Phoenix Advanced Large-Scale Water FX Course by RedefineFX

Master Massive Water FX Simulations with Splash & Foam in 3Ds Max

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The Trailer

Everything in this trailer is covered in the course & more


  • Create large water simulations from ship wakes to rivers & waterfalls
  • Add realistic splash, foam, & mist and learn how to control them
  • Extend your base water sim seamlessly into an infinite ocean
  • Discover new features in Phoenix FD 4
  • Optimize and speed up your simulations & rendering
  • Add Wet-maps to make objects appear wet when water touches them (e.g. beach sand)
  • Use V-ray sun for realistic daylight lighting
  • Setup a nice ocean water shader



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

- Svetlin Nikolov, Lead Phoenix FD Developer, Chaos Group

Officially Recognized by Creators of Phoenix FD


#1 Submarine Emergency Breach

#2 Emergency Water Landing (Inspired by Sully)

#3 Large Spaceship Rising from Ocean

#4 Beach with Sand Wetting & Procedurally Created Waves

#5 Seaplane Landing with Underwater Terrain for Added Detail

#6 Mountain River

#7 Aircraft Carrier Ship Wake

#8 Basement Flood with Wetting

#9 Yacht Ship Wake

#10 65-foot Waterfall

#11 Aqua Tokyo Drift

#12 Ballistic Missile Launch

#13 Rolling Tidal Wave Setup

#14 Large-Scale Fountains (Perfect for Archviz)

#15 Small-Scale Simulation of Stag Walking Through Water

#16 Person Falling into Water

Why this course?

I made the course I wish had existed when I started learning Phoenix FD. If I could go back, I would take a course like this in a heartbeat, instead of spending the last few months figuring out how to do all of these effects through trial and error. Change a setting, run the sim, see how it works, repeat. Over and over, until I learned:

  • exactly how this plugin works
  • what each and every setting does & how it influences the simulation
  • the common rookie mistakes & pitfalls to avoid
  • how to stop my simulations from taking forever to run
  • why it's taking days to render instead of hours
  • why the foam is flickering and/or disappearing
  • why the ship isn't interacting with the water as expected

What will I get from this course?

Go from enthusiast to PRO at setting up your own high-quality water 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 water simulations for your own reel, give you very cool stuff to post on Instagram, wow your friends and take your work to a whole new level.

Why this skillset?

There are so many opportunities and so few people that can do this type of work, some examples include:

  • Music videos & VFX for films and TV shows
  • Concert visuals & Tradeshow displays
  • Documentaries
  • The shipping & oil industries
  • Luxury product videos (yachts, ships)
  • Waterproof products
  • Commercials involving water, such as roofs, basement flood protection, rain guards...)
  • and much more

Why RedefineFX?

RedefineFX is not only a Chaos Group Certified Training Center, we are the first-ever, and currently the only, institution authorized to teach Phoenix FD. We teach over 27,000 people online how to go from beginner to pro at creating high-end visual effects.

Why Phoenix FD?

  • Used in production on major motion pictures & TV Shows such as Game of Thrones
  • Phoenix FD is the only fluid dynamics plugin that allows you to create water simulations with splash and foam entirely within 3Ds Max

Tens of millions of liquid, splash, mist, and foam particles mixing together, handled using just one powerful tool.

Your Instructor

Jesse Pitela
Jesse Pitela
  • Founder of RedefineFX teaching VFX to 50K subscribers
  • Official Judge in The Rookie Awards 2023
  • Autodesk Excellence Award Winner 2022
  • First ever Chaos Phoenix Certified Instructor
  • Recent projects include: Dell, Hershey
  • Autodesk AREA Member of the Month 2022
  • Freelance 3D Artist (120+ clients served over 6 years)
  • Winner of Cebas VFX Challenge (2016)
  • Jury Prize for Best Trailer Award – Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival 2016
  • Winner – Best Short Action Film – Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival 2016

First Student Work!

One of the first enrolled students just sent me this work in progress shot! How EPIC is that?

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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 $30,000. 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.

Frequently Asked 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.
Are the 3D models included?
The seaplane model is included (because I modeled it myself), but I'm not allowed to resell the other 3D models, so the project files will contain a dummy object that you need to replace with your own model.
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?
While this is NOT a beginner course, I tried to keep everything as beginner-friendly as I could make it, however If you consider yourself an absolute beginner, I recommend you check out our beginner Phoenix FD course prior to taking this one.
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.
Can I pay with PayPal / Apple Pay?
Yes and Yes.

Course Curriculum

  Advanced Large-Scale Water FX Course by RedefineFX
Available in days
days after you enroll

BONUS LESSON #1: Statue Collapse into Ocean + Introduction to tyFlow

$47 VALUE. Get a brief introduction into the tyFlow Plugin (available for free) and use it to make a statue fracture and collapse into beach waves.

BONUS LESSON #2: Repulsive Force

$27 VALUE. Learn how to setup a force that pushes water away from your objects. So many possibilities with this technique, including engine thruster shockwaves, helicopter rotor wash and various force field effects.

BONUS LESSON #3: Ocean Foam Caps

$27 VALUE. Go the extra 10% to make your ocean scenes stand out by adding realistic foam caps on crests of waves using the Phoenix FD Foam Texture

BONUS LESSON #4: Rocket Launch & Introduction to Fire & Smoke

$47 VALUE. Learn how to create a detailed rocket launch fire and smoke simulation that we'll combine with the missile shooting out of the ocean.

TyFlow Bonus Lesson Preview

Combine Phoenix with tyFlow for some unique visuals!


Skip months of figuring it out by yourself through trial and error. Make the investment & get real tangible results by the end of this weekend.

Most liked lesson from the course?

This has been by far the most liked example from this course all across social media!

"Jesse really shows what all Phoenix is capable of.”

Anselm von Seherr-Thoss, VFX Supervisor & CEO of Incendii VFX

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

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