Simulation Licenses Overview

Fluid simulations typically take a long time to finish, on longer scenes with high detail hours or even days can be spent rendering. If you have access to a network of several computers, you can now utilize them by letting a simulation run one one machine while you continue working on another. With multiple simulations, and computers, you can have several simulations being processed all at once. In order not to have to buy a full Phoenix FD license for each one of these machines, Phoenix FD for 3ds Max & Maya provides two types of licenses: GUI and Simulation. The combination of one GUI and one Simulation license is referred to as a Workstation license.

Both types of licenses are installed automatically when Phoenix FD is installed. These licenses might or might not be required at a particular moment, depending on the type of activity you are doing.

  • GUI License - Required for a machine when accessing the user interface of the FireSmokeSim and LiquidSim on that machine, or for starting a simulation from the user interface on that machine.
  • Simulation License - Required for a machine when a simulation is started on that machine, regardless of the method used to start it.
Note that distributed simulations in which different parts of the same simulation are calculated simultaneously across several machines are currently not implemented. You can use the Simulation licenses to run simulations on separate machines without accessing the user interface and without engaging a GUI license. For more information on how to submit simulations that use only a Simulation license and how to do advanced scripting for more complicated tasks, see Simulation Without a GUI License.

The following chart lays out the circumstances under which each type of license is required:

Activity Gui License Simulation Licenes
Access the user interface of the FireSmokeSim ans LiquidSim Required
Run a simulation on the local machine from the user interface of 3ds Max Required Required
Run a simulation without a user interface on the local or on a remote machine using Backburner, Deadline, or other render manager Required

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