
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Reduced the peak memory usage of the FLIP liquid simulations
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Now Liquid particles can stick to WetMaps without the need for the Liquid to have viscosity. The strength of the sticky effect now depends only on the Sticky Liquid value and the WetMap viscosity
  • IMPROVED GRID SOLVER Sped up the Multi-Pass Transport method with up to 20%
  • IMPROVED VOLUME SHADER Sped up rendering of volumes when Use Probabilistic Shading is enabled
  • IMPROVED PARTICLE SHADER Color Map for the Particle Shader using V-Ray 5 GPU
  • IMPROVED MESHER Viewport preview and render in Mesh mode using a texture as a Surface Channel
  • IMPROVED CACHE I/O Sped up grid channel compression when saving AUR from the simulation or cache_converter tool
  • IMPROVED STANDALONE PREVIEW New layout where all panels can be docked, reordered or detached from the main window
  • IMPROVED STANDALONE PREVIEW Added information about the currently loaded path and the date of the cache’s last modification
  • IMPROVED CACHE CONVERTER Convert all caches in a folder without specifying frame range
  • IMPROVED CACHE CONVERTER Added a -storageQuality optional argument, useful when writing AUR caches
  • IMPROVED CACHE CONVERTER Stop the conversion and show a meaningful error message if the Cache Converter can’t find its openvdbio.dll
  • IMPROVED MAYA INTEGRATION Implement the Ocean and Grid Textures as native Maya textures, allowing them to be rendered with renderers other than V-Ray
  • IMPROVED MAYA INTEGRATION More verbosity for Maya Batch simulations
  • IMPROVED USER INTERFACE Stop the simulation with the ESC key or SHIFT + ESC combination under Windows
  • IMPROVED SCRIPTING New phxfdBatchRestoreStop() MEL function taking both a start and a stop frame (the existing phxfdBatchRestore() does not have a stop frame)
  • REMOVED PHOENIX FD Dropped support for V-Ray 3


  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Newborn Splash particles kept splitting and creating more Splashes underwater
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER WetMap’s viscosity was ignored by the Sticky Liquids effect when interacting with variable viscosity Liquid particles
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Sticky Liquid’s strength did not scale Linearly
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Foam’s Half Life deleted different amount of particles when simulating on different number of threads
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Slow simulation and low CPU utilization in FLIP liquid simulation scenes with large number of complex geometries
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER A fast moving simulator with Fillup For Ocean had particles created outside the grid, which are then not deleted
  • FIXED GRID SOLVER Crash on Load & Start with Drag particles with RGB
  • FIXED SOURCES Different amount of Source Particles (Drag/Foam/Splash) was born each new simulation or on different number of simulation threads
  • FIXED SOURCES Source mapped with Camera Perspective Projection produced incorrect results
  • FIXED SOURCES Sources were emitting up to 50% slower in very high resolution scenes, since Phoenix FD 4.20
  • FIXED VOLUME SHADER Crash when rendering AUR files over 2.1 billion voxels with Linear Sampler
  • FIXED VOLUME SHADER Volume rendering did not scale well with many threads and randomly took longer
  • FIXED V-RAY IPR Random crash in IPR when changing any properties of a Particle Shader
  • FIXED TEXUVW Maya froze when starting a simulation without TexUVW, if the Simulator had a Maya Mesh with a linked TexUVW UV set and Cached Playback was enabled
  • FIXED TEXUVW Flipped TexUVW triangles in Maya Mesh mode
  • FIXED OCEAN MESHER Crash after previewing the ocean mesh in the viewport, deleting the caches, and enabling Pure Ocean
  • FIXED OCEAN MESHER Artifacts in the viewport with ocean displacement
  • FIXED OCEAN TEXTURE Crash when changing strength of V-Ray Displacement using a Phoenix Ocean Texture right after scene open
  • FIXED GRID TEXTURE The Grid Texture did not render correctly when reading one of the Rendering Channels from a Simulator in Mesh Mode
  • FIXED CACHE I/O Size of particles simulated to OpenVDB were in voxels instead of units
  • FIXED CACHE I/O Restoring from VDB causes missing FLIP particles, wrong Initial Fillup, and wrong results with rotating simulators
  • FIXED CACHE I/O Could not save AUR caches where a single grid channel was over 3.05 GB. AUR files saved after the fix can not be opened with older Phoenix versions
  • FIXED CACHE I/O Could not read huge particle systems from AUR cache files (with hundreds of millions of particles). New AUR files will not be readable by older Phoenix versions.
  • FIXED CACHE I/O Rare crash while blending frames including particles with velocity data
  • FIXED CACHE I/O Rarely caches were loaded with missing horizontal voxel slices, which affected the previews, and rendering of fire/smoke and meshes
  • FIXED MAYA INTEGRATION Maya Mesh UV-sets and Color-sets were getting cleared when Cached Playback was enabled
  • FIXED PREVIEW Particle preview displacement was not updated when changing displacement settings
  • FIXED STANDALONE PREVIEW After pressing Cancel in the Browse dialog window, the saving path was erased
  • FIXED SCRIPTING The phxfdSaveCache() function could save only AUR caches without particles and only during simulation
  • FIXED USER INTERFACE Pressing Start on the Phoenix Shelf with many Simulators in the scene, one of which was paused, showed the simulator selection dialogue

What’s new in v4.20.00

Date – 16 June 2020
Download – Build 4.20.00

With Phoenix FD 4.20 we added support for V-Ray 5 and for 3ds Max 2021.

We also improved our Standalone and 3ds Max previews and added support for Particle Shader Fog mode rendering with V-Ray GPU, and we also added support for particle displacement for Fog mode. Particle Shaders can now be rendered in V-Ray CPU IPR as well.

We improved TexUVW for smoke simulations and implemented filling an emitter’s volume with TexUVW and RGB.

Once more we did many changes under the hood so we can develop faster, and as usual, we fixed many bugs.

