Hammer Chen, Technical Expert, V-Ray Chaos Group, talks about thinkingParticles Integration  

         ~ How to create an 'Artillery Explosion' Setup

We asked Hammer to give more input about his expertise and upcoming projects (extra info): 

cebas: Hammer, in your experience, and being a long term user of 3ds Max - in terms of particle system in 3dsMax, Hammer, have you tried them all?
Hammer Chen: Of course not. There are too many features and functions. I can't know everything. I can only say I have experience of using PFlow and thinkingParticles.

cebas: and what do you find in thinkingParticles all these years as a user that has kept you engaged?
Hammer: Thinking Particles is much cleaner than PFlow, in terms of merging scenes. I like tP’s performance, cache system, and rigid-body fracture capability. I often use Freeze operator in tP for rigid body bullet-time effects, very intuitive. And it works well with Phoenix 4.

cebas: are you proficient both in 3ds Max and Maya or you are stronger in one of them?
I am a 3ds Max user for many years. I don't know much about Maya, even though I was an instructor for Maya during my time in Autodesk local reseller.

cebas: now, with the latest launch by Chaos Group the PhoenixFD 4 version - do you want to talk some more about this? The latest features are on the Chaos Group PhoenixFD4 website so we won’t repeat - how about some insights on why Chaos Group decided to create a TP Operator in PhoenixFD 4?
I am not the decision-maker. From my user point of view: tP has been on the market for years, many Hollywood big movies use tP. So it is a production-proven tool, not just some fancy toys than can only do funny teapot test scenes. Again, in my opinion, I see no reason not to integrate with thinkingParticles.

We have just released a new tutorial that uses the latest feature of Phoenix FD 4 – grid texture UVW, to create a cigarette type of smoke. You can see it here, among the other released tutorials: https://docs.chaosgroup.com/display/PHX4MAX/Tutorials

cebas: and specifically, how does having TP in PhoenixFD 4 help both ways - TP users and PhFD 4 users - could you give us some practical insights?
Phoenix is a multi-multifunction fluid simulation tool. It can simulate both liquid and fire /smoke which is amazing. On the other hand, if you want to create a collapsing building, a shattered wine glass or cluster bombing of a city, thinkingParticles is the best tool you can get on the 3dsMax platform. Marrying the two, artists can do many cool effects.

cebas: do you plan to create some tutorials for new users of the TP Operator in PhoenixFD? As well as more demo clips?
there are more tutorials on the way. So stay tuned. Talking about operators, Joe Gunn has made an awesome tutorial for Phoenix FD’s operators in tP: https://vimeo.com/376655612

cebas: and what projects can we expect from you in the future (if you're able to tell us), maybe you would like to touch on what is the difference between writing official tutorial and personal blog tutorial - I understand you have a personal blog going ?  
writing a tutorial for a personal blog is casual, and somewhat with loose logic. The official tutorial is much harder. I have to justify each step and make sure all the steps are in a reasonable order. No redundant, unnecessary steps. Besides Phoenix FD official tutorial, the owner of CG Record website – Nguyen Manh Hung -- he helped us build the Phoenix FD blog, you can find some useful, more concise tutorials there: http://phoenixfd.cgrecord.net/




















cebas: what are your professional and what are your personal hopes and dreams in moving into the future in the art of visual effects and balancing life/work? 
the competition in the FX industry is cutthroat. I am trying to position myself as an interdisciplinary person. So I do a lot of English-to-Chinese translation and writing tutorials help people in the industry. But I love pyro effects since childhood. When I was a boy, I used to collect unexploded firecrackers (blind shell) on the street, and fire them up altogether. Now, using Phoenix FD and thinkingParticles together keep me safe while having fun from it :)


Needless to say, Hammer, we at cebas are very glad to have you back for this revisit Insights Interview and seeing there is so much amazing new developments in the horizon, we certainly will have you back for more insights in the future. 


p.s. the link for more info on the 'FireSmoke fuel ' helper mentioned by Hammer in the setup is actually an "enable burning" option in the Phoenix Fire / Smoke Simulator. For more reference, refer to PhoenixFD online tutorial list