Archive for February, 2013
“Position-based Methods for the Simulation of Solid Objects in Computer Graphics” – recent paper by Matthias Müller-Fischer, PhysX SDK Research Lead in NVIDIA, and others.
Paper provides in-depth overview of special class of simulation methods, namely position-based approaches, for solid objects, such as rigid bodies, cloth and softbodies.
The dynamic simulation of solids has a long history in computer graphics. The classical methods in this field are based on the use of forces or impulses to simulate joints between rigid bodies as well as the stretching, shearing and bending stiffness of deformable objects. In the last years the class of position-based methods has become popular in the graphics community. These kinds of methods are fast, unconditionally stable and controllable which make them well-suited for the use in interactive environments.
Position-based methods are not as accurate as force based methods in general but they provide visual plausibility. Therefore, the main application areas of these approaches are virtual reality, computer games and special effects in movies.
This state of the art report covers the large variety of position-based methods that were developed in the field of deformable solids. We will introduce the concept of position-based dynamics, present dynamic simulation based on shape matching and discuss data-driven approaches. Furthermore, we will present several applications for these methods.
Some of the described techniques were used in PhysX SDK (as well as other physics engines) for a long time, some have been implemented only recently, other are yet ander active research.
Recent announcement of Sony’s next-generation PlayStation 4 console has revealed that the new gaming system will be equipped with custom AMD GPU, capable of GPGPU computations – for example, physics simulation. To showcase its processing power, a live demo of GPU accelerated particle simulation, running on the Havok engine, was demonstrated during the event.
Update: official press-release
Update #2: PhysX SDK and APEX – now on Xbox One
An opinions began to emerge, that NVIDIA PhysX SDK engine and PhysX Technology as a whole won’t find its place in the world of next-generation consoles and, thus, will be abandoned quickly.
However, official “PlayStation 4 Tools & Middleware Developers” page says that “following middleware companies have their innovative technology solutions available right now to support PlayStation 4 developers”:
Since NVIDIA does not own any AI or Animation middleware, it is pretty clear that PhysX SDK physics engine is implied here. PhysX SDK will support PlayStation 4 and is already available for developers, as our sources, close to the industry, can confirm.
It is yet unclear, how the situation with GPU acceleration (you know, that “NVIDIA technology running on AMD hardware?!?!” stuff) will be handled on PS4 , but it is now certain – PhysX is here to stay.
Official NVIDIA page for the upcoming Game Developer Conference 2013, which will be held on March 25-29 in San-Francisco, is now online.
Current schedule reveals several presentations, dedicated to APEX and PhysX Technologies. Let’s take a look on what we can expect this year:
March 28th, West Hall, Room #2002
Post Mortem: GPU Accelerated Effects in Borderlands 2
11:15 am - 12:15 pm.
Dane Johnston, Technical Artist, NVIDIA. James Sanders, Director of Visual FX, Gearbox.
Borderlands 2 released to critical acclaim on September 18th, 2012 and showcased a wide variety of NVIDIA CUDA®-accelerated GPU effects. This session will dive into the exact effects that were featured and their benefits to the visual fidelity of the gamer experience.
Side-by-side examples of how GPU-accelerated effects are changing the gaming landscape will be demonstrated in a gaming session. Further examinations into the production process and effects creation will also be explored.
Recently it was discovered, that one may already enable PhysX effects in PlanetSide, just by adding several parameters to one of the .ini files of the game. But should one do it?
Bear in mind, that GPU PhysX support was not like “frozen and abandoned” since Beta – it is a part of the game which is yet under active development.
That means, all the fancy particle effects you can unofficially enable today still require some tweaking from both artistical and technical standpoint – that means, visual look of the effects is not yet final, and performance or stability problems may occur.
Thus, if you missed the Beta and want to know what to expect from GPU PhysX in Planetside 2 – go ahead, take a sneak peak.
But we highly not recommend you to leave the “forced” PhysX effects enabled for everyday use – just wait till they will be ready, as such unfineshed feature may give you a false impression of the final content.
Similar suggestion from SOE:
We do plan to reintroduce these portions of PhysX (saying there isn’t any is actually incorrect) at a near future date. These are currently being tested to ensure smooth gameplay. In the interim we don’t advise making these changes for an optimum experience.
Updated PhysXLab 1.2.2 release is now available for download.
Update: PhysXLab 1.2.3 is available
PhysXLab 1.2.2 includes some new features to comply with the APEX SDK 1.2.2 and also several bug-fixes.
|PhysXLab 1.2.2 – Release Notes|
- APEX 1.2.2 support.
- PhysX SDK 3.2.2 support.
- Option to remove T-junctions (this will allow post-processing of the mesh, like deformation).
- Improved multiple interior material functionality.
- DCC Plugin support.
- DE6504: UV Fracture will not refracture.
- DE6805: Mesh disappears when using UV fracturing.
- DE6664: In the playground simulating, system crashes on pressing F12 twice.
PhysXLab 1.2.2 can be downloaded through Developer Support Center website.
If you are experiencing troubles with registration, please refer to our updated guide.
As revealed in a recent developer video blog, Rise of the Triad title, remake of the original 1995’s Rise of the Triad game, will offer support for GPU accelerated PhysX effects.
Unreal Engine 3 powered remake is developed by a company called Interceptor Entertainment and is slated for release on PC in 2013 via Steam.
As showcased in the production diary (at 3:00), PhysX effects will at least include physical particles (impact chunks and debris, standart stuff) and destructible environments (probably, APEX based).
Be sure to check game’s website - RiseoftheTriad.net – for more information.
And to keep an eye on other upcoming projects, featuring PhysX support, don’t forget to visit our Upcoming GPU PhysX games page.