Digital Foundry Article Technical Discussion [2019]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Shifty Geezer, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Oh, it's been open-sourced but not necessarily ported to (by) AMD yet.
     
  2. jlippo

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    It has been main physics engine in Unreal and Unity for years.

    Nvidia did not make physx originally, they bought it and have remade it to be one of the better CPU physics engines around.
    I do not know if the GPU side has been in developement, they did Flex and other stuff though.
     
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  3. BRiT

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    One of the largest developers using the Unreal Engine had this to say about developing their next game, Gears 5:

    "We switched the physics engine, from PhysX to Havoc. Havoc is a much more performant physics engine."

    https://www.windowscentral.com/gears-5-tech-talk-interview-xbox-one-pc
     
  4. Silent_Buddha

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    It's not one of the better physics engines, it's just one that happens to be free and thus included with the base versions of various rendering engines. Although it's probably the best free physics engine.

    There's a reason why most AAA developers with a decent budget go Havok. And even some smaller developers will set aside part of the budget to use Havok in order to have more performant physics.

    There's also some developers who previously used PhysX who have decided to roll their own in house Physics engine because PhysX wasn't good enough and they didn't want to pay for a Havok license. I can't remember them off the top of my head unfortunately.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  5. jlippo

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    Thanks, looks like I have some catching up to do. (Again. :D)
    Any good places to learn more about current status of physics engines?
     
  6. Silent_Buddha

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    I can't think of any off the top of my head. Forums for developers might be a good place, but even then maybe not. I'd imagine that TWIMTBP partners might be less inclined to go into detail about it. I've read about developers switching sometimes. Other times I just look to see which Physics engine is credited in the end credits of games.

    But think of it another way. Havok requires a paid license to include in your game. PhysX doesn't. If PhysX were indeed better than Havok, why would anyone pay to use Havok? This also means that more funds are going into continued development of Havok. Now that GPU accelerated PhysX isn't a key technology being pushed by NVidia, I do wonder how much effort they will put into it going forward.

    Also, just to be clear, I'm not saying PhysX is bad. If it was, no one would use it even if it were free.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  7. AlBran

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  8. chris1515

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  9. DavidGraham

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    I think he means, much more performant on the GPU. On the CPU side of things PhysX is both more stable and performant, most engines use PhysX by default: Unreal, Unity, Northlight (Control), Glacier (Hitman), Crystal (Deus Ex), Luminous (Final Fantasy), RED (Witcher), 4A (Metro), Dunia 2, AnvilNext ..etc.

    I remember reading Unity devs clearly stating PhysX was their choice because it's the most stable solution out there.
     
    #429 DavidGraham, Sep 1, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  10. BRiT

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    Only because its free.
     
  11. milk

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    Excellent work on this one.
     
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  12. Dictator

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    Thanks ^_^
     
  13. DavidGraham

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    I STRONGLY doubt that. It also doesn't make sense. But that's out of topic here.
     
    #433 DavidGraham, Sep 3, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  14. Recop

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    The XB1 version is the only one without V-sync. It could play a factor.
     
  15. Shortbread

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  16. Shortbread

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    I think BRiT was referencing that Havoc is owned by Microsoft, hence it being free for their internal / first-party developers.

    Anyhow, as of today Control has some of the best PhysX physics I have seen, IMHO. Although, lightly touching a table or desk seems to make everything shake, I still find the physics of debris, paper, glass, cement, and whatever else surrounding the environment to be wowing when being destroyed or pulled apart.
     
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  17. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Microsoft buying Havok in 2015 completely passed me by!
     
  18. Panino Manino

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    Optimizations improve with time, but even so I can't really understand how the humble Xbox One can run a game with these visuals and performance. I never imagined that it could get this far by the end of the generation, is more amazing that anything on PS4.
     
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  19. Shortbread

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    Can't wait. Steam preorder - 2 more days.:cool2:
     
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  20. BRiT

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    DF Article on Gears 5: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2019-gears-5-tech-analysis

    Gears of War 4 marked a turning point for Microsoft's classic franchise, with new studio The Coalition taking over franchise development duties. Its 2016 debut delivered a gorgeous but safe instalment in the series. Gears 5, by comparison, is a revelation in pretty much every regard. It's an ambitious new take on the series, pushing gameplay into uncharted territory while delivering perhaps the most advanced and performant Unreal Engine 4 title to date - and something of a technological high point for both Xbox One consoles.

    Of course, Gears is a series that has always been synonymous with pushing technical boundaries - from the very first Xbox 360 release through its various sequels, each game has served as a showcase for Unreal Engine and the skilled developers working on each project. Gears 5, however, delivers one of the greatest leaps in fidelity the series has experienced to date, with a wide range of impressive new visual features on offer alongside some serious optimisation, with Xbox One X targeting a massively ambitious 60 frames per second. With that in mind, the sheer level of detail on display in each area is staggering - especially when you consider the frame-rate and resolution targets.

    So let's begin with the basics, kicking off with image quality. In the case of Gears 5, the overall solution to rendering quality is a complex one, utilising a range of techniques that have become increasingly common this generation. Yes, dynamic resolution scaling is in effect on both console versions - albeit with a twist. As expected, X targets a native 4K at the upper bounds, while the base unit tops out at 1080p. That said, actual native rendering resolution is adjusting regularly during gameplay, producing results on X such as 1584p, 1728p, 2160p and the like. Xbox One S renders at quarter resolution by comparison - including values such as 792p and 864p up to full 1080p. The gap between S and X seems par for the course then, until you realise that the enhanced machine is essentially delivering twice the frame-rate.

    However, native rendering resolution is just the start of the story. Gears 5 uses a temporal upscaling solution, increasing fidelity by drawing upon information from prior frames, so resolution values aren't quite as cut and dried as you may think. View geometry is adjusted on the fly based on GPU load using dynamic resolution - this is then upscaled to match the final output such as 4K in the case of Xbox One X. It's after this point that all post-processing such as motion blur, bloom, tone-mapping and the like is applied, not to mention the HUD. So, basically, geometry rendering varies in resolution but post-effects are always rendered at full resolution, giving an overall cleaner look.

    ...
     
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