2d physics in 3d space


This is a simple example of using three JS as a 3d renderer and p2.js as 2d physics engine, to create a powerful 2.5D effect. A 2d physics engine is way faster and easier to handle then any 3d physics engine, perfect for HTML5 applications on desktop or mobile devices.

The script below is very simple and straight forward, it dosen’t include the Debug view you see in the top left to keep things as simple as possible. The script creates a 3d world and a 2d physics world, every object in the 3d world is connected with an object in the 2d physics world. The 2d physics world is simulated and the 3d world just follows this simulation. Each time the 2d physics world gets updated all the connected 3d bodies get an update as well.

apply Physics

(Push to add new boxes, use mouse to zoom and pan around)

function init()
{
    //SET UP three JS SCENE
    var scene = new THREE.Scene();//CREATE NEW THREE JS SCENE
    
    var SCREEN_WIDTH = window.innerWidth, SCREEN_HEIGHT = window.innerHeight;
    var renderer = new THREE.WebGLRenderer({antialias:true}); //INIT NEW THREE JS RENDERER
        renderer.setClearColor(new THREE.Color('lightgrey'), 1) //SET BG COLOR
        renderer.setSize(SCREEN_WIDTH, SCREEN_HEIGHT); // SET SIZE
        document.body.appendChild( renderer.domElement ); //APPLY CANVAS TO BODY
        renderer.domElement.id = "canvas_threeJS";//ADD ID TO CANVAS
    
    //ADD CAMERA TO THE SCENE
    var VIEW_ANGLE = 45, ASPECT = SCREEN_WIDTH / SCREEN_HEIGHT, NEAR = 0.1, FAR =1000;
    var camera = new THREE.PerspectiveCamera( VIEW_ANGLE, ASPECT, NEAR, FAR);
        camera.position.set(-4,6,8); //SET CAMERA POITION
        scene.add(camera);
    
    //HANDLE WINDOW RESIZE
	window.addEventListener('resize', function(){
		renderer.setSize( window.innerWidth, window.innerHeight )
		camera.aspect	= window.innerWidth / window.innerHeight
		camera.updateProjectionMatrix();
	}, false);

    
    //ADD AMBIENT LIGHT
    var ambientLight = new THREE.AmbientLight(0x404040);
        scene.add(ambientLight)
    
    // CONTROLS
    var controls = new THREE.OrbitControls(camera);
        controls.maxDistance = 14;
        controls.noPan = true;
        controls.maxPolarAngle = 1.4;
    
    //ADD POINT LIGHT
    var light = new THREE.PointLight(0xffffff,.7);
        light.position.set(0,7,3);
        scene.add(light);
    
    //INIT PHYSICS
    var world = new p2.World();
        world.sleepMode = p2.World.BODY_SLEEPING;
    
    //ADD EVENT LISTENER FOR BUTTON
    document.getElementById("btn_add").onclick = addBox;
    
    //ADD BACKGROUND CUBE
    addBackground();
    
    //START RENDER
    update();
    
    //ADD SKYBOX/BACKGROUND FUNCTION
    function addBackground()
    {
        //CREATE NEW TEXTURE
        var skyBoxTexture = new THREE.ImageUtils.loadTexture( 'assets/grid.png' );
            skyBoxTexture.wrapS = skyBoxTexture.wrapT = THREE.RepeatWrapping; 
            skyBoxTexture.repeat.set( 4, 4 );

        //CREATE MATERIAL FROM TEXTURE
        var floorMat =  new THREE.MeshPhongMaterial( { map: skyBoxTexture, side: THREE.BackSide,shininess: 1} );

        //CREATE BOX WITH MATERIAL
        var skyBox = new THREE.Mesh(new THREE.BoxGeometry(20,20,20), floorMat);
            skyBox.position.y += 10;
            scene.add(skyBox);
        
        //CREATE P2 PHYSICS GROUND PLANE
        var planeShape = new p2.Plane();
        var planeBody = new p2.Body({position:[0,0]});
            planeBody.name = "ground";
            planeBody.data = skyBox;
            planeBody.addShape(planeShape);
            world.addBody(planeBody);
    }
    
    //ADD A NEW BOX FUNCTION
    function addBox()
    {
        //CREATE RANDOM WIDTH AND HEIGHT SIZE
        var w = 0.1+Math.random();
        var h = 0.1+Math.random();
        
        //ADD ELEMENT AT RANDOM X POSITION
        var x = (Math.random()*10)-5;
        var y = 3;
        
        //CREATE NEW MATERIAL WITH RANDOM COLOR
        var material = new THREE.MeshPhongMaterial( { color: getRandomColor() } );
        
        //CREATE CUBE WITH RANDOM WIDTH AND HEIGHT
        var cube = new THREE.Mesh(new THREE.BoxGeometry(w, h, .5), material);
            cube.position.set(x,y,0)
            scene.add(cube);
        
        //CREATE P2 PHYSICS BOX AT RANDOM POSITION
        var boxShape = new p2.Rectangle(w,h);
        var boxBody = new p2.Body({ mass:1, position:[x,y],angularVelocity:1 });
            boxBody.allowSleep = true;
            boxBody.sleepSpeedLimit = 1; 
            boxBody.sleepTimeLimit =  1;
            boxBody.data = cube; // ADD 3d OBJECT AS DATA VALUE
            boxBody.name="box"; //ADD NAME TO THE P2 BODY
            boxBody.addShape(boxShape);
            world.addBody(boxBody);
    }
    
    //CREATES A RANDOM COLOR
    function getRandomColor() {
        var letters = '0123456789ABCDEF'.split('');
        var color = '#';
        for (var i = 0; i < 6; i++ ) {
            color += letters[Math.floor(Math.random() * 16)];
            }
            return color;
     }
    
    //UPDATE FUNCTION
    function update()
    {
        //KEEP RENDERING
        requestAnimationFrame( update );
        
        //UPDATE PHYSICS
        world.step(1/60);
        
        //FOR EACH OBJECT IN P2 PHYSICS WORLD
        for (var i = 0; i < world.bodies.length; i++) 
        { 
            //IF IT IS A BOX -> UPDATE POSITION AND ROTATION ACCORDINGLY
            if(world.bodies[i].name == "box")
            {
                world.bodies[i].data.position.set(world.bodies[i].position[0],world.bodies[i].position[1],0);
                world.bodies[i].data.rotation.z = world.bodies[i].angle; 
            }
        };  
        
        //UPDATE 3D SCENE
        renderer.render( scene, camera );		
    };
};

 

conclusion

This is a just basic example, everything the 2d physics engine supports can be simulated in the 3d space. And everything in the 3d space can have textures, animations, proper lighting etc.. It’s really simple to create the 3d scene and apply 2d physics to objects.
This kind of 2.5d might not fit into every concept, but it’s looking awesome if executed the right way.