APEX Particles

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APEX Particles
Latest version(s): 1.3
Authoring application(s): PhysXLab, Authoring .dll
Capabilities: Particle simulation
GPU acceleration: Particles
Official page

APEX Particles (PhysX Particles) is a toolset, that can be used by developers to create various types of dynamic particle effects - from simple debris to smoke and fluids. Particles module is a part of the NVIDIA APEX Framework.

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

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



Distinctive feature of APEX Particles module are fully physically simulated particle systems - they collide with static environments, interact with dynamic objects like rigid bodies or character controller, and can be afected by various forces like wind or explosions.

Both PhysX SDK 2.8.4 and PhysX SDK 3.x engines are supported.

In addition, APEX P includes several force-field based sub-modules, to simulate various types of forces that can affect particles or other APEX objects:

(only for PhysX SDK 2.8.4)

For PhysX SDK 3.x based builds, force field functionality is provided by APEX ForceField module.

In APEX 1.3, Effects Package entities were added. Single Effect Package can combine a collection of related Particle / Turbulence actors (a number of emitters, turbulence grids, forcefields, heat sources, field samplers, etc), which can be instantiated as a single actor and manipulated in real time.

Authoring component

APEX Particles - Authoring in PhysXLab
APEX Particles - authoring .dll widget

Particle Authoring DLL is provided, which can be integrated into any game engine.

As alternative, Particle Effect Tool (PET), introduced in APEX 1.3, can be utilized for Particle effects authoring (if those effects are inluded in a Effect Package).

Runtime component

APEX Particles pipeline
APEX Particles pipeline

Particle pipeline in APEX P module is designed to produce a wide range of scalable effects - each stage of the pipeline is an APEX actor derived from an APEX asset whose parameters are authored. Pipeline consists of a particle emitter (Emitter), an Instanced Object Simulation (IOS) that computes the physical movement and life remaining of each particle, and an Instanced Object Effects (IOFX) actor that determines how the particles are rendered.

Multiple emitter actors (same of different types) can be added to a game level. Emitter actors can reference any number of IOS or IOFX actors. The IOS and IOFX actors are created automatically by APEX.

APEX Particles module includes three types of emitter actors:

Presently two IOS actors have been implemented:

The IOFx actor provides the ability to control the parameters that determine if the particles should be drawn as meshes or as sprites. It also support two types of modifers - Spawn (characteristics of the particles are set when they are emitted) and Continuous (particles are updated over time).

Additional features:

Version History

Version Release date Description
APEX Particles 1.3 Dec 11, 2013 Several new features, such as support for Effect Packages.
APEX Particles 1.2 Aug 6, 2012 Contains several improvements and bug-fixes.
APEX Particles 1.0 March 25, 2011 First public release.


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

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

Games and game engine integrations

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

APEX Particles module is integrated into following engines:


Other notes

See also

External links

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