Phoenix FD links

Try Phoenix for free

You can try out Phoenix for 30 days without any limitations. You just need to sign up here. After 30 days, Phoenix will expire and you won't be able to simulate. Here is more info on how to install a trial.


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.


Please post any questions or requests in the Phoenix FD forums. You need to have a license in order to post in the forums - if you have any issues, please email

Please report any bugs or other issues to Check our guide on How to Report a Bug.

Nightly builds

The Phoenix FD nightly builds are available here. They are built every day and contain all the latest additions and fixes. The nightlies are open to all clientsKeep in mind that they could be unstable.
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.


Phoenix FD in a nutshell

What can I do with Phoenix?

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.

Ready presets

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. The same goes for any of the Phoenix textures.


Phoenix FD for 3ds Max comes in 2 build types - compatible with V-Ray 5 and V-Ray Next. If you don't have V-Ray, it does not matter at all which one you install - Phoenix would still be able to simulate, load, save and preview caches, and it would render with the Scanline Renderer. If you do have V-Ray 5 or V-Ray Next, please take care to install a matching Phoenix build. You can see the system requirements of Phoenix FD here.

Rendering Phoenix simulations

Renderers with official support for Phoenix FD 4 for 3ds Max are: V-Ray Next and newer, Corona 6 and newer, 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.

V-Ray Next GPU and V-Ray 5 GPU can render fire/smoke and meshes, and the Phoenix Particle Shader in Fog mode. V-Ray 5 GPU can also render Particle Shaders in Bubble and Splash mode.

Phoenix goodies

Phoenix FD 4 adds support for Active Bodies interacting with the FLIP liquids, so objects can float over the liquid surface or be washed away by pouring liquid.

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 and voxel and particle tuners which can drive and art-direct the simulations, interoperability with Thinkbox Krakatoa, Stoke MX and Frost, integration with thinkingParticles and Particle Flow, as well as MaxScript support and a Phoenix C++ API.

Phoenix FD also comes with some handy tools for AUR, VDB and F3D cache files, such as a Standalone Cache Previewer and a cache converter.


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