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Fluid Dynamics for Maya—Chaos Group Releases New Phoenix FD 3 Plugin

Smoke, fire, liquids and oceans simulations are all new possible directly inside Autodesk Maya. Chaos Group brings popular plugin Phoenix FD 3 to the top 3D package in the M&E industry.


This month the Chaos Group, the famed developers of the V-Ray rendering line of software, have announced a major update to its all-in-one fluid dynamics plugin for Autodesk Maya.

Phoenix FD 3 for Maya—Has New FLIP Liquids Solver

The Phoenix FD 3 plugin supports a wide range of fluid simulations—including water, fire, smoke and oceans. The solution is a popular choice for fast-paced environments like television production work and its output can be seen in shows like Arrow, Once Upon a Time, and The Man in the High Castle.

The big news in this latest release is the FLIP liquid solver engine, plus a new fire and smoke solver. These new solvers enable visual artists to deliver faster and more realistic visual effects in shorter time frames.

01 - Arrow by Zoic Studios shown here using Phoenix FD 3 application technology. Image: Chaos Group. All rights reserved.

01 – Arrow by Zoic Studios shown here using Phoenix FD 3 application technology. Image: Chaos Group. All rights reserved.

“Phoenix FD lets us simulate fire and smoke effects quickly for projects with short deadlines,” said Saker Klippsten, CTO at Zoic Studios. “Artists save valuable time by iterating looks without leaving Maya.”


The new solution delivers its features within Maya’s quick presets environment and intuitive controls, and the seamless integration with Maya comes with support for the V-Ray renderer from Chaos Group, its Academy Award-winning application.

Other highlights include:

  • FLIP solver – Fast, realistic liquid solver.
  • New fire & smoke solver – Create realistic smoke and fire with super-fine details.
  • Quick presets – New toolbar with presets for fire, smoke and liquid simulations.
  • Ocean simulations – Create ocean surfaces that never repeat using procedural ocean displacement. Preview and render the ocean surface without simulating cache files
  • Wave force – Transition from a procedural ocean surface to detailed wave simulations.
  • Force controls – Art direct and control simulations with forces like wind, mesh attraction and more.
  • Path follow – Create simulations that follow a path along a spline.
  • Interactive simulations – Fine-tune simulations interactively in the viewport with Phoenix FD’s GPU-accelerated preview.
  • Refine simulations – Increase simulation resolution and add detail without changing overall shape or behavior.
  • Simulation retiming – Speed up or slow down simulation playback. Perfect for slow motion effects.
  •  Cascade simulations – Create a series of simulations that trigger and interact with each other.
  • Emission sources – Use a wide range of customizable emission sources, including animated meshes, texture maps and particles, to drive complex simulations.
  • Fast volume rendering – Optimized volume rendering with accurate lighting and global illumination.
  • Compatibility – Supports industry-standard tools and formats like Alembic and OpenVDB.
  • Simulation licenses – Use Phoenix FD simulation licenses to submit jobs over the network to Deadline and Backburner.

For more information, visit:

Pricing and Availability

Phoenix FD 3 is available now for Autodesk Maya and is a free upgrade for all Phoenix FD 2.x for Maya customers. A Phoenix FD 3 for Maya Workstation license is $830 and includes one floating user license and one floating simulation license. Additional simulation licenses are available for $210. Contact [email protected] for volume discounts.

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