The word ‘nVidia’ is familiar to everyone from novice to the professional gamers. And why not, this is the thing that the guys are looking the most while buying lappies after Intel. Well the famous graphics processor nVidia has recently swept the market with the latest release and a super successful ‘PhysX Engine’ into the gaming market making the gaming experience an inch closer to the heart. Ok so starting from the basis, as usual, here is brief intro. NVIDIA is the successful graphics processor company leading the market with only its competitive rival ATI next. Graphics processor is used to make the experience of gaming more realistic and to provide an exclusive processor just for rendering the graphics easing the load of normal processor.
PhysX is a real-time physics engine first developed by ‘NovodeX’ which was taken over by ‘Ageia’ later taken over by ‘nVidia’ in 2008, thus adding yet other feather in its cap. Later it launched this technology in its ‘GeForce’ series graphics cards. So what actually this technology offers ?
PhysX the word itself means adding physics to the game. Before PhysX, game designers had to “precompute” how an object would behave in reaction to an event. For example, they would draw a sequence of frames showing how a football player falls on the ground after a tackle. The disadvantage of this approach was that the gamer always saw the same “canned” animation. With PhysX, games can now accurately compute the physical behavior of bodies real time. This means that the football player will now bend and twist in all different ways depending on the specific conditions associated with the tackle – thus creating a unique visual experience every time. Or think of a girl walking around with her dress not static but dynamically moving along with her body. That’s what Physics in games can do for you…!! Wait this is just a glimpse. The actual effects are :
- Explosions that create dust and collateral debris
- Characters with complex, jointed geometries, for more life-like motion and interaction
- Spectacular new weapons with incredible effects
- Cloth that drapes and tears naturally
- Dense smoke & fog that billow around objects in motion
This shows the comparison of PhysX Engine and normal graphics. I know we cant even compare the results after seeing this graph. But just see the boost given to the real time effects increasing the mind blowing simulations. See, the only thing PhysX does is calculate that movement or transformation of a set of vertices of an object – set of particles – water – smoke – whatever. If you shoot a gun at a barrel and it explodes into a thousand pieces. These pieces will mean, more tiny objects (vertices) to fill/texture/shade and render. Usually common physics computations are handled by the CPU, which is already loaded with the ever increasing demands of today’s advanced games including game logic and AI. This is tken care by GPU where half the load is done to render graphics and half takes care of PhysX Engine effects.
Now the market is brimming over with the new era games using PhysX Engine and providing the gamers a whole new, rich, lively and more realistic graphics enabling them to explore the real gaming. So just take the gun and press the trigger to really see your PhysX engine doing its wonder with the bullet.