Aquarius 1.0 - a plugin for multiphysics simulation in 3ds Max

Aquarius is based on technologies developed at VFX MagicPictures studio. The plugin was released in 2019 under the name AqMesher and initially intended for creating mesh caches of particles and OpenVDB volumetric effects. Version 2.8, released in 2022, added a new solver for liquids.

In Aquarius, renamed in honor of another MagicPictures Studio tool, a Material Point Method (MPM) solver has been added. It is capable of simulating a wide range of real-world materials including dirt and granular liquids like sand and snow, with collision support with scene objects. It also simulates elastic and elastoplastic materials using von Mises and NACC models. The existing PIC/FLIP solver models liquids, while the grid-based solver handles gaseous liquids such as smoke.

The workflow is node-based, with sets of nodes for creating simulation sources, merging or splitting data, applying forces, and assigning volumes or cutting planes. Aquarius operates on GPU with CUDA acceleration, and licenses include unlimited network simulations. Simulation data can be exported in Alembic format.


Aquarius 1.0 is compatible with 3ds Max 2018 and higher running on Windows 10 and above. NVIDIA GPU and CUDA Toolkit 11.8 are required for GPU acceleration. The perpetual license costs $385, which includes unlimited network simulations. Users who purchased AqMesher 2 last year are eligible for a free upgrade. The free version, Aquarius 1.0 Lite, does not include GPU acceleration, network simulation capabilities, and limits simulations to 100 frames.

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