tyFlow & Phoenix FD Destruction FX Course

Go from complete beginner to PRO at destroying anything in 3D with tyFlow

Check out the extended (near 3 min.) course trailer

This is a the only complete tyFlow & Phoenix FD Destruction FX Course available today. Introducing you to all the main ways of destroying just about anything in 3Ds Max, covering everything from fragmenting, metal bending, interaction with Phoenix FD & so much more. Just a few lessons in, you’ll feel comfortable in navigating tyFlow and using it to create a TON of cool FX that were previously impossible to do in 3Ds Max without this powerful plugin.

“RedefineFX is doing an amazing job bringing tyFlow to the masses”

Tyson Ibele, Creator of tyFlow

tyFlow = Finally Something That Just Works (And is Easy to Use)

Here’s the thing. I’ve tried to make these effects many times in the past. I’ve tried Rayfire (unyielding objects, dead objects, sleeping objects…what?). I’ve tried RealFlow (cool software but all the simulation lives outside of 3Ds Max). Thinking Particles is amazing but quite complex to use. Particle Flow in 3Ds Max hasn’t been updated in a decade.  At this point I was considering switching to C4D, Houdini, or Blender – there was no way to make all these cool FX everyone was posting on Instagram inside of Max. Until now.

This plugin is so amazing because it just works, it’s intuitive & it makes sense. With just a few operators you can create quite impressive effects involving PhysX simulations, cloth, tearing metal and more. The possibilities are endless, the simulation is extremely fast & the plugin is being constantly updated with new features. Combine that with the powerhouse that is Phoenix FD and you have yourself a mighty combination & are suddenly able to make complex destruction effects that interact with fluid simulations such as explosions. This is a great opportunity to learn this new software early and be ahead of the game by the time everyone is using it a year from now. 

 By Taking This Course You Will:

  • Learn how tyFlow works inside and out
  • Create a variety of destruction, demolition & damage effects
  • Understand destruction in-depth,  including brick, wood, glass & voronoi
  • Bind fragments together based on conditions, then break them
  • Create multiple layers of destruction, (e.g. further breaking pieces that move above a certain speed)
  • Incorporate Phoenix FD smoke & explosion simulations into tyFlow destruction
  • Activate destruction based on where Phoenix FD sim comes in contact with fragments
  • If you’re new to Phoenix, I’ll show you how to make a realistic explosion
  • Give fragments speed based on velocity of Phoenix explosion
  • Create metal bending effects & learn how to crush a truck
  • Setup PhysX cables, sparks, & electricity
  • NEW water destruction lessons (PhysX Fluid Operator) Now Added!

SECTION 01: Destruction Basics

An introduction to tyFlow and some basic destruction concepts to get you prepared for the main shots

Video 01: tyFlow Plugin Overview

Beginner? I got you. In this introductory lesson we’ll go over a few simple examples to get you up to speed as to how the software works, what are some of the most used operators and how to create & render simple particle effects.

Video 02: Brick Fracturing Basics

In this first simple destruction project, you will fracture a simplex box into bricks, then have a wrecking ball go through them. This lesson introduces new operators, such as conditions to control secondary breaking (based on speed, size, distance to the ground and so on)

Video 03: Wood Fracturing Basics

Preparation lesson for the barn destruction, here we go over creating wooden splinters and introduce PhysX binding to keep the wooden pieces stuck together during impact, based on a variety of conditions.

Video 04: Glass Fracturing Basics

Glass is a special case & introduces new challenges. For example, since it’s transparent, we need to tell tyFlow to only fracture the geometry upon impact of the ball going through it, otherwise we’ll see the cracks in the render before they’re supposed to be there. The fracturing also needs to be setup so that the glass shatters more finely around the impact areas, but stays relatively untouched everywhere else.

Video 05: Clustering

An important aspect of any CG destruction shot is making sure that not all the chunks look the same. You need a variety of shapes, sizes, speeds, mass, and other parameters, to make things look more realistic. One of the ways of doing so will be using the Cluster operator to bind neighboring fragments together and create a wider variety of debris during the collapse of the object.

Video 06: PhysX Binding Overview (Springs & Joints)

While it’s certainly cool to just watch objects collapse, taking destruction to the next level requires using some type of binding – because in the real world, objects don’t just fall apart – they stay stuck together based on materials, adhesives, screws, metal rebars and so on. In this lesson, we go over PhysX binding, covering glue, springs, joints, deformation, and breaking based on force.

Video 07: Voxelization

Turn any object into voxels (cubes), then destroy them. Think Lego Movie. Endless possibilities.

SECTION 02: Core Destruction FX

FX SHOT 01: Barn vs. Cybertruck

In this series of lessons, we will ram the Cybertruck through the side wall of a wooden barn, ripping it apart into wooden pieces.

