Phoenix FD links
Please post any questions or requests in the Phoenix FD forums: https://forums.chaosgroup.com/forum/phoenix-fd.
If you do not have a Phoenix FD license, you can still post in the Public forums: https://forums.chaosgroup.com/forum/phoenix-fd/phoenix-fd-public
Please report any issues to email@example.com
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: https://nightlies.chaosgroup.com/main#/phoenix3maya
If you don't see the Phoenix builds, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your chaosgroup.com username and you'll be granted access.
You can check the daily development progress in the nightly_changelog_#####.zip 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 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 Maya 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 Maya can run under Windows or Linux. It comes in 2 installation types - compatible with V-Ray 3 or V-Ray Next. Since Phoenix FD 3.14, if V-Ray is not installed, Phoenix can still load in Maya and simulate. You can see the system requirements of Phoenix FD here.
Currently the only officially supported renderer for Maya is V-Ray. In Maya Mesh mode, rendering is supported by any CPU renderer for Maya. 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, V-Ray VRmesh or VRscene. Phoenix can also shade data from other software with its dedicated volumetric shader for fire/smoke or its Particle Shader by importing OpenVDB or Field3D 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 Maya also provides real-time GPU preview of fire/smoke in the viewport, textures 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 Bullet, integration with nParticles, as well as MEL and Python scripting and a Phoenix C++ SDK.