  • NEW PHOENIX FD Support for V-Ray 5
  • NEW PHOENIX FD Support for 3ds Max 2021
  • NEW SOURCES Use surface texture maps or vertex color for Volume Brush and Volume Inject modes; Now you can fill volumes with RGB or TexUVW and melt them.
  • NEW PARTICLE SHADER Support for Particle Shaders in Fog mode in V-Ray Next GPU and V-Ray 5 GPU
  • NEW PARTICLE SHADER Support for Particle Shaders in V-Ray CPU IPR
  • NEW PREVIEW Velocity Streamline Preview ported to 3ds Max from the Standalone Preview
  • NEW STANDALONE PREVIEW Particle Preview in the Standalone Preview
  • IMPROVED GRID SOLVER Allow the RGB channel to be transported with Fuel like it does with Smoke
  • IMPROVED SCENE BODY INTERACTION Do not interact with 3ds Max splines as fluid obstacles or emitters unless they are extruded
  • IMPROVED PARTICLE SHADER Support for displacement in Fog mode of the Particle Shader
  • IMPROVED RENDER CURVES Delete Color Gradient points with Backspace
  • IMPROVED GPU PREVIEW Use fully transparent black background color when saving images
  • IMPROVED PREVIEW Option to disable the Particle Preview Color Scaling
  • IMPROVED CACHE I/O Sped up and using less memory for blending frames having Grid Velocity or liquid particles (when using Time Bend controls)
  • IMPROVED VOLUME SHADER Render Fire without cache data just by offsetting the Fire Opacity curve above zero (Physically Based must be below 1.0)
  • IMPROVED STANDALONE PREVIEW Optimized the Velocity Streamlines Preview when the Auto Reduction is off
  • IMPROVED STANDALONE PREVIEW Split the Log and Info windows
  • IMPROVED STANDALONE PREVIEW Renamed the executable from ‘standalone_previewer’ to ‘phoenix_previewer’
  • IMPROVED SCRIPTING New A_GetGridSize, $.getGridSize and $.getVersion MaxScript functions
  • IMPROVED USER INTERFACE Renamed ‘Frm. Blend’ in the Input rollout to ‘Grid Blend’
  • REMOVED PHOENIX FD Dropped support for V-Ray 3
  • REMOVED PHOENIX FD Dropped support for 3ds Max 2015
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Artifacts with texture mapped Volume Liquid Sources
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER The WetMap particles were born with sizes equal to 1 scene unit, instead of 1 voxel
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Could not animate the Sticky Liquid option
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Motion Velocity Multiplier of animated objects had no effect if a Phoenix Simulator with Fillup for Ocean was linked to them
  • FIXED FLIP SOLVER Blocky artifacts around submerged geometry with disabled Clear Inside, when simulating with Fillup For Ocean
  • FIXED ACTIVE BODIES Crash when deleting Active Body originals which had MassFX Rigid Body modifier applied
  • FIXED TEXUVW Incorrect TexUVW on the borders of smoke simulations
  • FIXED SOURCES The Emit Mode was loaded as Surface Force from saved scenes if any of its emitters were geometries, since Phoenix FD 4.0
  • FIXED VOLUME SHADER Border Fade did not affect fire in Own Opacity mode
  • FIXED PARTICLE SHADER Crash when rendering a Simulator which is picked directly into a Particle Shader, since Phoenix FD 4.10
  • FIXED PARTICLE SHADER Random crash during sequence render with Liquid simulator checkbox enabled in the Particle shader and Displacement turned on
  • FIXED PARTICLE SHADER Canceling the ‘Building Fog’ pre-pass did not stop the rendering
  • FIXED OCEAN MESHER Ocean Mesh was not constructed properly when Stereo Camera was used with FoV larger than 180
  • FIXED MESHER Motion Blur rendered differently with and without modifiers applied to the Phoenix Mesh
  • FIXED CACHE I/O AUR files where the grid data was over 8GB were unreadable
  • FIXED CACHE I/O Incorrect positions of recently born particles when retiming a simulation with adaptive grid
  • FIXED PREVIEW The green Simulator grid box preview did not account for Resimulation Amp. Resolution
  • FIXED GPU PREVIEW The Viewport GPU Preview disappeared if the Simulator was flipped by using a negative scale
  • FIXED STANDALONE PREVIEW When Flip Up Axes was enabled the caches were rotating on every reload
  • FIXED STANDALONE PREVIEW Could not type in manually in the Timeline Input box
  • FIXED STANDALONE PREVIEW Crash when selecting out of range start or end for saving a sequence
  • FIXED STANDALONE PREVIEW GPU Preview was displaying brighter on the first render pass
  • FIXED STANDALONE PREVIEW If the preview window was resized, saving an image with *.bmp extension produced a skewed picture
  • FIXED STANDALONE PREVIEW The Slice Level slider was not working in negative direction if Z axis was chosen
  • FIXED VRSCENES Phoenix’s Atmosphere Gamma Correction was ignored in V-Ray Standalone and was always 1.0
  • FIXED TOOLBAR Crash when creating a toolbar preset that uses discharge modifiers and then undoing
  • FIXED PARTICLE FLOW Cropped user interface for the PFlow Test operator, since Phoenix FD 3.99
  • FIXED INSTALLATION Crash when rendering with custom V-Ray for 3ds Max install with ‘VRay=’ instead of ‘V-Ray main plug-ins=’ in plugin.ini
  • FIXED SDK aurloader_s required missing vfree and vmalloc symbols

What’s new in v4.10

With Phoenix FD 4.10 we added support for Maya 2020. We also we sped up the particle preview and the Particle Shader. We did fixes and improvements to our new Active Bodies and Standalone Preview, as well as the usual round of other bugfixes and small improvements.


  • PHOENIX FD – Support for Maya 2020
  • PARTICLE SHADER – Count Multiplier for increasing the number of particles in the Particle Shader
  • STANDALONE PREVIEW – GPU Preview for fire in the Standalone Preview
  • STANDALONE PREVIEW – Controls for the GPU Preview light direction


  • FLIP SOLVER – Sped up FLIP particle resimulation with 10%, up to 20% on some scenes
  • FLIP SOLVER – Do not offset the Foam particles vertically during simulation
  • ACTIVE BODIES – Pop-up menu with density presets in the right-click properties of bodies
  • PARTICLE SHADER – Sped up the particle collection rendering pre-process up to 2 times
  • GPU PREVIEW – Smoke Color ‘Based On’ support for grid channels when saving images from the GPU Preview
  • GPU PREVIEW – Support for ‘Use Own Opacity’ when saving images from the GPU Preview
  • PREVIEW – Sped up loading of new frames for the Particle Preview with 20%
  • CACHE I/O – Store velocity of Drag particles in their particle data instead of in the Grid Velocity. Added an Output Drag Particle Velocity option to Sources
  • STANDALONE PREVIEW – Options to save a range of frames and a single frame
  • STANDALONE PREVIEW – Text box for the loaded cache file info
  • STANDALONE PREVIEW – By default name the saved image files the same way as the input cache files
  • STANDALONE PREVIEW – Image saving to PNG files


