Not to be outdone by AMD’s FEMFX open-source physics-based CPU library, Nvidia has officially unveiled PhysX 5.0. The next-generation unified particle simulation framework will be available “soon” in 2020, offering the developers for all sorts of new physics-based deformation and liquid simulation.
There are three key components added with Nvidia PhysX SDK 5.0:
Finite Element Model (FEM) – This is a simulation technique using for material deformation. It’s already used by automotive and manufacturing industries for accurately testing the strength of rigid and soft assemblies. Basically, the car bods use FEM to depict the potential damage during impacts, a tool which should prove immensely helpful for racing and other vehicular-focused games.
Liquid Simulations – They’ve been trying to get liquid simulation right for years but it never feels quite there. PhysX 5.0 uses a Discrete Element Model (DEM) to help both model fluids and simulate its flow.
Arbitrary Meshes – Nvidia is implementing arbitrary mesh simulation for cloth and rope. You know the drill by now, flapping cloaks and the likes. Again, it often looks good but not inherently realistic. PhysX 5.0 implements a constrained particle model whereby the cloth and robe is subject to pressures such as lift and drag. It can also be used for more rigid structures, such as plastic which may deform.
Nvidia has said it’ll more to share on PhysX 5.0 at some point in early 2020.