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Havok Announces New Physics Suite, Cloth and Destruction Tools

by Rainier on Feb. 19, 2008 @ 3:04 p.m. PST

Havok unveiled Havok Cloth and Havok Destruction at the 2008 GDC providing artists with increased control over interactive cloth and destructible objects within games, as well as its Havok 5.5 development suite with improved Havok Physics and Havok Behavior.

Havok 5.5 includes major enhancements to Havok’s core products, Havok Physics, the leading real-time collision detection and physical simulation solution, Havok Animation, the innovative fast and flexible animation SDK and Tool set, and Havok Behavior, the only system for developing event-driven character behaviors in a game. Together the improvements in Havok 5.5 put new power in the hands of game developers to create a more realistic, immersive gameplay experience.

“With each new product or version of Havok that we release we take time to listen to customer comments and strive to help development teams create enjoyable and realistic games more efficiently,” said David O’Meara, Managing Director of Havok. “Havok 5.5 represents the most innovative version of our suite of products to date, and with it Havok will help drive the next generation of bestsellers and award-winners.”

Havok Physics 5.5 provides a new level of continuous multi-platform physics optimization as well as enhanced collision query optimizations especially for the PLAYSTATION®3.

Havok Animation 5.5 delivers developers and artists improved tools and technology including Spline based compression, export of Float Channels for morph target support, and Multithreading optimizations. Together these enhancements deliver better performance by reducing memory consumption, giving the animator full control over compression accuracy compression and providing constant time depression. Havok Animation 5.5’s easy to use export, sampling and blending capabilities allows developers to significantly cut content creation times and memory requirements.

Havok Behavior 5.5 brings new power to developers and artists, with another leap forward in interactive character behavior authoring. Building on the first unified authoring environment and SDK that intuitively combines the power of physics with procedural animation and traditional animation assets, Havok Behavior 5.5 includes an enhanced Behavior SDK and tools. These allow further run-time optimizations and more modifiers, improved Physics workflow, modified visualization of behavior trees, improved global character positioning and activity transitioning, as well as other improved asset management features, significantly empowering teams and accelerating production overall.

Built on Havok’s modular suite of run-time technology and artists tools, Havok Cloth and Havok Destruction will feature out-of-the-box integration with Havok Physics and Havok Animation, dramatically accelerating the development of cross platform, cutting edge electronic entertainment across all leading game platforms.

“With the release of Havok Cloth and Havok Destruction, the company adds both depth and breadth to our market-dominating suite of physics tools,” said David O’Meara, Managing Director of Havok. “Innovative and easy to utilize, Havok Cloth and Destruction are powerful, flexible tools giving art teams more control in the design process, resulting in a more realistic interactive experience for gamers.”

David Coghlan, Vice President of Development for Havok said “Havok Cloth and Havok Destruction will further increase the standard of realism and immersion in games. Havok Cloth enables scalable clothing that will significantly enhance the visual impact of on-screen characters. Havok Destruction will drive high-adrenaline action scenes with unprecedented levels of physics mayhem.”

Havok Cloth is a new performance-optimized development tool designed to minimize the time that game artists spend on animating the behavior of character garments and environmental cloth. It enables increased realism for cutting-edge games, is easily customizable and fits into today’s workflow without burdening artists, animators or programmers.

Havok Cloth features:

  • Highly realistic physically-based simulation of cloth and character clothing with low CPU and memory overhead
  • Multithreaded and platform-optimized (including PS3)
  • Artist-driven control of the full range of cloth behavioral properties such as stretching, damping and bending
  • Artist-friendly, modeller-based, cloth setup tools

Havok Destruction is the cross-platform tool for simulation of rigid body destruction. Destruction gives the game artist total control over the simulation, drastically reducing the production time and cost of creating large numbers of realistic destructible game objects. Havok Destruction can create a completely new game play experience by giving additional realism to structural mechanics, graphical effects and game level design.

Havok Destruction features:

  • Dynamic fracture of game objects including: shattering, fracture and deformation.
  • Software Development Kit that is fully multithreaded, optimized for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and makes optimal use of Havok Physics
  • Art Tool Support

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