APEX Vegetation

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APEX Vegetation
Latest version(s): 0.9
Authoring application(s): SpeedTree Modeller
Capabilities: Dynamically simulated trees, particle emitters
GPU acceleration: Particles
Official page

APEX Vegetation (APEX V) module, which is integrated with the SpeedTree package, allows developers to convert static/animated trees into fully dynamic simulated objects, that can break or bend with the wind. APEX V is a part of the NVIDIA APEX Framework.

According to official description, APEX Vegetation module is supporting PC + CPU, PC + NVIDIA GPU, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii platforms.


Important note.

In early 2011 future development of APEX Vegetation module was suspended. Thus, it won't be included in any current or upcoming APEX SDK releases.



APEX Vegetation is an extension to famous SpeedTree package (virtual foliage generation system) - it allows to simulate static or animated trees as fully dynamic systems, than can deform, break or spawn particles (leafs, for example). Rigid body skeletons (capsules, connected with constraints), that are generated during authoring, are used for to substitute foliage objects in a physics world.

However, since APEX Vegetation was not used in a single game so far, we can presume that active development of this module was put on hold.

Authoring component

Fully APEX Vegetation authoring pipeline is integrated into SpeedTree Modeler 5.0 and above. Artists can specify important physical features (including bone skeleton resolution, breakability, deformation of tree parts, damage parameters, and leaf emitter rates) and preview simulation directly in Modeler tool.

APEX Vegetation assets are generated by SpeedTree compiling tool.

Runtime component

APEX Vegetation - PhysX view
APEX Vegetation tree - as PhysX SDK sees it

APEX Turbulence is using auto-generated skeletons to represent trees as rigid body systems - capsule primitives connected with breakable joints. Capsules can embody one or more branches (depending on resolutiong of the skeleton).

To prevent branches from rolling on the ground (because they are using simple capsule collision) after they were detached from main skeleton, small parallelly oriented capsules were added to the center of main capsules.

Integration with APEX Particles module allows APEX V to use physical particles for leaf emitters, or other effects like falling fruits.

In addition, APEX Vegetation runtime is supporting LOD feature.

Games and game engine integrations


Other notes

See also

External links

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