PHYSX NEWS PHYSX SDK
PROJECTS TABLE
GPU PHYSX
GAMES INFO
PHYSX
ARTICLES
PHYSX WIKI FORUM
РУССКИЙ ENGLISH


:: Back to news index ::

Archive for the ‘Interview’ tag

Introducing NVIDIA HairWorks: fur and hair simulation solution

with 9 comments

Real-time simulation and rendering of realistic hair/fur, consisting of multiple strands, is gettng much attention these days – one can easily name a TressFX solution, developed by AMD.

A competitive response from NVIDIA, new hair and fur simulation technology, which is now officially called NVIDIA HairWorks, was firstly showcased at The Witcher 3 presentation half a year ago and recently used in an actual game title – Call of Duty: Ghosts – to provide “Dynamic Fur” simulation for animal characters.

In comparison to other GPU accelerated physics features, Dynamic Fur was implemented through DirectCompute, which opens it for AMD users as well.

Tae-Yong Kim, physics programmer at NVIDIA, has agreed to answer some of our questions about HairWorks solution in general, and Call of Duty: Ghosts integration in particular.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

January 16th, 2014 at 11:33 am

Adding GPU PhysX support to Assassin’s Creed IV: interview with Ubisoft Kiev

with 7 comments

After the latter update, PC version of the Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (AC IV) has became the first Ubisoft’s game that implements GPU accelerated PhysX effects.

In the Black Flag, GPU PhysX support was shaped into volumetric particle effects (“PhysX Particles“), implemented through the APEX Turbulence module.

Bearing in mind that Assassin’s Creed series is already using competitive physics solution, Havok Physics engine, it was certanly an interesting technical task.

Semen Kovalev, Producer of Assassin’s Creed IV for PC at Ubisoft Kiev, was kind enough to share company’s experience on the PhysX integration process.

PhysXInfo.com: What kind of GPU accelerated physics effects can be found in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag?

Semen Kovalev: In Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, our development team decided to focus on adding physical smoke effects to the game. The smoke effects are present in a variety of forms such as smoke from flintlock pistol or musket shots, smoke bombs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

December 20th, 2013 at 8:47 pm

The Evolution of PhysX System Software

with 3 comments

Almost any user, who played games utilizing PhysX SDK physics engine (either with GPU acceleration support or software only), must be familiar with PhysX System Software (PSS, also known as PhysX Driver) – special package that includes core DLL libraries for physics engine to operate correctly and some firmware components, and is required for installation regardless of whether you have NVIDIA GPU or not.

This is how it works: PhysX Loader, located in game’s directory, loads corresponding core DLLs of PhysX engine from PSS installation folder. GPU acceleration DLLs (PhysX and CUDA Device Managers) are acquired from PSS distribution, if required. Supplementary libraries (like Character Controller DLL), in comparison, can be stored in local folder.

Note: one must have noticed that many older games store core engine libs locally, but still require a PSS installation.

For the most part, pre-2.8.4 PhysXCore.dll files in game directories are the result of special requirements of certain engines (like UE3) or installers that include unneeded DLLs.

PhysX System Software installation requirement was firstly introduced by Ageia in 2006, and obviously such approach has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

October 7th, 2012 at 4:08 am

Funcom plans to further expand PhysX integration into their games

without comments

Last year, Funcom has announced the integration of “server-side PhysX” in Dreamworld engine, a technology behind popular MMO titles, such as Age of Conan and recently released The Secret World.

Rui Casais, Chief Technology Officer at Funcom, has joined us today to shed some light on how the company plans to further utilize the PhysX engine in their current and future projects.

PhysXInfo.com: So what exactly is the server-side PhysX, integrated into Dreamworld engine?

Rui Casais: One of the most computational expensive operations we do in our servers is collision checking. Due to the nature of PC gaming, we can never trust the client and have to therefore validate all the player movement in the server.

We had a homebrew collision system that worked ok, but when it comes down to it nothing beats the performance of a physics library like PhysX for collision checks.

In addition to this the addition of PhysX makes it possible for us to do more interesting physics simulation in the future, collision is just the beginning.

PhysXInfo.com: Since PhysX SDK has replaced your own collision detection system, has it resulted in any performance improvements or ability to implement new physics features?

Rui Casais: Server performance doubled when using PhysX, and we plan to expand on the physics side of gameplay in the future, although that isn’t a simple problem to tackle. But we like challenges!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

September 29th, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Getting GPU PhysX effects into games: interview with NVIDIA Content Team

with 2 comments

Certainly, many of you will agree that the addition of GPU PhysX effects to PC games has a positive influence on overall gaming experience and immersion in such titles. But how difficult is to attach hardware accelerated physics effects to a game?

Today, with the help of David Schoemehl, Manager of GPU PhysX Content in NVIDIA, and Johnny Costello, Technical Artist, we will try to give you a brief “behind the scenes” view on the process of enhancing games with extra PhysX content.

