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Director 11 - AGEIA PhysX 3D engine?

Feb 18, 2008 11:09 PM

Director 11 now has something called the AGEIA PhysX 3D engine. Could
someone please explain (in simple terms) what this is and how it differs
from the previous Director 3D engine? I use Director extensively but only
have limited experience with its 3D features. I am hoping this new feature
will change that.

http://www.adobe.com/products/director/

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2008 12:07 AM   in reply to Newsgroup_User
    Don't dream too much:
    http://www.ageia.com/physx/faqs.html

    PS
    On february 4th 2008 nVidia bought AGEIA and the PhysX engine.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2008 10:27 AM   in reply to Newsgroup_User
    I was waiting for a new integration with the Havok dynamics engine.....

    Im wondering about the AGEIA PhysX capabilities (softbodys / rigidbodys / particles / fluids / dashpots).

    Havok was integrated in 3DStudio Max (Reactor) with many great features like ropes or ragdolls witch simplify the use of many functions with the export of the hke files. But now.......lets wait....

     
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    Feb 19, 2008 11:24 AM   in reply to Newsgroup_User
    The Ageia PhysX Engine replaces the Havok Xtra which was not included in DirectorMX2004. It will be faster and better then the old Havok Xtra.This is very good news because it will also be able to use it's raycasting system that will be a faster option then "modelsunderray".

    From the director-L Mailing list:
    "Some highlights - (physics based raycasting, terrain maps, concave collisions, 6dof joints, and all with faster performance - perhaps the most critical - it will all work on Vista and MacTel.)"
    (Allen Partridge, Director Evangelist...)

    Sounds like the best news for Director11 :)
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2008 12:06 PM   in reply to _lw
    quote:

    Originally posted by: hondo3000
    The Ageia PhysX Engine replaces the Havok Xtra which was not included in DirectorMX2004. It will be faster and better then the old Havok Xtra.This is very good news because it will also be able to use it's raycasting system that will be a faster option then "modelsunderray".

    From the director-L Mailing list:
    "Some highlights - (physics based raycasting, terrain maps, concave collisions, 6dof joints, and all with faster performance - perhaps the most critical - it will all work on Vista and MacTel.)"
    (Allen Partridge, Director Evangelist...)

    Sounds like the best news for Director11 :)


    Hi Lutz,

    The Ageia PhysX Engine cannot replace the Havok Xtra.

    Ageia PhysX engine has been included in few games (Unreal 3 is probably the most popular).
    Unfortunately, in 99% of the cases is disabled!
    Why?
    Ageia PhysX engine requires aditional hardware: a PPU (Physics Processing Unit) on a PCI card.
    In other words, Director 11 has support (an Xtra) for AGEIA PhysX engine.
    This doesn't mean too much, because users with Ageia PhysX processor represent less than 1% of the market.
    But let's hope this is a "visionary move" and the Director's future is bright.

    cheers
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2008 12:29 PM   in reply to necromanthus
    quote:

    Originally posted by: necromanthus
    quote:

    Originally posted by: hondo3000
    The Ageia PhysX Engine replaces the Havok Xtra which was not included in DirectorMX2004. It will be faster and better then the old Havok Xtra.This is very good news because it will also be able to use it's raycasting system that will be a faster option then "modelsunderray".

    From the director-L Mailing list:
    "Some highlights - (physics based raycasting, terrain maps, concave collisions, 6dof joints, and all with faster performance - perhaps the most critical - it will all work on Vista and MacTel.)"
    (Allen Partridge, Director Evangelist...)

    Sounds like the best news for Director11 :)


    Hi Lutz,

    The Ageia PhysX Engine cannot replace the Havok Xtra.

    Ageia PhysX engine has been included in few games (Unreal 3 is probably the most popular).
    Unfortunately, in 99% of the cases is disabled!
    Why?
    Ageia PhysX engine requires aditional hardware: a PPU (Physics Processing Unit) on a PCI card.
    In other words, Director 11 has support (an Xtra) for AGEIA PhysX engine.
    This doesn't mean too much, because users with Ageia PhysX processor represent less than 1% of the market.
    But let's hope this is a "visionary move" and the Director's future is bright.

    cheers



    I am not sure about your statement. While it is true that the AGEIA PhysX Engine can be supported by a PPU it is not required. As far as I see it atm, we'll (hopefully) get new, optimized and faster physics support for Director with some nice features, which hopefully will support hardware acceleration in the future as well. Especially since nVIDIA bought the lot and we'll propably see graphics cards with hardware accelerated "physics" support in the near future as well.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2008 12:35 PM   in reply to _lw
    I'm not sure, but doesn't the AGEIA PhysX 3D engine require a PPU, and therefore specific hardware on the development/client machine? If true that's a bummer, 'cause I personally don't know anyone that has a PPU card installed. I'm not going to slap down $100 or more just to use this engine, and I am definitely not going to ask clients to do so. The info on the AGEIA site for the free version of the SDK mentions "No PhysX hardware optimization requirement"; that's a good sign.

