PhysX Real-Time Fluid Physics Are Crazy Realistic

| 26 Apr 2013 08:37

The revolutionary new technology looks awesome and could be the future of water in videogames.

Fluids in videogames is always just kind of, there. We have come a long way from the murky brown poorly-textured sludge of the Quake era, but fluids have never really shown us the "wow-factor" in the way photo-realistic models and animations have. Borderlands 2 did an admirable job of making fluids like acid and blood feel more like goop and less like sprites, but having realistic water was still just out of reach. Nvidia programmer Miles Macklin aims to change that, revealing a revolutionary new system of real-time fluid physics that look and behave the way you would expect water to in the real world.

The video shows water being manipulated and behaving akin to how you would expect it to. Some of the most impressive segments show the water making waves, and realistically modeling the ebb and flow of liquid as it rushes around static objects like columns or reacts to external stimuli like contracting walls.

Perhaps most importantly, it shows how the new fluid system will react to the presence of giant rabbits and werewolves. Showing waves crash around a lighthouse in the second video definitely brought the "wow-factor" for me.

The second video also explains how it manages to make the water look so realistic. The fluid is actually made up of thousands of tiny little particles working together to form a seamless fluid-like mesh.

The third video explains how Macklin's method differs from his competitors, claiming that his method remains much more stable at the cost of having more compression, which when you are trying to have a fully immersive experience in a game, is definitely the way to go.

Dedicated physics cards were nothing more than a gimmick a few years ago, but with truly amazing technology like this starting to surface, how long will it be before they take their place next to the graphics card as a stock-standard in PC building?

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