Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Apex PhysX Lab for destructables - your comments please

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Apex PhysX Lab for destructables - your comments please

    Howdy all, I'm just wondering if anyone is having the same experience with Apex PhxysX Lab destructibles that I am.

    Yes, I know its free, and a Beta too, so let's add our suggestions get it working:

    Positives
    1. It's here
    2. Easy and fun to use

    Negatives:
    1. Makes over-broad assumptions
    - Generates its own (sadly inexact) collision, which can't be fully adjusted
    - Assumes all meshes are solid, so it generates 'filler' material inside every mesh, which can't be adjusted at all [Edit: sorry, this is incorrect, using core meshes, it is possible to make hollow objects}
    2. Really slow and unstable
    - Takes several minutes, or crashes, with more than 2 slice depths or other complex operations (same with 32 and 64-bit versions)
    3. Cutout mode incomplete
    - Appears to support more than 1 cutout level, but in practice seems to only allow one level of cutout (though with slicing)
    Again, it's (potentially) a terrific tool so let's contribute to improving it for UDK.

    #2
    Originally posted by Whitenorthstar View Post

    1. Makes over-broad assumptions

    - Assumes all meshes are solid, so it generates 'filler' material inside every mesh, which can't be adjusted at all
    What do you mean? That you can't create hollow objects? I think it's simply not meant for that.

    Originally posted by Whitenorthstar View Post
    2. Really slow and unstable
    - Takes several minutes, or crashes, with more than 2 slice depths or other complex operations (same with 32 and 64-bit versions)
    3. Cutout mode incomplete
    - Appears to support more than 1 cutout level, but in practice seems to only allow one level of cutout (though with slicing)
    From what I've gathered from a few tests I ran, you probably won't want more than 2 levels deep fracture anyway.
    - UDK really doesn't like it (though it might probably just be me who didn't spend enough time tweaking the chunks' parameters).
    - It won't look better. One level of well tweaked slicing on top of a cut-out or another slicing should yield more than satisfying results.

    However, I've only played with APEX for half an hour at best, so don't mark my words

    Comment


      #3
      Anyone know of a link to videos on this one? not demo videos, but actual "how to make this one useful" videos? i don't really like videos for much, but it seems like this one would be perfect for it.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Mougli View Post
        What do you mean? That you can't create hollow objects? I think it's simply not meant for that.
        It's a valid consideration, I don't see why an environment wouldn't potentially include objects that are hollow.

        Comment


          #5
          Mougli mate, you know I respect your opinions, but on this occasion you are a bit off-base, you haven't spent enough time playing with it

          Apologies if I seem to be moaning about a free tool, but I'm seeking ways to make it better.

          Regrettably, for me, the collision is a key issue, along with hollowness, while the others are desirables. Yesterday, I just put one of my projects on temporary hold, because it will involve major work to re-engineer a large number of meshes to work acceptably well with Apex Lab's mandatory shrink-wrapping and DOP collision, which is also (a tad frustratingly) creating invisible collision barriers outside the meshes. Without giving too much away, unluckily, all these meshes happen to hollow too!
          Hollow objects - definitely necessary, for example, even the time-honored cliche of level design, the humble wooden box crate, can be both hollow and destructible. Hollowness can also depend on the level of detail you are fracturing at: walls are solid, but buildings are hollow etc. If it works for your game, it's a lot easier to fracture a whole building than to fracture each individual wall and assemble then it in UDK.

          Multiple cutout - slicing on top of cutouts is an excellent start, but especially for a larger objects, multiple cutout angles would be even better. If you look at how the cutout tool is laid out, all the functionality appears to be there, it just doesn't work yet. This functionality will probably be included in another release.

          UDK performance - surprisingly, on my machine at least, UDK seems to handle the destruction frame rate far far far better than Apex Lab's own playground mode. Well, the destructables working properly in UDK is the important thing, for sure. Anyway, machine performance will keep on improving.
          hey Blade, maybe it's not quite what your looking for, but here's what I've seen. Nvidia's two tutorials on cutout and slice destructables (doesn't include importing to UDK though):
          Wallomedia's two tutorials (including UDK import, but the second may still not work):
          Just for completeness, DigitalDemolition's game environment demo:

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ambershee View Post
            It's a valid consideration, I don't see why an environment wouldn't potentially include objects that are hollow.
            Oh I completely agree. I was just saying that maybe the tool in its current state is not designed to allow such a thing.

