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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

February 16, 2005, 04:50 AM

I want to implement dynamics in a 3D application. What Engine should I use. Realtime is ok but not required.

I digged into ODE and Novodex. I also checked Newton (where can I get more info on this one?).
Novodex seems to be the best candidate for now. It's fast, robust, versatile and takes care of a lot of problems...

A few important things are not supported though.
- One of them is 3Mesh/3Mesh collision detection. But I can live with PMaps.
- A bigger problem is that it doesn't support 3Mesh Deformation (eg. when a 3Mesh deformed with bones collides with another 3Mesh.). I know I could attach boxes or capsules to the bones (to fake the 3Mesh) but in some cases (eg. ball on a wavy surface) there's no way to fake...
- I didn't have the time to test if simulations where consequent. By this I mean, if the sollutions are identical each time. This is VERY important for a not game based dynamix.

So... What are the free/commercial options. I need an SDK that's easy, as accurate as possible, realtime not required (would b nice if I could switch).
It must support 3Mesh deformation and must be consequent.

Thanks 4 the info


February 16, 2005, 06:32 AM

Newton is great, lot of features, facilities to handle carractere moving in your 3d physic world, can handle reactions underwater etc. etc. The only dark side is it does not support 3d Mesh deformation .

Jetro Lauha

February 16, 2005, 06:37 AM

In addition to ODE, Newton and NovodeX there's at least Tokamak (free to some extent,, Havok (commercial,, Meqon (commercial, These are all more or less oriented for games, so I believe their main focus is on speed more than accuracy. There's still more engines which are more tightly designed for a specific game-oriented use (e.g. FastCar, which is also commercial,

I guess there must exist bunch of engines which are not designed for games as is, but for more like applications you are probably making - i.e. which need more accuracy than speed for simulation. Only one not-so-gaming oriented engine comes to my mind, which is CMLabs (or is it Vortex, That is still realtime-oriented but its main focus seems not to be in games.

About reproducability: it is possible at least with ODE, just make sure that if you use iterative solver then joint order randomizing is not in use (or that seed value always matches). I'm not entirely sure if floating point calculations can differ between platforms (OS/compiler/compiler optimization/cpu combinations) or not. If you want to play it safe and you use e.g. MSVC, be sure to turn on the option for increasing floating point consistency (/Op in MSVC6).


February 17, 2005, 09:09 AM

Ok thanx guys.

I'll probably use Novodex.

First I need to know how much exactly they'll charge... Is it a percentage of the sales, is it a fixed fee... If someone has some info on that matter, i'd be glad to hear it.

I'll try to implement (deformed)3Mesh / (deformed)3Mesh collision detection myself. (Or is it not that simple... ?)Does somebody know where I can find the right libs, algo's and/or tutorials? (What about the colDet lib???) It doesn't matter if they are time consuming as long as they are flawless. Calculations don't need to be done in realtime. so...
If I manage to implement correct coldetection, is it hard then to make novodex react to those collisions?

I know I'm asking a lot. I'm just assuming maybe someone had this problem before and knows all the right answers.

Sam Jew

February 17, 2005, 10:11 AM

I tried ode and couldn't get it to work, but as a result of reading about it here, I've been using Novodex for the past couple of days and I have to say, Novodex is quite possibly the greatest thing in the history of game development since programmable shaders.

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