The next big thing in gaming and animation effects will certainly be the new AGEIA physX™ card. This is a dedicated physics hardware-accelerator, wose main function is obviously calculating physics in real-time. At the moment, the physics in software/games is calculated by the CPU, which can do a maximum of about 40 different objects at once. But with this nifty card, it will be able to handle 40,000 objects at once! Now that will really bring games and animations to the next level.
Since it’s showcase at E3 2005, third-party developers have been using the SDK to investigate ways of incorporating the card’s functionality into their software.
“It is truly fascinating to see the ways that tools vendors are using AGEIA physX technology, beyond even what we ourselves could have imagined at AGEIA,” said Andy Keane, vice president of marketing at AGEIA. “These vibrant entrepreneurial companies represent the future of creative tools and game development, and it’s very gratifying to see that AGEIA physX is a part of their vision.”
Some examples of the integration that developers are bringing to their software with the physX card are below:
EPHERE Productions: Collaborating with AGEIA to add physics capability to Ornatrix, a hair solution plug-in for 3ds Max. The plug-in allows artists to create, model, animate, and render any type of hair, fur, or fiber-based object via the 3ds Max interface. http://www.ephere.com
FerReel Animation labs: Incorporating AGEIA physX as a rigid body solver to enhance speed and capability of Blast Code MOAB, a unique method of creating fully geometric animated demolition sequences using NURBS surfaces. Gamers using the AGEIA physX processor will experience these effects with greatly increased performance and quality. http://www.blastcode.com
Fork Particle: Integrating AGEIA physX directly into Fork Particle Studio, an authoring application for particle systems. Advanced physics and collision support from the AGEIA physX platform will aid artists and designers in creating spectacular special effects. Fork Runtime SDK and AGEIA physX integration empowers game developers to simulate computationally intense effects in real-time. http://www.forkparticle.com
OC3 Entertainment: Integrating AGEIA physX technology into the sampling rendering engine of FaceFX, a solution for synchronizing facial animations to audio dialog with realtime feedback. Also planning to experiment with new techniques for facial animation using AGEIA physX processor, for example using physics to more accurately describe how skin slides over the facial bones and muscles. http://www.oc3ent.com
Orbaz Technologies: Using AGEIA physX for collision simulation for Particle Flow Tools™ Box#2, a set of operators for Particle Flow for fragmentation/fracturing and dynamic collision simulation in particle systems. http://www.orbaz.com
OverTheEdge: Using AGEIA physX to enable realistic physics simulation for Unity Mac-based game editor. Providing scripting to determine whether end user is using an AGEIA physX processor, allowing increased use of particles, objects and effects. http://otee.dk
Spir.Ops: Using AGEIA physX for SpirOps, a graphical AI editor that allows artists to create artificial behaviors, including emotions, personalities with memory and adaptability capabilities. AGEIA physX technology will be used to create perception filters that quickly query the universe about visible objects from each entity’s point of view. http://www.spirops.com
AGEIA physX is expected to be released at the end of 2005.