This page provides information on the Voxel Tuner component.
The Voxel Tuner uses custom logic constructed with Expression operators to directly affect the cells of the Phoenix FD Simulator. The primary purpose of the Voxel Tuner is to allow for very specific tweaks of the simulation which would otherwise be hard to achieve. It goes through all voxels in the grid and changes the values of those voxels that pass a custom condition. Example Condition / Action pairs would be:
- If the Speed channel in a voxel is higher than 50, then create Smoke in this voxel.
- If the distance from a voxel to a mesh is less than 5, then reduce the Speed of the fluid in this voxel.
You can construct simple conditions such as comparing a value from a voxel channel to a number or measuring the distance from a voxel to a mesh, and you can also combine many conditions in a complex expression using 'AND' and 'OR' logic. At each simulation step, the Voxel Tuner will check each voxel against this condition and it will modify the voxel only if the condition passes. For example:
- If a voxel's RGB color is Red AND the fluid Speed in the voxel is less than 10, then reduce the Temperature in this voxel.
This will essentially force the fluid to cool down only if it is emitted from a specific Phoenix FD Source with its RGB set to red. Fluid emitted from other sources and/or colored differently will not be affected by the Action.
The Voxel Tuner is a powerful tool and it will not stop you from creating expressions such as "If the Temperature is higher than 0, increase the temperature by 100". This will indefinitely raise the temperature throughout the Simulator until the simulation explodes, so you must be careful.
Note that the Voxel Tuner affects all Phoenix FD Simulators in the scene unless they explicitly exclude it.
Enabled [ true ] | enabled – Animatable checkbox that turns on and off the effect of the Voxel Tuner.
When [ Edit Condition... ] – Opens the Edit Condition window. The Edit Condition window is used to construct a sequence of tests which are evaluated for every cell of the Phoenix FD Simulator. If the cell satisfies the condition, the Then [ Grid Channel ] action is performed. Otherwise, the cell is ignored. By default, the condition is set to "Temperature > 800", therefore only those cells where the Temperature channel is greater than 800 will be affected by the specified Action.
Then [ Temperature ] | act_chan – Selects the Grid Channel to affect. If Speed is selected, the Velocity of the simulation will be uniformly scaled based on the specified Action Value.
Action [ Increase By ] | act_chan_change – Specifies the type of action to perform on the selected Then [ Grid Channel ].
Action Value [ 1 ] | act_value – Sets the value for the specified Action to perform.
Buildup Time (sec) [ 0 ] | buildup_time – Specifies the time it takes (in seconds) for the Then [ Grid Channel ] to gradually reach the specified Action Value. If Buildup Time is 0, the effect is instant.
If the Buildup Time is set to 0, the specified Action will be executed for every step of the simulation. If the Steps per Frame parameter of the Simulator is set to a value higher than 1, the specified Action will be executed multiple times for a single frame.
Edit Condition Window
The Edit Condition window is at the core of the Phoenix FD Voxel Tuner. It consists of a Conditions Tree on the left and a Parameters panel for the individual elements in the tree on the right. Any action specified for the selected Then [ Grid Channel ] will only be executed for the cells of the Simulator which satisfy the conditions tree.
Folding (collapsing) of a tree item in the view to the left will show you a simplified view of the expression. For example, collapsing the tree in the image below will change its text to "Temperature > 800.000", meaning the Voxel Tuner will affect only voxels where the Temperature grid channel is higher than 800. You can also read a simplified view of the entire condition expression in the text box below the Edit Condition... button.
Value Expression Item
The Value Expression Item is the lowest level operator. It expects no sub-expressions but can be converted to a Math Expression Item by selecting it with the right mouse button in the Conditions Tree.
The Value Expression Item returns a raw number which can be either the value of a Grid Channel or a Texture for a given cell of the Phoenix FD Simulator, a manually-specified number in a certain range or the distance between a given cell and an object in the scene.
Number [ 1 ] | val_type, val_number – returns the specified value.
Random Between [ 0 - 1 ] | val_type, val_rand_min, val_rand_max – returns a random number in the selected range. Note: a different value is generated for each cell of the Simulator. The value also changes for every frame.
Channel [ Temperature ] | val_type, val_chan_grid – returns the value of the specified Simulator Grid Channel for the current cell. You must have this grid channel enabled in the Output rollout of your Simulator. The Channel can be one of: [ Temperature ], [ Smoke ], [ Fuel ], [ Speed ], [ Velocity X ], [ Velocity Y ], [ Velocity Z ], [ RGB Red ], [ RGB Green ], [ RGB Blue ].
Distance To [ None ] | val_type, val_dist_node – returns the distance from the specified object's surface to the current cell. Note: this only works for polygon meshes. Particle systems are currently not supported.
Texture [ No Map ] | val_type, val_tex – returns the specified texture's color intensity in the position of the current voxel. The Phoenix FD Simulator has no Explicit UV coordinates therefore the texture's Mapping should be set to Planar from Object XYZ for this to work.
Compare Expression Item
The Compare Expression Item evaluates to true if the specified condition is valid based on the provided sub-expressions. Otherwise, it evaluates to false.
To create a Compare Expression Item in the Conditions Tree, right-mouse-button click either on a Logic or a Compare expression and select "Replace with: New Comparison".
Compare Type [ Is Greater Than ] | comp_type – Sets the comparison type to perform:
- When set to "Is Greater Than", the Compare expression for a given voxel will be true when the first Math/Value expression item should return a value larger than the second.
- When set to "Is Less Than", the Compare expression for a given voxel will be true when the first Math/Value expression item should return a value smaller than the second.
- When set to "Is Equal To", the Compare expression for a given voxel will be true when both Math/Value expression items evaluate to the same number.
Math Expression Item
The Math Expression Item returns a number calculated according to the specified Math Type and the provided sub-expressions.
To create a Math Expression Item in the Conditions Tree, right-mouse-button click either on a Math or a Value expression and select one of the "Replace with: (this) ..." options which contains a "+" , "-", "*" or "/" symbol.
Math Type [ Plus ] | math_type – Sets the mathematical operation type to perform:
- When set to "Plus", the Math expression returns the sum of the two Math/Value expressions below it.
- When set to "Minus", the Math expression returns the difference of the two Math/Value expressions below it.
- When set to "Multiplied by", the Math expression returns the product of the two Math/Value expressions below it.
- When set to "Divided by", the Math expression returns the quotient of the two Math/Value expressions below it.
Logic Expression Item
The Logic Expression Item is a top level operator which returns a value of either True or False, depending on the specified Logic Type and the provided sub-expressions.
To create a Logic Expression Item in the Conditions Tree, right-mouse-button click either on a Logic or a Compare expression and select one of: "Replace with: (this) AND ... " or "Replace with: (this) OR ...".
Logic Type [ And ] | logic_type – Sets the type of logic to use:
- When set to "And", both Compare expressions below should evaluate to true for a given cell for the Logic Expression to be true.
- When set to "Or", at least one of the two Compare expressions below should evaluate to true for a given cell for the Logic Expression to be true.