Wednesday, August 22, 2012

3d world creation and simulation using Open Source tools and libraries

Over past few weeks I've been looking into 3D world simulation. I checked out Ogre3d however I found it to be way too complex with a steep learning curve. I then came across irrLicht and was greately impressed with its simplicity of use and how quickly it let me jump from following their tutorials to creating my own code. The tutorials on their site are well documented and very easy to follow. Among other things, the tutorials also address basic collision detection. Simple simulations were very easy to make, however, I ran into a road block when attempting to implement slightly more complex physics. I soon realized that while it was possible, I'd have to hand code almost all physics, for instance, gravity, friction, momentum, etc.
After doing some research I came across Tokamak physics engine. I found Tokamak to be surprisingly easy to learn however I only found very few example. Right around the same time I also found Bullet Physics which I found to be very well documented with plenty of tutorials and examples available online. Bullet is also a more comprehensive physics engine than Tokamak and comes with a slight learning curve over Tokamak. On the other hand, Tokamak can get you started and running in no time.
I am currently exploring IrrLicht and both Bullet and Tokamak in couple hobby projects. If the projects gain critical mass, I'll share the experience and perhaps example code in future posts.

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