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Phoenix FD v4.00.00 for Maya 2015-2019 - GFXDomain Blog


Phoenix FD v4.00.00 for Maya 2015-2019: A Comprehensive Review




Introduction




Phoenix FD is a powerful and versatile fluid dynamics plugin for Maya that allows you to simulate realistic fire, smoke, liquids, ocean waves, splashes, spray, mist, and more. Whether you are creating visual effects for movies, games, or commercials, Phoenix FD can help you achieve stunning results with ease and speed.




Phoenix FD v4.00.00 for Maya 2015-2019



In this article, we will review the latest version of Phoenix FD, v4.00.00, which was released on November 21, 2019. We will cover the new features, improvements, and benefits of this update, as well as some tips and tricks on how to use it effectively. We will also compare it with the previous version, v3.14.00, and show you some examples of what you can create with Phoenix FD v4.00.00.


By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what Phoenix FD v4.00.00 can do for you and how to get the most out of it. So let's dive in and explore the amazing world of fluid dynamics with Phoenix FD v4.00.00 for Maya 2015-2019.


New Features in Phoenix FD v4.00.00




Phoenix FD v4.00.00 introduces several new features that enhance the functionality and usability of the plugin. Here are some of the highlights:


New Voxel and Particle Tuners




The Voxel Tuner and the Particle Tuner are new nodes that allow you to change any grid channel or particle channel during simulation based on customizable conditions. You can use these nodes to create complex effects such as dissolving smoke, melting ice, burning fuel, or deleting unwanted particles.


For example, you can use the Voxel Tuner to change the temperature or color of the smoke based on its density or velocity, or use the Particle Tuner to delete splash particles that are too small or too far from the surface.


New Active Bodies




The Active Bodies feature is a new rigid body solver node that interacts with the Liquid Simulator. You can use this feature to float your objects over pools or wash them away in floods with basic rigid body simulation for Phoenix liquids.


For example, you can use Active Bodies to create a scene where a boat floats on a lake or a car gets swept away by a tsunami.


New Tex UVW




The Tex UVW is a new channel for fire/smoke and liquid simulations that moves with the fluid and allows for render-time texture mapping of surfaces and volume color and opacity. You can also use it to add displaced detail moving with the fluid in all render modes.


For example, you can use Tex UVW to apply a texture map to a liquid surface or a fire volume, or to add fine details such as wrinkles or bubbles to the fluid mesh.


New Foam Texture




The Foam Texture is a new feature that adds foam over the generated infinite ocean when using the Phoenix FD Ocean texture. You can control the amount, size, and color of the foam using various parameters.


For example, you can use Foam Texture to create realistic ocean scenes with white foam on the waves or foam trails behind boats.


New Standalone Cache Preview Tool




The Standalone Cache Preview Tool is a new application that allows you to load AUR, VDB, and F3D cache files, preview them, and save image sequences. This tool is much faster than the Maya viewport and currently shows voxels and a new velocity streamline preview.


For example, you can use the Standalone Cache Preview Tool to quickly check your simulation results without opening Maya or rendering them.


Improvements in Phoenix FD v4.00.00




Besides the new features, Phoenix FD v4.00.00 also brings some improvements to existing features and fixes some bugs from previous versions. Here are some of the notable improvements:


Improved FLIP Solver




The FLIP Solver is the core algorithm that handles liquid simulations in Phoenix FD. In v4.00.00, it has been improved in several aspects:


  • The Foam Falling Speed now varies depending on the bubble sizes.



  • The Initial Vel Rand option now applies not only to newborn Splash particles but also to existing ones.



  • The Splash particles now inherit the velocity of the liquid surface.



  • The Splash particles now have a new option to control their lifespan based on their distance from the liquid surface.



  • The Splash particles now have a new option to control their emission rate based on the liquid surface curvature.



Improved Ocean Mesh




The Ocean Mesh is the feature that generates a polygonal mesh from the ocean surface simulation. In v4.00.00, it has been improved in several aspects:


  • The Ocean Mesh now supports UVW coordinates for texture mapping.



