Archive for the ‘Engines and Wrappers’ Category
Epic Games has announced March release of Unreal Development Kit (UDK), free version of Unreal Engine 3.
March UDK includes all DX11 features, that were presented in Samaritan Demo at GDC 2011.
Important DirectX features now shipping with UDK include:
- Tessellation and displacement;
- Geometry shaders;
- Multisampled textures; and
- Shader Model 5.
In addition, UDK is now fully integrated with NVIDIA APEX, high-level scalable framework oriented on creation of complex physical effects, like destructible environment of dynamic character clothing.
NVIDIA’s APEX technology has also been integrated into the engine and ships with UDK.
NVIDIA APEX technology enables artists to quickly generate physically simulated clothing and destructible environments.
However, to take advantage of APEX functionality, authoring tools are needed to be released by NVIDIA. According to our sources, this may happen very soon, probably within a week.
Update: APEX 1.0 Beta released
“Thanks to NVIDIA’s excellent cross-platform physics technologies and DX11 expertise, we have enhanced Unreal Engine 3 to bring unprecedented new levels of realism and demonstrate what the next generation of gaming will be,” said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games.
Alpha and beta versions of certain APEX modules were used in UE3 based games previously (Dark Void and Batman Arkham Asylum), but now full APEX toolset will be available to all UE3 licensees and UDK users as well, and can be used to create high-fidelity physics content (character clothing, for example) even in CPU PhysX and console games.
Epic Games has released latest, January 2011 version of Unreal Development Kit (UDK), free edition of Unreal Engine 3.
One of main highlight of this version is enabled PhysX functionality for iOS development, while previous Mobile UDK featured only basic collision detection system.
- PhysX is now supported on iOS.
Rigid body physics, fracturable meshes and ragdolls are among supported features.
Note: Cloth, fluids and soft bodies remain disabled on iOS for performance reasons.
According to our knowledge, this has became possible thanks for standalone PhysX SDK port for iOS (previously, only Unity Technologies have possessed their own custom iOS PhysX port – for Unity 3D engine).
However, this time we may hope that iOS PhysX SDK will be available for public download someday, along with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux versions.
Apart from other substantial features and changes, like Deferred Render, Beast Lighmapping technology, Umbra Occlusion Culling and Unified Editor, Unity 3.0 also includes updated physics engine, based on recent version of PhysX SDK.
- Upgraded PhysX to 2.8.3.
- Cloth and clothing simulation: use the new InteractiveCloth, SkinnedCloth and ClothRenderer components.
New in Unity 3 are two kinds of cloth: Fully physically simulated cloth effects that interact fully with the rest of the environment. The other, Skinned Cloth, is an optimized solution for garments on animated characters.
You can use it for animated shirts, trousers, skirts, capes and hair in a physically accurate way. It is highly optimized and can handle high poly animated cloth pieces.
- Layer based ignore collisions: use the Physics inspector or Physics.IgnoreCollision().
- Continuous collision detection, to make sure that fast moving colliders will not pass through other colliders. See Collider.collisionDetectionMode.
- Added Physics.SphereCast() and Physics.CapsuleCast() to implement volume raycasts.
- Added Rigidbody.SweepTest() to check if a Rigidbody would collide with anything if moved into a certain direction.
You can check most of Unity 3.0 features by yourself directly from your browser, using newest Unity Bootcamp Demo (unity webplayer is required).
This month’s build of UDK features significant additions, including:
· UDK users now have access to the gameplay profiler tool.
· Matinee’s movement tracks can now be split into individual translation and rotation components.
· Users can bulk edit texture properties within the Content Browser.
Apart from other usefull changes, September UDK is upgrading PhysX SDK integration with newest features of 2.8.4 SDK, like driverless destribution, SSE2 optimizations and enhanced cloth solver.
Also, we have noticed full pack of NVIDIA APEX .dlls – when APEX will be released to public, you’ll be able to use it with UDK right away.
· ‘PhysXDestructible’ has been removed.
· APEX destructibles are replacing them.
As for APEX Toolset release (without it APEX integration into UDK is useless for regular developer), several sources are indicating that this is going to happen somewhere in October
Conitec Datasystems has announced that physics system in latest A8 version of their Gamestudio game engine is now based on PhysX SDK 2.8.3 (previously it was ODE).
According to devs, such changes will result “in a better frame rate and greater stability of the physics simulation”.
PhysX SDK integration was developed in conjunction with Christian Kahler, author of pXent PhysX wrapper.
As we mentioned previously, one of the many features of upcoming Unity 3.0 engine is going to be improved PhysX SDK integration. Now, when pre-purshase betas of Unity 3.0 are shipping, additional details have emerged.
According to developers, highlight for Unity 3 is cloth physics on arbitrary and skinned meshes – video of new cloth feature in action was uploaded to YouTube by one of Unity demo team members.
In addition, PhysX core was updated to version 2.8.3., collision layers and “thick” raycast were added.
As it was announced recently, new v7 version (currently in development) of free 3D Rad game engine will switch from ODE physics engine, used curently, to PhysX SDK.
According to developers, advantages from this decision are going to be following:
- faster physics processing, both on normal systems and on systems equipped with recent NVidia cards (where hardware processed physics simulation will allow a very high number of simultaneous simulated bodies).
- more accurate and robust polygonal collision detection (no more crashes on triangles that are too stretched, too small or too big)
- additional collision detection primitives (boxes, capsules), with the ability to stack a high number of objects to create large collapsible buildings.
- built-in breakable joints support, to effectively make in-game objects fully and realistically destructable.
- advanced tire/suspension simulation for cars
- soft bodies
- physics-enabled particles/fluids
- cloth simulation
- bult-in advanced character control
- volumetric force field simulation
Internal physics system in Unity is using custom driverless version PhysX SDK – unfortunately, since main SDK core is very old (2.5, afair), it’s missing not only recent updates and bugfixes, but some features like fluids, cloth, forcefields and even GPU-acceleration. While Unity Technologies were keeping PhysX un-updated for years in a matter of “combability”, such renovation was actually needed by developers.
And, finally – recent announce of long awaited Unity 3.0 engine promises not only iPad and Ps3 platforms support, deferred render, built-in lightmapping system and unified editors, but “major updates to Unity’s.. physics features“
No details were revealed, but Tom Higgins, Unity Product Evangelist, made a short sneak-peak
We are upgrading PhysX but will be saving the specifics until later, let’s just say it will have some juicy new features for sure!
We’ll try to keep an eye on this, so stay tuned.
Update: new details on PhysX features for Unity 3.0 beta
Group of enthusiasts is working on interesting project – classic Unreal 1 engine enhancement with real-time physics, based on PhysX SDK. Current version supports only primitives like boxes and spheres, convex meshes and several joint types, but result is already impressive:
Future plans include vehicles integration, soft bodies and possible ragdoll support. You can download beta version of PhysX mod for Unreal v. 227 here
Hope this project will be more successful than this abandoned PhysX integration into Half Life 1 engine.