Lagoa Multiphysics 1.0 – Incredible New Physics Engine at Ubisoft

Update #1: The author (that’s me!) jumped to an incorrect conclusion that just because Thiago, the author of the Lagoa Multiphysics engine, is an Ubisoft technical lead, this didn’t necessarily mean that the engine was Ubisoft’s property and going to be integrated into their game-engines in the coming years. Sorry guys, I got too excited; Thanks to Alex for the correction!

Above is an introductory movie to a new physics engine by the name of “Lagoa Multiphysics” created by Thiago Costa. Thiago is the lead technical director at Ubisoft who is also working on an advanced smoke simulation engine as well, seen here:

Updated Post

Below in the comments, Alex set the record straight on Thiago’s work, Ubisoft and the Lagoa physics engine, more specifically:

I’m sorry but I think there is a bit of confusion about this latest tool by Thiago, It is not a game physics engine and im doubtfull it ever will be, although things like this are bound to become more the norm in the next 5-10 years or so (I hope :)

Lagoa, like thiago’s previous addon SPH fluids (which this will replace at some point), is for the nodal based programming language ICE that has been in softimages XSI (now autodesk softimage) since version 7, geared mostly around particles and physics, Only the simplest of examples are real time since that is not the objective of this software, being mainly for precalculated effects for use in tv, film, game cutscenes etc etc.. very exciting stuff for 3d geeks since it could eventually mean more sandman type effects from spidy 3 without having a giant team working away in houdini for a year or 2 ;) (houdini being another nodal and python etc based 3d app)

As far as this having anything to do with Ubisoft I think you are far from the mark since in the last 2 and a half years since he started releasing SPH this is the first time I have ever seen his main job mentioned

I’ve left the original post below where I was firmly placed in a fantasy la-la land hoping beyond hope that this type of simulation would be coming to games in the next few years.

You can’t blame a guy for hoping, but you can blame him for jumping to all sorts of conclusions. DOH!

Original Post

Besides oohing and aaahing over the engine’s introductory movie all day, not much has been said about what Thiago’s commercial plan for the engine is or if Ubisoft (who most likley owns the rights to it) is planning on rolling it into next-gen titles any time soon.

We imagine with that level of R&D invested in the technology and the time it took to put together that demo movie it’s certainly got the company’s blessing, just no ETA on when it will arrive.

If we can learn anything from when Lucas Arts first demoed the Euphoria engine and when it was finally integrated and released with The Force Unleashed, we could guess 1.5-2 years until we see Lagoa engine powering some next-gen Ubisoft titles.

You might have noticed int the demo when the 4 pieces of cloth are dropped down on the block at the same time, the frame rate of the demo chugs a bit; and you have to imagine that is on a high-end desktop machine.

The simplification and down-sampling required to get that to run smoothly on an Xbox 360, PS3 or Wii while also filling graphics buffers and calculating geometry to render either leads me to believe one of two things:

  • The physical fidelity won’t be anywhere near as accurate once it’s on consumer gaming devices.
  • This is being developed for next generation game consoles.

I’m leaning more towards #2, but who knows what they are wanting to do with it.

Either way, it’s nice to see gaming technology continue to push forward; we’ve had ragdolls for 10 years, time for something new.

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About Riyad Kalla

Software development, video games, writing, reading and anything shiny. I ultimately just want to provide a resource that helps people and if I can't do that, then at least make them laugh.

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5 Responses to “Lagoa Multiphysics 1.0 – Incredible New Physics Engine at Ubisoft”

  1. Alex July 21, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    I’m sorry but I think there is a bit of confusion about this latest tool by Thiago, It is not a game physics engine and im doubtfull it ever will be, although things like this are bound to become more the norm in the next 5-10 years or so (I hope :)

    Lagoa, like thiago’s previous addon SPH fluids (which this will replace at some point), is for the nodal based programming language ICE that has been in softimages XSI (now autodesk softimage) since version 7, geared mostly around particles and physics, Only the simplest of examples are real time since that is not the objective of this software, being mainly for precalculated effects for use in tv, film, game cutscenes etc etc.. very exciting stuff for 3d geeks since it could eventually mean more sandman type effects from spidy 3 without having a giant team working away in houdini for a year or 2 ;) (houdini being another nodal and python etc based 3d app)

    As far as this having anything to do with Ubisoft I think you are far from the mark since in the last 2 and a half years since he started releasing SPH this is the first time I have ever seen his main job mentioned :P

    Sorry if i burst any bubbles. but much like physx has taken over 10 years or something to become usable in realtime games instead of precalculated, this kind of thing is still quite a long way down the line.

    • Riyad Kalla July 21, 2010 at 5:49 am #

      Alex, I’m embarrassed at how off-base the post was; I made the assumption that development of something like this was sufficiently expensive and wouldn’t have gone on without Ubisoft-backing if Thiago is their lead technical director, so I immediately assumed since Ubi was shipping their own custom game engines with most of the titles for the last few years (especially the Triple-A releases) that these technologies would all be married at some point.

      It seems that more than anything, I was enthusiastically stuck in a fantasy world more than anything :)

      I do appreciate the correction and I have updated the original post with it. It makes a lot more sense that this is an animation-tool technology… the fidelity looked incredibly advanced and I couldn’t imagine consoles or PCs having the horse power to pull this stuff off in real time while also managing AI, Textures, Geometry, etc.

      If this takes 10 years to make it’s way into video games, you have absolutely burst my bubble… you are going to force me to go outside and play with real physics aren’t you?

  2. pantelis July 22, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    it’s fucking beautiful stuff, I can’t stop looking at it

    • Riyad Kalla July 22, 2010 at 5:39 am #

      pantelis,

      It really is incredible that he is pulling off here — seeing it animated is brilliant, but then seeing the calculations and structure in the dev tool about half way through I thought was much more interesting. See how the relationships and elastic bonds between the “molecules” is calculated and managed.

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