Go from Absolute Beginner to PRO at Creating Beautiful Liquid Simulations, Improve Your Reel & Attract Higher Paying Projects

Phoenix FD Beginner Liquid FX Course by RedefineFX

Liquid simulations are much simpler to make than they seem. In fact, just a few lessons into this course, you’ll feel comfortable running beautiful 3D water simulations that are sure to blow your clients’ minds, make a splash on Instagram & give a high-end feel to your reel. Liquid sims are used by big players like Apple in their launch trailers, to showcase waterproof ability & other extremely cool effects. You can immediately take this practical knowledge and apply it to your work, whether it’s a fountain for Archviz, water-resistance for Productviz or a slow-motion water splash for a soda commercial. I’ve used these effects to attract high-end clients and charge thousands of dollars per project & I’m teaching it all in this value-packed course.


I Know What It’s Like to be a Beginner (Story Time)

You open the software for the first time and begin trying to piece together how to use it by scouring the internet looking for free tutorials, reading comments on Facebook and forums for tips on how to make something at least remotely impressive. Individual tutorials, however cool they may be, fail to teach you the whole picture. You may learn how to make a cool thing here and there, but don’t have the in-depth knowledge to really build something original yourself. You become a tutorial-hunter (I’ve done plenty of that myself) dependent on tutorials, instead of taking control to learn the software FULLY, from the ground up. As intimidating as it may now seem, the truth is that after you understand the fundamentals, you can easily setup just about any type of liquid simulation you can imagine, without the endless frustration.

At a certain point you realize that you can either keep wasting your life away waiting for tutorials to pop up on Youtube, or you can skip all that, and take the shortcut to actual RESULTS. If I could go back in time to 3 years ago when I started learning Phoenix, and an actual professional made a step-by-step course that would teach me everything I need to know to make cool stuff NOW I would have jumped on the opportunity in a heartbeat. If you’re serious about acquiring new skills, you eventually realize that time is very precious, and investing a little bit of money to RAPIDLY advance your career is extremely worth it in the long run.

The Phoenix Difference

Phoenix FD is an amazing plug-in for 3Ds Max that allows you to create liquid simulations entirely within 3Ds Max.

  • Unlike RealFlow, the meshing takes place automatically during rendering
  • Heavy Vray optimization (both made by same company) allows for FAST rendering

Don’t get me wrong, RealFlow is great in certain situations, but my true love is Phoenix because it’s so much simpler and easier to use.

  • The settings make so much more sense
  • Simulation is fast, and you can get good results very quickly.
  • Effects like mixing liquids of different colors are surprisingly simple to setup
  • Particle Flow & tyFlow support allows for some spectacular effects, such as realistic rain
  • Fun helpers such as Body Force & Path follow allow for object morphing and spline follow effects
  • Highly realistic results with little effort (see Fountain & Waterfall examples below)
  • Used in production on major motion pictures & TV Shows such as Game of Thrones

RedefineFX is Officially Authorized by Creators of Phoenix FD

Why I Made This Course

In a sense, I made this course for my 2016 self, a guy who just opened Phoenix for the first time, overwhelmed, and having no idea how I was ever going to make something presentable with the software. Fast forward to right now, and my work is regularly featured by Chaos Group – company that makes Phoenix, and setting up liquid sims is completely second nature to me. And that’s what I want to do for you with this course.

Covered Liquid FX Include

There are so many different techniques and lessons to be learned from all of these examples. Each one will teach you something new. By the end of this course, you’ll have the skills to put your own spin on these and build your own liquid FX shots.

Why Learn Liquid Simulations?

Liquid simulations are widely used in architectural visualizations for pools, fountains & water displays. In product CGI commercials to showcase drinks, water resistant products, fruit splashes and more. And of course in traditional visual effects for shots involving liquids. The lessons include a complete and comprehensive overview of Phoenix FD & all main liquid simulation settings. I will walk you through everything step-by-step, including my Vray rendering settings, Chaos Cloud rendering & post production in After Effects (adding shallow depth of field using the Z-depth render pass, for example).

Why This Course?

I made the course I wish had existed when I started learning Phoenix FD. Go from absolute beginner to setting up your own high-quality liquid simulations. Level up your reel and portfolio, wow your clients with premium visuals & start charging more for your work today. The transformation you will go through as you take the course will give you the tools and confidence to set-up a variety of unique liquid simulations for your own reel, give you cool stuff to post on Instagram, wow your friends and take your work to a whole another level.

There Are So Many Opportunities

  • Music videos & VFX for films and TV shows
  • Fluid concert visuals
  • Tradeshow & lobby displays
  • Soda, tea, & bottled water commercials
  • Luxury product visualizations
  • Waterproof products (sport watches, phones, speakers)
  • and much more

Your Instructor

Jesse Pitela is a Certified Phoenix FD Instructor, a Los Angeles-based CGI studio owner & award-winning VFX artist. His work has been showcased by every major computer-graphics website in the world, including CGSociety and Autodesk. He has extensive experience working with established VFX studios such as Resistance VFX, Chariotdrive & Riotmaker & his studio has created visuals for global clientele including Cristiano Ronaldo’s ROC, Western Digital, Shutterstock, and many others.

Jesse is doing an absolutely outstanding job teaching all aspects of Phoenix FD

Svetlin NikolovLead Phoenix FD Developer, Chaos Group

Student Work by MDesign Animations

Beautiful underwater splash based on the Ice Cubes lesson from this course.

Student Work by Andy Davenport

Simple but effective. Based on the water splash lesson.

Student Work by Abdy Shamloo

Very cool ice destruction with a water sim on top.

