Official release

Date – 11 July, 2023

Download – Build 5.20.00


With Chaos Phoenix 5.20 we added support for 3ds Max 2024.

Now Phoenix has a floating user interface option in 3ds Max - from the Simulation rollout you can open the new Phoenix Main Window where you can dock all of the Simulator's floating rollouts. The layout of this window gets saved to the .MAX files so you can continue working with the workspace where you left off.

We added a new option in the Sources allowing to create velocities in a specified direction or even create varying velocities based on a texture map.

Simulations now are about 10-20% faster than in Phoenix 5.10 overall. We also added a new 'Use GPU to Aid Simulation' option that would run the fire/smoke PCG Fluidity method on the GPU instead of the CPU, so it could speed up simulations with up to 20%. Now the Simulator also has a new Simulation Speed rollout that shows how much each simulation phase takes and shows you tips on how to speed up your simulations even more.

We added a new Axis Lock option for locking the rotation of Active Bodies, allowed the Standalone Simulator to exclude geometries, our Deadline submission of simulations now has more options and is friendlier, and also there are many improvements to liquid simulations, including the ability to have the adaptive grid expand vertically in ocean simulations.

And, finally, as always, we fixed many bugs so Phoenix would be the most stable fluid software you've ever used!


NEW PHOENIX Support for 3ds Max 2024

NEW STANDALONE SIMULATOR Support for geometries and Sources in the Scene Interaction Include/Exclude list

NEW SUBMITTING SIMULATIONS Generate images from the cache sequence after Deadline simscene simulations

NEW SOURCES Source option to create velocities in a certain direction or based on a texmap

NEW USER INTERFACE Implemented the Simulation, Rendering, Preview, Scene Interaction and Input rollouts in QT so the Simulator shows faster when selected. Now these rollout can also float, be pinned or docked anywhere in 3ds Max

NEW USER INTERFACE New floating GUI via a Phoenix Main window where all the floating rollouts can be docked and the layout is saved to max scenes and preserved between 3ds Max sessions

NEW USER INTERFACE New 'Simulation Speed' rollout, showing the heaviest computation phases during simulation with tips on how to speed them up

NEW PRESETS Automatically create geometry for Toolbar Presets if none is selected


IMPROVED FLIP LIQUID SOLVER Apply the Splash "Initial Velocity Multiplier" when splash particles split into smaller ones, not just when they are born from liquid particles

IMPROVED FLIP LIQUID SOLVER Changed the defaults of the Max Outside Age, Splash Amount, Splash To Mist, Splash Split, Mist Air Drag, Splash Initial Vel. Multiplier and Randomization to more realistic ones

IMPROVED FLIP LIQUID SOLVER Sped up liquid simulations by up to 15%

IMPROVED FLIP LIQUID SOLVER Speed up with WetMap simulation up to 2x

IMPROVED FIRE/SMOKE SOLVER New "Use GPU to Aid Simulation" option that runs the PCG Fluidity (Conservation) method on GPU, which could speed up the simulation overall

IMPROVED ACTIVE BODIES Option in the Axis Lock to lock the rotation of the Active Body to the original. This allows boats to lean while turning if this is a part of the original animation

IMPROVED SOURCES After the 5.10 speedup, sped up more and reduced memory usage when emitting from hundreds of thousands particles, and also fixed a specific setup which slowed down - now some scenes are 5x faster than 5.10 and 25x faster than 5.01

IMPROVED STANDALONE SIMULATOR Turn off the 'Read Cache for Preview' option of Simulators during simscene export to make the timeline scrolling faster

IMPROVED OCEAN MESHER Support for rendering ocean with adaptive grid expanding vertically

IMPROVED MESHER Motion Blur support for Phoenix meshes with Arnold

IMPROVED SUBMITTER Now the Phoenix installer ships the Deadline plugin for simscene submission - it's located in Phoenix's installation under a deadline_plugin directory, and must be copied to the 'plugins' directory in your Deadline repository

IMPROVED CACHE I/O Sped up writing of VDB caches from the simulation or from the cache_converter with 30%

IMPROVED CACHE I/O Sped up simulations using the Grid Velocity channel in the Output rollout (even if the Cacheless Simulation option ON) with up to 5%

