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Archive for the ‘PhysX SDK’ Category

PhysX SDK 3.0 has been released !

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No, your eyes are not deceiving you. After three years of development, NVIDIA has released new major version of PhysX physics enginePhysX SDK 3.0.

nvidia-physx
Currently, free binary version of PhysX SDK 3.0 is available for PC only (32-bit and 64-bit, Mac and Linux versions are promised to be delivered later). SDK 3.0 can be downloaded from Developer Support Center. Follow the path: [Online Support] -> [Downloads] -> [PhysX SDK 3.0]

If you are experiencing trouble with registration of PhysX Developer account, please refer to our registration guide.

Update [04.10.2011] PhysX SDK 3.1 released

Update [01.06.2011] PhysX SDK 3.0.1 available

Update [13.05.2011] Physx SDK 3.0 for Mac OSX available

Update [17.05.2011] Physx SDK 3.0 for Linux available (Ubuntu based, 64-bit)

Now, while your download is undergoing, let’s take a look on PhysX SDK 3.0 features:

PhysX SDK 2.x was originally developed as a PC only physics engine, which was subsequently ported to support gaming consoles being developed by Sony (PS3) and Microsoft (Xbox 360). The PS3 port was developed independently and has been maintained in a separate code base since its development, as have later ports to Linux and Mac OSX. The unwieldy growth during the SDK lifetime and separate code bases have added to the considerable complexity of maintaining and updating succeeding versions of the PhysX SDK at a time when faster and more compact engines are required to effectively support phones and tablets.

PhysX SDK 3.0 represents a significant rewrite of the PhysX engine.

This rewrite involved extensive changes to the API that effectively results in a new PhysX engine rather than a chart of changes based on its predecessor version.  The various platforms versions are generated from a unified code base, further differentiating it from version 2.x.  In addition to a new modular design, considerable legacy clutter has been removed. Collectively these changes have resulted in a physics SDK designed to facilitate easier ongoing maintenance, enable simpler ports to emerging gaming platforms, and the addition of new features and capabilities.

Focus on consoles and emerging gaming platforms.

PhysX SDK 3.0 was designed to be competitive on current-gen consoles and anticipates devices with even less system resources. These architectural changes include but are not limited to better overall memory management, improvements to cache efficiency, cross-platform SIMD implementations, intelligent SPU usage on PS3, multi-threading across multiple cores, and AltiVec/VMX optimizations on Xbox 360.

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Written by Zogrim

May 5th, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Posted in PhysX SDK

Tagged with , , ,

PhysX SDK in Top 5 Middleware Libraries Used

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Top 5 Middleware libraries - PhysX
“Game Engine Survey 2011″ article, that can be found in May 2011 Issue of Game Developer Magazine is containing some interesting information about developer’s preferences regarding middleware solutions.

91.4 % of traditional (big-budget) developers prefer to use middleware libraries, and PhysX SDK is holding #4 place – it’s the only one physics engine in this category (we were surprised that Havok was not mentioned).

Far fewer casual developers (48.6 %) are relying on middleware solutions, so unexpensive or free (but good) libraries – FMOD, open-source Bullet engine and PhysX SDK – are the most popular.

Previosly,  Game Developer Magazine has performed similar survey in Year 2009.

Written by Zogrim

May 5th, 2011 at 12:55 am

Posted in Articles, Reviews, PhysX SDK

Tagged with ,

NVIDIA APEX 1.0 Beta is now available: Details

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NVIDIA has uploaded last piece of APEX Framework puzzle – actual APEX SDK component. Now, it is time to take detailed overview on APEX features and structure.

UPDATE: APEX SDK 1.1 is available.

So what is NVIDIA APEX ? APEX is multi-platform scalable developement framework, designed to reduce development time and costs when creating complex physics content.

APEX addresses following typical problems:

  • Significant programmer involvement is required to take a relatively abstract PhysX-SDK and create a lot of meaningful content.

APEX provides a high-level interface to artists and content developers. This reduces the need for programmer time, adds automatic physics behavior to familiar objects, and leverages multiple low-level PhysX-SDK features with a single easy-to-use authoring interface.

