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SIGGRAPH 2010: Nvidia APEX and Scalability

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Nvidia has recently uploaded APEX related presentation called “APEX : Creating scalable immersive game environments” from their  SIGGRAPH 2010 sponsored sessions list.

Usual overview of APEX framework and current modules (like Destruction and Clothing), which are already familiar to us from past GDC10 and SIGGRAPH09 sessions, is followed by topic never described in detail previously – Scalability and LOD features inside APEX (starts at 32:55).

In general, it’s devided into two components – scalable parameters for each of the modules (like number of particles or cloth vertices), that can be adjusted during authoring to fit into platform computing capabilities..

..and dynamic LOD system, that manages resources destribution between actors and modules, based on current situation and resources budget (for example, clothing on character closer to the camera will be simulated with higher fidelity).

Now, as we know almost everything about APEX, we just need to wait until it will be released to public (standalone, or integrated into popular engines like UE3).

Written by Zogrim

July 29th, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysX Visual Debugger 2.0.6 Beta: first SDK 3.0 signs

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New 2.0 version of PhysX Visual Debugger, object-based database application for analyzing captured data from PhysX engine, was updated to version 2.0.6. Beta.

Update: final 2.0.6. version releasedno differences from PVD 2.0.6 Beta though

[20.08.10] Update #2: PVD 2.0.7. with minor bugfixes is available for download.

Release Notes:

  • Lots of optimizations during capture!  Capturing should be even quicker and more painless than it was with the first beta.
  • Lots of UI bugfixing specifically to the tree views (All Objects, Selected Objects, Watched Objects).  They should be more stable and much more user friendly especially when selecting new objects.
  • Navigation and selection were reversed.  So navigation is the default action while selection requires pressing ‘alt’.  You can quick select something by double clicking on it without pressing ‘alt’.
  • Reversed the log file direction.  No more scrolling down; new errors at the top.
  • New preferences dialog !  Much easier to use, no tabs.
  • Got rid of the frames palette.  We are sorry it ever existed.  The playback controls got moved to the toolbar while the slider got moved to the bottom of the scene view.

And more interesting:

  • Preliminary support for the 3.0 version PhysX !!!.  We are very excited about this.

Yep, we are excited about it too :)

You can download PhysX Visual Debugger 2.0.6 Beta via Developer Support Center.

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

Written by Zogrim

June 26th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysX FluidMark 1.2 ready for download

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New version of PhysX FluidMark, benchmarking and testing aplication for GPU PhysX systems, was finally released to public.

  • New: added support of multi-core CPUs (PhysX simulation is spread over several threads). New checkboxes are also available to control this feature.
  • New: added a checkbox to set the number of particles.
  • New: added a checkbox to force CPU PhysX.
  • New: added Heavy PhysX mode: to make modern systems with GPU PhysX happy
  • New: added point sprite based rendering for particles (keys F2, F3 and F4).
  • New: added keyboard-based camera control in stability test mode.
  • Change: compiled with NVIDIA PhysX SDK
  • Change: updated with the latest version of ZoomGPU for graphics hardware detection.

Update: limitations of GPU PhysX simulation

Update #2: Async mode details

Update #3: FluidMark 1.2.2. available

We’ve already did more or less detailed features overview in our FluidMark 1.2 Beta preview article (in addition, more technical details are available from original post), so this time we will just point on certain changes in release version in comparison to beta one.

Main window haven’t underwent much changes..  (click to view full picture)

.. while benchmarking process was improved, to achieve results standardization. Every benchmarking sequence now starts with so called “Warming-Up” state, to ensure that all particles are emitted on the scene. In addition, default settings are now set to 60 000 particles and one minute timed run.

Moreover, new FluidMark 1.2 is now officially approved by Nvidia. According to JeGX, FluidMark developer, NV engineers have helped with bug fixing and overall optimizations, but have not influenced development process in order to give an advantage to GeForce GPUs or penalize CPUs.

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Written by Zogrim

May 21st, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysX Visual Debugger 2.0 Beta available

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PhysX Visual Debugger, debug tool for PhysX SDK based applications was updated to version 2.0.

Update: PhysX Visual Debugger 2.0.6 Beta

Current release notes are unknown, but it seems that PVD 2.0 was completely rebuild from scratch (upd: confirmed, it’s complete rewrite) – just take a look at the main application window (click to view full picture), and compare it with previous PVD 1.1.9

You can download PhysX Visual Debugger 2.0 Beta via Developer Support Center.

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

If you have trouble with new account registration or existing account (dissapearing downloads, unable to log-in, etc) you can send your problem description to – we’ll try to provide a shortcut to PhysX dev. team.

Written by Zogrim

March 22nd, 2010 at 11:36 pm

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New PhysX FluidMark 1.2: First Tests

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As we mentioned previously, upcoming FluidMark 1.2, next version of popular GPU PhysX testing and benchmarking application, will include support for Multi-Core CPU PhysX calculations, and overall multi-threading optimizations as well.

Jerome Guinot, FluidMark developer, was kind enough to provide us with latest beta-version of new Fluid-Mark 1.2, and we’ll try to answer finally, what is faster – GPU PhysX or properly optimized CPU PhysX.

But first, lets take a closer look at new FluidMark. (click to view full picture)

Main control panel now includes several additional options, like “Force PhysX CPU” – ability to switch between GPU and CPU PhysX, without necessity to use Nvidia Control Panel.

