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Archive for the ‘PhysX’ tag

GPU PhysX in Metro: Last Light

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Metro: Last Light, a post-apocalyptic first person shooter with survival horror elements, is joining the family of PhysX enabled titles by offering a support for GPU accelerated physics effects.

Update: Metro Last Light PhysX Benchmarks roundup

Update #2: Metro: Last Light – GPU PhysX Profile

First game in the series – Metro 2033 – was also featuring a GPU PhysX content, however, it was limited to basic particle effects.

Was the Last Light able to improve the results of its predecessor? Let’s find out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

May 24th, 2013 at 10:54 am

Metro Last Light: GPU PhysX effects explored

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More or less detailed information on GPU PhysX support level in the upcoming Metro: Last Light title was revealed today in the “Metro: Last Light Graphics Breakdown & Performance Guide” article by NVIDIA.

Update: GPU PhysX in Metro: Last Light

Similar to the previous Metro 2033 game, Last Light features two levels of PhysX integration – standart, CPU based physics calculations like rigid body physics and ragdolls, working on all platforms from PC to consoles, and extra, so called “Advanced PhysX” effects, designed to be accelerated on the GPU.

According to the article, advanced physics effects will include:

  • Physically simulated particles such as impact debris, sparks, extra chunks from destructible objects and other types of environmental particles.
  • SPH based smoke and fog simulation, that reacts to players movements and actions. With the advanced physics disabled, players will see only pre-backed non-interactive animation instead of real-time simulation.
  • Interactive cloth objects, such as banners, flags and drapes. Yet again, without advanced PhysX option enabled, most cloth will remain pre-animated or static.
  • Dynamic forcefields, such as shockwaves from grenade explosions, that will affect all types of the PhysX effects decribed above, for example, repell all nearby particles and rigid bodies upon detonation.

Looks solid and it seems that PhysX effects in Last Light will end up being more vibrant and diverse than in previous Metro title.

As always, you can expect full PhysX review here on PhysXInfo.com short after Metro: Last Light release, which will happen this week.

Written by Zogrim

May 13th, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Multithreaded performance scaling in PhysX SDK

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Recent “The Evolution of PhysX” article has unvealed the current situation with performance improvements among various PhysX SDK vesions, however, one interesting case has remained outside the coverage – performance scaling in multithreaded environments.

It is known that, while PhysX SDK 2.8 has rather limited multi-threading capabilities (mostly working on per-scene or per-compartment basis), PhysX SDK 3.x can distribute various tasks across worker threads much more effective, and thus offer better support for multi-core CPUs.

But how well does multi-threading actually work in PhysX 3 (we’ll take the latest 3.3 version)? Using the same PEEL (Physics Engine Evaluation Lab) tool to the record the performance metrics, we will try to shed the light on this question.

Scene #1 – random dynamic primitives in a box

Static container filled with 256 random primitives (sphere, box, capsule).

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Written by Zogrim

May 12th, 2013 at 11:08 pm

GPU PhysX is now officially enabled in PlanetSide 2

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Very similar to Hawken, GPU PhysX support in another free-2-play MMO title, PlanetSide 2, has a multi-staged history – basic integration in Closed Beta, unfulfilled promises after the release, unofficial way to enable the effects later on.

Update: official PhysX trailer by NVIDIA

And now, finally, we are glad to inform you that GPU Physics option can now be officially enabled in PlanetSide 2.

PlanetSide 2 is build on a brand new ForgeLight engine from SOE, which features a two layers of PhysX and APEX integrations – a basic CPU physics layer, based on PhysX SDK 3.2, which power all the collision and hit detection, character controllers and vehicle physics, and also an extra GPU accelerated physics effects layer, which is working working on APEX Particles and APEX Turbulence modules.

GPU PhysX effects, present in PlanetSide 2, can be devided into two categories – various types of impact debris effects (sparks, rock pieces, metal chards, wood splinters, etc) and Turbulence particles, applied to objects such as jump-pads, grav-elevators, healing grenades, teleporters and so on.

All the effects are done really well, from both artistical and technical standpoint, and also present a dramatic enhancement to the visual look of the game. PlanetSide 2 is a must-play, or at least must-see, for every user interested in PhysX Technology.

Head on over to the PlanetSide 2.com to enlist, and if you are interested in technical details behind PhysX effects, don’t forget to check “Maximizing PhysX-based particle effects in Planetside 2” article on NVIDIA Developer Zone.

Written by Zogrim

March 20th, 2013 at 11:17 pm

PhysX SDK will replace Havok in The Witcher 3

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A few years ago, CD Project Red has licensed Havok physics engine and animation system for upcoming game titles. As result, the highly acclaimed The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings title was using Havok based physics.

Update: The Witcher 3 will support GPU PhysX, now officially

As company’s next generation REDengine 3 was announced, it would be natural to expect that future games utilizing this engine, such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, will continue to rely on Havok technology.

However, in a recent interview with PCGamesHardware, it was revealed by the developers that PhysX SDK will be used in The Witcher 3 as the physics engine (and this was confirmed by our sources as well). In addition, NVIDIA APEX integration will provide additional features such as cloth simulation and realistic destruction.

