The FumeFX Floater Window is your main command center for creating and controlling effects with this plug-in. It is a modeless, floating dialog box that contains a wide range of controls, which are logically organized into a toolbar and five tabbed panels. To access this window: select a FumeFX object in your scene; click on the 3ds Max Modify icon; and then, select the FumeFX UI button to toggle it open. You can then move, re-size, or minimize the Floater according to your preference. You can also use a Ctrl+Shift+F shortcut to open this window.
Note that, within this User Reference, the term “Floater” refers to this window.
There are five menu options along the top edge of this window. File and Preview offer commands that deal with simulation and the preview window. Preferences and Help duplicate the actions available through the Modify Panel toolbar buttons. And the Sim. Mode menu gives you the ability to switch between the various FumeFX simulation types.
Before most of the parameters you will see this icon . It’s an Effector control which allows you to assign one Effector per parameter. Parameter is connected to effector through Effector’s name. Multiple Effectors should be separated by a comma sign like Eff1,Eff2,Eff3 . No blank spaces should be present.
Just below the Floater Window Toolbar you will find a series of six tabs: General, Simulation, WTP (Wavelet Turbulence - Post Processing), Rendering, Illumination and Obj/Src (Object/Source). These tabs correspond to the main control panels for FumeFX simulations. Clicking them will open the appropriate parameter groups and allow you to dive into the details of setting up and tweaking your FumeFX simulations.
TIP: You can also use CTRL + click to toggle multiple tabs on/off. Click and drag within any panel to pan up and down.
The following sections cover the five main parameter groups in FumeFX and are organized in the same way as the tabs in the FumeFX UI Dialog.
The toolbar that stretches across the top of the FumeFX UI dialog specifically involves simulations and the Preview Window. These toolbar buttons include actions such as starting, stopping, and saving the simulation. From here, for example, you might choose to play your results straight through, or perhaps, just calculate a single step of the simulation. For additional information on options that affect your simulation, see the section in FumeFX Preferences.
Pin UI - When this option is checked, FumeFX UI and Preview Window will stay opened, regardless if FumeFX is selected or not. You might experience GUI functionality issues if more than one FumeFX dialogs are opened at the same time.
Start - Select this button to run a simulation from the Start Frame to the End Frame (parameters that are available inside the General Tab > Output Rollout). Throughout this simulation, an open Preview Window will show the most recently calculated frame. Note that during the simulation, FumeFX will not block user interface. While FumeFX is running a simulation, you can change simulation parameters or even source and object parameters. However, you will not be able to render, change simulation type, change Extra Detail mode or change input cache.
In Simulation Loop mode parameters such as Grid Dimension, Exporting Channels, Simulate Smoke/Fuel are updated when simulation starts over.
Continue - You can use this button to Continue a simulation from the point at which it had been stopped with the Stop button in the Status Window. FumeFX can continue from any frame that has already been calculated, provided that the velocity channel was exported. So, another option is to Continue from the current frame output; the position of the 3ds Max time slider indicates this continuing point, right click on this button and select “Current Frame Output”.
You can also Continue from any snapshots that you have specified in the Snapshot options under Preferences; right-click for a pop-up list of available snapshots to continue from. If snapshots were created with different grid parameters, you will be able to select Show same grid settings only, which will limit the selection range to matching files.
Stopping and continuing a simulation from a snapshot file will give you the exact same results as running a simulation uninterrupted. You can also continue from output files; however, since pressure is not saved in output files (.fxd), a slight difference will be introduced into the following frames. This difference will be evident in explosion effects.
In the events when simulation has reached the grid boundary and you needed it to expand even further, FumeFX allows you to change the grid dimensions and continue simulation from previous frame that has been calculated. This feature works only with adaptive grid.
Run simulation through BackBurner - This is a toggle button. When on, user can assign BackBurner jobs and FumeFX will run simulation before the first render begins. See for more information on how to set up for BackBurner simulation.
You can use the BackBurner option to start a Default simulation, Initial State Simulation, Wavelet Turbulence simulation and Retimer simulations. It is not possible to continue a simulation through BackBurner.
Cache - Lets you to choose which cache will be loaded. If you select a cache that isn't present an error will show up.
Note: Depending on the selected cache, Stop and Continue buttons will be enabled or disabled. For example, when Wavelet cache is selected it is not possible to start Wavelet Simulation.