Video 01: Scene prep & barn fragmentation

It’s important to prepare an object for destruction properly, to save yourself headaches and hours of fixing issues later. Here we’ll turn the barn into tyFlow particles, and fracture them and separate them into individual flows for greater control.

Video 02: Cybertruck Collision & PhysX Binding

It’s important that the barn has a sense of rigidity and doesn’t just fall apart upon impact. Here we animate the car and set it up as a collision object that will affect the barn. As you can see, we’re tearing the wood apart only where the car hits, leaving a path of destruction, but the rest of the wood stays nailed to the barn skeleton, as it would in reality.

Video 03: Secondary wood destruction

The heart of what this course is about, destroying things and adding more and more detail, small splinters, binding them together, breaking them based on conditions. On and on until we get the level of detail and ‘coolness’ we want.

Video 04: Retiming the simulation for slow motion effects

Bullet time effects (retiming) brings their own set of issues and challenges, as every little mistake becomes way more noticeable in slow motion. Here we’ll need to adjust the setup to ensure everything’s looking good when slowed down.

Video 05: Materials, Lighting & Rendering

For the materials, we want to make sure our wood texture is applied to tyFlow and stays ‘stuck’ to the pieces during  destruction. This lesson also covers how to apply different materials to the broken faces of debris.

FX SHOT 02: Barn Explosion

As a continuation of the previous shot, we will fragment the entire barn, then have an explosion go off inside of it. The coolest part of this setup is that the barn destruction is activated by the explosion itself, and the wooden pieces are given speed based on the speed of the explosion also.

Video 01: Fracturing the whole barn

Building upon the Cybertruck lesson, here we’ll take it a step further, fracture the whole barn and prepare it for the upcoming explosion.

Video 02:  Explosion with Phoenix FD

Learn how to create a fuel-based explosion with Phoenix FD, covering the entire setup from setting up the emitter inside our barn, adding fire source, creating the simulation grid, adjusting dynamics and fuel settings, then tweaking the fire & smoke shader for realistic results.

Video 03:  Connecting tyFlow & Phoenix FD

One of my favorite setups in this course – here we’ll connect tyFlow and Phoenix in a way where 1) Only the wood that is touched by the explosion will be activated for destruction 2) The wood is given speed based on actual velocity data of the explosion itself – this is very cool because it means we won’t be faking the wood explosion with some wind force, but actually use the Phoenix data to drive the speed and direction of the wooden splinters.

Video 04:  Adding destruction details

The small roof flying off introduces new challenges, as well as adding lots of little detail based on speed and force of impact. The beautiful thing about this whole setup is that it’s entirely procedural, meaning I can just trigger a second Phoenix explosion, and everything will update to destroy the barn based on the updated phoenix data. Pure fun. 

Video 05: Rendering

Learn how to render the barn and the explosion (and the fire within the explosion) as separate passes for more control in post. We’ll also do some basic compositing in After Effects.

FX SHOT 03: Black Hole Destruction

In this setup, we will use a variety of operators and forces inside of tyFlow to create a suction vortex that rips apart buildings around it and sucks them in.

Video 01:  Scene Prep

We have the windows, window frames, exterior walls, interior walls and the exterior stairs, pillars etc. We need to prepare, color code and fracture these in a way that keeps things simple and organized – because this setup can get messy very fast. Proper naming conventions and keeping our flow under control will be crucial here, especially when we start breaking everything apart.

Video 02:  “Proxy” Destruction setup & vortex force

I’m calling this a ‘proxy’ similar to how in after effects you can work with a low-res clip, then replace it with 4K at the end. Since this setup will get pretty heavy, I want to create the effect first on just a few big chunks of debris, make sure our conditions for activating the destruction are working, and play with the vortex to get the right amount of pull force and spin to create the “black hole” effect we’re after. Setting this up first will put us at ease. Now we can just add detail from here.

Video 03:  Triggering events based on conditions

When you watch what happens, it’s a sequence of events. First, we break the windows, then the window frames, then some small pieces of concrete start flying off, then bigger pieces, until we have the whole building getting ripped apart. I wanted the gravity force of the black hole to intensify over time, that’s why the lightest objects get destroyed first.

Video 03:  Adding detail

This entire setup is too intricate to describe here, but in a nutshell we will set variety of conditions to control when and how the building will disintegrate.

Video 04:  Adding Dust with Phoenix FD

Oh I wish this was as simple as just emitting the dust out of the broken faces of the building. The problem is – there are thousands of them and Phoenix’s simulation slows down to a halt. We’ll need to do a few workarounds here to have smoke emit out of the destruction, but also not for it to take a week to sim. This lesson will force us to separate our destruction into multiple particle groups, then export those separately into tyCache objects to use later with Phoenix. On top of that, the smoke doesn’t abide by tyFlow’s rules, instead, we’ll need to use a variety of Phoenix’s helpers to force the smoke to follow the vortex path, then be attracted into the black hole, then be killed when it reaches it. A super a fun lesson here filled with tons of insights and tips and tricks that I think you’ll love and find very helpful.

