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Physics library

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opensource:
ode, dynamechs, dynamo, aero

free:
tokamak

commercial:
havok, vortex

incomplete, last time i checked:
gphysics, hypermatter.

were there any that I missed?
if you know of any additional open source/free ones, please add to the list.

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commercial: Renderware Physics (was MathEngine's Karma)

This is very related to Vortex. Critical-Mass Labs, who produce Vortex, were a spinoff of MathEngine before MathEngine was purchased by Renderware. At the time of spinoff, they were sharing a code-base, but I think Vortex evolved heavily from there.

Also, Havok's parent company, Telekinesys, has a physics toolkit called Telekinesys Dynamics SDK.

And...Novodex has a very nice commercial toolkit. I know a couple of the developers there. Smart fellows.

www.novodex.com

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

[edited by - grhodes_at_work on November 7, 2003 8:41:50 PM]

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Thanks for those replies, hadn''t seen most of them before.

came accross a few more:
-DiGuy, boston dynamics, appears only to simulate humans
-SD/FAST, doesn''t appear very user friendly, aimed at engineering simulations i think
-bytegeist vehicle&physics, in development atm?

opensource:
-darwin2k, but this package contains a lot more than just the physics...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Can any one point me to any comparisions or give their views on which of the free/open source libraries it the best?

As far as I can see ode is the only one still in active development. However I was a bit unimpressed with its performace from some of the demos (in particular test_crash which I know it the most complex but probably the closest to ''real life'' usage).

Cheers

Chris

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Can any one point me to any comparisions or give their views on which of the free/open source libraries it the best?




ODE currently seems to be the most popular. Tokamak appears promising though. I am planning on supporting both.

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Hi,

I am investiagating using ODE for my projects. I joined the mailing list, and looks like some people are working on ways to take advantage of 3Dnow and SSE instructions to give a nice performance boost.

cheers,
-theoddbot

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I know Russ Smith who is the author of ODE. Smart guy who knows his stuff. Previously worked for MathEngine (now owned by Criterion, publishers of the Renderware game engine) working on their commercial physics engine. He fully supports generalized rigid body constraints, making it possible to do a very wide range of articulations and constrained motions. And that support is customizable to support any constraint you can think up, not just the built-in ones. This support requires some heavy math and could explain why it isn''t as fast as you might like. I believe it is possible to use your own collision detection with ODE, and that could be helpful in speeding things up.

I''m not sure how Tokamak compares, but there are some discussions in the Tokamak forums discussing the benefits of each engine. Reports there say Tokamak is faster, but more limited in some ways.

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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Dynamechs is I believe faster than ODE, it uses an optimized version of the ABA algorithm, with some funky stuff to support closed chains. However, its collision handling leaves a lot to be desired.

Dynamo, is apparently not so great, never used it.

Aero is spring based, its been a while since ive used it, and im not sure how easy it will be to compile again, for all I know it could perform quite well for gfx applications on nowdays computers...

Darwin2k only recently got support for terrain, and I havent looked at it since, but when i did, it seemd to run fast enough.

personally Ive found tokamak to be much much faster than ODE for what i do.

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Thanks minorlogic. I had forgotten about Oxford Dynamics. How does this one perform compared with the rest? E.g., stable rigid body links? Accurate, fast collision detection and response?

I played with Aero many years ago and found it be quite unstable. This is because it is basically a spring-mass system, and springs are always problematic.

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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