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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.

Fracturing groups.

It is now possible to organize chunks into groups, and then utilize different fracturing settings/modes for each group separately.

This feature allows creation of complex assets, consisting of different parts with different material properties, and testing of their destruction behaviour – all right inside PhysXLab.

Previously, artist was required to build each part as separate asset and then combine them in game engine editor (using “Form Extended Structures” feature).

GPU Rigid Bodies in Playground.

Playground Mode (F12) in PhysXLab 1.2 fully supports GPU acceleration of rigid body calculations, which offers both higher performance and higher stability of the simulation.

(click on the picture to enlarge)

To take advantage of GPU acceleration, one must firstly select GPU as PhysX processor in NVIDIA Control Panel and then set the “Use GRB” checkbox in PhysXLab.

Сonsequently, it is now possible to preview both CPU and GPU Rigid Bodies performance before using destructible assets in actual game environment.

GPU Rigid Bodies are only available for PhysX SDK 2.8.4 builds.

Ability to import destructible assets.

PhysXLab 1.2 can import any distructible assets in .apb/.apx formats, including those created for APEX 1.1.

In previous versions, it was not possible to edit assets after creation, unless you were additionally saving them as special PhysXLab project (.npproj) files.

Typical Slice Surface.

New “Display Typical Slice Surface” option allows artist to preview the noise settings, applied to slicing planes, without fracturing the asset itself.

Slice Surface preview is available in Slice and Cutout modes, and can be viewed from different axis directions.

Enhanced UV mapping control.

UV mapping controls for interior materials have been greatly enhanced – it is now possible to scale and rotate the map (per axis), define offsets (per axis) and flip coordinates.

(click on the picture to enlarge)

In addition, PhysXLab 1.2 supports UV-based cutout fracturing, in which fracture pattern is fully defined by the UV map.

Multiple chunks selection via drag-rectangle.

Trivial feature for many other applications, but a step forward for PhysXLab, since previously it was only possible to select chunks one by one.

Drag-rectangle can be activated by pressing Shift + LMB while using the “Select Tool”.

Displacement mapping.

Yet experimental, but very interesting feature – when activated, noise settings won’t be applied to slicing surfaces themselves, but baked into an optional, exportable displacement map.

Later on, it can be used to re-add the detalized surface via tesselation, without bulking the original model with additional polygons.

PhysX SDK 3.2 support.

PhysXLab 1.2 is now available in two variants – with PhysX SDK 2.8.4 or new PhysX SDK 3.2 rigid body solvers.

Release Notes

  • New Features
    • APEX 1.2 support.
    • PhysX SDK 3.2 support.
    • New method of fracturing authoring (Voronoi).
    • Fracture-by-selected (fracture groups).
    • Ability to apply voronoi splitting to cutout chunks.
    • Ability to use Voronoi fracturing on multi-mesh FBX imports.
    • Order change on cutout fracturing.
    • Better slice surface preview (wireframe overlay).
    • Visualization of “typical” noisy slice surface.
    • UV-based cutout fracturing.
    • Preliminary support for displacement mapping.
    • Multi-fbx imported chunks have their collision hulls trimmed to prevent overlap.
    • Ability to import NxDestructibleAssets.
    • Can specify destruction probability for debris chunks.
    • Ability to control UV scaling, rotation, and translation for interior materials.
    • Simplified UV mapping controls, no longer have redundant controls in fracture panel.
    • Ability to author interior material UV offsets and directions in slice and cutout fracturing.
    • Automatic texture-as-material creation when importing ApexRenderMesh or DestructibleAsset files.
    • FBX scene graph global transform is saved into NxDestructibleAsset, for user convenience.
    • Chunk selection via drag-rectangle.
    • Project file size reduction (BSPs optimized, reduces their size when serialized).
    • Visualization to distinguish non-instanced and instanced (but with 0 offset) chunks.
    • APEX SampleFramework renderer.
  • Bug-fixes
    • Fixed DE5348: Holes in meshes, multiple fracture issues.
    • Fixed DE5159: GRBs don’t work in PhysXLab playground.
    • Fixed DE4570: Stack usage large, causes crash for large convex meshes (deep BSP recursion).
    • Fixed DE4774: Cannot zoom/orbit/pan in playground while keeping radius damage sphere visible.
    • Fixed DE3765: Multi FBX assets have a material for each sub-object.
    • Fixed DE3675: Cannot import a multi-mesh FBX and export it as a destructible without further fracturing.

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

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

Written by Zogrim

August 7th, 2012 at 2:03 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , ,

9 Responses to 'PhysXLab 1.2 released, offers new fracturing options'

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  1. Hoping in time for APEX 1.3 Physx 3.3 we will get not precalculated Voronoi fracture on GPU in realtime similar to GDC demos..
    Are this realistic timelines?




    7 Aug 12 at 6:42 pm

  2. oscar: Are this realistic timelines?

    It was mentioned that APEX 1.3 will have realtime fracturing. Supposed to be released by the end of the year.




    7 Aug 12 at 7:40 pm

  3. Would you say destruction in this version is half complete? I mean are Grb gpu accelerated rigid bodies complete enough to be ran stable?(like in UDK next releases)or would you say the GRB code is still far off from being complete?I just want to know if it’s worth designing now and getting optimized speed from cuda cores when heavy rigid body collision is going on.




    20 Aug 12 at 11:58 am

  4. DigitalDemolition: I mean are Grb gpu accelerated rigid bodies complete enough to be ran stable?

    I would suggest you to wait until August UE3/UDK version, as it will feature APEX 1.2 support and some bug-fixes for GRBs.. and if all goes well, GRBs will be pretty complete, yes.




    20 Aug 12 at 12:25 pm

  5. Excellent! thank you Zogrim!




    20 Aug 12 at 2:10 pm

  6. Zogrim: I would suggest you to wait until August UE3/UDK version, as it will feature APEX 1.2 support and some bug-fixes for GRBs.. and if all goes well, GRBs will be pretty complete, yes.

    Today November 2012 Beta of UDK is out, and I cannot see any traces of Apex 1.2 support in the releasenotes.
    You have any more info on that?




    7 Nov 12 at 3:59 pm

  7. casim: Today November 2012 Beta of UDK is out, and I cannot see any traces of Apex 1.2 support in the releasenotes.
    You have any more info on that?

    Well, APEX .dlls are versioned as 1.2.1 in November UDK, but some of them are missing (Turbulence, PhysX3 Cloth) and also there is no mentions in docs/release notes.

    I’ll try to ask around on current situation with APEX and UDK.

    Upd: destructible objects, created in PhysXLab 1.2, seems to be working fine. So, at certain degree, this is APEX 1.2 integration.
    Upd #2: will have official description hopefully soon.




    7 Nov 12 at 5:30 pm

  8. Thanks for checking. Pity with turbulence though. Appreciate any updates on that.




    7 Nov 12 at 7:37 pm

  9. Hey so i have UDK nov 2012 and physx 1.1 lab and i cant import… this is starting to frustrate me could annyone help me?




    1 Jul 13 at 11:52 pm

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