Video 05:  The Material Setup

Not only do we need the 12 or so different materials to stay where they’re supposed to on the tyFlow particles, we’re also adding a different material to the inner broken faces. The challenge is that we have about 8 different flows triggered at different times, and will need to set materials IDs for all of them, then add the right material operators in the right places for everything to work.

Video 06:  Rendering & Compositing

Learn how to render the destruction and the Phoenix smoke in passes to massively speed up the rendering.

FX SHOT 04: Truck Metal Crush

In this setup, we will use a variety of operators and forces inside of tyFlow to create a suction vortex that rips apart buildings around it and sucks them in.

Video 01:  Metal Bending Setup

We need to set this up in a way where the bottom of the metal tanker stays solid, but the top is ‘bendable’ to create this partial damage style effect. Otherwise, the whole thing collapses on itself. We also need the metal bending to stop being active at a certain time, otherwise it will continue to keep being crushed under its own weight. We cover a different way of using PhysX binding here, along with the tyParticleSkin modifier and other conditions to get this metal crush we’re after.

Video 02:  Dynamic Pillar Breaking

Nothing too too speactacular, just needed something to fall on this truck, however we will still have fun with binds and different levels of breaking to get this pillar to slowly crack, break, then fall over the way we want. If you notice, there still are parts of the pillar that retain their shape even after impact, while other parts shatter completely.

Video 03:  Optimizing Pillar PhysX Collision

When you just have the pillar fall on the truck, nothing will happen. We need to heavily adjust many of the PhysX simulation parameters to get the pillar to dent into the metal, then break and hit the ground.

Video 04:  Electrical cables (tyFlow PhysX Ropes)

This technique can be used for any rope / cable / string situation you can imagine. In our case, we’ll have the pillar go through the cables as it falls down. Bend them, then break the cables away from the electrical pole. The cable then continues to interact with everything in the scene until it settles.

Video 05:  Electricity FX

When the cables are ripped away from the pole, we need some electricity purely for coolness purposes.

Video 06:  Sparks

A simple technique of creating a burst of particles, then adding a few forces to give them a variety of speeds, then delete them.

Video 07:  Lighting and rendering

BONUS FX SETUPS (Included with the Course)

A series of additional destruction projects that I’ve created while developing this course. A great supplement to explore and learn from. Included are:

  • Ground Destruction
  • Decay Destruction
  • Wall Destruction activated by Phoenix FD
  • Ground Explosion
  • Pillar Destruction
  • Vortex (Base setup for the building)

FLUID PhysX Operator (New Lessons now added!)

As I was recording this course, Tyson has announced the new Fluid PhysX Operator, which allows tyFlow to interact with Phoenix FD liquid simulations. This will allow us to destroy objects when they’re hit by a tidal wave, then have the pieces float and be pushed by the liquid. The course is now updated with lessons covering this new operator.

3D Models (Built for Destruction) & Included with The Course


I hired an amazing 3D modeller to make these for us to destroy! They are specifically made with destruction in mind, so they’re not overly complex and can be broken up into individual elements nicely (such as the individual wooden planks in this barn). I also made sure the topology is clean, all quads, no overlapping polygons or triangles that might mess up our destruction. These are well made and ready to go!

Office Building 

With this model, there’s just a bare minimum of interior – just a few walls to give us some nice debris. The window frame, windows, and walls are nicely separated to ease the process of destroying them with tyFlow.

Tanker Truck 

So yes – these are original models I had paid to get made, meaning you can use them in all of your (even commercial) projects. They come with the course and are yours for life. We’re going to use this model for the metal bending lessons, but you could also flip it around Dark Knight style, or a million other ideas.

As for the Cybertruck, I can’t include that model inside a paid course but a simple google search for “cybertruck free model” will get you covered 😉


tyFlow Destruction FX Course by RedefineFX

Section 01: Introduction

Introduction to tyFlow 

Intro to tyFlow: Operators

Condition Operators

Brick Destruction

Wood Destruction

Glass Destruction


PhysX Bind

Edge Fracture

Element Fracture

Voxel Destruction

Section 02: Barn vs. Car

Preparing the model

Destroying the Barn

Retiming & Slow Motion

Section 03: Barn Explosion

Fracturing the whole barn

Explosion with Phoenix FD

Connecting tyFlow & Phoenix FD


Section 04: Building Vortex Destruction

Preparation & proxy Setup

Windows Destruction

Window Frames Destruction

Exterior Building Destruction

Main Building Destruction

Stairs & Pillars Destruction

Interior Walls & Floors Destruction

Material setup with tyFlow

tyCache Export

Phoenix Dust


Section 05: Truck Metal Crush

Metal Deformation

Pillar Destruction

Pillar & Metal Interaction

Electrical PhysX Cables

Electricity FX


Adding Dust with Phoenix FD

NEW Fluid PhysX Operator – New Lessons Coming within a few days

Bonus Project Files Overview

Thank you & Here’s What’s Next

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 & his studio has created visuals for global clientele including Cristiano Ronaldo’s ROC, Western Digital, Shutterstock, and many others. He also made a viral (600K+ views) Thanos Portal tyFlow tutorial you might have seen.

