Chaos Group has released a new Beta for Phoenix FD4, codenamed 3.99. New features so far include the return of Active Bodies to allow the user to float geometry over liquid and push it with flooding water. Currently, there are still no collisions between the bodies and the fire/smoke simulators cannot blow active bodies away, but this apparently is coming.
Voxel and Particle Tuners gain a couple of new nodes for advanced control over the simulation. It is now possible to check each voxel or particle against a custom condition and change its channels or delete it.
A new channel called TexUVW transports texture coordinates with the fluid simulation. After that, at render time the user can use it to have displacement flow with the fluid in the Mesh or Volumetric modes. It is also possible to modulate or replace the colour and opacity of volumetrics with flowing texture maps, in order to recolour the fluid after simulating or to add more detail.
In 3DS Max 3 Phoenix operators have been added to thinkingParticles, much like the existing Particle Flow operators. There is a Birth operator for creating Thinking Particles where the Phoenix fluid passes certain conditions, a Force operator for pushing Thinking Particles along with the Phoenix fluid, and a Sample operator that reads properties of the Phoenix fluids that can be used in expressions in the TP graph.
Finally, there’s a new Standalone Cache Preview tool that loads AUR, VDB and F3D cache files and shows a voxel preview of them that is much faster than the 3DS Max and Maya viewports. There’s also an experimental new Streamline Velocity preview which helps visualize the fluid movement much better.