Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) Simulating Real and Imaginary Worlds

Digital Molecular Matter

Digital Molecular Matter, better known as simply DMM, is a middleware physics engine developed by Pixelux. It is designed for computer, video games, and other simulation needs by attempting to simulate physical real-world systems. Unlike traditional realtime simulation engines which tend to be based on rigid body kinematics, the use of soft body dynamics via FEA allows for DMM to simulate a more general set of properties. Developers assign physical properties to a given object (or portion of an object) and then at runtime they behave as they would in the real world (e.g. ice, gummy bear, etc.) In addition the properties of objects (or even just parts of objects) can be changed at runtime allowing for additional interesting effects.

LucasArts: Digital Molecular Matter Tech Demo


How it Works
DMM handles the simulation of diverse materials by using an advanced method from scientific computing called finite element modeling (FEM). Materials are represented in FEM by a set of "material parameters" that the simulation takes into account. A DMM content creator has complete control over these parameters to tune an object's material, being able to adjust, for example, how soft or rigid an object is and how easily it may fracture. Side effects such as having objects weaken and break after repeated bending occur naturally as an artifact of material settings. The DMM collision system is very robust and handles the collision of the complex shapes that arise from deformation and fracture.

These demos show what can be done with the DMM Plug-in for Maya. They were created entirely with DMM Plug-in for Maya, no other physics system was used.

Cliff House

A wooden shack on a cliff gets destroyed by boulders.


A spaceship gets destroyed by asteroids.


A heavy soft body falls onto a wooden beam destroying it. An animated object further destroys the beam, shattering it to tiny pieces.


Only the two red items attached to the wooden bar are animated. Because of the stress caused by the torsion, the wood brakes and shatters the glass box.

Rubber Car

A rubber car is thrown onto a circuit. Nothing is animated.

A boulder is given an initial velocity. It then falls on a wooden trestle with metal railways. The resulting destruction is entirely simulated by DMM.

  1. Digital Molecular Matter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. YouTube - LucasArts: Digital Molecular Matter Tech Demo
  3. Pixelux Entertainment SA - DMM Technology
  4. Pixelux Entertainment SA - Movies
  5. YouTube - DMM(Digital Molecular Matter) Cliff House
  6. YouTube - Rubber Car Pixelux Demo
  7. YouTube - Twist Pixelux Demo
  1. Digital Molecular Matter: Realistic material damage for military training simulations using real-time Finite Element Analysis - By Steve Griffith (Objective Interface Systems)
  2. Pixelux releases DMM plug-in for Autodesk Maya 2010 (physics simulation) - Software News for Maya News
  3. YouTube - Broadcast Yourself (Playlist).