    I see on the Partners page on the AGEIA site that there's a Max plugin, that should make our modelers happy. Interestingly enough, even though Unity is listed, Director is not.

    If it has a decent software mode, sort of like the software renderer for W3D that'll be great.

    Last I'd heard Havok was back in the game. I guess Intel buying Havok changed that? Not that that really bothers me. Havok never clicked with me anyhow.

    Oh well, it's a brave new world. I suppose the first step will be to download the free SDK and start looking under the hood. Once Director 11 is in our hands we can see exaclty how the AGEIA engine implemented.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2008 1:31 PM   in reply to PpHammer
    quote:

    Originally posted by: PpHammer
    While it is true that the AGEIA PhysX Engine can be supported by a PPU it is not required.


    AGEIA PhysX without PPU (in "software mode") runs as fast as Havok on a 500MHz Celeron.

    cheers

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2008 1:37 PM   in reply to necromanthus
    quote:

    Originally posted by: necromanthusAGEIA PhysX without PPU (in "software mode") runs as fast as Havok on a 500MHz Celeron.


    That's good news! Any documentation available, or is the SDK the best bet for now?
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2008 1:52 PM   in reply to Ex Malterra
    quote:

    Originally posted by: Ex Malterra
    quote:

    Originally posted by: necromanthus
    AGEIA PhysX without PPU (in "software mode") runs as fast as Havok on a 500MHz Celeron.


    That's good news! Any documentation available, or is the SDK the best bet for now?


    LOL ... I really like this guy.
    The Director team developed the AGEIA Xtra using the same SDK, so ...

    Anyway, here is the "funny" part:
    1) INTEL is the main developer of the (ancient) Shockwave 3D asset.
    2) 7 years ago, Macromedia, Intel and Havok were partners.
    3) Adobe bought Macromedia
    4) Intel bought Havok
    5) nVidia bought Ageia
    Instead of "Adobe & Intel" we'll get "Adobe and nVidia".

    cheers


     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2008 1:59 PM   in reply to Newsgroup_User
    quote:

    Originally posted by: Husam
    PhysX is both software and hardware engine.


    We all know that, but here it's about global performances.
    Ageia is selling dedicated processors and drivers for them. That's why nVidia bought them.
    Havok has a great experience related to software physics.
    That's all about here.

     
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    Feb 19, 2008 2:34 PM   in reply to necromanthus
    quote:

    Originally posted by: necromanthus
    LOL ... I really like this guy.
    The Director team developed the AGEIA Xtra using the same SDK, so ...


    I like you too!

    I'm anxious to delve into this new physics engine and have created my AGEIA account so I can download the free SDK and get to learnin'. What I'm interested in is what peculiarities there are specific to the Director Xtra and how it implements the engine. Oh well, I'll find out first hand in a few weeks I suppose.
     
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    Feb 19, 2008 2:52 PM   in reply to Ex Malterra
    The "software-mode" is fast and will work everywhere - at least the performance will be better then the performance of the old havok xtra. I think the havok xtra will still work in D11...

    If you all want to test it for yourself, there is a demo-game available at the german directorforum:
    http://www.directorforum.de/showthread.php?t=75892
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2008 4:33 PM   in reply to Newsgroup_User
    Man this is great news! Cant wait to get my hands on this.

    I had one question and I dont know if any of you can answer this. So currently if I export a model with a reflection map from 3d studio to W3D it will make that map standard and kill the reflection, because the plug-in doesnt support it. Since director 11 supports W3D for it's 3D models, will there be a new plugin so it can add all the DX9 functionality in the W3D file? This worries me because they may add support for DX9, but if you can't get that data out of 3D studio you will have to create everything in Director.

    Does anyone know the answer to this?


     
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    Feb 19, 2008 10:47 PM   in reply to _lw
    quote:

    Originally posted by: hondo3000
    The "software-mode" is fast and will work everywhere - at least the performance will be better then the performance of the old havok xtra. I think the havok xtra will still work in D11...


