Welcome to the Computer Animation Group at RWTH Aachen University!

The research of the Computer Animation Group focuses on the physically-based simulation of rigid bodies, deformable solids and fluids in interactive virtual reality applications and computer animation, and on related topics such as GPGPU and real-time visualization. The main application areas include virtual prototyping, medical simulation, computer games and special effects in movies.


Best Paper Award

Our paper "Fast Corotated Elastic SPH Solids with Implicit Zero-Energy Mode Control" got the best paper award at the ACM SIGGRAPH / EUROGRAPHICS Symposium on Computer Animation 2021.

Sept. 10, 2021

Best Paper Award

Our paper "Volume Maps: An Implicit Boundary Representation for SPH" got the best paper award at the ACM SIGGRAPH Motion, Interaction and Games.

Nov. 15, 2019

Best Paper Award

Our paper "A Micropolar Material Model for Turbulent SPH Fluids" got the best paper award at the ACM SIGGRAPH / EUROGRAPHICS Symposium on Computer Animation.

Aug. 15, 2017

SPlisHSPlasH now available on Github!

SPlisHSPlasH is an open-source library for the physically-based simulation of fluids. The simulation in this library is based on the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method which is a popular meshless Lagrangian approach to simulate complex fluid effects. Check it out here!

Nov. 17, 2016

CompactNSearch now available on Github!

We published an open source implementation of our fixed radius neighborhood search for point clouds. The algorithm is written in C++, parallelized and features reordering of the points according to a space-filling Z curve. The implementation is particularly useful for particle based fluid simulations following the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) approach. Check it out here!

Nov. 17, 2016

Recent Publications

Quantitative Evaluation of SPH in TIG Spot Welding

Computational Particle Mechanics (accepted with minor revision)

While the application of the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method for the modeling of welding processes has become increasingly popular in recent years, little is yet known about the quantitative predictive capability of this method. We propose a novel SPH model for the simulation of the tungsten inert gas (TIG) spot welding process and conduct a thorough comparison between our SPH implementation and two Finite Element Method (FEM) based models. In order to be able to quantitatively compare the results of our SPH simulation method with grid based methods we additionally propose an improved particle to grid interpolation method based on linear least-squares with an optional hole-filling pass which accounts for missing particles. We show that SPH is able to yield excellent results, especially given the observed deviations between the investigated FEM methods and as such, we validate the accuracy of the method for an industrially relevant engineering application.

Application and Benchmark of SPH for Modeling the Impact in Thermal Spraying

Computational Particle Mechanics

The properties of a thermally sprayed coating, such as its durability or thermal conductivity depend on its microstructure, which is in turn directly related to the particle impact process. To simulate this process we present a 3D Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) model, which represents the molten droplet as an incompressible fluid, while a semi-implicit Enthalpy-Porosity method is applied for modeling the phase change during solidification. In addition, we present an implicit correction for SPH simulations, based on well known approaches, from which we can observe improved performance and simulation stability. We apply our SPH method to the impact and solidification of Al2O3 droplets onto a substrate and perform a comprehensive quantitative comparison of our method with the commercial software Ansys Fluent using the Volume of Fluid (VOF) approach, while taking identical physical effects into consideration. The results are evaluated in depth and we discuss the applicability of either method for the simulation of thermal spray deposition. We also evaluate the droplet spread factor given varying initial droplet diameters and compare these results with an analytic expression from previous literature. We show that SPH is an excellent method for solving this free surface problem accurately and efficiently.

Fast Corotated Elastic SPH Solids with Implicit Zero-Energy Mode Control

Proceedings of the ACM on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (Best Paper Award at SCA)

We develop a new operator splitting formulation for the simulation of corotated linearly elastic solids with Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH). Based on the technique of Kugelstadt et al. [KKB2018] originally developed for the Finite Element Method (FEM), we split the elastic energy into two separate terms corresponding to stretching and volume conservation, and based on this principle, we design a splitting scheme compatible with SPH. The operator splitting scheme enables us to treat the two terms separately, and because the stretching forces lead to a stiffness matrix that is constant in time, we are able to prefactor the system matrix for the implicit integration step. Solid-solid contact and fluid-solid interaction is achieved through a unified pressure solve. We demonstrate more than an order of magnitude improvement in computation time compared to a state-of-the-art SPH simulator for elastic solids. We further improve the stability and reliability of the simulation through several additional contributions. We introduce a new implicit penalty mechanism that suppresses zero-energy modes inherent in the SPH formulation for elastic solids, and present a new, physics-inspired sampling algorithm for generating high-quality particle distributions for the rest shape of an elastic solid. We finally also devise an efficient method for interpolating vertex positions of a high-resolution surface mesh based on the SPH particle positions for use in high-fidelity visualization.

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