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Archive for the ‘plug-in’ tag

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

So whats new in 2.60 version of PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max and Maya

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Ongoing (and prolonged) release of NVIDIA APEX framework has not only brought us PhysXLab (authoring tool for APEX Destruction and APEX Particles), but also new versions of PhysX plug-ins for Autodesk 3ds Max, 3ds Max Design and Maya (plug-ins were uploaded just several hours ago).

UPDATE: NVIDIA APEX 1.0 Beta released

Since many developers and VFX artists are waiting for this plug-ins, we decided to provide detailed overview of new features and changes in this versions. New PhysX plug-ins v. 2.60 for 3ds Max and Maya are available for download via Developer Support Center.

If you are experiencing trouble with registration of PhysX Developer account, please refer to our registration guide.

PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max v. 2.60.0314.1641

[supports 3ds Max (2009, 2010, 2011) and 3ds Max Design (2010, 2011), 32-bit and 64-bit versions]

Update: PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max updated

2.60 version of PhysX plug-ins seems to be used as basis for new MassFX unified dynamics system, included in upcoming 3ds Max 2012, as it resembles same interface and basic feature list. However, 2.60 PhysX plug-in supports APEX Clothing, while MassFX does not.

Lets take a view on new features, in comparison to previous 2.40 version of PhysX plug-in:

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Written by Zogrim

March 17th, 2011 at 12:08 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , , , , ,

New MassFX video showcases convex decomposition feature

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Autodesk has released another sneak-peek video of MassFX – PhysX SDK (and PhysX plug-in) based physics simulation system for XBR (namely 3ds Max 2012).

Previous video has showed us that substeps control will be included, and this one reveals another interesting feature – composite physical mesh type (previously spotted only in internal versions of PhysX plug-in).

In this case, user will be able to decompose concave mesh (not supported by PhysX SDK natively) into convex pieces, using built-in algorithm, and simulate it as one physical object.

Now, with both convex decomposition and substeps control features MassFX may show itself as pretty effective tool, at least for rigid body simulations.

Written by Zogrim

March 1st, 2011 at 2:15 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , , ,

PhysX based simulation system in Autodesk XBR will be called MassFX

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We already mentioned plans of Autodesk to replace Reactor (using Havok) physics engine in next versions of 3ds Max with a new and probably better one, based on PhysX SDK.

Update: New MassFX sneak-peek video

Recently released “sneak peek” video gives us a short glimpse on this simulation system, and reveals its name – MassFX.

As you may notice, MassFX resembles general design of standart PhysX plug-in from NVIDIA, but also includes some long-anticipated features, like substeps control, for example.

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Written by Zogrim

February 25th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , , , ,

How to achieve quality simulation with PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max

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Those of you who are familiar with PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max (for example, recently released 2.40 version) may already notice that by default simulation is not going as smooth as you can expect – rigid body objects are often interpenetrating each other, jittering and jiggling (especially when stacked) , and so on – making it hardly suitable for some scenes.

UPDATE: Not valid for 2.60 PhysX plug-ins and above

So, we’ve contacted Gavin Kistner, Product Designer for PhysX Max and Maya plug-ins at NVIDIA, and he gave us several tips, using those you can deal with simulation stability problems in most of the cases:

TIP I – Increase Frame Rate

If rigid bodies are showing inaccurate behaviour, this is indicating that physics engine is just not performing enough simulation substeps between frames. To fix that (as separate substeps control is yet not availalbe in public versions of PhysX plug-in) you can simply increase Frame Rate before previewing or baking the simulation (and than revert it back to normal during composing, for example).

3ds Max PhysX plug-in framerate

To illustrate this tip, let’s set up a simple scene – several rigid body planks falling one at each other, trying to form a stack.

3ds Max PhysX plug-in low quality

With default Frame Rate – 30 fps (shown above), simulation is just messed up. At certain frame planks are stuck together, solver is trying to resolve inter-collisions and repels planks – stack collapses.

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Written by Zogrim

October 1st, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , ,

Autodesk Subscription Pack for 3ds Max 2011 includes 2.40 PhysX plug-in

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Now, when Subscription Advantage Pack for 3ds Max 2011 and 3ds Max Design 2011 was released, we can verify that it includes updated version of PhysX plug-in, designated as 2.40.0808.2140, avaialble in 32- and 64-bit variants and based on PhysX SDK 2.8.3.17.

Update: How to achieve quality simulation with PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max

Update #2: New PhysX plug-n v. 2.60 released

3ds Max PhysX plug-in v2.40

Unfortunately, APEX Clothing tools are in not included in this version of the plug-in.

