APEX Destruction

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APEX Destruction
APEX Destruction demo from GTC 2010
Latest version(s): 1.3
Authoring application(s): PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max
Capabilities: Fracturing, Destruction, Rigid body physics
GPU acceleration: Rigid Body
Official page

APEX Destruction (PhysX Destruction) is an APEX module, that helps developers to create and simulate large numbers of dynamic destructible game objects.

Destruction module is supporting PC (CPU and GPU), Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, iOS and Android platforms.

First public release - APEX Destruction 1.0 as part of APEX 1.0 Beta.



APEX Destruction module is focused on simulation of objects destruction - from vases and statues to walls and whole buildings, from purely visual to gameplay affecting destruction. APEX D uses artist-defined pre-fractured meshes, supplementary sub-systems to handle things like damage propagation and PhysX SDK driven rigid-body solver to calculate interaction between chunks and fragments.

To provide more complex and realistic destruction behavior, APEX D module includes specific funtionality, like:

In 1.1 version and above it is possible to enable calculation of Rigid Body physics on GPU, and thus achieve superior performance in case if many rigid body objects are used. Furthermore, latest version of the module support two rigid body solvers: PhysX SDK 2.8.4 and PhysX SDK 3.x

Also, Destruction module can utilize APEX Particles to simulate dust, smallest debris and similar effects.

Authoring component

APEX Destruction - Slicing fracturing
PhysXLab - Slicing fracturing mode
APEX Destruction - Cut-out fracturing
PhysXLab - Cut-out fracturing mode
APEX Destruction - Voronoi fracturing
PhysXLab - Voronoi fracturing mode

Authoring functionality is provided via PhysXLab, a standalone GUI authoring tool, or PhysX plug-in for 3ds Max. Using PhysXLab / DCC Plug-in, users can take artist-provided meshes, split them into broken fragments and export generated Destructible assets in standart APEX asset (.apx and .apb) file formats. Exported asset will include hierarchy of fractured meshes, collision information and physical material parameters, and support information for each chunk as well.

In general, several steps must be performed to create Destructible asset:

Several examples of authoring process can be viewed here

However, majority of the authoring features is not exclusive to PhysXLab - they are implemented in the APEX API itself, so one can integrate fracturing functionality in any existing editor.

Three slicing "patterns" are supported currently:

APEX 1.3 has introduced limited support for real-time fracturing. So far, only glass fracture pattern is supported.

Additional features:

Runtime component

APEX Destruction - Runtime diagram
Runtime Diagram

APEX Destruction module deals with three kinds of objects: Destructible assets, which are destructible template objects that may be generated in the PhysXLab or directly using the fracturing API; Destructible actors, which are instances of Destructible assets; Destructible actor joints - special wrappers for NxJoints which may be used to join an Destructible actor to another Destructible actor, an PhysX Actor, or to the static global reference frame.

As any other APEX modules, APEX D is featurung LOD mechanism to scale the physics computation. This includes several parameters:

To speed up rendering, APEX D module is supporting instancing and tiling (between copies of same asset and similar chunks within one asset).

Additional features:

Version History

Version Release date Description
APEX Destruction 1.3 Dec 11, 2013 Introduces real-time fracturing, behaviour groups, new damage system, render proxies. Supports PhysX SDK 3.3 and PhysX SDK 2.8.4 (excluded from public version).
APEX Destruction 1.2 Aug 6, 2012 First release to support PhysX SDK 2.8.4 and PhysX SDK 3.2 engines. Includes various authoring improvements, like Voronoi fracture, fracturing groups, etc.
APEX Destruction 1.1 Feb 15, 2012 Updated public release. Features GPU acceleration support for Rigid Body simulation, tiling and instancing for faster rendering, amortization of chunks creation and processing. Uses PhysX SDK 2.8.4
APEX Destruction 1.0 Mar 24, 2011 First public release. Includes various improvements and bug-fixes, such as more robust LOD feature, increased number of chunks per asset (64k > 4kkk), improved impact damage behaviour. Uses PhysX SDK 2.8.4
APEX Destruction 0.9 N/A Initial internal release. Uses PhysX SDK 2.8.3


Latest APEX Destruction 1.3 module is included in public build of APEX SDK 1.3

For info on Destruction module licensing options, please refer to APEX SDK description

Games and game engine integrations

APEX Destruction module was used in following games (most notable examples):

APEX Destruction module is integrated into following engines:


Other notes

See also

External links


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