  • PHOENIX FD – Dropped support for Maya 2016 and 2016 Extension 2 (2016.5)
  • MAYA INTEGRATION – The ‘Use the referenced scene name’ option is now hidden from the Input rollout and can be accessed only through script using ‘inPathReferenced’


  • FLIP SOLVER – When using Variable Viscosity, some particles were not behaving properly
  • FLIP SOLVER – FLIP particles resimulation produced NaN-values with Simulate Air Effects
  • GRID SOLVER – Failing to load cache for resimulation displayed an error message, but did not stop the resimulation
  • SIMULATION GENERAL – During the first restore frame, bodies in the simulation had incorrect velocities
  • ACTIVE BODIES – Active Bodies were falling slower with more Steps per Frame
  • ACTIVE BODIES – Active Body simulation did not work with deformed geometry
  • ACTIVE BODIES – Active Bodies Ground Plane could not be hidden
  • ACTIVE BODIES – Active Bodies Clones were created hidden if the geometry was hidden
  • VOLUME SHADER – A Phoenix smoke volume inside a Mesh with Refraction Glossiness below 1.0 rendered blocky
  • VOLUME SHADER – Random artifacts when rendering smoke using Volume Light Cache in Volumetric Geometry mode
  • VOLUME SHADER – Break Shadow Links did not affect the Simulator in Volumetric mode using V-Ray CPU
  • VOLUME SHADER – Inconsistencies with Light Linking in Volumetric mode between renders with V-Ray for Maya and V-Ray Standalone if “Light Evaluation” was set to “Adaptive Lights” or “Uniform Probabilistic”
  • PARTICLE SHADER – Particle Shader in Points Mode with motion blur always rendered one point at the particle position, even if the interval center was shifted
  • PARTICLE SHADER – Particle Shader in Points Mode rendered incorrectly using a 360 V-Ray Spherical Camera
  • PARTICLE SHADER – The Reflection Cut-off option was not working
  • PARTICLE SHADER – The Velocity Render Element of a Particle Shader in Points mode was not affected by the Motion Blur Multiplier
  • ISOSURFACE RENDERING – Crash when rendering in Isosurface mode using V-Ray Volume Scatter material
  • RENDER ELEMENTS – The Particle Shader Particle Age render element was incorrect in Points Mode with Motion Blur
  • MESHER – Crash if rendering in Mesh mode with V-Ray and saving an image file which was locked and could not be overwritten
  • OCEAN MESHER – Some Ocean Mesh normals pointed downwards with V-Ray Spherical camera and FOV over 180 degrees
  • FOAM TEXTURE – Deleting the foam texture node did not remove the connection to materials
  • CACHE I/O – Handled some out-of-memory in case of saving Grid RGB to cache files or when blending cache files
  • CACHE I/O – Could not use General Purpose Time Bend Resimulation when the base caches were VDB instead of AUR
  • GPU PREVIEW – The GPU Preview disappeared if the camera went inside it
  • GPU PREVIEW – Simulators away from camera overlapped with grids close to the camera
  • GPU PREVIEW – Crash with caches which had transformations with negative or fractional offsets, since Phoenix FD 3.99
  • GPU PREVIEW – Randomly appearing colored artifacts with the GPU Preview when using Detail Reduction, since Phoenix FD 4.0
  • GPU PREVIEW – The Save Animation Preview function from instanced Simulators saved only the first instance instead of the selected Simulator
  • GPU PREVIEW – Saving multiple simulators into one image with the ‘Save GPU preview’ functionality sometimes did not work
  • STANDALONE PREVIEW – Crash when cancelling the first cache open dialog
  • STANDALONE PREVIEW – If ‘Enable GPU Preview’ was turned on, the Standalone Preview didn’t save files after pressing the “Save” button
  • STANDALONE PREVIEW – Sometimes the Standalone Voxel Preview drew in slices the first time a cache was loaded
  • CACHE CONVERTER Cache Converter did output empty VDB files, since Phoenix FD 3.99
  • PRESETS – Loading a rendering preset failed if any Smoke/Fire Color/Opacity textures are linked in the Simulator
  • PRESETS – Loading a rendering preset containing render curves/gradients with less markers than the current ones did not delete the extra ones
  • MAYA INTERGRATION – Crash when emitting from texture mapped Sources or using textures with Tuners with V-Ray Next under Linux, since Phoenix FD 3.99
  • MAYA INTERGRATION – A referenced Simulator using default cache paths could not find its caches
  • MAYA INTERGRATION – Providing a custom Global Preferences Default Cache Path caused an ‘Invalid Path’ warning in the Script Editor on Linux
  • MAYA INTERGRATION – After changing a Simulator input, output or preview path, the Browse… dialog did not start from the new path until the node was re-selected
  • MAYA INTERGRATION – A Simulator without a cache could be selected in the viewport only from the bottom left corner in Maya 2019