A Quick Word About The Project Files

The scene files (compatible with Max 2016 and higher) for all shown effects are included with the course. I had to exclude the 3D models per their license requirements, but all you have to do is import your own 3D model and hit “Start Simulation” and get a finished effect. If someone were to hire my studio to set up all of the 16+ effects that I’ve built for this course, I would charge them upwards of $15,000. I was told by an FX artist that I should charge for the project files separately, because he would pay just to get his hands on those. Many people have told me they have used my project files directly on well-paid commercial work, and that it saved them last minute on studio projects. By enrolling in this course, you get instant access to all of these scenes.

What Students Say

Lesson Highlight: Rain!

Use particle flow to drive a simulation of droplets falling into a pool of water. Perfect for a variety of rain effects. Experiment by having it rain on a car, or a glass roof, for some beautiful visuals.

Lesson Highlight: Colored Mixing

Phoenix allows for some truly eye-catching effects with it’s ability to mix different colored liquids together. You can even control how much they’re allowed to mix.

Lesson Highlight: Waterfall for Archviz

Quite a simple setup and yet this one has been the most-liked examples from this course on social media. I think it’s because it looks quite realistic and the lighting helps too.


BONUS LESSON #1: Cascade Simulation with Multiple Grids

Sometimes it’s wise to split the simulation into multiple simulation grids to save hours of simulation time. In this bonus lesson, I’ll show you how (it’s simpler than it sounds).

BONUS LESSON #2: Hot Water with Steam (smoke simulation emitted from liquid)

This technique can be used for a variety of effects, such as smoke coming from hot lava, evaporating water or heavy dry ice fumes.

BONUS LESSON #3: Cloud Rendering with Chaos Cloud

Save hours of time, and impress your clients by delivering your work lightning fast. Chaos Cloud is affordable & flawlessly integrated into 3Ds Max.

New Update! Caustics added

  • I’ve just updated the course with a quick bonus lesson & project file on caustics. More additional content will be added soon.
liquid simulation caustics

Phoenix FD Beginner Liquid FX Course by RedefineFX

Go from absolute Beginner to PRO at setting up beautiful liquid sims

15+ liquid FX projects

Step-by-step guidance

Project files included

Fully Edited Lessons (no fluff)

Beautiful Student Area (Powered by Teachable)

Learn from a Phoenix FD Certified Trainer


Ready to get serious about upgrading your skills?


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Got questions?

When does the course start and finish?

This is a completely self-paced online course. I’ve made the lessons bite-sized so you can make progress every day without feeling overwhelmed.

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like – across any and all devices you own.

I haven't upgraded to Phoenix FD 4 yet, can I still follow?

Great question. The answer is YES, this entire course is backwards compatible all the way to Phoenix FD 3.0 – just be aware that older versions might produce slightly different looking results.

Do I need a high-end PC to make these effects?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a high-end PC to run liquid simulations. A standard quad core machine with at least 16GB ram will be sufficient.

Are the project files included?

Yes. All of the project files are included so you can just open the file and look at my settings if at any point you’re stuck. Or you can just straight up use them for commercial work. All good with me.

I use Maya, can I still follow?

Phoenix FD is available for both Maya and 3Ds Max. While this course is entirely 3Ds Max based, the general techniques and settings remain the same for both versions, and you can still follow in Maya.

What software do I need?

3Ds Max (free trial available), Phoenix FD (free trial available) and Vray (free trial available)

I'm completely new to all this, can I still follow?

Absolutely. This course is made with absolute beginners in mind and will get you going in no time.

Can I watch this on my phone?

Yes. Just download the Teachable app.


Phoenix FD Beginner Liquid FX Course by RedefineFX

Introduction to Phoenix FD. Interface / Liquid Source / Grid Resolution / Adaptive Grid / Maximum Expansion

Hardware Recommendations for Fast Simulations

Liquid Source Settings / Emit Modes / Phoenix Object Properties

Controlling Liquid Emission with Texture Maps

Main Grid Dynamic Settings / Steps per Frame / Time Scale / Preview / Rendering

Helpers Overview / Path Follow / Body Force / Turbulence / Plain Force

Turbulent Water inside Sphere / Confine Geometry / Cutter Geometry / Semi-Transparent Liquid Material

Pouring Water into Glass / Slow Motion / Z-Depth Depth of Field

Realistic Water Splash

Additional Splash Techniques / Fruit / Orange / Product Splashes

Shower Water Simulation

Path Follow

Semi-Transparent Liquid RGB Color Mixing


Slow-mo Droplet Collision

Ice Cubes Underwater Splash

Liquid Morphing Between Objects

Vortex Water Apple Collision

Waterfall for Archviz


BONUS: Cascade Simulations with Multiple Grids

BONUS: Hot Water with Steam (smoke sim emitted from liquid sim)

BONUS: Cloud Rendering with Chaos Cloud

Thank You & What’s Next

It's great having someone like you break down seemingly complex scenes into easily understandable lessons. They're the perfect length, and I already have a greater understanding of how cell size, surface tension, etc will affect my scenes. This course proves that learning can be FUN

3D_Davs3D Artist & Enrolled Student

This skillset is highly valuable. It’s unique. And it’s in demand.

The potential return on investment (ROI) of this course is astronomical. For a small investment into your future you’ll have the skills to earn thousands of dollars per project. It’s VERY doable, If I could learn how to do this stuff, so can you. This course will get you going faster than you think. You can literally take what I’m teaching you and use it to book jobs worth 10-100x the price of this course


Ready to take the shortcut to actual results? Let me guide you step by step. I'll see you inside the course! - Jesse


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