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Archive for the ‘PhysX Tools’ Category

Siggraph 2011: The Latest Advances in NVIDIA PhysX and APEX Technology

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Autodesk has published a recorded video of a presentation – “The Latest Advances in NVIDIA PhysX / APEX Technology” – that was performed by Daniel Horowitz, engineering manager for PhysX dev. tools in NVIDIA,  at Siggraph 2011.

Update: MassFX: what is coming in future versions of 3ds Max

This presentation is covering such topics as design principles of PhysX and MassFX plug-ins, relationship between those tools, and is also giving an overview on APEX Clothing authoring process and upcoming features.

Some interesting facts:

  • APEX Destruction functionality will be added to PhysX plug-ins in the future. It was also mentioned, that it will be possible to use to use 3d party tools for fracturing (not only default solution in PhysXLab) and also tweak graphical and physical meshes separately.
  • Next release – PhysX plug-in 2.7 will support PhysX SDK 2.8.4, PhysX SDK 3.1 and APEX 1.1
  • APEX Softbodies module was mentioned.
  • Contact Layers feature (basically, collision filtering) will be added in 2.7 plug-in for Maya, and 2.x plug-in for 3ds Max.
  • Patner integration program. For example, PhysX based rigid bodies from Particle Flow plug-ins will be able to interact with MassFX rigid bodies.
  • mCloth module will be based on ClothFX plug-in from Size8Software, but it will fully interact with MassFX rigid bodies, ragdolls, atachments and so on (nice solution to keep PhysX cloth and APEX focused on clothing simulation for games only).

It was promised that new 2.7 PhysX plug-ins will arrive shortly, in a few weeks, so keep an eye on our website for a full review.

Written by Zogrim

August 13th, 2011 at 12:44 pm

AgPerfMon is coming back as NVIDIA Platform Analyzer.. but not for long

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Developers, using PhysX SDK, should be familiar with AgPerfMon – event-logging and profiling tool for PhysX SDK based applications on Windows platform, originally developed by Ageia. We also have used AgPerfMon a lot, for example during our “Mafia II is not using GPU for PhysX Clothing simulation ?” investigation.

Recently, NVIDIA has released NVIDIA Platform Analyzer 1.1 (NPA) profiler, that is basically recompiled AgPerfMon tool, with some bug-fixes and enhanced interface.

However, according to our information, NV Platform Analyzer won’t live long – PhysX Visual Debugger will handle all profiling and debugging work for PhysX SDK 3.x (currently – only SDK 3.0), upcoming last version of PhysX SDK 2.8.x (probably, 2.8.5) and will support not only PC, but consoles as well.

NVIDIA Platform Analyzer 1.1 Downloads:

NPA x84

NPA x64

NPA Readme

Source: Geeks3D forums

Written by Zogrim

August 12th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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APEX Clothing tutorial: from Maya to UDK

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User monkeYB07 has posted a video tutorial, that covers APEX Clothing authoring process in Maya and further importing of completed clothing asset into Unreal Development Kit.

Update: New complete set of official APEX Clothing tutorials, including assets import and usage in UE3/UDK.

Basic result, working dynamic cloth, can be achieved in less than 10 minutes, but proper tweaking will certanly require more time.

For additional details on APEX Clothing authoring workflow you may refer to NVIDIA tutorials and APEX C page at Unreal Developer Network.

Written by Zogrim

August 12th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysX plug-in 2.6 for 3ds Max also updated

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NVIDIA PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max was updated to version 2.60.0413.1900

Update: PhysX plug-in 2.61 released

Release Notes:

Issues Fixed (Present in Previous Releases)

  • [#5771] Corrupted Paint Channel when loading some older assets
  • [#5770] Compression settings are reset to default
  • [#5769] Ragdoll on CAT rig doesn’t save/load properly
  • [#5667] Previewer crashes on some CAT files
  • [#5761] Cannot save paint channel for some assets

Updated PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max is available for download at Developer Support Center. You can find it in following section: [Online Support] -> [Downloads] -> [APEX] -> [APEX DCC Clothing Plugins]

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

Written by Zogrim

April 15th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysX plug-in 2.6 for Maya updated

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NVIDIA has updated DCC PhysX plug-in for Maya to version 2.60.0412.2200

Release Notes:

New Features

  • APEX Clothing: External Preview window with APEX debug capabilities

Issue Fixed (Present in Previous Releases)

  • [#5779] Crash when loading/applying clothing to some asset files

Updated PhysX plug-in for Maya is available for download at Developer Support Center. You can find it in following section: [Online Support] -> [Downloads] -> [APEX] -> [APEX DCC Clothing Plugins]

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

In addition, separate installers for Maya 2012 (x32 and x64-bit) are now also provided.

