Svetlin Nikolov shares his tips for getting quicker renders from Phoenix FD fire and smoke effects that does reduce the quality to some extent. Because these settings will be degrading the quality of the render, they are perfect for doing test renders of the simulation.

Just a few tips on how to get a big boost at render speed at the expense of some qualitySvetlin Nikolov

Phoenix FD

It has been some time since the Choas Group’s Fluid dynamics system has been out in the wild. Initially starting as a tool for 3ds Max, Phoenix FD soon became available for Autodesk Maya. As with most of the Chaos Group’s tools, platform host application makes little difference to the integration of the software. Just as in the sense that V-Ray is V-Ray everywhere, the same holds true for Phoenix FD.

Phoenix FD gives you the streamlined workflows that you are used to with a product like V-Ray, in a powerful fluid dynamics system that can be used to simulate fire, smoke, explosions, liquids, foam and splashes, while offering great flexibility and speed.

Phoenix FD is built as a hybrid. The dynamics system offers both particles and grid based fluids. This really gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to not only create things like water splashes, but also the foam and stray elements that come with that. Phoenix FD is also built to handle huge amounts of particles allowing you to create complex simulations without too much trouble.

Phoenix FD Offers:

  • A hybrid simulation system including grids and particles
  • Automatic foam and splashes generation with optimized shaders for faster rendering and easier setup
  • Optimization for huge amount of particles including a fog shader
  • GPU preview that resembles almost rendering quality and allows you to setup your fluid in the viewport with multiple lights even before rendering
  • Support for all fluids by V-Ray RT, including liquids with proper refraction, for quick and efficient material setup
  • 3D procedural textures allow you to extract channels data from the simulation that can be used in various ways (blending colors of the fluid, changing the IOR for haze effects, etc.)
  • Full integration with V-Ray, including proper GI from the generated fluid
  • Option to generate haze effects for distorting objects behind the fluid grid
  • Scripting through Maxscript in 3ds Max and Pyton in Maya for full control over your simulations


Going Further with Phoenix FD

A while back there was a good post that showed off the Phoenix FD workflow in a General Overview of The Phoenix FD Workflow. There was also a more detailed look at creating a mushroom cloud type explosion with Phoenix in Creating a Mushroom Cloud Explosion using PhoenixFD.

There was also a great overview covering the best stuff in Phoenix FD when it saw its release for Autodesk Maya in the post Chaos Group’s Phoenix FD for Maya Sees Official Release.