Note: To use this plug-in with RayFire Tool, you need to update RayFire to version 1.51.02

For those of you, who still can’t decide if new PhysX plug-in is worth the update, here are full Release Notes we took from documentation:

v2.40.0625, 2010-June-25

Issues Fixed (Present in Previous Releases)

  • [#5023] Rotating collision shape on biped does not maintain position in space
  • [#4936] Resetting a project does not reset PhysX global settings
  • [#5022] Capsule’s shape is altered incorrectly when height or radius is modified
  • [#5061] Loading a project from 2010 with constraint fails to load in Max2011
  • [#5098] Constraint Swing Y and Swing Z reversed in UI

New Known Issues

  • [#5107] Baking rigid bodies attached to constraints yields incorrect results
  • [#5152] Baking to keyframes offsets values when Start Frame is not 0
  • [#5153] Initial Spin speed not in degrees per second

———

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Written by Zogrim

September 30th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , , ,

PhysX plug-in v2.06 for 3ds Max in action

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Several nice videos were uploaded on YouTube by user named Phrogz42 (and further finding are indicating that Gavin Kistner, Product Designer for PhysX Max and Maya plug-ins, is hiding behing this nick) – they are showcasing usage of PhysX 3ds Max plug-in for simulation of several complex obejcts – mostly chains of various types.

But much more interesting details were revealed by autor today, as responce to our question – PhysX plug-in v2.06 Alpha (current version, available for public, is 2.01) was used to create those demonstrations.

Most simulations were running on sub-realtime performance, due to highly increased iterations count, but stability is impressive, not to mention that almost no joints were used – each chain link is compound obejct, consisting of several rigid body primitives/convex meshes.

Take a look at description of “PhysX Chain Braid” video – “each chain link is a single rigid body with eight automatically-derived convex hulls comprising 160 verts (per link)” – it seems convex decomposition algoritm has finally made it to PhysX plug-in.

We’ll keep an eye on Phrogz42’s channel and will let you know, if something interesting will appear.

Written by Zogrim

September 15th, 2010 at 2:01 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , ,

PhysX plug-in as part of Subscription Advantage Pack for 3ds Max 2011

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Autodesk has announced today, that  2.x PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max is going to be included into Subscription Advantage Pack for 3ds Max 2011 and 3ds Max Design 2011.

Description:

Create more compelling, dynamic rigid-body simulations directly in the 3ds Max viewport. The multi-threaded NVIDIA® PhysX® engine supports static, dynamic, and kinematic rigid bodies (the latter for rag doll simulations), and a number of constraints: Rigid, Slide, Hinge, Twist, Universal, Ball & Socket, and Gear.

Animators can more quickly create a wider range of realistic dynamic simulations, and can also use the toolset for modeling: for example, creating a randomly placed landscape of rocks. Assigning physical properties – friction, density, and bounciness – is as simple as choosing from a set of initial preset real-world materials and tweaking parameters as required.

Update: Intesting details were revealed by Kenneth Pimentel, Director of Visual Communications Solutions at Autodesk, on CGTalk.com forums

We can also announce an ongoing partnership with nvidia around PhysX. We entered into the partnership a little late to show much results in this pass, but the partnership is significant and on-going. I think you’d be surprised at the number of research threads we’ve kicked off together.

This is specifically to avoid what happened with Reactor. I think we learned our lesson.

PhysX SDK as default physics solution for most Autodesk products ? Why not :)

Written by Zogrim

September 10th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

WeeklyTube Issue 31: PhysX video overview

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ZombieDriver Slaughter Trailer by ZombieDrivergame

Slaugter game mode DLC for Zombie Driver title. Has pretty nice and accurate physics based on NxOgre – PhysX SDK wrapper for Ogre 3D engine

New KActor\Physx Building by DigitalDemolition

Destructible buildings in UDK. Better and better with every iteration.

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Written by Zogrim

April 13th, 2010 at 11:46 am

Posted in WeeklyTube

Tagged with , , ,

Post-GDC 2010: Nvidia Theater presentations available

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Presentations from “Nvidia Game Technology Theater“, which were demonstrated at Nvidia booth on GDC 2010, are now live – slides and following sound accompaniment. Let’s take a look at those related to PhysX SDK and APEX toolset.

Update: main PhysX and APEX session are now available as slide decks and video records

APEX Clothing with 3ds Max by Gavin Kistner, Product Designer, NVIDIA

Gavin gives a quick overview of 2.0 PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max, and uses superhero character with cape to explaing full clothing authoring process. Personal love Gavin’s manner of talking.. funny guy :)

Physically Simulated Clothing By CCP (EVE Online) Using NVIDIA APEX by Vigfus Omarsson, Lead Technical Artist, CCP; Snorri Sturluson, Senior Software Engineer, CCP; Monier Maher, APEX Product Manager, NVIDIA

Include overall cloth sim benefits overview from CCP, clothing tools pipeline features demonstration with Maya, and, of course, authoring process with pretty female character. While authoring was done in Maya, actual simulation was running in “CCP engine” window, as stated by Vigfus.

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Written by Zogrim

March 15th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

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