Use physics to enable physically plausible interactions with your scene content.

Different backends are supported such as Bullets Physics, NVIDIA PhysX and Newton Dynamics.

Declaring Physics

To turn a node into a rigid body, create a RigidBody component and assign it to the node using Node.SetRigidBody.

To fully declare a rigid body you must attach at least one collision shape to its node. Create a Collision component and call Node.SetCollision to do so. You can attach multiple collision components to a single node.

A rigid body can be of the following type:

  • RBT_Dynamic: Responds in a physically plausible manner to interaction with other rigid bodies. Its motion is fully controlled by the physics engine. A dynamic rigid body will automatically go to sleep and stop consuming simulation resources when it stops moving for a long enough period of time.
  • RBT_Kinematic: Follows the transformation of the node it belongs to. A kinematic body never goes to sleep automatically.

See RigidBody.SetType.

The rigid body intertia tensor is computed from its collision shape properties. A zero mass rigid body is considered infinitely heavy and cannot be moved.

Simulating Physics

Create a physics backend such as [SceneNewtonPhysics] and call [SceneNewtonPhysics_SceneCreatePhysicsFromAssets] to create the physics states corresponding to the scene declaration.

Note: [SceneNewtonPhysics_SceneCreatePhysicsFromAssets] means that if setting up the physics states requires access to an external resource, such as a mesh, it should be loaded from the assets system. If you are working from the filesystem, use [SceneNewtonPhysics_SceneCreatePhysicsFromFile].

Running the Simulation

This involves 3 steps on each update:

  1. Synchronize physics state with the scene declaration using [SceneNewtonPhysics_SceneCreatePhysicsFromAssets]. Alternatively, you can use a more fine-grained approach using [SceneNewtonPhysics_NodeCreatePhysicsFromAssets] to improve performance.
  2. Step the simulation using [SceneNewtonPhysics_StepSimulation].
  3. Synchronize the updated physics transformations to the scene using [SceneNewtonPhysics_SyncDynamicBodiesToScene].

Note: If you are using kinematic bodies you will also need to synchronize them from their node transformation on each update using [SceneNewtonPhysics_SyncKinematicBodiesFromScene].

The Easy Way

While the low-level API offers the most flexibility most projects will use a straightforward implementation which is provided by the SceneUpdateSystems function. This function handles all of the above steps and does the same for other systems you may use.

When using a script system, this function will also dispatch collision events to it.

Keeping the System Synchronized

Call the physics system garbage collect method (eg. [SceneNewtonPhysics_GarbageCollect]) on each update to ensure that destroyed nodes or components are properly removed. If you know that no node or component was destroyed during a particular update, not calling the garbage collector will save on performance.

Reading Physics Transformation

When a node is assigned a dynamic rigid body its transformation matrix is overriden by the physics system. Its transform component however, is not. Transform methods such as Transform.SetPos or Transform.SetRot will have no effect unless you explicitely synchronize the node to the physics system after using them.

Transform.GetWorld will return the transformation matrix as set by the physics system.