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APEX Clothing authoring workflow in details

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One of the main features of NVIDIA APEX framework is not only complexity or quality of simulation, but artist-focused authoring pipeline, that allows easy creation of physical content without significant programmer involvement.

Update: PhysX plug-ins for Max and Maya with APEX Clothing features are available.

Update #5: New complete set of official APEX Clothing tutorials.

Authoring process in promising APEX Clothing module (you can remember its debut in Mafia II title) goes through DCC plug-ins for 3ds Max and Maya.

Following tutorials (available previously for plug-in beta users) are giving perfect overview of clothing authoring process, basic capabilities and features, using 3ds Max plug-in as an example.

Tutorial I – Waving flag

APEX Clothing tutorial - 1

Tutorial II – Physically simulated Cape

APEX Clothing tutorial - 2

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Written by Zogrim

January 15th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysX Visual Debugger 2.0.8 released

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Another update has arrived for PhysX Visual Debugger – debugging application for capturing and analyzing data from PhysX SDK scene.

PhysX Visual Debugger 2.0.8

UPDATE [15.04.2011]: PhysX Visual Debugger 2.0.9 was uploaded, however, it seems that release notes are covering only changes in 2.0.8. version.

Update #2: PVD 2.1 is available.

*** 12-17-2010 ***

  • !Fixed bug where lead developer wasn’t updating the release notes like he should have been!
  • Added three large new features, clips, annotations, and profile information.
  • Made camera movement work better with non-y up axis configurations.
  • Clips and a project system.  You can now split and crop a large capture arbitrarily to create clips. These are all stored together with the project and should allow users to reduce the size of the dataset they are dealing with when they have a large capture. You can also toggle active recording while PVD is capturing. Non-recorded data is of course discarded, each recorded section gets placed into a new clip.
    So we have two use cases supported, the first is to just capture everything then trim out parts that you don’t need. The second is to toggle the recording during capture to trim out things you don’t need at the source.
  • Profiling information is now available for 3.0 datasets on any platform where pvd is supported. New profile view.  View the profiling information captured for one physx frame at a time.
  • Right click and graph any event over the course of the clip.
  • Annotations allow users to mark portions of the presentation where something interesting happens. They save the application state (camera, current frame, etc) and have an arbrary name and description field.  This allows devs to communicate with the physx team and each other specific problems (frame X, dude walks through wall here.  Frame Y, box falls through floor). Ctrl-alt-A is your friend, along with the profile view.
  • 3.0 physx scenes allow pausing just like 2.8 did.  So you can pause a running 3.0 scene.  This works because every actual scene object captures and releases a mutex every frame (at the beginning of the simulate call).  So we won’t pause your application if you are running physx in separate threads than the render or game thread; we will definitely hang the physx related threads while PVD is paused, however.  You can toggle pause during recording by hitting the space bar.

Clips and Annotations information change the nature of PVD to more of a tool that you can capture a dataset with and work in it for a while as well as send the project around for multiple people to comment on various aspects of the capture.

Profiling is already quite useful but is rough and could use feedback around more use cases.

You can download PhysX Visual Debugger 2.0.8 via Developer Support Center.

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

Written by Zogrim

December 16th, 2010 at 2:44 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysX FluidMark 1.3.0: up to 779 000 particles on GPU

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New version of FluidMark, benchmarking tool for GPU PhysX setups, is available for download.

Update: hotfix version 1.3.1 released

  • Bugfix: online submission didn’t work properly when the nickname field was filled.
  • Change: now Win32 Setup installs two shortcuts: FluidMark.exe (single GPU) and etqw.exe (SLI / CrossFire).

