This page provides an overview on setting up and installing Phoenix FD.

 

 Section Contents

Page Contents

 

Overview


This guide serves as a reference for the installation of Phoenix FD for 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design. You can download the latest official version of Phoenix FD from http://www.chaosgroup.com with the account supplied to you by Chaos Group or your reseller.

This page covers installation of Phoenix FD through the Phoenix installer. For additional setup and troubleshooting, see the following pages:

 

 

System requirements


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

Processor1st Gen Intel ® Core ® or compatible processor with SSE4.2 support
RAM8 GB RAM and 8 GB swap minimum – recommended 32 GB or more RAM, 32 GB or more swap file
Operating systemWindows ® 7 SP1, Windows ® 8.1 Professional, or Windows ® 10 Professional operating system
3ds Max3ds Max ® 2014 / 3ds Max Design ® 2014 or later, 64-bit versions only
USB portRequired for dongle licensing, USB 2.0 or newer
TCP/IPOnly IPv4 is supported. IPv6 is currently not supported.

 

Hardware Advice for Faster Simulating


Here's some tips to help you make sure your Phoenix sims calculate as fast as possible.

HardwareRecommendation
Bus speedPhoenix 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 speedProcessor 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 StorageBoth 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.
GPUGPUs 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 3ds Max process (3dsmax.exe).

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

Installation of Phoenix FD


The Phoenix FD installer will automatically remove any previous installations. This will allow you to seamlessly upgrade from older versions of Phoenix FD. If you experience problems, you can manually uninstall the previous versions to perform a clean install. For more information, please refer to the Uninstalling Phoenix FD page.

Before running the installation, make sure your Windows account has administrative privileges and the dongle is not plugged in.

Setting up the installation


Run the installer.

1. Upon the start of the installation, Windows may ask you for permission to run the installer with administrator privileges. Please confirm.

2. You will be presented with the Phoenix FD licensing agreements. Please take a moment to review the agreements. Click the I Agree button to proceed:

3. During the next step, you can choose the installation type. The available installation types are:

Workstation – This is a full installation and includes all components necessary to use Phoenix FD. It includes Phoenix FD for 3ds Max, the V-Ray RT render plugin (if you are using the V-Ray Phoenix version), and an update to the Phoenix FD license server.
Simulation and Render Slave
– This installation includes Phoenix FD for 3ds Max and the V-Ray RT render plugin (if you are using the V-Ray Phoenix version). Select this option if you intend to use the machine for network simulations or for distributed rendering of your Phoenix FD cache files. Note: Phoenix FD does not support distributed network simulations yet.
Render Slave
 – This will install the V-Ray Standalone render plugin (for use with the V-Ray Phoenix version).


 

 

4. After you choose the installation type, you can click the Customize button and adjust the corresponding installation settings. If you have selected the Workstation installation, you will see the full list of customizable settings:

Uninstall previous installations – Leave this checked to automatically uninstall any previous versions.

How are you going to connect to the Phoenix FD license server? – Specifies whether the Phoenix license server will run locally or on another machine.

If you select the Remote Phoenix license server on the network option, you will have to fill in the IP address of your Phoenix license server in the field labeled Primary License Server. Please leave the port 30304 unchanged.

Specify installation paths – Please check if the default folders are correct. Common settings for Workstation installation for 3ds Max 2018 with default paths should look like the screenshot below:
 

 

 

5. When ready, click the Install Now button.

 


Completing the installation


Please skip the steps that are not relevant for your installation type.

1. After you click the Install Now button, the installer will proceed to uninstall any previous versions and install Phoenix FD on your machine: 

2. If the installation was successful, you will get this screen.

Visit our online documentation site will open a new browser window/tab to the Phoenix FD for 3ds Max Docs.
Open the changelog file after the installation will open the text file with changes broken down by releases (also available through the Release Notes).

Click the Finish button:
 

 

 

To make sure that your license server is up and running and you have the necessary licenses, please proceed to the Set Up Your Phoenix FD License page.