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Archive for 2011

WeeklyTube Issue 48: PhysX video overview

with 5 comments

Unity 3D | PhysX Fun | Part 2 (Ragdoll) by NSDGames

Amusing video, made with Unity 3D and PhysX ragdolls.

XNA and PhysX Demo by jasonmitchell18

Demo of simulation features for PhysX.NET wrapper in XNA.

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Written by Zogrim

April 11th, 2011 at 11:42 am

Posted in WeeklyTube

Tagged with ,

3ds Max 2012 released: new MassFX system overview

with 5 comments

If you were following Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 development process, you’ve already may know that built-in Havok Reactor physics simulation engine was replaced with a new MassFX unified simulation, using PhysX SDK integration.

However, since only mRigids solver (rigid body and joints dynamics) is available so far, one may say that Reactor was omitted too early, since not all the functionality (cloth, joint motors, forcefields, buoyancy) is present in MassFX currently.

Generally, MassFX is based on modified NVIDIA PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max (likely latest 2.60), and thus, resembles its basic functionality and interface, but several differences can be spotted:

  • Simulation in viewports runs much faster and smoother, thanks to new Nitrous graphics core. Performance Viewer tool, that can be found in PhysX plug-in 2.60, was removed.
  • APEX Clothing functionality is not available.
  • Dynamic ragdolls are not available.
  • Minor interface changes.

Note: MassFX does not support hardware acceleration currently.

Note #2: To avoid slowdowns while working with massive amount of objects, it is recommended to disable rendering of physical meshes (MassFX Toolbar > Display > Display Physical Meshes).

Previously, Autodesk has mentioned that future releases of MassFX will support cloth, softbody and ropes simulation, deformable meshes, fluids and forcefields.

Update: MassFX 2013 in review

Also, according to our knowledge, users will be able to install PhysX plug-ins from NVIDIA over MassFX, to enhance it with additional functionality.

Written by Zogrim

April 8th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , , ,

APEX 1.1 will include APEX Turbulence, APEX 1.2 will add GPU Rigid bodies

with 7 comments

NVIDIA has prepared a “surprise” – fully upgraded and rewamped Developer Zone.

Among with full set of new features and content, PhysX section was renovated too (previously, certain parts were staying without update for years).

Browsing through new website, we have found some intersting data, never revealed before – for example, APEX FAQ states that:

What APEX modules are available?

APEX 1.1 will include Turbulence and APEX 1.2 will include APEX Destruction with GPU Rigid Bodies. If you are interested in Turbulence or Destruction with GPU rigid bodies, please email us at [email protected]

APEX 1.0 Beta was released to public several weeks ago.

Several updated pages we recommend you to visit:

Main PhysX page

APEX Page

APEX FAQ

Written by Zogrim

April 5th, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Posted in Other, PhysX Tools

Tagged with , , ,

How powerful must be a dedicated PhysX card ?

with 4 comments

Linus Tech Tips website has performed several benchmarks to find out if low-end dedicated PhysX cards are still valuable in systems with high-end graphics cards, using Mafia 2 benchmark.

8600 GTS GPU is clearly bottlenecking the whole system, resulting in lower fps than even a GTX 580, despite the fact that if single NVIDIA GPU is used in Mafia II, PhysX effects are partially running on CPU.

Cards Performance
GTX 580 + 8600 GTS 30.3 fps
GTX 580 49.7 fps
GTX 580 + GTX 580 57.5 fps
GTX 580 + GTX 550 Ti 56.6 fps
GTX 580 + GTX 560 Ti 55.3 fps

In conclusion, in case if you want to pair a dedicated PhysX card with GTX 580-class GPU, find a decent one – GTX 550 or “even something a little bit lower-end”, as author of this video recommends.

Written by Zogrim

April 5th, 2011 at 9:04 am

Posted in PhysX Hardware

Tagged with

Funcom adds PhysX to Dreamworld Engine 2.5

with 3 comments

NVIDIA announced today that Funcom’s Dreamworld 2.5, a game engine for MMO games, now features server-side PhysX SDK integration.

“We are excited to be working closely with NVIDIA to integrate PhysX technology into our Dreamworld 2.5 engine,” said Rui Casais, chief technology officer at Funcom. “Server-side collision using PhysX will allow us to add a new level of realism to our online worlds, and we look forward to implementing other enhancements as well, including NVIDIA APEX clothing and destruction, to make our games even more interactive and immersive.”

Server-side PhysX SDK, used by Funcom, is specially modified 64-bit Linux version.

Dreamworld 2.5 currently powers two popular MMOs: Age of Conan and Anarchy Online, with a third, the Secret World, currently in development. The updated Dreamworld Engine 2.5 with server-side PhysX integration is now live in Age of Conan.

Written by Zogrim

March 28th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

NVIDIA APEX 1.0 Beta is now available: Details

with 13 comments

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:

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Written by Zogrim

March 25th, 2011 at 3:02 am

Clothing simulation solutions for games

without comments

Physical simulation of character clothing is yet inceptive, but very promising trend and a great way to make game characters more believable.

We are giving an overview of most interesting cloth simulation packages in our new article : “Clothing simulation solutions for games“.

Written by Zogrim

March 22nd, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Posted in Articles, Reviews, Other

Tagged with , ,

PhysX SDK 2.8.4.5 released

with 2 comments

NVIDIA PhysX SDK was updated to version 2.8.4.5

nvidia-physx

Since no updated release notes are avaialble, we assume that only minor bug fixes differs this release from previous one – 2.8.4.4

As always, you can download PhysX SDK 2.8.4.5 via Developer Support Center.

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

Written by Zogrim

March 17th, 2011 at 1:26 am

Posted in PhysX SDK

Tagged with

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

with 3 comments

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 , , , , ,

Tutorial: APEX Destruction authoring in PhysXLab

with 2 comments

NVIDIA has uploaded several tutorials videos, which provide step-by-step overview of authoring process and in-deph description of APEX Destruction module features – slice fracturing and cut-out fracturing pipelines using PhysXLab tool.

Update: New tutorials provide in depth view of APEX Destruction usage in UDK

APEX Destruction PhysXLab Tutorial: Cut-out Fracturing

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zogrim

March 16th, 2011 at 2:33 am

Posted in PhysX Tools

Tagged with , ,

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