Archive for May, 2011
NVIDIA has has published a nice video, that is showcasing technical demo called “Glowball”, running on their next quad-core mobile chip known as “Project Kal-EL” or Tegra 3, presumably.
Glowball demo features some complex (for a mobile device) real-time dynamic lighting and shadowing effects, and decent level of PhysX based physics calculations – rigid body barrels and drapes, fully simulated as cloth obejcts.
Cloth simulation is partically interesting: scene contains 10 drapes, likely 100-150 vertices each, affected by gravity and board movement, calculated simultaneously – new kind of physics effects for mobile devices. This tech can be used not necessarily for flags or banners, but for dynamic clothing on characters, for example.
Demo was running on PhysX SDK 126.96.36.199.
Update: More physical demos on Tegra 3 platform
Mobile devices are interesting environment for PhysX SDK to evolve and adapt, so we are eager to see how things will play out in this direction.
Apolo Studios Framework Physics Integration by apolostudioschannel
PhysX SDK integration in Apolo Studios rendering engine.
Block Fuse – Playthrough by AquaGeneral
Simple physics game by our fellow reader AquaGeneral. It is using Unity engine.
Recently opened website of ARMA 3, new game in a series of battlefield simulators from Bohemia Interactive, has revealed that PhysX SDK has been chosen as physics simulation solution for this title.
Physical simulation & improved animations
Take advantage of PhysX™ supporting the vehicle simulation, in-game interactions and the revamped animation system.
However, it is yet unknow if PhysX (likely SDK 3) was implemented to handle CPU oriented physics only (which is good in any case – previous games even haven’t ragdolls or rigid bodies) or ARMA 3 will feature support for GPU accelerated physics as well.
ARMA 3 is scheduled for release exclusively for PC in Summer 2012
Two new research papers have landed on a homepage of Dr. Matthias Müller-Fischer, PhysX SDK Research Lead in NVIDIA and NovodeX co-founder.
Fisrst one, called “Real-Time Eulerian Water Simulation Using a Restricted Tall Cell Grid“, presents further impovements to the real-time hybrid fluid solver, that we were able to see in recent demos like Lighhouse and Raging Rapids Ride.
We present a new Eulerian fluid simulation method, which allows real-time simulations of large scale three dimensional liquids. Such scenarios have hither to been restricted to the domain of off-line computation. To reduce computation time we use a hybrid grid representation composed of regular cubic cells on top of a layer of tall cells. With this layout water above an arbitrary terrain can be represented without consuming an excessive amount of memory and compute power, while focusing effort on the area near the surface where it most matters. Additionally, we optimized the grid representation for a GPU implementation of the fluid solver.
To further accelerate the simulation, we introduce a specialized multigrid algorithm for solving the Poisson equation and propose solver modifications to keep the simulation stable for large time steps. We demonstrate the efficiency of our approach in several real-world scenarios, all running above 30 frames per second on a modern GPU. Some scenes include additional features such as two-way rigid body coupling as well as particle representations of sub-grid detail.
In a recent promo video for upcoming GTX 560 GPU, NVIDIA has spoiled next game with support of GPU accelerated PhysX effects – Alice: Madness Returns, sequel to American McGee’s visionary classic “Alice” title.
UPDATE: Comparison GPU PhysX video
Starting at 1:34, comparison PhysX sequences are showcased. According to the video, GPU PhysX content in Alice will include (following list may be not full) destructible environments..
..volumetric fluid effects (for example, oil-like fluid from damaged enemies)..
During “Tegra Game Devcon 2011” presentation at Google I/O conference, NVIDIA has revealed release plans and roadmap for PhysX SDK 3.
SDK 3.0 has been moved to a 6 month release shedule (~12 months for latest 2.8.x SDKs), and since it features now unified code base across multiple platforms, we can expect more synchronous releases of SDKs for different platforms (we can assume, some of you are still waiting for Linux version of PhysX SDK 2.8.4).
You can also notice, that iOS and Android were added as default platforms of PhysX SDK 3.0.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. After three years of development, NVIDIA has released new major version of PhysX physics engine – PhysX SDK 3.0.
Currently, free binary version of PhysX SDK 3.0 is available for PC only (32-bit and 64-bit, Mac and Linux versions are promised to be delivered later). SDK 3.0 can be downloaded from Developer Support Center. Follow the path: [Online Support] -> [Downloads] -> [PhysX SDK 3.0]
If you are experiencing trouble with registration of PhysX Developer account, please refer to our registration guide.
Update [04.10.2011] PhysX SDK 3.1 released
Update [01.06.2011] PhysX SDK 3.0.1 available
Update [13.05.2011] Physx SDK 3.0 for Mac OSX available
Update [17.05.2011] Physx SDK 3.0 for Linux available (Ubuntu based, 64-bit)
Now, while your download is undergoing, let’s take a look on PhysX SDK 3.0 features:
PhysX SDK 2.x was originally developed as a PC only physics engine, which was subsequently ported to support gaming consoles being developed by Sony (PS3) and Microsoft (Xbox 360). The PS3 port was developed independently and has been maintained in a separate code base since its development, as have later ports to Linux and Mac OSX. The unwieldy growth during the SDK lifetime and separate code bases have added to the considerable complexity of maintaining and updating succeeding versions of the PhysX SDK at a time when faster and more compact engines are required to effectively support phones and tablets.
PhysX SDK 3.0 represents a significant rewrite of the PhysX engine.
This rewrite involved extensive changes to the API that effectively results in a new PhysX engine rather than a chart of changes based on its predecessor version. The various platforms versions are generated from a unified code base, further differentiating it from version 2.x. In addition to a new modular design, considerable legacy clutter has been removed. Collectively these changes have resulted in a physics SDK designed to facilitate easier ongoing maintenance, enable simpler ports to emerging gaming platforms, and the addition of new features and capabilities.
Focus on consoles and emerging gaming platforms.
PhysX SDK 3.0 was designed to be competitive on current-gen consoles and anticipates devices with even less system resources. These architectural changes include but are not limited to better overall memory management, improvements to cache efficiency, cross-platform SIMD implementations, intelligent SPU usage on PS3, multi-threading across multiple cores, and AltiVec/VMX optimizations on Xbox 360.
“Game Engine Survey 2011″ article, that can be found in May 2011 Issue of Game Developer Magazine is containing some interesting information about developer’s preferences regarding middleware solutions.
91.4 % of traditional (big-budget) developers prefer to use middleware libraries, and PhysX SDK is holding #4 place – it’s the only one physics engine in this category (we were surprised that Havok was not mentioned).
Far fewer casual developers (48.6 %) are relying on middleware solutions, so unexpensive or free (but good) libraries – FMOD, open-source Bullet engine and PhysX SDK – are the most popular.
Previosly, Game Developer Magazine has performed similar survey in Year 2009.