The application of three-dimensional mass-spring structures in the real-time simulation of sheet materials for computer generated imagery
Mahal, Bhopinder Singh
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Despite the resources devoted to computer graphics technology over the last 40 years, there is still a need to increase the realism with which flexible materials are simulated. However, to date reported methods are restricted in their application by their use of two-dimensional structures and implicit integration methods that lend themselves to modelling cloth-like sheets but not stiffer, thicker materials in which bending moments play a significant role. This thesis presents a real-time, computationally efficient environment for simulations of sheet materials. The approach described differs from other techniques principally through its novel use of multilayer sheet structures. In addition to more accurately modelling bending moment effects, it also allows the effects of increased temperature within the environment to be simulated. Limitations of this approach include the increased difficulties of calibrating a realistic and stable simulation compared to implicit based methods. A series of experiments are conducted to establish the effectiveness of the technique, evaluating the suitability of different integration methods, sheet structures, and simulation parameters, before conducting a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) based evaluation to establish the effectiveness with which the technique can produce credible simulations. These results are also compared against a system that utilises an established method for sheet simulation and a hybrid solution that combines the use of 3D (i.e. multilayer) lattice structures with the recognised sheet simulation approach. The results suggest that the use of a three-dimensional structure does provide a level of enhanced realism when simulating stiff laminar materials although the best overall results were achieved through the use of the hybrid model.