  • The Ocean Mesh now supports displacement mapping for adding fine details.



  • The Ocean Mesh now supports foam mapping for adding foam over the ocean surface.



  • The Ocean Mesh now supports motion blur for rendering fast-moving waves.



Improved Rendering




Phoenix FD v4.00.00 also improves the rendering performance and quality of fire/smoke and liquid simulations. Some of the improvements are:


  • The Phoenix FD shader now supports Tex UVW for texture and displacement mapping of fire/smoke and liquid surfaces and volumes.



  • The Phoenix FD shader now supports Foam Texture for adding foam over the ocean surface when using the Phoenix FD Ocean texture.



  • The Phoenix FD shader now supports a new option to control the opacity of fire/smoke based on its temperature.



  • The Phoenix FD shader now supports a new option to control the color of fire/smoke based on its density.



  • The Phoenix FD shader now supports a new option to control the color of liquid based on its depth.



  • The Phoenix FD shader now supports a new option to control the color of liquid based on its velocity.



Improved User Interface




Phoenix FD v4.00.00 also improves the user interface and usability of the plugin. Some of the improvements are:


  • The Phoenix FD toolbar now has a new button to launch the Standalone Cache Preview Tool.



  • The Phoenix FD toolbar now has a new button to create Active Bodies nodes.



  • The Phoenix FD toolbar now has a new button to create Voxel Tuners nodes.



  • The Phoenix FD toolbar now has a new button to create Particle Tuners nodes.



  • The Phoenix FD toolbar now has a new button to create Tex UVW nodes.



  • The Phoenix FD toolbar now has a new button to create Foam Texture nodes.



Benefits of Phoenix FD v4.00.00




With all these new features and improvements, Phoenix FD v4.00.00 offers many benefits for Maya users who want to create realistic and stunning fluid dynamics effects. Here are some of the benefits:


More Creative Control




With the new Voxel Tuner and Particle Tuner nodes, you can have more creative control over your simulations by changing any grid channel or particle channel based on customizable conditions. You can create complex effects such as dissolving smoke, melting ice, burning fuel, or deleting unwanted particles with ease and flexibility.


More Realistic Interactions




With the new Active Bodies feature, you can have more realistic interactions between your objects and liquids by using basic rigid body simulation for Phoenix liquids. You can float your objects over pools or wash them away in floods with accurate physics and collisions.


More Detailed Textures




With the new Tex UVW channel, you can have more detailed textures for your fire/smoke and liquid simulations by using render-time texture mapping of surfaces and volume color and opacity. You can also use it to add displaced detail moving with the fluid in all render modes.


More Beautiful Oceans




With the new Foam Texture feature, you can have more beautiful oceans with foam over the generated infinite ocean when using the Phoenix FD Ocean texture. You can control the amount, size, and color of the foam using various parameters.


More Efficient Previewing




With the new Standalone Cache Preview Tool, you can have more efficient previewing of your simulation results by loading AUR, VDB, and F3D cache files, previewing them, and saving image sequences. This tool is much faster than the Maya viewport and currently shows voxels and a new velocity streamline preview.


Tips and Tricks for Using Phoenix FD v4.00.00




To help you get started with Phoenix FD v4.00.00, here are some tips and tricks on how to use it effectively:


Use Presets




Phoenix FD v4.00.00 comes with a variety of presets that you can use to quickly set up your simulations. You can find them in the Phoenix FD shelf or in the Attribute Editor of the Simulator node. You can choose from different types of fire, smoke, liquids, oceans, and more. You can also customize the presets to suit your needs or create your own presets and save them for future use.


Use Adaptive Grid




The Adaptive Grid is a feature that automatically resizes and moves the simulation grid to fit the fluid motion. This can save you a lot of memory and simulation time by focusing only on the areas where the fluid is present. You can enable the Adaptive Grid in the Grid rollout of the Simulator node and adjust its parameters such as Expansion, Shrink, and Clamp.