    Compared with the old Havox xtra, AGEIA PhysX runs a little bit slower.
    Talking about physics engines and their latest versions, Havok runs much faster!
    I did a test using a custom map (approx. the same number of polygons and movable objects):
    Unreal 3 (Ageia) v.s. Half-Life 2 (Havok), of course, both of them in "software mode".
    Havok physics is 40-60% faster!
    The main point here is that Shockwave 3D is already full of frame rate issues (that's why i don't use Havok).
    But let's hope Ageia is gonna kick the market and we'll get "a PPU in every computer" very soon.

    cheers

     
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    Feb 20, 2008 12:01 AM   in reply to _lw
    quote:

    Originally posted by: hondo3000
    If you all want to test it for yourself, there is a demo-game available at the german directorforum:
    http://www.directorforum.de/showthread.php?t=75892


    My main system to test Shockwave 3D pieces: P4 2.4GHz, 512MB RAM, GeForce FX5200.
    - the screenshots are looking better than the real thing ;)
    - the initialization time is HUGE (very annoying).
    - in most of the areas I get less than 8 FPS (!?!)
    - the physics Xtra is 2.42MB (compared to 560KB - the old Havok Xtra).
    I think it's enough for today.

    cheers

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2008 6:48 AM   in reply to Newsgroup_User
     
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    Feb 20, 2008 7:58 AM   in reply to Newsgroup_User
    Hmm... this doesn't look any better then Director did 5 or 6 years ago. Hopefully there are other features that could justify an upgrade (macromix audio delay I hear still isn't one of them)...
     
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    Feb 20, 2008 8:33 AM   in reply to necromanthus
    quote:

    Originally posted by: necromanthus
    Ageia is selling dedicated processors and drivers for them. That's why nVidia bought them.



    As to my knowledge, nVidia tries to leverage their CUDA Framework,
    which will enable PhysX calculation on GPU instead of Ageia PPU.

    CUDA got a boost of interest just some days ago, when nVidia officially
    anounced additional CUDA support for Mac platform.

    If I were you, I wouldn't worry to much about the nVidia/Ageia side of the game.
    I'd be more anxious about the quality of the PhysX Xtra implementation by Adobe. :)

    Anyway. I like to dream of softbodies (deformation & resistance), fluids,
    volumetric force fields and cloth.
    None of them were part of the old Havok Xtra and I'm very keen to learn
    what actually will be possible in D11, when it ships.

    Cheers,
    Martin Schaefer
    Adobe User Group Manager
    www.directorforum.de
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2008 11:44 AM   in reply to Martin Schaefer
    quote:

    Originally posted by: Macromartin
    I'd be more anxious about the quality of the PhysX Xtra implementation by Adobe. :)

    Anyway. I like to dream of softbodies (deformation & resistance), fluids,
    volumetric force fields and cloth.


    On a Core 2 Quad you can have them all.
    On an old 2GHz (single-core) processor ... nothing more than a dream.
    I wonder why Adobe is not able to "resurrect" the relationship with INTEL (and Havok).
    I wonder who is responsible for choosing Ageia physics (in "software mode") for Shockwave 3D.
    Anyway, let's close this subject.
    Time will tell if Adobe is making the same (marketing) mistakes as Macromedia.

    cheers

     
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    Feb 20, 2008 12:45 PM   in reply to Martin Schaefer
    >Compared with the old Havox xtra, AGEIA PhysX runs a little bit slower.
    >Talking about physics engines and their latest versions, Havok runs much faster!

    I am very interested to test and compare this inside Director with the shockwave3D Engine. Maybe it is possible to tweak here and there to generate high framerates.

    The Havok website says:
    "Havok’s cross-platform, professionally supported technology is available for the Wii™, PLAYSTATION®3, PLAYSTATION®2, PSP™, Xbox™, Xbox 360™, GameCube™, and the PC."

    Seems to be no MacOSX support and this could mean Havok is anyway no option for Director anymore.

     
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    Feb 20, 2008 2:25 PM   in reply to _lw
    quote:

    Originally posted by: hondo3000
    I am very interested to test and compare this inside Director with the shockwave3D Engine. Maybe it is possible to tweak here and there to generate high framerates.


    Do you want to double the entire geometry and to use a semi-transparent floor?
    ;)
    Come on Lutz ...

    cheers

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2008 8:43 AM   in reply to necromanthus
    >Do you want to double the entire geometry and to use a semi-transparent floor?
    >;)
    >Come on Lutz ...