IMPROVED GPU PREVIEW Made the Background Color of the Extended GPU Preview global for all Simulators, accessible via right click menu in the viewport

IMPROVED PREVIEW Automatically enable viewport visibility and render visibility for the auto generated preview splines

IMPROVED PREVIEW Swapped the minimum and maximum thresholds for the voxel preview ranges - now the minimum is on top and the maximum is below

IMPROVED PREVIEW Equalized the 3ds Max Slice Preview GUI with the one in Maya

IMPROVED PREVIEW Sped up the particle preview of AUR caches from moving simulations when Auto Scale Color is ON

IMPROVED ANIMATION New 'Auto Origin' control in the Input rollout for automatically setting the Cache Origin and Timeline Origin to the beginning of the loaded sequence

IMPROVED TEXUVW Isosurface render mode support for TexUVW in vrscenes exported from 3ds Max

IMPROVED PARTICLE TEXTURE Improved the loading speed of particle systems in the Phoenix Particle Texture when Motion Blur is enabled

IMPROVED SUBMITTING SIMULATIONS Show simulation progress when submitting .max scenes through Deadline via the Phoenix FD menu

IMPROVED USER INTERFACE New Windows icons of the Cache Converter, Standalone Preview, Standalone Simulator and the Node Viewer, as well as the associated AUR, VDB, F3D, PRT and SIMSCENE file formats

IMPROVED USER INTERFACE Show an error at the start of the simulation if the PHX_FOR_3DSMAX20NN_BIN environment variable is missing

IMPROVED PRESETS Speed up the simulation of the Paints preset by enabling 'Render-time Only' on the Grid Texture used for coloring the mesh with the Grid RGB

IMPROVED CACHE CONVERTER Extended the "Unrecognized Argument" error message when the input path was not with the correct format


REMOVED USER INTERFACE Hid the 'Lighting' option from the GPU Preview section - it's always ON by default


FIXED FLIP LIQUID SOLVER Movement of a Simulator with Fillup For Ocean caused the open boundaries to interact with the fluid

FIXED FLIP LIQUID SOLVER Setting a Phoenix Simulator as a Birth Volume was not working

FIXED FLIP LIQUID SOLVER Animating the 'Splash To Mist' to zero deleted all existing Mist particles

FIXED FLIP LIQUID SOLVER Foam Volume higher than 0 caused Foam particles to pass through the Simulator's jammed walls

FIXED FLIP LIQUID SOLVER Crash during simulation if an obstacle inside the Liquid Simulator is hidden and then unhidden, since Phoenix 5.00

FIXED ACTIVE BODIES Crash when starting active body simulation while editing an active body original's working pivot

FIXED ACTIVE BODIES Restoring a simulation with Active Bodies made the original bodies renderable

FIXED ACTIVE BODIES Restoring an Active Body simulation did offset the animation curve at the restore point

FIXED ACTIVE BODIES Active Bodies with center of mass different than the pivot moved differently than manually animated ones

FIXED SCENE BODY INTERACTION Bodies rotating very slowly were not updated by the simulator every frame, especially with high number of Steps Per Frame

FIXED SCENE BODY INTERACTION Changing the Geom Surface Voxels in the Scene Interaction rollout during simulation did not have any effect

FIXED RENDERING Hidden or non renderable Phoenix Simulator did not work as Simulator Render Cutter or Particle Shader Render Cutter

FIXED VOLUME SHADER Crash on render end with instanced Simulators in Corona

FIXED VOLUME SHADER Wrong Grid-based Volumetric Motion Blur with VDBs whose bounding box does not start at 0,0,0

FIXED VOLUME SHADER Crash when basing the Smoke Color on the Speed channel of VDBs whose bounding box does not start at 0,0,0

FIXED VOLUME SHADER Hang when rendering in Volumetric Geometry Mode with disabled Volume Light Cache

FIXED VOLUME SHADER Fire in Fully Visible mode did not render when Based On was set to the Grid RGB channel

FIXED VOLUMETRIC ILLUMINATION Self-illumination of the Fire did not work if Based On was set to the Grid RGB channel

