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Archive for 2012

Borderlands 2: one hour gameplay video featuring PhysX effects

with 6 comments

One hour long video of Borderlands 2 co-op gameplay was revealed by Gamespot, with commentaries by Randy Pitchford, President of Gearbox Software.

Gameplay was recorded on PC platform, with all the GPU PhysX effects and eyecandy enabled.

If previous PhysX trailer has not given you an idea about level of PhysX support in this game, maybe this video will.

Written by Zogrim

August 31st, 2012 at 10:08 am

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with , , , ,

New PhysX trailer for Borderlands 2 has appeared

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New GPU PhysX trailer for Borderlands 2 title from Gearbox was revealed today, showcasing hardware accelerated physics effects which will be added to PC version of the game.

Update: one hour gameplay video with PhysX effects

Few months ago, several cam footages of first PhysX trailer were uploaded to YouTube, but following demonstration is significantly better – longer, smoother, more detailed, in full HD glory, without tremble and background noise.

So far, hardware accelerated effects will include SPH fluid simulation and rendering (with different behaviour – water, acid, blood, etc), tearable cloth, advanced forcefields manipulation and enhanced weapon effects (impact debris, volumetric smoke, additional particles from explosions).

From technical standpoint, physics in the game will be based on PhysX SDK 2.8.4 and APEX 1.x (may be subject to change).

Written by Zogrim

August 14th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Updated PhysX plug-ins with full APEX 1.2 support have arrived

with 3 comments

New DCC PhysX plug-ins for 3ds Max (2.86.00806) and Maya (2.86.00820) are finishing the line of updated content creation tools, accompanying the APEX 1.2 release.

Update: 2.87 PhysX plug-in are released

One of the most import features of this new plug-ins is the introduction of the authoring pipeline for new PhysX 3 clothing solver (more details in our APEX 1.2 overview and this SIGGRAPH presentation), however, other improvements are present as well.

2.86.00806 PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max: Release Notes

3ds max plug-in is supporting both new embedded clothing solver (PhysX 3.x) and old 2.8.4 cloth – one can switch between the two using [PhysX Tools] > [Engine] > [Use PhysX engine] option.

Although basic principles of clothing authoring between two solvers are the same (painting cloth constraints and attributes, setting ragdoll skeleton, etc), lesser details and settings are quite different.

We are expecting updated tutorials on PhysX 3 clothing authoring process to be revealed soon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

August 7th, 2012 at 3:25 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

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PhysXLab 1.2 released, offers new fracturing options

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As part of massive update for APEX Toolset, NVIDIA has presented new PhysXLab 1.2 editor, compatible with APEX 1.2 release.

(click on the picture to enlarge)

Please note that destructible assets, created with PhysXLab 1.2, won’t be recognized by current UE3/UDK builds. Use 1.1 version instead.

Update: PhysXLab 1.2.1 is released.

Feature Highlights

Voronoi fracturing mode.

Being 3rd fracturing algorithm in PhysXLab, new Voronoi mode allows artist to devide objects into simplistic convex pieces.

Since convex physical meshes are natively supported in PhysX SDK, Voronoi fracturing results in less interpenetrations between chunks and, thus, more stable simulation.

So far, settings for this mode are very basic. One can only change number of chunks to be generated (from 2 to 1000) and variate their distribution with “random seed” option. Hierarchical Voronoi fracturing is not supported as well.

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Written by Zogrim

August 7th, 2012 at 2:03 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , ,

Welcome NVIDIA APEX 1.2: first APEX with PhysX 3 support

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New release of NVIDIA APEX framework is now available for public download.

Update: APEX SDK 1.2.1 is released

Update #2: APEX SDK 1.3 is available

This release includes several major features, like PhysX SDK 3 support and new modules – APEX Turbulence and APEX ForceField.

Please note that APEX 1.2 requires corresponding authoring tools – PhysXLab 1.2 and 2.8 DCC plug-ins.

While PhysX Registered Developer Program website is still getting back on track, NVIDIA APEX SDK 1.2 can be downloaded through Developer Support Center.

If you are experiencing troubles with registration, please refer to our updated guide.

Feature Highlights

Although APEX 1.2 is the first APEX release to feature PhysX 3 support (SDK 3.2 specifically), standalone variant, compatible with SDK 2.8.4, is also available for developers who haven’t upgraded their physics integration to a new engine, but still want to take advantage of the new capabilities of APEX 1.2.

Addition of SDK 3.2 support is distinctive feature of this release, which not only allows developers utilizing the PhysX 3 engine to implement APEX in their games, but also brings all the advancements present in 3.x branch of PhysX SDK.

However, currently there is feature parity for core APEX functionality between the 2.8.4 and 3.2 ports, for most part.

Updated APEX SDK 1.2.1, which will add several missing features, like GPU Rigid Bodies support for 3.x branch, will be available shortly.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

August 7th, 2012 at 12:44 am

Hitman: Absolution will rely on PhysX SDK for physics simulation

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While inspecting the PC version of Hitman: Sniper Challenge demo, recently released as bonus to Hitman: Absolution pre-order, we have spotted interesting detail – this demo is utilizing PhysX SDK 2.8.4 engine  for physics calculations.