    Still fast, isn't it :) (would really like to test if a realtime mirror shader will be faster...)

    The demos i have seen so far from Ageia where quite fast. I downloaded "warmonger" and deinstalled it directly after the first try because it is very slow and it seems to be designed to run only with ppu. But after deinstalling, there are some files left and they can be found in a folder named "Ageia Technologies", inside the "bin" folder you can find the following techdemos:
    - AGEIAPhysXBoxes.exe
    - SampleCloth.exe
    - SampleParticleFluid.exe

    These files are also included when you install the Ageia drivers from their website, but i was not able to install them under Vista (no idea why...).
     
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    Feb 22, 2008 4:28 AM   in reply to _lw
     
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    Feb 25, 2008 10:22 AM   in reply to Romeo.Marian
    --
     
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    Feb 25, 2008 10:22 AM   in reply to Romeo.Marian
    Does havok xtra work with Vista? Or do we have to chage all of our games (codes) based on Havok physics with the new physics engine for making them work with Vista?
     
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    Calculating status...
    Feb 25, 2008 1:36 PM   in reply to scarroll
    quote:

    Originally posted by: scarroll
    Hmm... this doesn't look any better then Director did 5 or 6 years ago. Hopefully there are other features that could justify an upgrade (macromix audio delay I hear still isn't one of them)...


    true, the models and textures in the "new" Director 11 game sample leave alot to be desired and its not exactly clear how DX9 is implemented. Are there additional Lingo terms dealing with DX9 features or are we still to make DX7 graphics only to be rendered in DX9 as a performance boost? Director simply must have things like native additive blending on particle systems and normal maps to even start to compete with Unity. A properly functioning reflectionmap would be a good start too. I think its a little misleading for Adobe to say they've added DX9 support to the sw3d xtra if no DX9 specific features can be accessed through Lingo.
     
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    Feb 26, 2008 12:52 AM   in reply to _lw
    quote:

    Originally posted by: hondo3000
    Seems to be no MacOSX support and this could mean Havok is anyway no option for Director anymore.



    Havok Physics licensed to Blizzard Entertainment : Diablo 3
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------
    Jeff Yates, Havok's Vice President, Product Management:

    The Mac is an important piece of technology and because of the cross-platform nature of Havok's technology, the port to Mac was easy to do.
    Furthermore, Blizzard Entertainment's commitment to OS X and to the Mac community is a good indication of the growth potential of the Mac as a games platform.
    Blizzard has always put out great games on the Mac, and we look forward to Havok becoming a part of that tradition.
     
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    Feb 26, 2008 4:15 AM   in reply to Newsgroup_User
    I see you're all talking here about the new 3d abilities of Director 11 but there is still something I dont understand -
    When I was working with Havok, I need to export an HKE file from 3d Max and integrate it in with my w3d member.
    What now? If the Havok Tecnoloy is being replaced, how will I export the 3d physic from Max to director?

    yoavi@barak.net.il
     
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    Feb 28, 2008 3:18 PM   in reply to Romeo.Marian
    As far as i googled, Bizzard ported the havok-engine on their own. Not sure if this is ment as a complete port or if they only ported things they need for Diablo 3. The havok website does not contain any informations about supporting macOSX.

    I am sure that Adobe wanted to get Havok back (at least this was mentioned in the SneakPeak of Director11 at AdobeMax2007) but for some reason this did not happen. I really hope the relationship between Adobe and Ageia/nVidia will be more continuous.

    I tested now "Cellfactor" in softwaremode (Free download on the Ageia Website), and it looked (at least for the simple rigidbody physics) quite good.
    video: http://www.biont3d.com/video/ageia_cellfactor/
    (maximum framerate on 25fps because of fraps, without fraps 45fps)
    A scene with comparable amount of colliding models on the same machine will not really work with the current havok xtra.

    >Does havok xtra work with Vista? Or do we have to chage all of our games (codes) based on Havok physics with
    >the new physics engine for making them work with Vista?

    At the moment it works with Vista, but i have no idea if the havok xtra will still work in Director11 and with ShockwavePlayer11 (from the technical side it should work, but maybe there is some "buisiness"-problem). For the moment there is no statement on this topic. Seems that the Adobe people are not allowed to use the term "Havok" anymore...
     
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    Feb 29, 2008 12:10 AM   in reply to _lw
    quote:

    Originally posted by: hondo3000
    As far as i googled, Bizzard ported the havok-engine on their own. Not sure if this is ment as a complete port or if they only ported things they need for Diablo 3. The havok website does not contain any informations about supporting macOSX.