  • NEW ACTIVE BODIES New rigid body solver node, interacting with the Liquid Simulator. No mutual interaction between rigid bodies yet
  • NEW TEXUVW New TexUVW channel for fire/smoke and liquid simulations, moving with the fluid and allowing for render-time texture mapping of surfaces and volume color and opacity, as well as for adding displaced detail moving with the fluid in all render modes
  • NEW VOXEL TUNER New Voxel Tuner node allowing to change any grid channel during simulation depending on conditions based on grid channel values, textures or distance to meshes
  • NEW PARTICLE TUNER New Particle Tuner node allowing to change any particle channel or delete particles during simulation depending on conditions based on particle channel values
  • NEW PREVIEW New Standalone Previewer tool for AUR, VDB and F3D cache files, much faster than the 3ds Max and Maya viewports and currently showing voxels and a new velocity streamline preview
  • NEW FOAM TEXTURE Foam Texture implemented in Maya
  • NEW GRID SOLVER Simulate the RGB channel for Drag particles
  • IMPROVED INSTALLATION Now Phoenix FD can load in Maya and simulate without V-Ray installed
  • IMPROVED INSTALLATION Ship the Visual C++ redistributable with the Phoenix installer and install it silently in the end, if needed
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Make the Foam Falling Speed vary depending on the bubble sizes
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Apply the Initial Vel. Rand. option not just to newborn Splash, but to splitting splash particles as well
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Optimized Birth Volumes
  • IMPROVED FLIP SOLVER Improve the CPU core usage of the Initial Fill Up phase in FLIP simulation
  • IMPROVED GRID SOLVER Represent all drag particles in the scene using the keyword “Drag” in the Clear Channels field and Affect fields of forces
  • IMPROVED VOLUME SHADER Renamed ‘Fade Out’ to ‘Border Fade’ and changed it from voxels to world units
  • IMPROVED PARTICLE SHADER Speed up and improve CPU utilization for Optimizing Particle Congestion with large cache files
  • IMPROVED RENDER CURVES Copy-paste support for render gradients and curves
  • IMPROVED CACHE I/O Sped up Grid RGB channel saving to compressed AUR cache files up to 8 times
  • IMPROVED CACHE I/O Save and load Grid Viscosity from VDBs created by Phoenix
  • IMPROVED CACHE I/O Sped up loading of VDB caches by reading their min-max channel ranges from metadata instead of calculating them
  • IMPROVED CACHE I/O Added cache info to VDB caches describing which version of Phoenix FD was used during simulation
  • IMPROVED PREVIEW Option to color the particle preview according not just to Speed, but to Age, Size and Viscosity as well
  • IMPROVED PREVIEW Better viewport performance with many particle systems in a single Simulator
  • IMPROVED GPU PREVIEW Multithreaded the data gathering pre-process of the GPU Preview
  • IMPROVED STANDALONE PREVIEW GPU Preview for smoke in the Standalone Preview
  • IMPROVED VRSCENES Do not load caches while the timeline changes during sequence vrscene export or render
  • IMPROVED USER INTERFACE Display the total number of particles in the Cache File Content list in the Simulation rollout
  • IMPROVED USER INTERFACE Enabled Motion Velocity in Sources by default for new scenes
  • IMPROVED USER INTERFACE Changed Mapper’s Initializer option to off by default for new scenes
  • IMPROVED USER INTERFACE Renamed “Use Light Cache” to “Volume Light Cache” so it’s not confused with V-Ray’s Light Cache
  • IMPROVED USER INTERFACE Added new Shelf, Outliner and Phoenix menu icons for the Phoenix nodes
  • IMPROVED MAYA INTEGRATION Name the Linux ‘.so’ libraries in the plug-ins directory ‘.phxso’ so they don’t appear in the Plug-in Manager window
  • IMPROVED MAYA INTEGRATION Open URLs in the default OS browser instead of Edge under Windows
  • IMPROVED SDKRenamed aura_ver.h to phoenix_ver.h, and aurinterface.h to phx_cache_interface.h
  • IMPROVED SDK Removed grid and particle channel defines from phx_cache_interface.h, and renamed GridChannels::ChU/V/W to ChRed/Green/Blue, and ParticleChannels::ChR to ChSize in phx_cache_interface.h
  • IMPROVED SDK Removed the frameTime2contentTime() member of PhoenixSimInterface. Now only PhoenixFrameDataInterface::frameTime2contentTime() should be used

3.14.00 | Official release

Date – 15 May 2019 | Download – Build 3.14.00

New Features

Phoenix FD

  • Support for Maya 2019



  • The Grid viscosity channel is now reconstructed from FLIP particles when using Time Bend Controls, preventing render flickering


  • Render layer support for the Simulator’s viewport preview visibility
  • Speed up preview of AUR cache files
  • Show the mesh preview together with the voxel / velocity / force preview when both are enabled

Grid Texture

  • Helpers for rescaling the output values of the Grid Texture to a certain range
  • Option specifying whether the alpha of the Grid Texture would be solid or based on the intensity


  • Prompt which Simulator to run when pressing the Maya shelf Start button in a scene with multiple simulators

Bug Fixes

Scene Body Interaction

  • Motion Velocity differed between Max and Maya with the exact same setup
  • When a moving geometry stopped, it kept contributing velocity in the Fire/Smoke simulator or broke liquid emission in the Liquid Simulator, since Phoenix FD 3.05

Grid Solver

  • Crash with Adaptive Grid when ‘No Smaller than Initial Grid’ was off, the Grid was completely outside the initial grid and shrunk to 0, since Phoenix FD 3.00.02

FLIP Solver

  • Liquid Sources kept emitting Foam/Splash particles in Brush Mode even if the Brush Effect was 0
  • Moving ocean containers still produced disturbances at their fronts in some cases
  • Wetmap particles were not born on some surfaces of objects with non-uniform scale


  • Crash with any Phoenix simulator and V-Ray 3 Standalone during render exit on Linux
  • Rendering referenced scene in Maya Batch didn’t read cache sequences

Volumetric Illumination

  • Phoenix lights from one Simulator did not illuminate some parts of other Simulators depending on the camera angle

Volumetric Shader

  • Replacing the fire opacity with a texture using the ‘Fire Opacity From Texture’ option affected Fully Visible and Use Smoke Opacity modes as well

GPU Volumetrics

  • GPU Volumetric effects go missing when switching between Bucket and Progressive Sampler type in Volumetric Geometry mode


  • Crash when rendering nParticles without exported V-Ray Age attribute using the The Multiply Size by Particle Age option in the Particle Shader


  • If a channel selected for Voxel Preview was empty, the last selected channel was displayed instead, since Phoenix 3.13

Cache I/O

  • Wrong particle positions when looping adaptive grid with loop overlap


Phoneix FX v3.13.00 Official Release

With Phoenix FD 3.13 we have focused on adding many frequently requested features and improving usability.

Faster liquid simulations

FLIP simulations are 30% faster on average and up to 2x faster on some scenes.

Fire Opacity Texture

Now you can modify the Fire Opacity using textures in order to achieve more interesting shading results.