Multi-core PhysX” checkbox enables all multi-threading optimizations, vital and most interesting part of new FluidMark.

# of CPU cores” is used specify number of CPU cores dedicated to simulation (up to 32 in current version), however this option is no so transparent as it looks – increased number of cores adds additional fluid emitters to the scene (one emitter per core or two in general), and with equal number of particles, various number of emitters can affect performance.

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Written by Zogrim

March 17th, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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Post-GDC 2010: Nvidia Theater presentations available

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Presentations from “Nvidia Game Technology Theater“, which were demonstrated at Nvidia booth on GDC 2010, are now live – slides and following sound accompaniment. Let’s take a look at those related to PhysX SDK and APEX toolset.

Update: main PhysX and APEX session are now available as slide decks and video records

APEX Clothing with 3ds Max by Gavin Kistner, Product Designer, NVIDIA

Gavin gives a quick overview of 2.0 PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max, and uses superhero character with cape to explaing full clothing authoring process. Personal love Gavin’s manner of talking.. funny guy :)

Physically Simulated Clothing By CCP (EVE Online) Using NVIDIA APEX by Vigfus Omarsson, Lead Technical Artist, CCP; Snorri Sturluson, Senior Software Engineer, CCP; Monier Maher, APEX Product Manager, NVIDIA

Include overall cloth sim benefits overview from CCP, clothing tools pipeline features demonstration with Maya, and, of course, authoring process with pretty female character. While authoring was done in Maya, actual simulation was running in “CCP engine” window, as stated by Vigfus.

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Written by Zogrim

March 15th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

GDC 2010: APEX Clothing and EVE Incarna

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Japanese website has published an overview of GDC 2010 session called “Physically Simulated Clothing by CCP (EVE Online) Using NVIDIA APEX“, we were specially interested in.

Update: Video demonstration available

Update #2: CCP presentation screencast from “Nvidia Game Technology Theater” at GDC now available.

Update #3: Full session video record available at GDC Vault

Led by Vigfus Omarsson and Snorri Sturluson from CCP, this talk was focused on APEX Clothing system integration with in-house engine, supposed to be used in Incarna add-on for EVE Online and, probably, new World of Darkness MMO.

Using a nice custom character as an example, full clothing authoring pipeline was demonstrated.

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Written by Zogrim

March 12th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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Pre-GDC 2010: PhysX demonstrations overview

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GDC 2010 (Game Developer Conference) is just about to start, and is going to be rich on PhysX related content this year. Apart from session on APEX Clothing integration with EvE Incarna we mentined previously, featured talks will include “Authoring Physically Simulated Destruction with NVIDIA APEX” and “Taking Fluid Simulation Out of the Box: Particle Effects in Dark Void“.

You can read session descriptions via provided links, but actually not only this has catched my eye. Nvidia GDC 2010 page was updated with schedule of presentations, that are going to be demonstrated at Nvidia booth #1702 at March 12-13

Those include such intriguing topics like:

Unity for Engineers – are they planning to demonstrate update physics system in Unity 3.0 ?

Authoring Runtime Animation with NaturalMotion Morpheme 2.3 – I’ve heard that Morpheme is going to be integrated with APEX Clothing, is that it ?

Softimage 2011 Enhanced with PhysX – next version of Softimage will include updated PhysX SDK integration ?

Streamlining PhysX Content in Max – is it related to rumored new physics system in XBR ?

Sadly I can’t visit GDC myself, but I’ll try to provide you with any open or insider information I’ll be able to gather :)

Written by Zogrim

March 9th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

PhysX running on 16 CPU cores in FluidMark

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We wrote previuosly about upcoming new version of FluidMark, that is going to include Multi-Core CPU PhysX support.

Recently, with help of David Legrand from, Jerome “JeGX” Guinot was able to test new FluidMark 1.2 on setup with 16 CPU cores. (click to view full image)

And as you may see, CPU PhysX simulation with 48 000 fluid particles is 100 % utilizing all 16 Cores. Amazing work :)

New FluidMark is going to be available soon enough, after JeGx will catch and kill remaing bugs.

Update: JeGX is participating in “What Would You Do With 48 Cores ?” contest by AMD with new FluidMark (which already support up to 64 CPU cores). That’s going to be interesting  ;)

Source: PCinpact | Geeks3D

Written by Zogrim

March 4th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysX Rocket for SDK 2.8.3.

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Old PhysX fans will certanly recognize this name – Novodex Rocket (PhysX Rocket later on). This application combines two roles: demo physics playground (with large number of  preliminarily created and configurable scenes, ability to change and visualize SDK parameters) and physics editor, which can export objects data to COLLADA or NxuStream.

PhysX Rocket was often used by Ageia to demonstrate SDK features and PPU computing capabilities in year 2005, and was included in SDK package as PhysX tool (till SDK 2.7.3.).

John Ratcliff, PhysX Rocket creator, has made a nice present recently – he revealed an updated legacy version of Rocket, which is based on latest PhysX SDK 2.8.3 and includes advanced UI options (unavailable in previous public versions), but is missing some vital demo scenes and object files. Fortunately, we were able to merge this updated Rocket with old one, from SDK 2.7.3 Tools – this means all demos like in regular Rocket, but SDK 2.8.3 solver and additional UI options from new one.

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Written by Zogrim

February 24th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

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