MAKE AN ELEGANT FOUNTAIN WITH THE PHOENIX FD PLUGIN
3D World UK|March 2021
Set up a flowing water simulation using Phoenix FD for 3ds Max and enhance your outdoor scenes
Shayan Shamlou

Fountains are an attractive addition to public areas, gardens or large courtyards, and in this tutorial we’ll learn how to create one for our 3D scenes. First, we are going to enter the model into the software, and then we will undertake the materialisation, construction and preparation of the model. Next we will build the volumes through which water needs to be thrown up or down.

The next step will be to enter into Phoenix FD and start simulating water. Finally, we will examine how to achieve a successful output from this plugin and render from the fountains in two modes.

Working with this specialised plugin can be a tricky thing to master, so I have tried to provide a detailed step by step so that even newcomers can discover how to get to grips with it.

01 UNIT SETUP AND MODELLING

To start each project in 3ds Max we first need to go to the unit setting, then we import the object on which we are going to simulate the fountain. We do not need to prepare the scene for rendering at this time. The techniques for working and preparing the model could easily be used for different types of fountain, such as a wall or even inside a pool. However, you should try to use a model that has a basin for water to flow into it after the simulation.

02 POLYGON ID FOR DIFFERENT SURFACES

We need to simulate geometry for the flowing water path. First, a cylinder is drawn. These cylinders should be placed so that they are exactly in the centre and must be at the angle at which water is to be thrown. Then we Convert to Poly and change the ID on the surface, inputting a different number from the other surfaces. Next we have to place the pivot in the centre of the stone volume and then get the Copy Instance as needed around the Z-axis. Finally, we need to attach all the cylinders.

03 WHY DO WE USE DIFFERENT IDs?

In reality the water pressure may be different in the pipes, so we need to do the same for the other components of this fountain. I used another cylinder in the centre; just like before, we change its surface ID and give a different number to the previous cylinders.

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