PhysXInfo.com: Hi, Johnny and David. Can you please introduce yourself?

Johnny Costello: My name is Johnny Costello, I’m 29 years old and am a native to the Midwestern United States. I went to college at Savannah College of Art and Design and received my B.F.A. in game development. I have been a technical artist at NVIDIA for about two and a half years. During that time I have worked on several GPU PhysX titles such as Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, Mafia II, Dark Void, and Alice: Madness Returns.

David Schoemehl: My name is David Schoemehl, I joined AGEIA in 2006 as an applications engineer and was the project manager on Warmonger. Since the purchase of AGEIA by NVIDIA in 2008 I have led or supported several shipping GPU PhysX titles and demos including Batman: Arkham Asylum, The Samaritan Demo, Sacred 2, The Great Kulu Demo, and Alice: Madness Returns.

My current title is Manager of GPU PhysX Content and I am responsible for aligning NVIDIA’s engineers and artists to support developers on GPU PhysX engagements. I also work closely with Epic Games to ensure a solid integration of GPU PhysX/APEX features in UE3.

PhysXInfo.com: Johnny, what is your task as a PhysX technical artist?

Johnny Costello: My tasks can change a lot from day to day, but usually I’m working on a game title in some capacity. Our goal at NVIDIA is to provide the tools that developers need in order to add great GPU features to their games. So I spend much of my time working with developers to help guide them as they use our technology to create exciting content.

Depending on the structure of a particular engagement I may also work alongside the developer to create GPU PhysX content. Then there are other days where I help design and review our tools and production workflows.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

February 10th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Metro Last Light: developer talks about CPU and GPU PhysX support

with 6 comments

Metro: Last Light, sequel to Metro 2033 title, is aiming technology throne with DX 11, tesselation and support for GPU accelerated PhysX effects. PCGamesHardware.com had the chance to talk with Oles Shishkovtsov, Chief Technology Officer at 4A Games, about improvements that are planned for PC version of the game.

Update: Metro Last Light – GPU PhysX effects explored

PC Games Hardware: You keep the support for GPU PhysX in Metro Last Light. If so can we expect some improvements or enhancements compared to Metro 2033 (e.g. soft bodies, debris, and destructible environments)? What graphics card do you recommend for maxed details in Full HD with Antialiasing? An upcoming Nvidia Kepler-based Geforce for example? ;-)

Oles Shishkovtsov: Yes, you can expect a lot of improvements, especially in destruction and debris. The upcoming Geforce cards will be fully supported.

PC Games Hardware: When benchmarking Metro 2033 we found out that the engine utilized more than four cores of multicore CPUs if we were using the advanced PhysX effects on CPU, so you are utilizing Nvidias PhysX SDK 3.x? Will all the advanced PhysX effects only be available in PC version?

Oles Shishkovtsov: That’s the common misconception that PhysX 2.X cannot be multithreaded. Actually it is internally designed to be multithreaded! The only thing – it takes some programmer time to enable that multi-threading (actually task generation), mostly to integrate with engine task-model and ensure proper load-balancing. So, 2033 used PhysX 2.8.3, and Last Light uses similar, a slightly modified version at the time of writing. And yes, advanced PhysX effects will be available only on PC.

Read the full interview

Sounds good.

However, we are hoping that this time Metro will be able to surprise us with more than two minor particle effects (as in Metro 2033 – while “debris, smoke and dust” were promised) and it won’t require “upcoming GeForce card” to run those GPU PhysX effects with playble framerate.

Written by Zogrim

October 31st, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Exclusive: NVIDIA talks present and future of PhysX Technology

with 11 comments

Almost four years has passed since NVIDIA aquired Ageia and presented their version of hardware accelerated PhysX Technology. However, anyone who is watching GPU PhysX progress closely can say, that so far it has not shown any significant advancement – but is the fight already lost or is it just taking time to harness up, but will ride fast?

We got a chance to chat with Tony Tamasi, Senior Vice President of Content & Technology in NVIDIA, Ashu Rege, Vice President of Content & Technology, and Rev Lebaredian, Director of Engineering, to clear up these questions, and recieve some insider information on future development plans for PhysX SDK and NVIDIA APEX toolset.

PhysXInfo.com: Over last years, amount of GPU PhysX games is actually decreasing. There were five games in 2009, three in 2010 and so far only one in 2011. How can you explain that?

Tony Tamasi: It was a choice on our part. We had a large amount of resources we could otherwise dedicate to content, but we needed to advance the core technology. We needed to get PhysX 3 done, and we needed to get APEX done to the degree where it is usable by game developers. We had to put a lot of resources there, which meant that some of those resources weren’t directly working on games.

But in the long term, game developers can actually use PhysX and APEX, and make use of the GPU without significant amounts of effort, so that a year or two years from now more games will come out using GPU physics.