PhysX FluidMark 1.3.1

Release Notes:

  • New: scoring system change. Now the global score is the sum of PhysX score and GraphX (3D rendering) score. The global score is more appropriate to reflect the gain brought by a dedicated PhysX card.
  • New: added a new option to increase the graphics workload ([More graphics load] checkbox).
  • Bugfix: fixed GPU memory allocation. Now you can run more than 700’000 SPH particles.
  • Change: online submission improved.
  • Change: updated GPU monitoring code with latest version of ZoomGPU (1.5.11)
  • Change: removed [Heavy PhysX mode] and [Use particle count] checkboxes.

You can download FluidMark 1.3.0 from here

Written by Zogrim

November 26th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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How to achieve quality simulation with PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max

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Those of you who are familiar with PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max (for example, recently released 2.40 version) may already notice that by default simulation is not going as smooth as you can expect – rigid body objects are often interpenetrating each other, jittering and jiggling (especially when stacked) , and so on – making it hardly suitable for some scenes.

UPDATE: Not valid for 2.60 PhysX plug-ins and above

So, we’ve contacted Gavin Kistner, Product Designer for PhysX Max and Maya plug-ins at NVIDIA, and he gave us several tips, using those you can deal with simulation stability problems in most of the cases:

TIP I – Increase Frame Rate

If rigid bodies are showing inaccurate behaviour, this is indicating that physics engine is just not performing enough simulation substeps between frames. To fix that (as separate substeps control is yet not availalbe in public versions of PhysX plug-in) you can simply increase Frame Rate before previewing or baking the simulation (and than revert it back to normal during composing, for example).

3ds Max PhysX plug-in framerate

To illustrate this tip, let’s set up a simple scene – several rigid body planks falling one at each other, trying to form a stack.

3ds Max PhysX plug-in low quality

With default Frame Rate – 30 fps (shown above), simulation is just messed up. At certain frame planks are stuck together, solver is trying to resolve inter-collisions and repels planks – stack collapses.

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Written by Zogrim

October 1st, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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Autodesk Subscription Pack for 3ds Max 2011 includes 2.40 PhysX plug-in

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Now, when Subscription Advantage Pack for 3ds Max 2011 and 3ds Max Design 2011 was released, we can verify that it includes updated version of PhysX plug-in, designated as 2.40.0808.2140, avaialble in 32- and 64-bit variants and based on PhysX SDK

Update: How to achieve quality simulation with PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max

Update #2: New PhysX plug-n v. 2.60 released

3ds Max PhysX plug-in v2.40

Unfortunately, APEX Clothing tools are in not included in this version of the plug-in.

Note: To use this plug-in with RayFire Tool, you need to update RayFire to version 1.51.02

For those of you, who still can’t decide if new PhysX plug-in is worth the update, here are full Release Notes we took from documentation:

v2.40.0625, 2010-June-25

Issues Fixed (Present in Previous Releases)

  • [#5023] Rotating collision shape on biped does not maintain position in space
  • [#4936] Resetting a project does not reset PhysX global settings
  • [#5022] Capsule’s shape is altered incorrectly when height or radius is modified
  • [#5061] Loading a project from 2010 with constraint fails to load in Max2011
  • [#5098] Constraint Swing Y and Swing Z reversed in UI

New Known Issues

  • [#5107] Baking rigid bodies attached to constraints yields incorrect results
  • [#5152] Baking to keyframes offsets values when Start Frame is not 0
  • [#5153] Initial Spin speed not in degrees per second


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Written by Zogrim

September 30th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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FluidMark 1.2.2: compiled with newest PhysX SDK 2.8.4.

with 7 comments

Jerome “JeGX” Guinot has updated his popular benchmarking tool, known as PhysX FluidMark, to version 1.2.2.

Release Notes:

Version 1.2.2 – 2010-09-20
! Change: new post processing (post-FX) effect.
! Change: scores submissions are limited to fullscreen mode + No AA + No PostFX.
! Update: compiled with PhysX SDK
* Bugfix: the resolution 1920×1080 was not saved at the closing of FluidMark.

