Archive for March, 2012
Following trailer, showcasing hardware accelerated PhysX effects in upcoming Borderlands 2 title from Gearbox Software, was recorded on camera by one of the participants of Nvidia GeForce GTX Meet-Up event, which was held in San Francisco on March 28.
Update: alternative version
Update #2: new official PhysX trailer
Now you can see all previosly mentioned effects – physical particles, tearable cloth and dynamic fluids – in action.
Autodesk has officially presented 3ds Max 2013 and 3ds Max Design 2013 – popular 3D modelling, rendering and animation packages.
Among other changes and improvements, MassFX, PhysX SDK based physics simulation solution, was upgraded with a number of new features.
Artists can now enjoy a more integrated and accurate dynamic toolset, thanks to a wide range of enhancements and additions to the MassFX unified system of simulation solvers.
Highlights are a new mCloth module that features tearable fabric and support for dynamic ragdoll hierarchies. In addition, improved constraints, better handling of pivot points, and enhanced UI readability help improve overall workflow.
Some interesting technology prototypes, that might greathly enhance Eve Online visual look in the future, were demonstrated today during “CCP Presents” keynote at Fanfest 2012 event by Tony Tamassi, Senior Vice President of Content & Technology in NVIDIA.
Update: video available
Update #2: devblog from CCP & article from NVIDIA
First one – DX 11 support and tesselation. In a real-time demo scene (running on a GTX 560, btw – “most commonly used card in EvE” as Tony stated), tesselation was used to enhance relatively simple model of Revenant Sansha Carrier with incredible number of smaller details (all the spurs, cables and stuff – being real geometry, not plain normal maps), all properly lightened and casting real shadows.
Second – additionally physically simulated objects in the space. In the same demo, while fairing through massive asteroid field, carrier was colliding with smaller asteroids and debris, flying all other the field, crashing and fracturing them upon impact. All simulation was done through PhysX SDK.
We remind you that currently PhysX/APEX is already used to sumulate clothing and hair on characters in EvE Online.
And finally, innovative offer was presented – capsuleers will have an option to buy NVIDIA GPUs.. for PLEX. GTX 560 was priced at 20 PLEX (however, offer might be limited to this model only).
Finally, NVIDIA has officially presented their new GPU – GTX 680, built on 28nm GK104 chip, which itself is based on next-gen Kepler architecture.
Many rumors were floating around Kepler and its physics acceleration capabilities, some were endowing new GPU with dedicated PhysX blocks, others were claiming ability to run CPU PhysX games in hardware – none of this happens to be true. Nothing special (like NVENC video encoder) for physics calculations, just general improvements to chip architecture, SM clusters, etc.
Nonetheless, we will try to gather all available information regarding PhysX computation performance of the GTX 680, in comparison to previous generation GPUs.
NVIDIA Kepler GPU GeForce GTX 680 Video Card Review by HARDOCP
Interesting results – in this case, GeForce GTX 680 performance is higher than Radeon HD 7970 even with GPU PhysX effects enabled. However, we can not directly compare GTX 580 and GTX 680 due to different resolution settings.
It is now official – Borderlands 2 will be the next game to support GPU accelerated PhysX effects.
Update: GPU PhysX trailer was caught on camera
Update #2: new official PhysX trailer
At GeForce Kepler Editor’s Day (event, during which Kepler GPUs were presented to press), Borderlands 2 demo featuring GPU PhysX effects was demonstrated by Randy Pitchford, Gearbox Founder and CEO, running on a GeForce GTX 680 GPU.
Hardware accelerated content will include:
- Fully simulated tearable cloth which interacts with weapons, forces, weather, etc
- Persistent GPU simulated particles that interact with the world
- Fully-interactive fluids
- Maybe something more
QQ Dance 2 is a sequel to ultra-popular (over 2 million concurrent users, 100 million registered users) Chinese online dancing game called, obviously, QQ Dance.
Build on proprietary H3D engine, QQ Dance 2 will not only provide significant improvement in visual fidelity, but also feature fully simulated clothing and hair on characters using PhysX SDK 2.8.4 and APEX Clothing module.
Presented demo is containing 50 000 simultaneously simulated cloth vertices (for example, even most intense scene in Mafia 2 has no more than 15 000 cloth vertices).
QQ Dance 2 is supposed to be released in Q4 2012. This game will not only support GPU acceleration, but also have a CPU path for non-NVIDIA systems.
NVIDIA has uploaded a following video, revealing new, never seen before, module for APEX Framework, called APEX Dynamic Systems (it is still an early prototype, however).
Detailed description is not available yet, but it seems that this new module is supposed to speed up the creation process of complex dynamic actors like articulations, ragdolls and vehicles, by providing artist friendly environment, where one can easily create and tune such objects and preview their behaviour.
NVIDIA has uploaded a set of demontrational videos, which were used to showcase features of NVIDIA APEX toolset, its authoring capabilities and games integrations examples at GDC 2012.
APEX Turbulence Module
We find APEX Turbulence demo particularly impressive, since particle simulation of such magnitude and complexity (scene contains up to 180 000 particles combined) is yet to be seen in games, while it can be used to create new generation of realistic smoke, dust and explosion effects.
It is good to see that this module has finally reached production stage. Turbulence is promised to be released as part of APEX 1.2
Following presentation was held as part of GDC 2012 NVIDIA Game Technology Theather event on March 9.
Session called “Enhancing Games with APEX (Clothing, Destruction, Turbulence)” was presented by Aron Zoellner and Kevin Newkirk from NVIDIA.
Update: recording is now available on YouTube
Presentation has started with overview of APEX Clothing module using full-body clothing (tie, jacket, pants) on Bryce Wayne character from recently released Batman: Arkham City title as example. Dynamic clothing on Samaritan character was also demoed, but we had session about it at previous GDC already.
As a nice addition, few words were said about features of new clothing solver, introduced in PhysX SDK 3 (we expect it to appear in APEX Clothing 1.2):
- Enhanced control over bending and shearing.
- Enhanced control over high-energy dynamics.
- Connected tapered capsule collision.
More detailed videos of new experimental destruction engine with support for real-time fracturing, already previewed in previous demonstration, are now available.
Update: new technical demo from GDC 2013
In this video we show our new destruction prototype. Here, piec fractures pieces on the fly. There is no limit of how many times pieces can be fractured. Also, the fracture pattern depends on the impact location.
To simulate the massive amount of rigid bodies we use GRBs – GPU accelerated rigid boides.