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Archive for March 25th, 2011

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

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