Written by Zogrim

April 14th, 2011 at 8:12 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , , ,

3ds Max 2012 released: new MassFX system overview

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If you were following Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 development process, you’ve already may know that built-in Havok Reactor physics simulation engine was replaced with a new MassFX unified simulation, using PhysX SDK integration.

However, since only mRigids solver (rigid body and joints dynamics) is available so far, one may say that Reactor was omitted too early, since not all the functionality (cloth, joint motors, forcefields, buoyancy) is present in MassFX currently.

Generally, MassFX is based on modified NVIDIA PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max (likely latest 2.60), and thus, resembles its basic functionality and interface, but several differences can be spotted:

  • Simulation in viewports runs much faster and smoother, thanks to new Nitrous graphics core. Performance Viewer tool, that can be found in PhysX plug-in 2.60, was removed.
  • APEX Clothing functionality is not available.
  • Dynamic ragdolls are not available.
  • Minor interface changes.

Note: MassFX does not support hardware acceleration currently.

Note #2: To avoid slowdowns while working with massive amount of objects, it is recommended to disable rendering of physical meshes (MassFX Toolbar > Display > Display Physical Meshes).

Previously, Autodesk has mentioned that future releases of MassFX will support cloth, softbody and ropes simulation, deformable meshes, fluids and forcefields.

Update: MassFX 2013 in review

Also, according to our knowledge, users will be able to install PhysX plug-ins from NVIDIA over MassFX, to enhance it with additional functionality.

Written by Zogrim

April 8th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , , ,

APEX 1.1 will include APEX Turbulence, APEX 1.2 will add GPU Rigid bodies

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NVIDIA has prepared a “surprise” – fully upgraded and rewamped Developer Zone.

Among with full set of new features and content, PhysX section was renovated too (previously, certain parts were staying without update for years).

Browsing through new website, we have found some intersting data, never revealed before – for example, APEX FAQ states that:

What APEX modules are available?

APEX 1.1 will include Turbulence and APEX 1.2 will include APEX Destruction with GPU Rigid Bodies. If you are interested in Turbulence or Destruction with GPU rigid bodies, please email us at apex-beta@nvidia.com.

APEX 1.0 Beta was released to public several weeks ago.

Several updated pages we recommend you to visit:

Main PhysX page

APEX Page

APEX FAQ

Written by Zogrim

April 5th, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Posted in Other, PhysX Tools

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:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

March 25th, 2011 at 3:02 am

So whats new in 2.60 version of PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max and Maya

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Ongoing (and prolonged) release of NVIDIA APEX framework has not only brought us PhysXLab (authoring tool for APEX Destruction and APEX Particles), but also new versions of PhysX plug-ins for Autodesk 3ds Max, 3ds Max Design and Maya (plug-ins were uploaded just several hours ago).

UPDATE: NVIDIA APEX 1.0 Beta released

Since many developers and VFX artists are waiting for this plug-ins, we decided to provide detailed overview of new features and changes in this versions. New PhysX plug-ins v. 2.60 for 3ds Max and Maya are available for download via Developer Support Center.

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

PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max v. 2.60.0314.1641

[supports 3ds Max (2009, 2010, 2011) and 3ds Max Design (2010, 2011), 32-bit and 64-bit versions]

Update: PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max updated

2.60 version of PhysX plug-ins seems to be used as basis for new MassFX unified dynamics system, included in upcoming 3ds Max 2012, as it resembles same interface and basic feature list. However, 2.60 PhysX plug-in supports APEX Clothing, while MassFX does not.

Lets take a view on new features, in comparison to previous 2.40 version of PhysX plug-in:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

March 17th, 2011 at 12:08 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

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Tutorial: APEX Destruction authoring in PhysXLab

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NVIDIA has uploaded several tutorials videos, which provide step-by-step overview of authoring process and in-deph description of APEX Destruction module features – slice fracturing and cut-out fracturing pipelines using PhysXLab tool.

Update: New tutorials provide in depth view of APEX Destruction usage in UDK

APEX Destruction PhysXLab Tutorial: Cut-out Fracturing

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

March 16th, 2011 at 2:33 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

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