Welcome



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 "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

Implicit Density Projection for Volume Conserving Liquids

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

We propose a novel implicit density projection approach for hybrid Eulerian/Lagrangian methods like FLIP and APIC to enforce volume conservation of incompressible liquids. Our approach is able to robustly recover from highly degenerate configurations and incorporates volume-conserving boundary handling. A problem of the standard divergence-free pressure solver is that it only has a differential view on density changes. Numerical volume errors, which occur due to large time steps and the limited accuracy of pressure projections, are invisible to the solver and cannot be corrected. Moreover, these errors accumulate over time and can lead to drastic volume changes, especially in long-running simulations or interactive scenarios. Therefore, we introduce a novel method that enforces constant density throughout the fluid. The density itself is tracked via the particles of the hybrid Eulerian/Lagrangian simulation algorithm. To achieve constant density, we use the continuous mass conservation law to derive a pressure Poisson equation which also takes density deviations into account. It can be discretized with standard approaches and easily implemented into existing code by extending the regular pressure solver. Our method enables us to relax the strict time step and solver accuracy requirements of a regular solver, leading to significantly higher performance. Moreover, our approach is able to push fluid particles out of solid obstacles without losing volume and generates more uniform particle distributions, which makes frequent particle resampling unnecessary. We compare the proposed method to standard FLIP and APIC and to previous volume correction approaches in several simulations and demonstrate significant improvements in terms of incompressibility, visual realism and computational performance.

 

Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics for Physically-Based Simulation of Fluids and Solids

Eurographics Tutorial

Graphics research on Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) has produced fantastic visual results that are unique across the board of research communities concerned with SPH simulations. Generally, the SPH formalism serves as a spatial discretization technique, commonly used for the numerical simulation of continuum mechanical problems such as the simulation of fluids, highly viscous materials, and deformable solids. Recent advances in the field have made it possible to efficiently simulate massive scenes with highly complex boundary geometries on a single PC. Moreover, novel techniques allow to robustly handle interactions among various materials. As of today, graphics-inspired pressure solvers, neighborhood search algorithms, boundary formulations, and other contributions often serve as core components in commercial software for animation purposes as well as in computer-aided engineering software. This tutorial covers various aspects of SPH simulations. Governing equations for mechanical phenomena and their SPH discretizations are discussed. Concepts and implementations of core components such as neighborhood search algorithms, pressure solvers, and boundary handling techniques are presented. Implementation hints for the realization of SPH solvers for fluids, elastic solids, and rigid bodies are given. The tutorial combines the introduction of theoretical concepts with the presentation of actual implementations.

 

Volume Maps: An Implicit Boundary Representation for SPH

Motion, Interaction and Games (to appear)

In this paper, we present a novel method for the robust handling of static and dynamic rigid boundaries in Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations. We build upon the ideas of the density maps approach which has been introduced recently by Koschier and Bender. They precompute the density contributions of solid boundaries and store them on a spatial grid which can be efficiently queried during runtime. This alleviates the problems of commonly used boundary particles, like bumpy surfaces and inaccurate pressure forces near boundaries. Our method is based on a similar concept but we precompute the volume contribution of the boundary geometry and store it on a grid. This maintains all benefits of density maps but offers a variety of advantages which are demonstrated in several experiments. Firstly, in contrast to the density maps method we can compute derivatives in the standard SPH manner by differentiating the kernel function. This results in smooth pressure forces, even for lower map resolutions, such that precomputation times and memory requirements are reduced by more than two orders of magnitude compared to density maps. Furthermore, this directly fits into the SPH concept so that volume maps can be seamlessly combined with existing SPH methods. Finally, the kernel function is not baked into the map such that the same volume map can be used with different kernels. This is especially useful when we want to incorporate common surface tension or viscosity methods that use different kernels than the fluid simulation.

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