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Archive for 2012

Echoes from the past: The PhysX of Switchball

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Switchball has a special place in a history of hardware PhysX acceleration, as it was one of the first games with support for Ageia PhysX cards (Switchball demo was included on a CD with PPUs, although the game itself was released later one, in 2007).

Following video, showcasing the physics of Switchball in action, was prepared by our fellow reader Andrew “MohawkADE” Elliott.

Being a physics based puzzle-platfromer title, Switchball was offering special puzzles using SPH fluid dynamics and cloth simulation exclusive for Ageia PPU owners (if PPU was not found in the system, such sequences were substituted with less advanced versions).

Written by Zogrim

May 1st, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with , ,

Mech shooter Hawken will feature GPU PhysX support

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Hawken is a promising online mech-based combat game, under development by indie company Adhesive Games. This upcoming title has already garnered enough fans among players, thanks to excellent level design and gorgeous visuals.

Update: More details on GPU PhysX support in Hawken

Recently, Hawken trailer, featuring additional physically simulated particle effects, was demonstrated during Jen-Hsun Huang Keynote at NVIDIA Gaming Festival (NGF 2012).

Later on, PhysX support was confirmed by Jason Hughes, producer at Adhesive Games.

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Written by Zogrim

April 29th, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with ,

GameWorks Developer Program: easier way to access PhysX SDK, DCC Tools and APEX

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NVIDIA is about to meet the wishes of developer community with more friendly way to take advantage of PhysX SDK and APEX ToolsGameWorks Developer Program.

April 2014: Guide was updated to correspond with the new GameWorks Program

In comparison to previous account registration process, Developer Program features automated account approval (matter of minutes, not days) and simplified downloads structure (easier to find demanded files).

IF YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED AT NVIDIA DEVELOPER ZONE

Step 1. Go to NVIDIA Developer Zone and click “Register Now” (upper right corner)

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Written by Zogrim

April 24th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

3ds Max 2013: new features of MassFX in review

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Autodesk and NVIDIA continue their effort to create the universal physics simulation system for 3ds Max package – it is known as MassFX.

What has changed in new MassFX version, that comes with 3ds Max 2013, in comparison to the first release? We have tried to answer this question in our review.

One of the main new features of MassFX 2013 is the addition of mCloth – cloth simulation module, which was co-developed with Autodesk. Despite the rumors, mCloth uses PhysX 2.8.4 cloth solver for underlying physical calculations.

In comparison to APEX Clothing tools in PhysX plug-ins, mCloth is clearly oriented on VFX area: “one click” set up (no need to skin the mesh and apply movement constraints, as for APEX), full collisions with MassFX rigid bodies with two-way interaction, vertex group operations (like pin or attach to object), support for dynamic and kinematic cloth, ability to bake the simulation in keyframes.

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Written by Zogrim

April 17th, 2012 at 4:53 am

Technology behind PhysX 3 cloth solver

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If you are watching over PhysX SDK 3 development process, you may now that all-purpose cloth simulation engine, which can be found in SDK 2.x,  was replaced by new specialized PxCloth clothing solver in SDK 3.

Tech talk called “Character Clothing in PhysX 3“, presented by Tae-Yong Kim at SIGGRAPH ASIA 2011, provides in-depth overview of algorithms behind new clothing engine and its features.

Main features of new the solution are:

  • Improved performance.
  • Better artist control over bending and shearing of the cloth.
  • Better handling of high-energy motion.
  • Tapered capsules for better character representation.
  • Other pleasing features like virtual particles (for increased collision resolution), CCD or particles mass scaling.

We are expecting PxCloth solver to become one of the major features of APEX Clothing 1.2 module, that is supposed to be released in upcoming months.

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Written by Zogrim

April 6th, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Posted in PhysX SDK

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Post-GDC 2012: NVIDIA APEX is going to be integrated into Unity engine

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Remaining presentations from GDC 2012 are now available at GDC Vault.

Particularly interesting detail was revealed during “Mastering DX11 with Unity” (PDF) talk – NVIDIA APEX framework will be added to popular Unity game engine, which is currently using modified PhysX SDK 2.8.3 as physics engine.