Alice: Madness Returns - most recent GPU PhysX title

Rev Lebaredian: When we initially acquired Ageia, we made a big effort to move many games over to GPU PhysX. We learned a lot in that period of time: getting GPU physics into games, what are the problems, what works and what doesn’t. That gave us the opportunity to regroup, refocus, and figure out how to do it correctly.

We made a conscious decision. After we did a bunch of PhysX and APEX games in 2009 and early 2010, we said “Ok, we have learned enough, we need to sit down and focus on finishing APEX and changing it based on what we just learned, as well as PhysX 3”. Doing as many titles as we were doing before was just going to slow us down.

It made more sense to slow down the content pipeline but get the tools right, but that puts us in the position when once those are complete, it is actually less work for us to get PhysX in games.

This slowdown has not been because of any problems. It is something that we have decided to do.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

October 20th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Posted in Articles, Reviews, Other

Tagged with , ,

More details about PhysX support in Batman: Arkham City

with 3 comments

In a recent interview to PCGamesHardware.de, Ben Wyatt, technical director at Rocksteady Studios, has revealed some technical details about PhysX implementation and GPU PhysX support in upcoming Batman: Arkham City title.

Let’s overview disclosed facts briefly:

  • Batman Arkham City won’t use PhysX 3, but PhysX SDK 2.8.4 instead.
  • GPU PhysX content will be able to run on CPU, but with significant performance drop (typical GPU exclusive content type, we presume).
  • APEX Destruction (destructible objects and walls) and APEX Clothing (clothing simulation on characters, dynamic paper and leaves) modules will be utilized.

Since APEX Particles module was not mentioned, it seems that GPU accelerated particles (smoke, debris) will be based on default PhysXParticleSystem implementation (like in Alice: Madness Returns).

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

September 27th, 2011 at 12:43 am

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with , ,

NVIDIA: PhysX continues to play an important role for us

with 8 comments

If you know PhysX only as GPU accelerated physics effects for PC games, lack of news and announcements of new GPU PhysX titles may give you an idea that NVIDIA has decided to drop support for PhysX completely. Forum threads like “Is PhysX Dead?” or “Physx dead?“, popping up from time to time, are indicating – users are worried.

We were able to contact NVIDIA and Mike Skolones, product manager for PhysX, has revealed us the company’s plans regarding PhysX Technology.

PhysXInfo.com: Is PhysX still playing important role for NVIDIA ? Are you planning to use and evolve the PhysX Technology over the years, or thinking about abandoning it in a favor for other solutions ?

Mike Skolones: PhysX has been and continues to play an important role for NVIDIA, as well as for the thousands of game developers who use PhysX for physics simulation across a broad range of platforms, including PC, Xbox360, PLAYSTATION 3, Nintendo Wii , iOS (including iPhone, iPod, and iPad), OSX, Linux, and Android (including NVIDIA Tegra™ devices), MMO servers running Linux and Windows; OSX ports; and Windows games, where GPU-accelerated advanced simulation is poised for continued growth.

Monster Madness - one of the fist games that utilizes PhysX SDK on Android platform

More importantly, because PhysX continues to be the choice of developers for integration into world’s leading commercial game engines, including Unreal Engine 3, Trinigy, Unity, Torque, Gamebryo, Lightspeed, Hero, and Dark Basic, not to mention other internal tech engines which also use PhysX, designers and artists know they have compelling development platforms they can immediately take advantage for making their games that much more realistic and interactive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

April 17th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Articles, Reviews, Other

Tagged with , ,

How PhysX is used in Breach: Interview with Atomic Games

with 4 comments

This week our undivided attention is focused PhysX SDK based multiplayer shooter Breach, notable for its pervasive and complex dynamic destruction system.

Update: PhysX and Breach: Final Verdict

Breach and PhysX - Interview

We’ve contacted Atomic Games, developers of Breach, to get more background on PhysX implementation and technical aspects of in-game physics. Mark Davidson, director of core technologies, was kind enought to answer some of our questions:

PhysXInfo.com: Destruction system and physics in general – what do they mean for Breach? Are they just a cosmetic features or integral part of the gameplay?

Mark Davidson: Destruction in Breach defines the game. It’s not just a facet of game play; it is the core mechanic, the soul. Everything revolves around it, how to attack, how to defend, where to take cover, these choices are all driven by the destructible nature of the environment.

The fact that almost anything on the battlefield can be destroyed means physics play a pivotal role in how any skirmish plays out. We have gone way beyond swapping models for a destroyed version, In Breach you are physically affecting elements of the world and forcing other players to react to that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

January 25th, 2011 at 1:16 am

Copyright © 2009-2014. PhysXInfo.com | About PhysXInfo.com project | Privacy Policy
PhysX is trademark of NVIDIA Corporation