As of yet there is no information if GPU acceleration will be supported by The Witcher 3 or if other CD Project Red projects, like Cyberpunk 2077, will use PhysX based physics too.

Written by Zogrim

March 1st, 2013 at 11:32 am

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with , , ,

NVIDIA is continuing to be a partner for physics middleware on PlayStation 4

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Recent announcement of Sony’s next-generation PlayStation 4 console has revealed that the new gaming system will be equipped with custom AMD GPU, capable of GPGPU computations – for example, physics simulation. To showcase its processing power, a live demo of GPU accelerated particle simulation, running on the Havok engine, was demonstrated during the event.

Update: official press-release

Update #2: PhysX SDK and APEX – now on Xbox One

PS4 logo

An opinions began to emerge, that NVIDIA PhysX SDK engine and PhysX Technology as a whole won’t find its place in the world of next-generation consoles and, thus, will be abandoned quickly.

However, official “PlayStation 4 Tools & Middleware Developers” page says that “following middleware companies have their innovative technology solutions available right now to support PlayStation 4 developers”:

Since NVIDIA does not own any AI or Animation middleware, it is pretty clear that PhysX SDK physics engine is implied here. PhysX SDK will support PlayStation 4 and is already available for developers, as our sources, close to the industry, can confirm.

It is yet unclear, how the situation with GPU acceleration (you know, that “NVIDIA technology running on AMD hardware?!?!” stuff) will be handled on PS4 , but it is now certain – PhysX is here to stay.

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Written by Zogrim

February 22nd, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Yes, you can enable PhysX effects in PlanetSide 2, but should you do it?

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The return of GPU PhysX support to MMO shooter PlanetSide 2 is a hot topic for many players ever since the Closed Beta.

Update: GPU PhysX is now officially enabled in PlanetSide 2

Recently it was discovered, that one may already enable PhysX effects in PlanetSide, just by adding several parameters to one of the .ini files of the game. But should one do it?

Bear in mind, that GPU PhysX support was not like “frozen and abandoned” since Beta – it is a part of the game which is yet under active development.

That means, all the fancy particle effects you can unofficially enable today still require some tweaking from both artistical and technical standpoint – that means, visual look of the effects is not yet final, and performance or stability problems may occur.

Thus, if you missed the Beta and want to know what to expect from GPU PhysX in Planetside 2 – go ahead, take a sneak peak.

But we highly not recommend you to leave the “forced” PhysX effects enabled for everyday use – just wait till they will be ready, as such unfineshed feature may give you a false impression of the final content.

Similar suggestion from SOE:

We do plan to reintroduce these portions of PhysX (saying there isn’t any is actually incorrect) at a near future date. These are currently being tested to ensure smooth gameplay. In the interim we don’t advise making these changes for an optimum experience.

Written by Zogrim

February 12th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with , , ,

GPU PhysX effects will appear in Rise of the Triad

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As revealed in a recent developer video blog, Rise of the Triad title, remake of the original 1995’s Rise of the Triad game, will offer support for GPU accelerated PhysX effects.

Unreal Engine 3 powered remake is developed by a company called Interceptor Entertainment and is slated for release on PC in 2013 via Steam.

As showcased in the production diary (at 3:00), PhysX effects will at least include physical particles (impact chunks and debris, standart stuff) and destructible environments (probably, APEX based).

Be sure to check game’s website -  RiseoftheTriad.net – for more information.

And to keep an eye on other upcoming projects, featuring PhysX support, don’t forget to visit our Upcoming GPU PhysX games page.

Written by Zogrim

February 11th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

Tagged with , , ,

Hawken Closed Beta: PhysX Effects Preview

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Hawken, upcoming online mech-based shooter with GPU PhysX support, has entered stage #2 of closed beta testing. We have decided to examine the current state of hardware accelerated PhysX content in this title.

Update: PhysX effects in Hawken Open Beta. What has changed ?

From technical standpoint, Hawken is based on Unreal Development Kit engine, paired with APEX 1.2 on PhysX SDK 2.8.4.8 – such combination presents interesting opportunities.

But so far, only lowest level of PhysX Effects (“PhysX Particles – Low” option) is available, which includes only physical particles of various types – impact debris, scraps from explosions and destroyed robots, concrete chunks as result of mech movement.

Current effects are looking not bad, but to be honest, some additional polishing won’t hurt (for example, particles are not casting shadows and impacts on metal surfaces should emit sparks, not debris). Let’s just blame the Beta state.

Of course, one can disable all extra PhysX content completely, by setting “PhysX Particles” option to “Off”.

As it was announced previously, APEX Turbulence and APEX Destruction modules will also make their appearance in this game, but we don’t have a confirmation currently, whether they will available at launch or released as post-launch update.

As the release date (December 12) approaches, we will try to keep a close eye on Hawken. Meanwhile, you can join the discussion at our forum.

Written by Zogrim

November 9th, 2012 at 4:26 am

Funcom plans to further expand PhysX integration into their games

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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!

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Written by Zogrim

September 29th, 2012 at 8:16 pm

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