Phoenix FD links

Please post any questions or requests in the Phoenix FD forums:
If you do not have a Phoenix FD license, you can still post in the Public forums:

Please report any issues to

Phoenix FD nightly builds are open to all clients. They are built every day and contain all the latest additions and fixes. Keep in mind that they could be unstable as well.
The nightly builds are available at: 
If you don't see the Phoenix builds, please send an email to with your username and you'll be granted access.
You can check the daily development progress in the file next to the nightly builds.

You can find the answers to frequently asked questions in the Phoenix FD FAQ section.

You can find more detailed info on Phoenix FD workflows in the Phoenix FD Explained section.

Ready example scenes and tutorials are available in the Tutorials and Examples section.


Phoenix FD in a nutshell

Phoenix FD is a fluid dynamics simulator intended to create a wide range of effects including smoke, flames, liquids, and explosions. It is used for visual effects, architectural and product visualizations, creation of game assets, etc. You can check the Example Scenes page for a quick glance of the possibilities.

Phoenix FD comes with a handy toolbar which offers presets for common setups such as large scale ocean simulation or gasoline explosion, or small scale setups like coffee, beer, candle, etc.

Phoenix FD is licensed using the ChaosGroup License Server which provides dongle or online licensing. There are two types of licenses - GUI licenses required for using the 3ds Max user interface, and Simulation licenses which can be used to run simulations through managers such as Backburner or Deadline on remote machines. The combination of 1 GUI and 1 Simulation license is referred to as a Workstation license and is the minimum you need to be able to use Phoenix FD.

Rendering is free! Phoenix volumes such as smoke and fire, Phoenix meshed liquids or Phoenix particle systems such as Foam and Splash do not require a license for rendering - you just need Phoenix FD installed on the machine which will render the data.

Phoenix FD for 3ds Max comes in 3 build types - Scanline, V-Ray 3 and V-Ray Next builds. The V-Ray builds require V-Ray to be installed on the same machine, while the Scanline builds can simulate and render without the respective version of V-Ray. You can see the system requirements of Phoenix FD here.

Renderers which officially support Phoenix FD or are supported by Phoenix FD are: V-Ray, Corona, Octane and Scanline. Mesh mode rendering is supported by any CPU renderer for 3ds Max. Phoenix FD can also be rendered by 3rd party plugins or external software after exporting the simulation grid, mesh or particle data to OpenVDB, Field3D, Alembic, Thinkbox X-Mesh, V-Ray VRmesh or VRscene or Krakatoa PRT. Phoenix can also shade data from other software with its dedicated volumetric shader for fire/smoke or its Particle Shader by importing OpenVDB, Field3D or Krakatoa PRT data.

In V-Ray 3 RT, only RT CPU can render Phoenix fire/smoke, particles and meshes, while RT GPU supports only Phoenix meshes. V-Ray Next GPU can render fire/smoke and meshes, but can not render the Phoenix Particle Shader yet.

Phoenix FD for 3ds Max also provides real-time GPU preview of fire/smoke in the viewport, texture maps which can be used for ocean simulations and rendering or to extract grid and particle data from the simulator, dedicated forces which can drive and art-direct the simulations, interoperability with Thinkbox Krakatoa, Stoke MX and Frost, integration with Particle Flow, as well as MaxScript support and a Phoenix C++ SDK.