Since Sniper Challenge is based on same new “Glacier 2” engine, developed by IO Interactive, it is safe to assume that Hitman: Absolution (and other future games on this engine) will be also using PhysX SDK.

PhysX is responcible for rigid body physics, character controller and collision detection, while cloth simulation is powered by CloakWorks Shroud engine.

However, we do not have any official or unofficial information regarding GPU PhysX support in Hitman: Absolution – most likely, it will feature only CPU based physics.

As interesting note, latest games by IO Interactive – Kane & Lynch: Dead Men and Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days – were using Havok physics solution.

Written by Zogrim

August 2nd, 2012 at 5:52 pm

How to put the Demos back in the PhysX Control Panel: Video Guide

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Another thematic video guide from Andrew “MohawkADE” Elliott, explaining how to add missing physics demos (older from Ageia and newer from NVIDIA) to PhysX Control Panel.

Please note that following guide is only valid for Ageia PhysX PPU owners.

You can find written tutorial on our forums.

Related materials:

Written by Zogrim

August 1st, 2012 at 10:29 am

Posted in PhysX Hardware

Tagged with , ,

PhysX Research: Mass Splitting for Jitter-Free Parallel Rigid Body Simulation

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We want to draw your attention to the following SIGGRAPH 2012 paper, called “Mass Splitting for Jitter-Free Parallel Rigid Body Simulation” by Richard Tonge (NVIDIA), Feodor Benevolenski (NVIDIA) and Andrey Voroshilov (NVIDIA).

GPU Rigid Body solver, described in this paper, was already presented to public as part of APEX Destruction 1.1 module and UDK/UE3 integration.

We present a parallel iterative rigid body solver that avoids common artifacts at low iteration counts. In large or real-time simulations, iteration is often terminated before convergence to maximize scene size. If the distribution of the resulting residual energy varies too much from frame to frame, then bodies close to rest can visibly jitter. Projected Gauss-Seidel (PGS) distributes the residual according to the order in which contacts are processed, and preserving the order in parallel implementations is very challenging. In contrast, Jacobi-based methods provide order independence, but have slower convergence.

We accelerate projected Jacobi by dividing each body mass term in the effective mass by the number of contacts acting on the body, but use the full mass to apply impulses. We further accelerate the method by solving contacts in blocks, providing wallclock performance competitive with PGS while avoiding visible artifacts. We prove convergence to the solution of the underlying linear complementarity problem and present results for our GPU implementation, which can simulate a pile of 5000 objects with no visible jittering at over 60 FPS.

As you may see, one of the main features of this solver is fast and stable simulation without jittering, even with high number of contacts.

Thanks to Jesse Stiller for the link.

Written by Zogrim

July 29th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Articles, Reviews, PhysX Research

Tagged with ,

How to restore Ageia PPU support with latest NVIDIA Drivers: Video Guide

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Andrew “MohawkADE” Elliott, our fellow reader and big fan of original Ageia PhysX cards, has prepared a video version of his guide on how to restore PPU support with latest PhysX Drivers.

Ageia PPUs are not recognized by latest PhysX System Software releases, but with a bit of work you will be able to play every game with hardware PhysX acceleration (assuming you have NVIDIA GPU as well), without necessity to reinstall PhysX drivers for each title.

Please note that only certain games (based on PhysX SDK below 2.8.3) are featuring PPU support. Even following this guide, you can't force latest titles like Batman: Arkham City to utilize your PPU.

Related materials:

Keep an eye on MohawkADE’s channel, as more interesting videos and reviews are coming soon !

Written by Zogrim

July 23rd, 2012 at 10:53 am

Updated PhysX SDK 3.2.1 is released

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NVIDIA has presented updated PhysX SDK 3.2.1, which includes many bug fixes and small improvements in comparison to initial SDK 3.2 release.

Update: PhysX SDK 3.2.2 is available

nvidia-physx

PhysX SDK 3.2.1 – Release Notes

  • General
    • Added GRB hooks for APEX 1.2.1.
    • Some incorrect usages of __restrict have been fixed.
    • A crash when the user’s code had FPU exceptions enabled has been fixed.
    • A rare crash on Win64 has been fixed.
    • Removed no longer needed RapidXML library from distribution.
    • Binary serialization can now save the names of actors and shapes.
    • Removed a RepXUtility.h reinterpret_cast compile warning that happened on some platforms.
    • Fixed a spurious overlapping read/write error report when using simulation call backs in checked builds.
  • Documentation
    • Clarified documentation regarding use of eSEND_SLEEP_NOTIFIES flag.
    • Clarified documentation regarding using different CRT libraries.
    • Removed some confusing statements about meta data from the documentation.
    • Updated PsPool, PsSort so they can use the user allocator.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

July 21st, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Posted in PhysX SDK

Tagged with , ,

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