    A friend of mine owns a copy of Havok 5.5 SDK for MAC OS X.
    Let's close this subject.

    quote:

    Originally posted by: hondo3000
    A scene with comparable amount of colliding models on the same machine will not really work with the current havok xtra.


    Do not compare Ageia 2.7.4 with the ancient Havok 1.0 !!!
    As I told you before, Havok 5.0 (and 5.5) is 40-60% faster than Ageia 2.7.4 (and 2.8.0) in software mode.

    Finally:
    Lutz, I don't understand your attitude.
    You're the one who is using Havok in Shockwave 3D. You should defend it.
    I don't use Havok (Ageia is out of question because runs slower) because the obsolete SW 3D engine is already full of frame rate issues.
    Besides that, a game based on physics (a racing game for example) is not a real challenge for a skilled programmer.
    And that's because the physics is doing more than 50% of the job ...
    ;)

    cheers
     
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    Feb 29, 2008 4:12 AM   in reply to _lw
    quote:

    Originally posted by: hondo3000
    The havok website does not contain any informations about supporting macOSX.


    Did you read (and understand) my previous post?
    Havok SDK is available on MAC OS X starting with version 4.0 (july 2006).

    PS
    Google is not the answer to all our questions...
     
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    Feb 29, 2008 6:42 PM   in reply to Romeo.Marian
    >Google is not the answer to all our questions...
    Ok, my fault. Still wondering why the havok people don't keep their website updated.

    >Let's close this subject.
    Done :)

    >Lutz, I don't understand your attitude.
    >You're the one who is using Havok in Shockwave 3D. You should defend it.

    What should i do? Sign a petition? I think Director11 would be more expensive when it would contain a new Havok Xtra. I also have the feeling that the mayority of the developers did not use Havok in their shockwave3D projects at all and that could be one of the reasons why i had to fish the xtra out of my shockwave3D-plugIn-xtras-folder when i wanted to use it with DirectorMX2004.
    The question for me is, will the Ageia Xtra do the job, will it be better than what i have now (or at least equal) and will it fit into the needs of shockwave3d-online content that has to run on a wide range of different machines.

    Instead of having no physics Xtra, i am very happy that there is now one. The features that where announced seem to be quite promising and i believe (was not able to test it so far) the performance will be good enough.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2008 8:22 AM   in reply to _lw
    quote:

    Originally posted by: hondo3000
    >Lutz, I don't understand your attitude.
    >You're the one who is using Havok in Shockwave 3D. You should defend it.

    What should i do? Sign a petition?


    The W3D Exporter is a default plugin in 3DS Max 2008 thanks to a group of 'fighters' (Remus is one of them).
    Maybe you should do the same thing if you want Havok back in Director 12.

     
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    Mar 1, 2008 3:49 PM   in reply to AlinaX
    quote:

    Maybe you should do the same thing if you want Havok back in Director 12.


    We didn't have physics for years (officially).
    We will get physics in D11 and those will be much better than the old Havok physics.
    You didn't test those new Ageia PhysX in Director and already discuss another change?
    Director still misses so much, but you already start discussing a "return of Havok" before you could test what you'll get in about 3,5 weeks. This is sick, really.
    Be happy that you'll get physics. Be happy that you'll get improved physics (in comparison to the old Havok Xtra). Complain about other features still missing. There's enough to complain about.

    Just my 2 cents,
    Martin
     
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    Mar 2, 2008 3:13 AM   in reply to Martin Schaefer
    quote:

    Originally posted by: Macromartin
    you already start discussing a "return of Havok" before you could test what you'll get in about 3,5 weeks.
    This is sick, really.
    Be happy that you'll get physics. Be happy that you'll get improved physics (in comparison to the old Havok Xtra).


    Honestly, "better than nothing" is the cheapest approach and sounds sick to me.
    7 years of Havok projects with Director Shockwave doesn't mean anything to Adobe Director team?
    I cannot be happy if there is no backward compatibility.
     
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    Mar 3, 2008 11:01 AM   in reply to AlinaX
    Yes, what about old havok projects? What Adode Director Team suggests us about our havok projects?

    Are they saying that "stop using havok xtra and rewrite all of your codes from the beginning with the new physics xtra" ?

    I think they are saying this and it will be so hard for me to rewrite them from the beginning!!!!

    Regards
    Ege
     
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