Support for Loading OpenVDB Point Data

Using Maya 2018 or newer, now you can save particles simulated by Phoenix FD to VDB cache files, and also import particles from other software via VDB caches

Following is the complete changelog for this version of Phoenix FD:

New Features

Volumetric Shader

  • Modulate or replace the Fire Opacity with a Texture in ‘Use Own Opacity’ mode

Cache I/O

  • Saving of Phoenix simulated particles to OpenVDB caches from Maya 2018 and newer
  • Loading of OpenVDB point data for rendering using the Particle Shader for Maya 2018 and newer
  • Export and preview for the ‘Special’ grid channel, containing vorticity, pressure or various debug channels


Simulation General

  • Do not use a V-Ray license for texture sampling during simulation of Phoenix with V-Ray Next

FLIP Solver

  • Resimulation of the RGB channel for FLIP particles
  • Export of Particle Velocity for WetMap over moving geometries
  • Use less memory for simulation of WetMap when ‘Sticky Liquid’ is disabled


  • Grid RGB channel is now reconstructed from FLIP particles when using Time Bend Controls, preventing render flickering

Volumetric Shader

  • Optimized volumetric rendering when Smoke Opacity is modulated by a texture

Particle Shader

  • Motion Blur Interval Center support for the Particle Shader
  • Name new Particle Shaders “ParticleShader###” instead of “PHXFoam###”

Ocean Mesher

  • Support for rendering Ocean Mesh from multiple cameras via Batch Render
  • Support for rendering Ocean Mesh with Stereoscopic camera


  • Show the force preview in the box of the loaded cache, if any, and in the simulation box otherwise

Cache I/O

  • Updated OpenVDB from version 3 to version 5


  • Control for custom vertex velocity color set name for Maya Mesh mode. Can be set to ‘velocity’ so exported ABC files can be rendered with motion blur when loaded by VRayProxy in 3ds Max or Maya

User Interface

  • Added the running Simulator’s node name to the simulation viewport status
  • Renamed the Mapper’s ‘Time Constant’ to ‘Buildup Time’
  • Add the Light Cut-off option to the Fire Lights’ rollout

Bug Fixes

Grid Solver

  • Intersecting a moving obstacle with a Solid emitter left non-emitting voxels after the obstacle
  • Clear Inside did not clear the volume of Non-Solid emitters in Surface Force mode in the Fire/Smoke Simulator
  • Empty adaptive grid expanded by itself when Extra Margin was used and Expand and Don’t Shrink was On

FLIP Solver

  • Crash with ‘Simulate Air Effects’ and forces affecting the ‘Air’ system of a Liquid Simulator, since Phoenix FD 3.04
  • WetMap was not equally generated over flat surfaces and might not appear on horizontal or vertical surfaces
  • Subsiding liquid at the front of a long moving ocean container with Motion Inertia
  • Fixed various issues with moving ocean containers producing disturbances and waves at their borders

Simulation General

  • Deleting a Simulator while another one was running stopped the running Simulator
  • Simulation restore did not go back to the last backup frame and could cause a crash, since Phoenix FD 3.12

Scene Body Interaction

  • Voxelization of a large number of small bodies used excessive amounts of memory, since Phoenix FD 3.11
  • Voxelization of hundreds of geometries with very small sizes was slower on many threads compared to simulating on 1 thread


  • Geometry with Initial Liquid Fill which was also selected in a Source in Volume Brush or Volume Inject mode created a double amount of liquid particles and this caused explosions
  • Particles with small size used as emitters for Liquid had random Discharge strength
  • Discharge Modifier Offset and Scale were not shown when the Source value was Position, Normal or Random
  • Modulating source’s emission with a texture map caused a crash if the geometry had no UVs
  • Sources in Surface Force mode in Maya did not have the same strength as in 3ds Max if the Maya units were not centimeters
  • Crash if Vertex Color was connected to a Source’s Discharge, Smoke, Temperature, Fuel or Particles


  • Flickering FLIP liquid mesh near emitters when Input Play Speed was below 1

Cache I/O

  • Opening a saved scene with fresh Maya removed the leading slashes from a UNC cache Input path

GPU Volumetrics

  • When two or more Simulators had any overlapping walls, volumetrics weren’t rendered correctly with V-Ray GPU
  • Crash with instanced Simulators in Volumetric Render Mode during sequence render with V-Ray GPU
  • Crash when rendering a scene containing any Particle Shaders with V-Ray GPU
  • Crash when rendering a scene containing a VolumeGrid and a Simulator with V-Ray GPU
  • Shading volumes using only textures still required a loaded cache file with V-Ray GPU
  • Volumes loaded from OpenVDB caches that contain internal rotation rendered clipped with V-Ray GPU

Volumetric Shader

  • Volumetric Light Cache still consumed additional memory even when it should have been disabled in Progressive V-Ray rendering
  • Memory leak when rendering with GI and any V-Ray render elements

Particle Shader

  • Slow down of Particle Shader Bubble/Splash/Cellular rendering with linked Liquid Simulator and ‘Use Light Cache’, introduced in Phoenix FD 3.04

Render Elements

  • Light Select Render Element didn’t work unless the Phoenix Simulator’s Light Cache was disabled


  • Crash when attempting to start IPR in Mesh, Ocean or Cap Mesh mode with V-Ray nightly build

Ocean Mesher

  • Ocean mesh used excessive amounts of memory when rendered with the spherical panorama camera
  • Missing mesh polygons on the container border when rendering in Ocean Mesh mode
  • Flipped mesh polygons on the container border when rendering in Ocean Mesh mode with Mesh Smoothness above 0

Grid Texture

  • Crash if creating a circular dependency between a Grid Texture and a Simulator’s displacement, when ‘Skip the Displacement’ was off
  • Crash during fire/smoke simulation if using a Grid Texture reading the Temperature of the same Simulator in a Mapper affecting Temperature with ‘Initializer’ Off

Particle Texture

  • Crash when rendering nParticles with a Particle Shader with a Particle Texture attached as Color Map


  • Crash when rendering nParticles with the Particle Shader when there was no Simulator was the scene

Wave Force

  • Boiling effect on the open grid borders when using Wave Force with Fillup for Ocean and there was geometry over the bottom


  • Voxel preview of temperature around 200 Kelvins with As Fire enabled drew bright red and pink voxels
  • Preview Auto reduction did not work for the Force preview
  • Slow timeline scrubbing even with all voxel preview channels disabled

Cache I/O

  • Min-max channel range of AUR caches randomly displayed very large numbers


  • Rare random crashes during simulation when interacting with Maya fields
  • Maya Integration
  • ‘Add Selected Lights to GPU Preview’ and ‘Add Selected Forces or Fields’ buttons worked only when the Simulator shape was selected
  • Manually typing in a frame number over a #### sequence format in Maya got automatically replaced by #### again
  • Loading a render preset or using ‘Reset to Defaults’ in the Fire, Smoke Color and Smoke Opacity rollouts did not remove the textures
  • The Units override in Maya was not correct when set to other modes than ‘from Maya’
  • Sequencing Simulators that have been Sequenced in another order before could hang Maya
  • Could not edit parameters of the Simulator through the Channel Box if the Simulator had a loaded cache file
  • Could not edit parameters of Maya Field nodes through the Channel Box if they were picked into the Simulator’s Force Preview

User Interface

  • Expanded Render diagrams did not save their positions and sizes
  • Deselecting or deleting a Simulator did not close an expanded diagram
  • Simulator Sequence list did not scale when resizing the Sequencing dialogues
  • Y/Z were swapped in the Total Cells info box under the Grid roll-out
  • Changing the Global Preferences Default Cache Path was not updated in the Simulator interface until the scene was saved


With Phoenix FD 3.12 we are adding support for V-Ray Next for Maya introducing rendering on V-Ray GPU, and also have worked on adding some frequently requested features, improving usability and integration in Maya.

