How to setup simple simulation
Phoenix FD is a fluid dynamics simulator that is intended to create a wide range of effects including smoke, flames, liquids, and explosions.
Because simulation is a relatively slow process, it has to be precalculated, otherwise it wouldn't be possible to interactively move the time slider or render. The result is kept in cache files, that are used in the rendering afterwards.
The simulation is done in background mode and the UI of 3ds Max remains active. You can change the parameters (except few initial core parameters) during the simulation and see how it affects it. The rendering is also enabled and the user is not obligated to wait until the end of the simulation to see a single frame.
The basic setup needed for simple fire/smoke simulation includes 3 objects: simulator, source helper and some geometry.
At this stage the setup is ready to be started, just go to the "Simulation" rollout of the simulator and press Start.
The basic setup needed for simple liquid simulation includes 2 objects: simulator, and some geometry.