As you may notice, particles have changed their color from vibrant yellow to bloody red, but major improvements are related to usage of newest PhysX SDK

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Written by Zogrim

September 21st, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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Modding of PhysX Fluid Demo

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Original NVIDIA PhysX Fluid Demo is nice indeed, but it is not using fluid simulation to it’s full potential – there is only two scenes, level geometry is way too basic and water flow is too simple.

That’s why our fellow reader, known as AquaGeneral, desided to pimp Fluid Demo a little, buy replacing original models and, thus, providing more interesting usage of fluid sim.

[08.01.2011] Update: new model – “Two Story Building” – available. Mod reuploaded.

Update #2: If you want to create custom level to yourself, please refer to PhysX Fluid Demo Modding Guide.

Three new variants of initial “Pumping Station or something” scene were added:

1 – “Building”

2 – “Pool”

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Written by Zogrim

September 17th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysX plug-in v2.06 for 3ds Max in action

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Several nice videos were uploaded on YouTube by user named Phrogz42 (and further finding are indicating that Gavin Kistner, Product Designer for PhysX Max and Maya plug-ins, is hiding behing this nick) – they are showcasing usage of PhysX 3ds Max plug-in for simulation of several complex obejcts – mostly chains of various types.

But much more interesting details were revealed by autor today, as responce to our question – PhysX plug-in v2.06 Alpha (current version, available for public, is 2.01) was used to create those demonstrations.

Most simulations were running on sub-realtime performance, due to highly increased iterations count, but stability is impressive, not to mention that almost no joints were used – each chain link is compound obejct, consisting of several rigid body primitives/convex meshes.

Take a look at description of “PhysX Chain Braid” video – “each chain link is a single rigid body with eight automatically-derived convex hulls comprising 160 verts (per link)” – it seems convex decomposition algoritm has finally made it to PhysX plug-in.

We’ll keep an eye on Phrogz42’s channel and will let you know, if something interesting will appear.

Written by Zogrim

September 15th, 2010 at 2:01 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysX plug-in as part of Subscription Advantage Pack for 3ds Max 2011

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Autodesk has announced today, that  2.x PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max is going to be included into Subscription Advantage Pack for 3ds Max 2011 and 3ds Max Design 2011.


Create more compelling, dynamic rigid-body simulations directly in the 3ds Max viewport. The multi-threaded NVIDIA® PhysX® engine supports static, dynamic, and kinematic rigid bodies (the latter for rag doll simulations), and a number of constraints: Rigid, Slide, Hinge, Twist, Universal, Ball & Socket, and Gear.

Animators can more quickly create a wider range of realistic dynamic simulations, and can also use the toolset for modeling: for example, creating a randomly placed landscape of rocks. Assigning physical properties – friction, density, and bounciness – is as simple as choosing from a set of initial preset real-world materials and tweaking parameters as required.

Update: Intesting details were revealed by Kenneth Pimentel, Director of Visual Communications Solutions at Autodesk, on forums

We can also announce an ongoing partnership with nvidia around PhysX. We entered into the partnership a little late to show much results in this pass, but the partnership is significant and on-going. I think you’d be surprised at the number of research threads we’ve kicked off together.

This is specifically to avoid what happened with Reactor. I think we learned our lesson.

PhysX SDK as default physics solution for most Autodesk products ? Why not :)

Written by Zogrim

September 10th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Nvidia PhysX Fluid Demo upgraded to ver.

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For those of you who are still playing with old Nvidia PhysX Fluid Demo (version, released in 2008 with first PowerPack) Nvidia has prepared a new, slightly updated variant – PhysX Fluid Demo ver.

Update: Modding of PhysX Fluid Demo

Release notes:

  • Allocate only 64MB of VRAM heap instead of 128MB
  • Adjusted text output to not conflict with the PhysX Visual Indicator
  • Added option to toggle the display of all text (in screen space) on/off.

You can download PhysX Fluid Demo ver. from here (19 mb)

Alternative download from (virustotal report).

Written by Zogrim

August 4th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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