Cell Preview

Particle Preview

Shading Preview


The parameters in this rollout control the preview of the simulator in the viewport. It also provides controls to save a GPU preview frame/animation of the simulator.




Only If Selected onlyIfSelected - when checked the content is shown in the viewports only for the selected nodes.

Active View Only activeViewOnly - only the selected viewport shows the content of the simulator.

Grid showGrid - when checked, previews the grid box in the viewport.

Grid Cells showGridCells - when checked, previews the grid cells in the viewport.

Cell Preview

The default preview mode, showing the individual content of each cell. All channels that are enabled, are drawn only if their content is between the corresponding thresholds.

Cells Reduction cellsReduction - allows you to specify what percentage of the cells are going to be displayed in the viewport. Use this option to increase viewport performance.


AND Condition andReduction - when checked every selected channel must meet the threshold conditions to visualize the cell.

Temperature viewTemp, viewTempColor(2), viewTempThreshold(2) - enables the representation of the temperature.

Natural viewTempNatural - when checked the natural color of a hot black body is used for coloring the temperature. Otherwise the color ramp is used.

Smoke viewSmoke, viewSmokeColor(2), viewSmokeThreshold(2)] - enables the representation of the smoke.

UVW viewUVW, viewUVWColor(2), viewUVWThreshold(2) - enables the representation of the dragged UVW/RGB.

As RGB viewUVWAsRGB - when checked the UVW channel is directly shown as RGB values.

Wavelet viewWavelet, viewWColor(2), viewWThreshold(2) - enables the representation of the wavelet decomposed energy.

Fuel viewFuel, viewFuelColor(2), viewFuelThreshold(2) - enables the representation of the fuel.

Velocity viewVel, viewVelColor(2), viewVelThreshold(2) - enables the representation of the velocity.

Particle Preview

The parameters here allow visualization of all particle groups generated by the simulator.

Foam viewFoamColor, viewFoamColorEnbl - controls the visualization of the foam particle group.


Splashes viewSplashesColor, viewSplashesColorEnbl - controls the visualization of the splashes particle group.


Other Particles viewPartColor, viewPartColorEnbl - controls the visualization of the rest of the particle groups.


Particle Size viewPartSize - sets the particle size in the preview (note that all particles are visualized as points with same size).


Shading Preview

This is a render-like preview in the viewport calculated on the GPU. Note that the video card must support at least OpenGL 2.1. Known limitations:

Note The default rendering settings are not suitable for previewing liquids. First you must disable the emission if there is no burning in the the simulation. Then enable the Solid mode and set the proper Surface Level. Clicking now the Reset button in the Transparency section, will setup the right settings for the preview.

Required GPU memory - shows the approximate texture RAM that will be used for the preview. Note that the GPU can allocate textures that exceed the available GPU memory, but at cost of speed. Also, there is no way to tell if the GPU can handle the texture without trying. If the driver closes Maya due low resources, use the Downsampling option.

Warning! If the scene was already saved with settings that can't be handled by the video card, run Phoenix FD in safe mode before opening the scene.

Enable gpuViewEnbl - enable the shading preview. Can't be used with solid geometry.

Downsampling gpuViewDownsample - specifies the reduction of the grid resolution displayed by the preview. Increase this value if the preview is too slow, or your video card does not have enough memory to hold the full resolution of the grid.

Shading Step gpuViewStep, gpuViewStepEnbl - override the Step attribute in the Rendering rollout. Can be used to speed up the preview.

Diffuse Lighting gpuViewLighting - enables the diffuse lighting.

Max Lights gpuViewMaxLights - set the maximum number of lights used in the preview.

Lights gpuViewLight - an optional light set to specify the exact lights used in the preview. If empty, the closest active Maya light will be used.

Note The closest Maya lights are controlled via the Lighting menu of the view. You may need to select Use All Lights to enable the actual lighting.

Ambient Lighting gpuViewAmbient - when the lighting is enabled, this parameter gives the color of the ambient light.

Save Path gpuViewPath - specifies where the preview images will be saved. See Output Path for useful template names.

Merge Instances gpuViewMerge - if checked, the different instances of the simulator will be rendered to a single image. See Mel Scripting for scripting commands to compose an image from arbitrary simulators.

Save During Simulation gpuViewSaveOnSim - automatically saves the preview of each newly simulated frame. All files are overwritten without notification.

Background gpuViewBackground - specifies the background color when saving preview images in 24-bit format. This can be useful for programs that don't support premultiplied images.

Image Format gpuImageFormat - specifies the format of the saved preview images. If not explicitly written, the output color depth is 32-bit and the alpha channel is premultiplied. In Pdplayer, set the "Alpha Mode" to "Ignore Alpha" or "Premultiplied Alpha".

Save Frame Preview phxfdSaveFramePreviewSelectedSim - save an image preview for the current frame.

Save Animation Preview phxfdSaveAnimPreviewSelectedSim - save an image preview for the whole simulation range. Note that the preview in the viewport will be disabled for faster processing.