            EDIT: @Whitenorthstar. Fair enough. Though you seem to be working with very big meshes, by wanting to fracture a entire building in one go. I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, mind you. But I feel like you've reached a "by design limitation". Maybe you should contact Nvidia to be sure the tool is supposed to cater for that kind of situations.

            Comment


              #7
              That's entirely my point, in its current iteration, it's not really suitable for hollow objects (common application) or more complex/larger meshes (another common application). After all, we are beta testing the product.

              Speaking with utter humility regarding my own limited programming skills, but as far as I know, the following seem to be reasonably implementable:

              - for collision, enable importing UCX_ collision mesh import/recognition
              - for hollowness, enable advanced setting(s) for thickness on selected faces/polygons, or through the mesh as a whole

              Comment


                #8
                There is no reason why you can't make hollow objects like a crate. But you need to build each "wall" as a solid so the fracture algorithm can determine volume and where to make it's cuts. The inside of the crate is still hollow and the walls are now properly fractured.

                As for whole building destruction... I don't think that is really what the system is designed for. It's certainly doable but really not practical as this is more of a general purpose destruction solution. Destruction on the scale of DICE's Frostbite engines require a more dedicated and specific approach.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by John J View Post
                  There is no reason why you can't make hollow objects like a crate. But you need to build each "wall" as a solid so the fracture algorithm can determine volume and where to make it's cuts. The inside of the crate is still hollow and the walls are now properly fractured.
                  thanks, but thats obvious.

                  Originally posted by John J View Post
                  As for whole building destruction... I don't think that is really what the system is designed for. It's certainly doable but really not practical as this is more of a general purpose destruction solution. Destruction on the scale of DICE's Frostbite engines require a more dedicated and specific approach.
                  sorry, but I have a different perspective, it seems that with relatively few adjustments, Apex Lab would be suitable for hollow, larger and more complex meshes. There may be technical limitations, but what I'm suggesting seems relatively trivial. Of course, it's Nvidia's commercial decision but, as developers using the beta, this is an opportunity for us to make relevant suggestions.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    ok who asked for a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-SV8dLdmc4

                    so far buggy but its a beta, doesn't like my obj's so i have to use fbx, still can't get to work like in the nvidia video's but we'll see what we can do with it.

                    could do with a decent UDK tutorial with working mesh and settings

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Whitenorthstar View Post
                      it seems that with relatively few adjustments, Apex Lab would be suitable for hollow, larger and more complex meshes.
                      I reckon it probably doesn't, because the algorithm may work from percieved "edges" of the mesh inwards. An object with an interior space wouldn't have said edges correctly considered.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ambershee View Post
                        I reckon it probably doesn't, because the algorithm may work from percieved "edges" of the mesh inwards. An object with an interior space wouldn't have said edges correctly considered.
                        Yes, that's probably how it works, extruding* from the perceived external "faces" of the mesh inwards.

                        And this is why it seems relatively easy. The current algorithm extrudes fully into the mesh and fills it up. Instead, just have a setting that also allows partial extrusion (i.e. you can set the extrusion thickness**).

                        We have used a building as an example, so let's continue with that. I'm talking about just the exterior shell, not also considering the interior structure of the building (which would be awesome of course, but likely much more difficult). Depending on your game, even just one uniform extrusion thickness from the outside inwards, for the whole mesh, would be pretty convincing.

                        This would help keep the pipeline efficient, and solve the hollow object problem.
                        *well, intruding / negative extruding

                        **In an ideal world, you could set a different extrusion thickness for wall, windows and roof... by choosing the faces. All the face data is already inside Apex lab, on the FBX file. But that's a big wish

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I want to ask how to create Apex PhxysX Lab Cloth ? must 3DMax plugin to finish ?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Use 3ds 2011 plug-in export the samples that are included with the plugin at first as CTP, then .APX format so it's CTP\.APX,Import it,then use a dud skeletal mesh for the cloth to be attached to. And I do not think there is enough features yet in the Apex framework for there to be tutorials(like particles are broken now), Mostly from what I have seen and worked with is early early beta stuff.Also with Apex destructibles... i'm not seeing the full potential of GRB's yet and lack of documentation on GRB's (GPU accelerated rigid bodies), so it's really early for alot of stuff dealing with this.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Well, the hollow object problem is solved, there is a way to do hollow objects in PhysXLab.

                              It's so obvious, hard to believe I missed it. My apologies to Nvidia, though my other suggestions still stand

                              Just use a core mesh, and then don't tick "Export Core Mesh". The core mesh is subtracted from your object, leaving you with a hollow crate, house, bottle, whatever...

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X