Table of Contents

This page provides information on the command line interface of the Standalone Simulator tool.

The easiest way to start it without using command line is to use the Phoenix FD menu in Maya → Export .simscene, which will collect all nodes needed for the simulation from the Maya scene and will write them to a .simscene file, with an option to launch the Standalone Simulator with that .simscene file right away, and even preview the result of the simulation using the Phoenix Previewer.


The Standalone Simulator command-line tool allows you to simulate Phoenix simscene files. 

Simscenes contain only the nodes from the scene that are needed for the simulation. The Standalone Simulator reads .simscenes and runs the Phoenix simulation on them, creating a sequence of AUR or VDB cache files.

Simulating using the Standalone Simulator happens outside of the Maya process and is usually faster than simulating inside of Maya. Also, simulating Phoenix inside Maya requires a Phoenix GUI license as well as a Phoenix Simulation license, while the Standalone Simulator uses just a Phoenix Simulation license, so you can do it on a machine without Maya installed, using the cheaper Phoenix Simulation license.

Default Paths:

  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\Phoenix FD\Maya 20xx for x64\bin\phoenixfd.exe
  • Linux: /usr/ChaosGroup/Phoenix FD/Maya 20xx-x64/bin/phoenixfd.bin
  • MacOS: /Applications/ChaosGroup/PhoenixFD/Maya20xx/

Currently the Standalone simulator supports only Phoenix Simulator and Source nodes, as well as Phoenix Node properties.

Still to be added are: textures and support for deforming animated geometries.

Mandatory Arguments

Note that arguments are preceded by "-" and followed by "=" if they require a value. All arguments and values are case insensitive.

-sceneFile= – Specifies the scene file that will be simulated. Paths must be absolute. If blank spaces are included the path must be wrapped in apostrophes.

Optional Arguments

-numThreads= – The number of simulation threads that will be used. The default is 0 - use all available threads.

-restoreFromFrame= –  Continues a simulation from the specified frame, or the latest Backup frame containing the full simulation state up to the current specified frame, which is controlledby the Backup Interval parameter in the Output rollout. This way, a Phoenix simulation that has been stopped previously can be resumed from the point you left off, even after the software has been closed and reopened.

-verboseLevel= – Specifies how much info is printed in the terminal and the Phoenix log.

0 - Only errors are printed.
1 - Errors and warnings are printed.
2 - Errors, warnings and important info are printed.
- Errors, warnings and more detailed information.
4 - Errors, warnings and extremely detailed information that could slow down the simulation.

-help – Prints help text.

-credits – Prints copyright notices for the Phoenix Standalone Simulator and used libraries.

Was this helpful?