Use Forces




Forces are nodes that you can use to influence the motion of the fluid by applying various types of forces such as gravity, wind, drag, vortex, turbulence, and more. You can create Forces from the Phoenix FD shelf or from the Create menu in Maya. You can also use any Maya field or fluid as a force source for Phoenix FD simulations. You can connect Forces to the Simulator node in the Forces rollout and adjust their parameters such as Strength, Direction, and Falloff.


Use Initial State




The Initial State is a feature that allows you to start your simulation from a previously saved state. This can save you a lot of simulation time by skipping the initial frames where nothing interesting happens. You can save an Initial State from the Output rollout of the Simulator node by clicking on the Save button next to Initial State File. You can then load it by enabling Use Initial State and browsing for the file.


Use Caches




Caches are files that store the simulation data for each frame. You can use caches to save your simulation results for later use or to share them with other artists. You can also use caches to resume your simulation from a certain frame or to modify your simulation without resimulating it. You can enable caching in the Output rollout of the Simulator node and choose the cache format (AUR, VDB, or F3D) and location. You can also load caches in the Input rollout of the Simulator node by enabling Use Input Meshes or Use Input Grids and browsing for the cache files.


Comparison with Phoenix FD v3.14.00




Phoenix FD v4.00.00 is a major update that adds many new features and improvements over the previous version, v3.14.00. Here are some of the main differences between them:



Feature


v3.14.00


v4.00.00


Voxel Tuner


Not available


New node that allows changing any grid channel based on conditions


Particle Tuner


Not available


New node that allows changing any particle channel based on conditions


Active Bodies


Not available


New node that allows floating objects over pools or washing them away in floods with basic rigid body simulation for Phoenix liquids


Tex UVW


Not available


New channel for fire/smoke and liquid simulations that allows for render-time texture mapping of surfaces and volume color and opacity


Foam Texture


Not available


New feature that adds foam over the generated infinite ocean when using the Phoenix FD Ocean texture


Standalone Cache Preview Tool


Not available


New application that allows loading AUR, VDB, and F3D cache files, previewing them, and saving image sequences


FLIP Solver Improvements


Limited options for controlling splash particles and foam falling speed


New options for controlling splash particles lifespan, emission rate, velocity inheritance, and foam falling speed variation based on bubble sizes


Ocean Mesh Improvements


No support for UVW coordinates, displacement mapping, foam mapping, or motion blur


New support for UVW coordinates, displacement mapping, foam mapping, and motion blur for ocean mesh rendering


Rendering ImprovementsNo support for Tex UVW, Foam Texture, or new options for controlling fire/smoke and liquid color and opacity


New support for Tex UVW, Foam Texture, and new options for controlling fire/smoke and liquid color and opacity based on temperature, density, depth, or velocity


User Interface Improvements


No buttons for creating Voxel Tuners, Particle Tuners, Active Bodies, Tex UVW, or Foam Texture nodes


New buttons for creating Voxel Tuners, Particle Tuners, Active Bodies, Tex UVW, or Foam Texture nodes in the Phoenix FD toolbar


Examples of Phoenix FD v4.00.00




To give you some inspiration and ideas of what you can create with Phoenix FD v4.00.00, here are some examples of fire/smoke and liquid simulations made with this version:


Fire/Smoke Examples




  • A realistic fire simulation with smoke and sparks using the Fire preset and the Voxel Tuner node to change the color and opacity of the smoke based on its temperature.



  • A stylized fire simulation with colorful smoke using the Fire preset and the Voxel Tuner node to change the color of the smoke based on its density.



  • A dissolving smoke simulation using the Smoke preset and the Voxel Tuner node to delete the smoke voxels based on their age.



  • A melting ice simulation using the Liquid preset and the Voxel Tuner node to change the temperature of the liquid based on its height.



  • A burning fuel simulation using the Liquid preset and the Voxel Tuner node to ignite the liquid based on its velocity.



Liquid Examples




  • A realistic ocean simulation with foam using the Ocean preset and the Foam Texture feature to add foam over the ocean surface.



  • A stylized ocean simulation with texture mapping using the Ocean preset and the Tex UVW channel to apply a texture map to the ocean surface.



  • A floating boat simulation using the Ocean preset and the Active Bodies feature to float a boat model over the ocean surface.