  • Game physics content typically gets designed to the game’s “min-spec” system.

APEX requires each functional module to provide one or more ways to “scale the content” when running on better-than-min-spec systems, and to do this without requiring a lot of extra work from the game developer (artist or programmer, but especially programmer).

  • Game engine performance limitations.

APEX avoids many of the game engine bottlenecks by allowing the designer to identify the physics that is important to the game logic, and what can be sent directly to the renderer, bypassing the fully generic path through the game engine.

It also allows the game engine to treat an APEX asset as a single game object, even though it may actually comprise many hundreds or even thousands of low-level physics components.

Authoring tools (DCC plug-ins for 3ds Max/Maya and standalone PhysXLab app) are used create and tune physics assets (for example, destructible wall) while runtime component (APEX SDK) is responsible for deserialization, LOD, data management and interaction with game engine. Accordingly, APEX SDK must be integrated with your engine before you’ll be able to use APEX assets.

Few facts about APEX 1.0 Beta:

  • APEX is not the replacement for PhysX SDK, nor the new version of it. It is a layer that sits on top of the PhysX SDK.
  • APEX 1.0 public Beta includes Clothing and Destruction modules (and partially – Particles module).
  • APEX is free for commercial and non-commercial use.
  • All necessary documentation and tutorials are included with APEX 1.0 package.
  • APEX supports PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 (with optimizations for consoles), and but only PC version is available for public currently.
  • APEX is based on latest PhysX SDK 2.8.4 and does not require PhysX System Software installation.

How to download APEX: Follow this guide and register PhysX Developer account.

Go to [Online Support] -> [Download]

  • [APEX] -> [APEX PhysX Lab Beta] -> NVIDIA APEX PhysX Lab-1.0.100.0 for PhysXLab (APEX Destruction authoring)
  • [APEX] -> [APEX DCC Clothing Plugins] -> [Max 2.60 beta] -> NVIDIA PhysX Plug-in 3dsMax20– x– WithAPEX 2.60.– for 3ds Max PhysX plug-in (APEX Clothing authoring, don’t forget to choose proper 3ds Max version)
  • [APEX] -> [APEX DCC Clothing Plugins] -> [Maya 2.6 beta] -> NVIDIA PhysX Plug-in Maya20– x– WithAPEX 2.60.– for Maya PhysX plug-in (APEX Clothing authoring, don’t forget to choose proper Maya version)
  • [APEX] -> [APEX SDK Beta] -> APEXSDK-1.0.39 beta-PhysX_2.8.4.5-WIN-VC9 for APEX SDK (game engine integration)

You don't need to download PhysX SDK, or PhysX System Software, or anything else.

Now let’s see what is included in APEX 1.0 public Beta package:

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Written by Zogrim

March 25th, 2011 at 3:02 am

PhysX SDK 2.8.4.5 released

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NVIDIA PhysX SDK was updated to version 2.8.4.5

nvidia-physx

Since no updated release notes are avaialble, we assume that only minor bug fixes differs this release from previous one – 2.8.4.4

As always, you can download PhysX SDK 2.8.4.5 via Developer Support Center.

If you are experiencing trouble with registration of PhysX Developer account, please refer to our registration guide.

Written by Zogrim

March 17th, 2011 at 1:26 am

Posted in PhysX SDK

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PhysX SDK 2.8.4. for Mac OS X

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NVIDIA has released a first public version of PhysX SDK for Mac OS X.

PhysX SDK for Mac OS X

Feature set is almost the same as for PhysX SDK 2.8.4 for PC, but unfortunately, Mac version is missing GPU PhysX support.

You can download PhysX SDK 2.8.4 for Mac OS X via Developer Support Center.

If you are experiencing trouble with registration of PhysX Developer account, please refer to our registration guide.

Written by Zogrim

November 12th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Posted in PhysX SDK

Tagged with ,

PhysX: an easy target ?

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Interesting technical article, called “PhysX: An easy target?“, was posted by user Bohemiq Scali at Window Live blogs.

First part of the entry is dedicated to brief overview of PhysX vs AMD’s physics solutions topic, similar to our “AMD and PhysX: History of the Problem” article, and can be read briefly.

