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Archive for September, 2010

PhysX Research: Anisotropic Turbulence Particles

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Interesting paper, called “Scalable Fluid Simulation using Anisotropic Turbulence Particles” has appeared at homepage of Dr. Markuss Gross, from ETH Zurich.

As far as we know, same solver is used in APEX Turbulence module.

APEX Turbulence paper


It is usually difficult to resolve the fine details of turbulent flows, especially when targeting real-time applications. We present a novel, scalable turbulence method that uses a realistic energy model and an efficient particle representation that allows for the accurate and robust simulation of small-scale detail. We compute transport of turbulent energy using a complete two-equation k–e model with accurate production terms that allows us to capture anisotropic turbulence effects, which integrate smoothly into the base flow. We only require a very low grid resolution to resolve the underlying base flow.

As we offload complexity from the fluid solver to the particle system, we can control the detail of the simulation easily by adjusting the number of particles, without changing the large scale behavior. In addition, no computations are wasted on areas that are not visible. We demonstrate that due to the design of our algorithm it is highly suitable for massively parallel architectures, and is able to generate detailed turbulent

In addition, this paper comes with nice video demonstration (92 mb). It is worth to watch.

Thanks to AquaGeneral for the link.

Written by Zogrim

September 30th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

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


Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

September 30th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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Unity 3.0 now available with PhysX enhancements

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After long period of beta-testing, Unity 3.0 game development platform is available officially.

Unity 3.0 with updated PhysX

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.

Physics Improvements:

  • 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).

Written by Zogrim

September 27th, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Posted in Engines and Wrappers

Tagged with , ,

September UDK comes with PhysX SDK 2.8.4.

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September Beta version of Unreal Development Kit (UDK), a free version of the Unreal Engine 3, is available for download.

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.

You can download September UDK Beta here or here

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 ;)

Written by Zogrim

September 24th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Engines and Wrappers

Tagged with ,

Physics demos from NVIDIA GTC keynote

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As good tradition, several interesting physical demos were presented during GTC Day 1 Keynote by Tony Tamasi, Senior Vice President Content and Technology in NVIDIA.

First one was showing some high-fidelity smoke simulation, with particles interacting fully with characters, producing nice fluid and turbulent behaviour.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

September 21st, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Posted in Other

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FluidMark 1.2.2: compiled with newest PhysX SDK 2.8.4.

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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

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

September 21st, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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Next 3DMark will not use PhysX ?

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According to upcoming 3DMark 2011 benchmark won’t rely on PhysX integration, but use some in-house physics engine, based on DX 11 Compute Shaders.

Several Futuremark products like 3D mark 06 and Shattered Horizon game are using PhysX SDK, but only 3DMark Vantage features GPU/PPU accelerated physics, which can affect final CPU score.

From our opinion, this is natural change – solution, that brings substantial benefits to one of the GPU manufacturers, can hardly fit into unbiased benchmark, which 3DMark claims to be.

Written by Zogrim

September 20th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Posted in PhysX Middleware

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WeeklyTube Issue 45: PhysX video overview

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NVIDIA Physx Review Part 2 by TecnoGaming

This video, showcasing GPU PhysX usage in several games like Warmonger, Cryostasis and Mafia II, is supplementing “NVIDIA PhysX” article from

PhysX Teapot Dryer by Phrogz42

Another PhysX plug-in 2.06 for 3ds Max demonstration, this time – rigid body simulation with 1331 teapots in a clothing dryer, each teapot is a simple convex hull with 16 vertices.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

September 19th, 2010 at 3:12 am

Posted in WeeklyTube

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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.


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 ,

Going multi-language

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Time to expand auditory a little – as we are adding Russian branch of PhysX News section. From now on you can easily switch between languages using this small panel:

I, fellow Zogrim, gonna be responcible for Russian version as well.

Written by Zogrim

September 18th, 2010 at 1:20 am

Posted in Website

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