V-Ray Next Support and GPU Volumetric Rendering

Phoenix FD 3.12 is the first Phoenix version to support the official V-Ray Next for Maya. With that also comes support for rendering fire and smoke using V-Ray Next GPU and GPU IPR. Rendering Phoenix meshes were possible on the GPU in previous versions as well and are now 20% faster on average for both CPU and GPU. With V-Ray Next, the V-Ray Distance Texture is also optimized and works several times faster than with V-Ray 3.x, so Phoenix FD setups using it for mapping viscosity or RGB will benefit greatly.

Ocean Mesh with Physical Camera and all V-Ray camera types

The ocean mesh in Phoenix FD is generated in camera space, so it needs to be aware of all the camera options and all camera types. With Phoenix FD 3.12, Ocean Mesh mode now supports all parameters of the V-Ray Physical Camera.

We’ve also added support for all V-Ray camera types that are available under the V-Ray Render Settings – Spherical, Cylindrical, Box, Fisheye, Warped spherical, Ortho, 360 Virtual Reality Spherical Panorama and Cube 6×1 cameras.

MASH and Particle Instancer scattering of Simulators

Phoenix FD Simulators can now be instanced across the scene using both MASH and Maya’s native Particle Instancer and the Viewport Preview can display the instanced Simulators. Such instances need to be rendered in Volumetric Geometry mode.

Following is the complete changelog for this version of Phoenix FD:

New Features

Phoenix FD

Support for V-Ray Next for Maya

GPU Volumetrics

Rendering of Phoenix Simulators with V-Ray Next GPU. Support for render elements and displacement is yet to be added

Ocean Mesher

  • Support for all parameters of the V-Ray Physical Camera types when creating an Ocean Mesh
  • Support for all V-Ray camera types when creating an Ocean Mesh – Spherical, Cylindrical, Box, Fish eye, Warped spherical, Ortho, Spherical panorama, Cube 6×1

Maya Integration

Instancing Phoenix Simulators using MASH and Particle Instancer


FLIP Solver

WetMap now has different sticky effect against different liquid viscosities

Volumetric Shader

Exposed the hidden grid-based motion blur algorithm from Phoenix FD 3.00.01 for use via the ‘mbgrid’ script parameter


Discharge Modifiers by Particle Age and by Particle Size

Cache I/O

Support for the new transformation model of OpenVDB caches from FumeFX 5
New default $(work_path) macro for simulation cache Output expands to a “$(scene)_Phoenix_frames” directory


Cache Converter now requires source and destination files and is verbose by default


Install the Chaos License Server automatically after Phoenix installation if Local License is selected and the License Server was not installed

User Interface

  • Particle Shaders created by enabling Foam or Splash, or by Quick Setup presets, are now named after the simulator with ‘Foam/Splash/Mist Shader’ appended
  • Renamed the Foam and Splash ‘Outside Life’ option to ‘Max Outside Age’
  • Renamed ‘Sticky Effect’ and ‘Sticky’ to ‘Sticky Liquid’ and ‘Sticky Foam’ respectively
  • Renamed ‘Boundary conditions’ to ‘Container Walls’
  • Renamed Particle Group node’s ‘Create Particle System’ to ‘Create nParticles From This System’

Bug Fixes

FLIP Solver

  • Liquid particles got deleted on contact with deforming geometries
  • Liquid sources emitted in pulses when adaptive grid resizes, since Phoenix FD 3.11
  • Could not emit liquid from particle systems, since Phoenix FD 3.11
  • Surface Tension Droplet Breakup caused liquid drops in zero gravity to take diamond shapes
  • Confine Geometries used by Liquid Simulators were not internally set to Solid as Fire/Smoke Simulators do
  • Solid geometry without Clear Inside did not create liquid voxels under the Fillup for Ocean level
  • The liquid was created in voxels covered by Confine Geometry when Fillup for Ocean was used
  • A significant difference in the simulation between Sticky Liquid set to 0.001 and 0.002

Grid Solver

  • Crash when Resimulating with Adaptive Grid with Preallocation and the result grid was over 2.1 billion voxels

Particle Shader

  • The Size Multiplier of a Particle Shader animated by Particle Age did not work correctly for particles born on negative frames
  • Crash with Particle Shader in Geometry Mode and geometry with VRayMtl with V-Ray Edges Map rounded edges bump since Phoenix FD 3.10

Isosurface Rendering

  • Render Cutter in Isosurface mode produced wrong normals on cut surfaces

Render Elements

  • Buckets in VRayLightSelect render element when rendering the Simulator in Volumetric Geometry mode with Phoenix Light Cache enabled
  • The Simulator’s Shadow, Raw Shadow, GI, and Raw GI render elements didn’t render correctly in Volumetric Geometry mode with Phoenix Light Cache enabled
  • Random crash when rendering a Simulator in Volumetric Geometry mode with V-Ray Velocity Render element

Ocean Mesher

  • The Simulator surface appeared rougher than the Ocean extension in the distance at a low angle with low Ocean Subdivs and low Horizon Roughness
  • Artifacts on the grid border when rendering in Ocean Mesh mode with Mesh Smoothing and Use Liquid Particles
  • Black artifacts near the horizon in Ocean Mode with Horizon Roughness and the camera was far from the Simulator origin
  • Noisy Phoenix Mesh displacement using an Ocean Texture when looking at tall waves from the side since Phoenix FD 3.03
  • Missing mesh polygons on the container border when rendering in Ocean Mesh mode with Mesh Smoothness above 0
  • Using Mesh Smoothing in Ocean Mesh or Cap Mesh render mode shrunk the mesh

Ocean Texture

  • Artifacts when rendering Ocean with high Ocean Subdivs and high Ocean Texture Level of Detail


  • VRScenes exported under Windows could not load caches under Linux

Grid Texture

  • Crash if using a Grid Texture sampling a ‘Rendering …’ channel that uses the same Grid Texture as Based On or Modulate texture