But second part is focused on recent PhysX and x87 theme, and original “PhysX87: Software Deficiency” article by David Kanter. Original statement of mr. Kanter sounds like  “SSE can easily run 1.3-2X faster than similar x87 code“, and that’s where Scali gives him a full pack of criticism:

Kanter then makes claims about the gains that can be had from converting the code to SSE. He claims that SSE could quadruple performance in theory, and in reality a boost of more than 2x would be possible. Kanter claims that a modern optimizing compiler can easily vectorize the code for SSE automatically, and such gains could be had from just a recompile.

So nVidia is just leaving all this performance on the table. What’s more, if PhysX would indeed be 2-4 times faster on CPU, it would actually be a threat to GPU-accelerated physics. Kanter claims that PhysX is hobbled on the CPU, and that nVidia is deliberately doing this to make GPU physics look good.

while, actually, “magic” SSE powers were a little exaggerated, since recent tests (#1; #2) with no-doubt SSE optimized Bullet physics engine have shown that

In synthetic tests, there is about 8% to be gained from recompiling. This is nowhere near the 2-4x figure that Kanter was using. In fact, 8% faster PhysX processing would mean even less than 8% higher framerates in games, since PhysX is not the only CPU-intensive task in a game.

Perhaps the net gain in framerate would be closer to 3-4%, depending on the game. In other words, recompiling PhysX with SSE would not make CPUs threaten GPU physics. Not even close. The difference would be lost in the margin of error, most likely.

but in spite of this

Kanter’s article, wrong as it may be, is linked on many news sites and forums all over the web, and many discussions ensue. Most people buy into Kanter’s article, and some sites make even more bold claims than Kanter himself, referring to Kanter’s article as ‘absolute proof’ of nVidia’s evil actions. This is exactly what AMD needs.

Sum:

You may found Scali’s article biased (AMD conspiracy theory and stuff), but it is worth a read as it has common sense. Give it a glimpse, and share your thoughts.

Also, don’t forget that PhysX SDK 2.8.4 already includes SSE2 compiler option, and should be included into next release of FluidMark, so we’re hoping to perform some tests soon.

Written by Zogrim

September 18th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Posted in Articles, Reviews, PhysX SDK

Tagged with ,

PhysX SDK 2.8.4: say goodbye to System Software

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nvidia-physx

Newest PhysX SDK 2.8.4.2 is ready for public beta testing – this is last and most stable current generation SDK, next one is going to be 3.0.

In addition, SDK 2.8.4. will be used as basis for upcoming APEX 1.0 toolset.

[18.08.10] Update: Release notes were supplemented with “driverless” mode description.

[19.08.10] Update #2: bug in the PhysXLoader code, that was preventing it from loading the local DLLs in 2.8.4, is now fixed. Replace the PhysXLoader.dll and PhysXLoader64.dll in your SDK installation with the new files from the archive “2.8.4_Loader_patch.rar“, found in the 2.8.4 folder on the developer download site.

[20.08.10] Update #3: PhysX SDK 2.8.4.3 with fixed PhysXLoader .dlls and included (previously missing) PhysXDevice.dll – is ready.

Currently, binary builds are available for 32- and 64-bit PC Windows, and Xbox 360

RELEASE NOTES:

General

  • Removed PhysX Loader source code from source distribution. THIS WILL BE REVERTED FOR RELEASE. PhysXLoader code will be supplied to source licensees.
  • Discontinued the Training Programs.
  • Added source code of NxTetra (tet-maker) utility to source distribution.
  • Removed spin waits from sample code.
  • Added API to permit the user to specify the order in which compartments are simulated.
  • Added compression limits to cloth.
  • Cloth simulation no longer performs prediction for kinematic rigid bodies for improved interaction behavior.
  • New driverless loader option for PC CPU distribution. In 2.8.4, application developers must ship PhysXCore.dll, PhysXCooking.dll, the cudarXX_XX_X.dll and physxdevice.dll with the application ‘locally’, in the directory where the .exe is located:

1. The application requests PhysXCore or PhysXCooking (v 2.8.4) from the PhysXLoader.

2. PhysXLoader searches for another DLL called ‘PhysXUpdateLoader’.

3. If PhysXUpdateLoader is not found, PhysXLoader will load the local PhysXCore or PhysXCooking.

4. If PhysXUpdateLoader is found, it looks for an updated replacement for the PhysXCore or PhysXCooking dlls.

5. If PhysXUpdateLoader cannot find the specified replacement DLL, PhysXLoader will load the local PhysXCore or PhysXCooking dlls.