“Thanks for all your tutorials. They are basically Video Copilot for simulations. Very helpful!”

Ben Jones, RedefineFX Enrolled Student

“I’m a VFX artist at FuseFX in NYC. I always find myself pointing new artists to your tutorials”

Russell Forrest Boebert, FuseFX 

 Why This Course?

This is not just a destruction course, it is a tyFlow beginner course, meaning I’ve made sure while creating this training to keep beginners in mind, and give you a complete overview of the software and build a solid foundation upon which we’ll build some more complex effects. The thing about big FX shots is that they are built out of many, many smaller FX that come together to create the illusion of one event happening all at once. You have the wood, the smaller wooden pieces, the roof flying off, the explosion, the smoke, the car collision…brick by brick we will build these effects up in a way that is manageable and very doable even if you are completely new to tyFlow. There are currently no other tyFlow courses available on the market, and certainly no high end destruction VFX courses like this one.  


Master Destruction FX with tyFlow

40 in-depth visual effects lessons

ALL Project files included

3D Models Included ($100 value)

Beautiful Student Area (Powered by Teachable)

Learn from a Phoenix FD Certified Trainer

Fully edited lessons (no fluff)

New Lessons (Fluid PhysX Operator & Water Destruction) Now Added!



Secured checkout powered by Teachable.

Got questions?

When does the course start and finish?

This is a completely self-paced online course. You learn whenever it suits you.

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?

Although faster is certainly better, you don’t need a high-end PC to run FX 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.

Are the 3D models included?

YES! All of the 3D models are included except for the Cybertruck (just google ‘free cybertruck 3D model’ and you’ll be good to go 😉

What software do I need?

tyFlow (Free Download Available), 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?

YES! This course is made with absolute beginners in mind. The introductory lessons will get you up to speed fast so you can follow along with the project-based lessons further in.

Do I get a Certificate?

Yes! Upon completion of all lessons, you will automatically receive a unique Certificate of Completion.

Can I get an Invoice? (for my boss, taxes etc.)

Yes. You will automatically receive a receipt upon enrolling. If not, please email us through Teachable and we’ll send it to you.

Can I watch this on my phone?

Yes. Just download the Teachable app.

I could have dug for years reading through documentation and searching all over for information but Jesse made it incredibly easy for me to follow along and learn each aspect of the software

Casey BalbontinRedefineFX Enrolled Student

Skip months of figuring all this out on your own

I couldn’t say it better than Casey in the above testimonial. Yes, you could spend a long time figuring out how to make these effects by reading through the documentation and trying to piece together how everything works by scouring the internet for a variety of random, unrelated tutorials. You could start digging through the tyFlow forum & Facebook comments. You could become a project file hunter trying to reverse-engineer the cool projects of others. Or you can just take the shortcut and let me show how to get this done by the end of this weekend. I’ve done the work, simplified it down, edited the lessons, reduced it all into the main pillars you need to make actual FX NOW. tyFlow is the next big thing and it’s still very early in the game. There’s no shortage of opportunities for the small amount of people who know how to use it.

“I’m actually creating a couple of VFX shots for a paid job that’s really exciting. It’s been awesome learning from your course”

Matthew Scott, RedefineFX Enrolled Student

“Last year I started my 3D career and came across RedefineFX’s courses and immediately fell in love. First I enrolled in the Beginner Liquid course and immediately knew I made the right choice. Easy to understand and easy to follow.”

Kariakos Kaitezidis, RedefineFX Enrolled Student (in All Courses)

What If you could get just one $1000 client?

VFX jobs are everywhere. There are clients, studios, production houses, creative agencies, directors, and everyone in between making VFX-packed content. They need armies of skilled VFX artists to make it all happen. Not to mention freelance opportunities where the sky is the limit, and $5,000+ per project is entirely within reach. You can make back the cost of this course 10-100x in the next few weeks. It’s a very minor investment compared to the amount of opportunities you can attract with these skills. I’ve compressed years of learning VFX into this course so you don’t have to. I’m giving you all the weapons you need, and would love to see you inside the course making some epic VFX! – Jesse



Secured checkout powered by Teachable.