FIXED PARTICLE SHADER Rendering slow-down with Particle Shader in Bubbles mode with Volume Light cache disabled on NUMA machines between V-Ray 5 and V-Ray 6

FIXED PARTICLE SHADER Particle Shader with Color Map rendered differently between 3ds Max and V-Ray Standalone when the texture was in Object XYZ space

FIXED PARTICLE SHADER Black artifacts with Particle Shader in Points mode when there were many points on top of each other and the Point Radius or the Shadow Strength were high

FIXED ISOSURFACE RENDERING Crash when rendering in Isosurface Render Mode and a Gradient Ramp texture, set to Lighting Gradient Type, was used as a V-Ray Environment texture map

FIXED V-RAY IPR Crash when quickly changing frames during V-Ray IPR CPU rendering with Motion Blur

FIXED V-RAY IPR Changing the frame during V-Ray IPR CPU didn't update the cache file correctly with Motion Blur enabled

FIXED MESHER No mesh motion blur when rendering with Redshift, since Phoenix 5.00

FIXED 3DS MAX INTEGRATION Crash with a Bend modifier applied over Auto Baked streamline splines while scrubbing the timeline or on render start

FIXED 3DS MAX INTEGRATION The simulation kept interacting with objects hidden using Hide by Category

FIXED GPU PREVIEW Saved images from the GPU preview with frames outside the timeline had cache indices clamped to the nearest timeline frame

FIXED GPU PREVIEW When Scattering was set to Disabled, the 'External Scatter Mult.' still affected the GPU Preview

FIXED GPU PREVIEW Setting 'Load Cache For Preview' to 'Disable During Sim' and starting a simulation did not clear the GPU Preview

FIXED STANDALONE PREVIEW 'Save Sequence' saved only one image if used after 'Save Current Frame'

FIXED PREVIEW Streamlines preview was not updated correctly until the current frame was changed

FIXED PREVIEW The streamlines viewport preview was transformed in an incorrect way in certain cases

FIXED PREVIEW Mesh for native streamlines object was not generated properly when the streamlines did sharp turns

FIXED PREVIEW Enabling the Force voxel preview disabled all the other voxel previews

FIXED CACHE I/O Renaming a Simulator to the name of an existing one deleted the cache files of the existing one if the Output directory was using $(nodename) macro

FIXED CACHE I/O Simulating to VDB did not show correct simulation info in the Simulation rollout

FIXED CACHE I/O Can't open the particle ID channel of particle systems that have more than 268 million particles from AUR cache files

FIXED CACHE CONVERTER Converting from a VDB with vector3 color to AUR lost the background color and made it black

FIXED CACHE CONVERTER Crash if decompressing the ID channel of an AUR particle channel fails

FIXED PROPERTY LISTER The Property Lister Mass/Density option did not change when changing the selected preset and remained in Cork mode

FIXED FOAM TEXTURE Foam Texture did not render when the connected Ocean Texture' Rate of Change was set to 0

FIXED OCEAN TEXTURE Ocean Texture used in VRayDisplacementMod prompted to adjust the settings of the modifier each time V-Ray IPR was started

FIXED PRT READER The PRT reader's 'Velocity multiplier' option didn't affect the render unless the frame was changed

FIXED PRT READER PRT sequences containing numbers and # format specifiers couldn't be rendered using the Particle Shader with V-Ray GPU or in vrscenes

FIXED SUBMITTING SIMULATIONS Submitting a Deadline .max simulation job reset the Frame Range in the Render Settings

FIXED USER INTERFACE 'Own Light Scatter Mult' and 'External Scatter Mult' were not greyed out when Scattering mode was Disabled or Ray-Traced

FIXED USER INTERFACE Enabling Initial Liquid Fill or Solid from the Phoenix Node Properties did not grey out many of the Active Body properties

FIXED USER INTERFACE Don't show Phoenix Node Properties for Tuners, Mappers, PRT Readers, Phoenix Forces and Lights

FIXED USER INTERFACE In 3ds Max 2019 and 2020, opening a saved scene with Simulator QT combo boxes whose default was not the 1st element but was set to the 1st element, showed a wrong element, since Phoenix 5.10