6. If PhysXUpdateLoader can find the replacement DLLs, these will be loaded in place of the local PhysCore or PhysXCooking dlls.

7. The net result is that the developer has more control over the game installation process, doesn't have to worry about shipping a large System Software with the game, doesn't have to worry that the player will break his System Software somehow, etc.

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Written by Zogrim

August 16th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Posted in PhysX Drivers, PhysX SDK

Tagged with , ,

Linux 32 and 64-bit PhysX SDK is ready for beta testing

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nvidia-physx

According to NVIDIA, new 2.8.3.3 PhysX SDK for Linux (both 32- and 64-bit versions) has passed QA process and is available for beta testing.

If you want to participate in beta program, you need to send your request to PhysXDevSupport@nvidia.com

(Provide a description on how are you planning to use the Linux SDK - number of beta testers is limited)

Long awaited event actually, cause after old 2.8.1. SDK many developers have thought that PhysX SDK for Linux was completely abandoned. From now on Linux SDK will be updated accordingly with PC versions.

Written by Zogrim

August 3rd, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Posted in PhysX SDK

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PhysX SDK 3.0: automatic multi-threading

with 16 comments

nvidia-physx

As everyone else, we have very little information about next major release of PhysX SDK 3.0, which was rumored as complete rewrite of current SDK, full of new features and extended capabilities, currently kept under straight NDA.

UPDATE: PhysX SDK 3.0 has been released

However, few pieces of information are beginning to leak:

Today, as answer to all the hype about PhysX and SSE instructions, Nvidia’s senior PR manager Bryan Del Rizzo has stated in interview to THINQ.co.uk website, that new SDK 3.0 will feature “a task-based approach that was developed in conjunction with [Nvidia] Apex product to add in more automatic support for multi-threading“.

In generally, SDK 3.0 will automatically take advantage of however many cores are available, or the number of cores set by the developer, and will also provide the option of a “thread pool” from which “the physics simulation can draw resources that run across all cores“. – adds THINKQ.co.uk

We will keep an eye on all SDK 3.0 traces and post new info as we’ll find it.

Written by Zogrim

July 8th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Posted in PhysX SDK

Tagged with ,

PhysX Research: Real-Time simulation of Large Bodies of Water

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Another paper called “Real-Time Simulation of Large Bodies of Water with Small Scale Details” (you can find previous one, Wrinkle Meshes, here) has arrived from Dr. Matthias Müller-Fischer, PhysX SDK research lead at Nvidia Switzerland.

Paper is decribing hybrid grid- and – particle based fluid solver used in latest, and technically most impressive, demo from Nvidia – Raging Rapids Ride.

Abstract:

We present a hybrid water simulation method that combines grid based and particles based approaches. Our specialized shallow water solver can handle arbitrary underlying terrain slopes, arbitrary water depth and supports wet-dry regions tracking. To treat open water scenes we introduce a method for handling non-reflecting boundary conditions. Regions of liquid that cannot be represented by the height field including breaking waves, water falls and splashing due to rigid and soft bodies interaction are automatically turned into spray, splash and foam particles.

The particles are treated as simple non-interacting point masses and they exchange mass and momentum with the height field fluid. We also present a method for procedurally adding small scale waves that are advected with the water flow. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method in various test scene including a large flowing river along a valley with beaches, big rocks, steep cliffs and waterfalls.

We still hope that this solver will make it into next, 3.x release of PhysX SDK.

In addition, demonstrational video is available (61 mb)

Written by Zogrim

July 8th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Posted in Articles, Reviews, PhysX SDK

Tagged with ,

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