  • A tsunami simulation using the Liquid preset and the Active Bodies feature to wash away a car model with a huge wave.



  • A splash simulation using the Liquid preset and the Particle Tuner node to delete splash particles that are too small or too far from the surface.



Conclusion




Phoenix FD v4.00.00 is a powerful and versatile fluid dynamics plugin for Maya that allows you to simulate realistic fire, smoke, liquids, ocean waves, splashes, spray, mist, and more. It introduces several new features such as Voxel Tuner, Particle Tuner, Active Bodies, Tex UVW, Foam Texture, and Standalone Cache Preview Tool that enhance the functionality and usability of the plugin. It also improves existing features such as FLIP Solver, Ocean Mesh, Rendering, and User Interface that increase the performance and quality of the plugin. It offers many benefits such as more creative control, more realistic interactions, more detailed textures, more beautiful oceans, and more efficient previewing. It also provides some tips and tricks on how to use it effectively such as using presets, adaptive grid, forces, initial state, and caches. It also compares it with the previous version v3.14.00 and shows some examples of what you can create with it.


If you are looking for a fluid dynamics plugin that can help you create stunning effects with ease and speed, Phoenix FD v4.00.00 is a great choice for you. You can download a free trial version from Chaos Group's website or buy a full license for $830 USD. You can also find more information, tutorials, documentation, gallery, forum, support, and feedback on their website.


We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about Phoenix FD v4.00.00 for Maya 2015-2019. Thank you for reading and happy simulating!


FAQs




  • What are the system requirements for Phoenix FD v4.00.00?



Phoenix FD v4.00.00 requires Maya 2015-2019 (64-bit only), Windows 7 or later (64-bit only), or Linux (64-bit only). It also requires a GPU that supports CUDA 10 or later (NVIDIA cards only) or OpenCL 1.2 or later (AMD cards only). You can find more details on their website[^ 1^].


  • How can I learn more about Phoenix FD v4.00.00?



You can learn more about Phoenix FD v4.00.00 by visiting their website, where you can find tutorials, documentation, gallery, forum, support, and feedback. You can also watch their official YouTube channel, where you can find videos on new features, tips and tricks, and showcases. You can also follow their social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where you can get the latest news, updates, and inspiration.


  • What are some of the best practices for using Phoenix FD v4.00.00?



Some of the best practices for using Phoenix FD v4.00.00 are:


  • Use a low resolution grid for testing and a high resolution grid for final rendering.



  • Use the Adaptive Grid feature to save memory and simulation time.



  • Use the Presets feature to quickly set up your simulations.



  • Use the Voxel Tuner and Particle Tuner nodes to create complex effects based on conditions.



  • Use the Active Bodies feature to interact your objects with liquids.



  • Use the Tex UVW channel to texture and displace your fire/smoke and liquid surfaces and volumes.



  • Use the Foam Texture feature to add foam over your ocean surface.



  • Use the Standalone Cache Preview Tool to preview your simulation results faster.



  • Use the Forces feature to influence the motion of your fluid.



  • Use the Initial State feature to start your simulation from a saved state.



  • Use the Caches feature to save, load, resume, or modify your simulation results.



  • What are some of the limitations of Phoenix FD v4.00.00?



Some of the limitations of Phoenix FD v4.00.00 are:


  • It only works with Maya 2015-2019 (64-bit only).



  • It only works with Windows 7 or later (64-bit only) or Linux (64-bit only).



  • It requires a GPU that supports CUDA 10 or later (NVIDIA cards only) or OpenCL 1.2 or later (AMD cards only).



  • It does not support multiple GPUs for simulation or rendering.



  • It does not support meshing of fire/smoke simulations.



  • It does not support liquid-air interaction or multiphase flow.



  • How can I get feedback or support for Phoenix FD v4.00.00?



You can get feedback or support for Phoenix FD v4.00.00 by contacting Chaos Group's customer service or by posting your questions or issues on their forum. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions on their FAQ page or on their knowledge base. You can also report bugs or suggest features on their feedback portal.



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