Particle Texture

  • Error when moving a marker in the Color Remap of the Particle Texture in the Attribute Editor


  • The range for velocity preview was wrong then there was no velocity channel and auto-range was enabled
  • Changing the Displacement Amount did not update the viewport Mesh Preview

GPU Preview

  • Light positions were not correct when saving images from the GPU preview
  • Saving images from the GPU Preview did not respect the Use Timeline Start/Stop Frame options

Cache I/O

  • Caches containing digits after the # format could not be loaded
  • Caches containing a minus/dash sign before the # format could not be loaded

Maya Integration

  • The Simulator cache paths were always saved with absolute paths to scene files even when a Maya Project was set
  • Simulation progress bars did not work correctly
  • Edit Script button threw an error even when the provided Script File path was correct


  • Cache Converter required a missing aurloader.dll

What’s new in v3.11

  • RGB channel simulation for Foam, Splash and Mist particles – now secondary particles can be born from Sources mapped with colored textures and can change color during simulation using the Mapper
  • Particle Texture color based on Particle Channels – the Particle Texture can be plugged into the Particle Shader and can shade particles based on their Age, Speed, Size, Position, etc.
  • 2x faster particle rendering in Bubble, Cellular and Splash modes using the Phoenix FD Light Cache – the Particle Shader has been greatly optimized in this version
  • Faster scene interaction with complex or moving geometries – the simulation, cache save and load, and scene interaction now utilizes all CPU cores and allows the fluid to interact quickly with large geometry models
  • Quicker Displacement Fade Volume and Body Force with complex or moving geometries – these algorithms are much faster now and allow for quick simulation of fluid attraction and morphing into geometry shapes, as well as a quick rendering of high poly oceans
  • Loading and rendering of sparse OpenVDB caches over 2.1 billion voxels – huge sparse grids can now be loaded and rendered quickly and using much less memory than before
  • Deadline 10 support in the Phoenix FD Submit Simulation menu

An important change was that we dropped support for the oldest version of the AUR cache format – caches simulated with Phoenix builds before 13 Mar 2015 would not open anymore with Phoenix 3.11.

View Full Release Notes

What’s new in v3.1

New features:

  • FLIP Solver: Variable viscosity for the FLIP solver. Added to the Sources, Grid Texture and Mapper
  • FLIP Solver: Default RGB color for Initial Fill Up of the simulation and Initial Liquid Fill of interacting geometries
  • Particle Shader: Use texture RGB color to shade particles in the Particles Shader
  • Ocean Texture: Implemented looping and direct frame index option for the Ocean Texture


  • FLIP Solver: WetMap particles are now able to stick to deforming and fast-moving geometries
  • FLIP Solver: Improved the thread loading of the FLIP solver
  • FLIP Solver: Added a Fill Up for Ocean option which can be disabled so Initial Fill Up would not produce liquid voxels and mesh under the fill-up level
  • Volumetric Shader: Render negative Fire from caches imported from FumeFX
  • Animation: Renamed Cache Start to Cache Origin and Play Start to Timeline Origin
  • V-Ray RT and IPR: Ignore the Optimize Big Volumetric Grids option when the current render is V-Ray RT
  • Ocean Mesher: Allow simultaneous use of the Vertical Fade Level and Fade Above Velocity displacement options
  • Ocean Mesher: Added a hidden cache stretching parameter used to fill air pockets in imported Houdini VDB caches used for ocean meshing – “cachestretchzone”
  • Ocean Texture: Optimized the Ocean Texture
  • Path Follow: Reverse the direction of attraction of FollowPath using a negative Follow Speed or negative Pull Speed
  • Grid Texture: Added the Single Clamped option to the Tiling modes of the Phoenix Texture in Maya
  • VRScenes: Resolve environment variables in Phoenix paths during rendering and not during export
  • Cache I/O: Multithreaded writing and loading of AUR caches. After this change, old versions of Phoenix won’t be able to open new caches. New Phoenix versions will open old caches without problems.
  • Cache I/O: Merged the OpenVDB DLL into the Phoenix plugin
  • User Interface: Added options for using the Timeline beginning/end as the simulation start/stop frame
  • Presets: Offer presets when loading VDB or F3D files in Phoenix for Maya
  • Presets: Add a menu for loading VDB or F3D compatibility presets to the Rendering rollout
  • Maya Integration: Group the Browse, Delete Cache, Reset to Default and Help cache path functions in a dropdown menu for each path, like in 3ds Max
  • Maya Integration: Show the resolved cache paths for the current frame for Input, Output, Resim, and Preview in Maya
  • Maya Integration: Connect Phoenix cache paths to the Maya File Path Editor
  • Maya Integration: If the connection to the license server is lost, automatically try to reconnect
  • Maya Integration: Added GUI buttons for all controls which connect the Simulator to geometries, lights or forces
  • SDK: Allow providing custom motion blur start and end frame times through the Phoenix SDK

Removed features:

  • Phoenix FD: Dropped support for Maya 2014

Bug fixes:

  • FLIP Solver: Random crash with liquid simulation when particles exit the grid and there is an obstacle on the border
  • FLIP Solver: Random crash while simulating liquid in contact with moving solid source geometries
  • FLIP Solver: Hang when not all existing FLIP particle systems are affected by a Phoenix force
  • FLIP Solver: Solid bodies with Clear Inside kill liquid particles on contact
  • FLIP Solver: Can’t use another simulator as an obstacle to FLIP liquid
  • FLIP Solver: Restoring liquid simulation with moving simulator creates incorrect velocities at the borders
  • FLIP Solver: Load & Start of a non-backup liquid cache does not load all the liquid particles
  • FLIP Solver: In Maya, moving the simulator leaves the wetmaps of obstacles at their old positions
  • FLIP Solver: Animated object entering the simulator does not emit liquid from its entire surface
  • FLIP Solver: Liquid cannot wet the inside of a Confine Geometry
  • Grid Solver: Overlapping non-solid Surface Force sources sum their temperatures to very high values
  • Grid Solver: Crash with fire/smoke simulations and Confine Geometry if Object Voxels is different than Circumscribed
  • Simulation General: Crash during simulation when Phoenix FD runs out of memory
  • Simulation General: Pressing Start quickly and repeatedly could crash the simulation with enabled Force Preview
  • Simulation General: Hang when using Load for a Resimulation
  • Simulation General: Can’t Start a simulation from the toolbar after a failed Restore
  • Scene Interaction: Maya hangs after sequential simulation of two intersecting simulators
  • V-Ray RT and IPR: Maya crashes when trying to render a displaced mesh with V-Ray IPR
  • V-Ray RT and IPR: Crash when the Ocean Texture is used as liquid sim displacement when rendering with V-Ray RT
  • Volumetric Shader: No scene shadows if Visible to Camera is disabled in Volumetric Geometry mode
  • Volumetric Shader: Fire/Smoke in Volumetric Geometry mode does not render at all when Min Visible Opacity is set to 0.0
  • Particle Shader: Crash when rendering a Particle Shader with Liquid Geometry set to a Simulator used by a Particle Texture with motion blur
  • Animation: Precise Tracing and Interpolation methods don’t work smoothly for particles if the original simulation has SPF above 1
  • Render Curves: The color of a newly added color gradient point is ignored if the point is between two others in Maya
  • GPU Preview: Enabling GPU preview for the first time does not show until updating the view in Maya
  • GPU Preview: The GPU Preview in Maya does not properly use the light positions
  • Body Force: Crash when a body used by Body Force is moved far away from the simulator
  • Wave Force: Swapped Wave Force Y/Z axes in Maya
  • Wave Force: Wave Force icon helper position in the viewport affects the simulation
  • Mapper: Mapper’s Time-Constant is not working correctly with a mask
  • Ocean Texture: Phoenix Ocean Texture can’t be animated in Maya 2018 with Parallel Evaluation
  • Ocean Texture: Crash when rendering Ocean simulation using V-Ray Standalone with -numThreads command
  • Ocean Texture: Artifacts when rendering an OceanTex with V-Ray Displacement in Maya
  • Ocean Mesher: Handled out-of-memory when rendering high-poly Phoenix ocean on large resolutions
  • nParticles: Crash when emitting from nParticles with particleSamplerInfo plugged in Source’s RGB channel
  • nParticles: Hang when nParticles with radius PP die while used by a Source in ‘Sphere, use size’ mode
  • Maya Integration: Resim Base Cache Files path resets to a wrong value when deleting the text
  • SDK: All Phoenix nodes except for the Maya Simulator returned NULL for getPhoenixSDKInterface()

What’s new in v3.05

This patch adds support for Maya 2018.

And we’ve added time-saving new features, including:

  • Faster overall simulation – We’ve made Phoenix FD more efficient, speeding up some scenes by up to 30%
  • Force Preview – See how Phoenix or standard 3ds Max and Maya forces will influence the simulation — without multiple iterations
  • Improved Frame Blending – Smoothly retime your fire and smoke more with our new precise tracing method

What’s new in v3.04

New Features


  • Support for 3ds Max 2018
  • Remove the DEMO configuration and implement support for TRIAL builds


  • Option to control droplet breakup and droplet size when Surface Tension is used


  • Ocean Off-Screen margin option to allow extending the ocean outside of the render view
  • Option to control the roughness of the ocean horizon


  • Auto White Speed for the preview of particles
  • Preview for the particle RGB channel


  • Add an option to use environment variables in Phoenix FD cache files path


  • Implement emission based on Vertex Color and Vertex Color tex map
  • Option to disable or enable liquid discharge from the Liquid Source


  • Ability for the Body Force to evenly fill a volume


  • Support for the 3ds Max Drag force


  • Export and import the RGB Color channel to/from PRT caches


  • Add a MAXScript function that loads render presets – A_LoadRenderPreset [node] [preset_path]

Modified Features


  • When the simulator is renamed, its cache files should be renamed too


  • Optimized Particle-based mesh smoothing of very large files

Curve control

  • New and converted Bezier and Spline ramp points should follow the slope of the curve


  • Allow animating the Body Force Max Distance


  • Allow Restoring or Loading the simulation from script inside OnSimulationBegin without an infinite recursion

Bug Fixes


  • Adaptive grid attached to animated body is jittering when motion speed changes
  • Fast moving fire emitter leaves frozen voxels using Adaptive Grid
  • Second NUMA node is not recognized and utilized on machines with more than 64 cores
  • Drag particles are not affected by Body Force even when the affected channels include Velocity
  • Foam and splash occasionally gets stuck when exiting the borders of a ship simulation
  • Splashes are born underwater with Splash By Free Fly above 0
  • Inertial forces with value set to 0 still affect the liquid


  • Rendering artifacts with Optimize Congestion in Bubble mode and Liquid Geometry
  • Flickering ocean surface seen in reflections with a moving camera
  • Bubbles that intersect the liquid surface render over-bright with enabled Particle Shader Light Cache
  • Sequence render with Defscanline and Fire Lights keeps showing the lights after the cache sequence ends
  • Black artifacts rendering with Light Cache when the container is inside refractive geometry with gray fog color
  • Rendering particles as Points in Geometry mode produce NaN Pixels
  • No motion blur on the simulator in ocean mode with a moving camera locked to a moving simulator
  • Blending particles that are born and die each frame produces a lot less particles


  • Opening a cache file with a negative frame index does not load the rest of the sequence


  • Numerical Errors when applying the Fire preset on a PFlow emitter and changing the Source Prt Shape


  • Turbulence in Pressure Mode cannot affect the Liquid simulator
  • Pressure Mode deactivates the preview of Turbulence Streamlines


  • Hidden Mapper with Initializer enabled still affects the simulator
  • Crash when transferring velocity between two sims using a Mapper, Grid Texture and SPF over 1


  • Copying any Phoenix texmap between the Sample Slots of the material editor loses the name of the map


  • Crash when using Grid Texture as discharge map with overlapped simulators
  • If a simulator is renamed, liquid becomes not renderable with Phoenix texture
  • Blending Grid Textures using a Composite map produces a different render after the first frame and in animation


  • Rotating the PhoenixOceanTex produces different wave patterns in different scales


  • Scene scale does not affect liquid Quick Setup presets which use VRayMtl’s Fog multiplier
  • The turbulence Strength of the Cigarette and Fire presets does not scale according to the emitter size


  • VRScenes exported from 3ds Max always have Probabilistic Volumetrics forced On

How to use the new features in Phoenix FD 4

Chaos Phoenix FD 4 is focused on expanding its toolset for better simulation control with several new sim options for 3ds Max and Maya.


Chaos Group Phoenix FD for Maya – Quick Start: Gasoline Explosion

Learn how to create a fiery explosion with an accelerant like gasoline in Phoenix FD for Maya. Using both the toolbar preset, and then again manually, step-by-step you’ll learn the ins and outs of this simulation type.