A short demo (bus smashing through propane shop) of basic APEX Destruction module usage was presented, followed by promises to expand integration on other APEX modules in the future.

Next presentation, “Enhancing Games with Clothing and Destruction” is absolutely indentical to Game Technology Theather talk of the same name, we have reviewed it earlier.

Finally, it is worth to check a “Solving Rigid Body Contacts” tutorial from Richard Tonge, however, it is a bit technical.

Written by Zogrim

April 4th, 2012 at 9:16 pm

GPU PhysX trailer for Borderlands 2 was caught on camera

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Following trailer, showcasing hardware accelerated PhysX effects in upcoming Borderlands 2 title from Gearbox Software, was recorded on camera by one of the participants of Nvidia GeForce GTX Meet-Up event, which was held in San Francisco on March 28.

Update: alternative version

Update #2: new official PhysX trailer

Now you can see all previosly mentioned effects – physical particles, tearable cloth and dynamic fluids – in action.

Written by Zogrim

March 29th, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with , ,

Autodesk has announced 3ds Max 2013

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Autodesk has officially presented 3ds Max 2013 and 3ds Max Design 2013 – popular 3D modelling, rendering and animation packages.

Among other changes and improvements, MassFX, PhysX SDK based physics simulation solution, was upgraded with a number of new features.

Artists can now enjoy a more integrated and accurate dynamic toolset, thanks to a wide range of enhancements and additions to the MassFX unified system of simulation solvers.

Highlights are a new mCloth module that features tearable fabric and support for dynamic ragdoll hierarchies. In addition, improved constraints, better handling of pivot points, and enhanced UI readability help improve overall workflow.

Written by Zogrim

March 28th, 2012 at 10:47 am

EvE Online may be further enhanced with DX11 and PhysX

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Some interesting technology prototypes, that might greathly enhance Eve Online visual look in the future, were demonstrated today during “CCP Presents” keynote at Fanfest 2012 event by Tony Tamassi, Senior Vice President of Content & Technology in NVIDIA.

Update: video available

Update #2: devblog from CCP & article from NVIDIA

First one – DX 11 support and tesselation. In a real-time demo scene (running on a GTX 560, btw – “most commonly used card in EvE” as Tony stated), tesselation was used to enhance relatively simple model of Revenant Sansha Carrier with incredible number of smaller details (all the spurs, cables and stuff – being real geometry, not plain normal maps), all properly lightened and casting real shadows.

Second – additionally physically simulated objects in the space. In the same demo, while fairing through massive asteroid field, carrier was colliding with smaller asteroids and debris, flying all other the field, crashing and fracturing them upon impact. All simulation was done through PhysX SDK.

We remind you that currently PhysX/APEX is already used to sumulate clothing and hair on characters in EvE Online.

And finally, innovative offer was presented – capsuleers will have an option to buy NVIDIA GPUs.. for PLEX. GTX 560 was priced at 20 PLEX (however, offer might be limited to this model only).

Written by Zogrim

March 24th, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

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GTX 680: PhysX Benchmarks roundup

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Finally, NVIDIA has officially presented their new GPU – GTX 680, built on 28nm GK104 chip, which itself is based on next-gen Kepler architecture.

Many rumors were floating around Kepler and its physics acceleration capabilities, some were endowing new GPU with dedicated PhysX blocks, others were claiming ability to run CPU PhysX games in hardware – none of this happens to be true. Nothing special (like NVENC video encoder) for physics calculations, just general improvements to chip architecture, SM clusters, etc.

Nonetheless, we will try to gather all available information regarding PhysX computation performance of the GTX 680, in comparison to previous generation GPUs.

NVIDIA Kepler GPU GeForce GTX 680 Video Card Review by HARDOCP

Interesting results – in this case, GeForce GTX 680 performance is higher than Radeon HD 7970 even with GPU PhysX effects enabled. However, we can not directly compare GTX 580 and GTX 680 due to different resolution settings.

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Written by Zogrim

March 23rd, 2012 at 1:14 am

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