Computer Science Colloquium

Real-time Deformable Objects: Graphics, Haptics, Sound

Jernej Barbic
Carnegie Mellon University

Friday, April 13th 11:30 a.m.
Room 1302 Warren Weaver Hall
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012-1185

Colloquium Information:


Richard Cole, (212) 998-3119


Real-time deformable objects are an exciting research area in computer graphics, with applications to computer games, movie industry, CAD/CAM, and virtual medicine. Deformable objects are well-understood in solid mechanics, however the standard simulation algorithms are too slow for interactive simulation with detailed geometry. How can we support real-time simulation on commodity workstations, while compromising physical correctness as little as possible?

First, I will present reduced-coordinate nonlinear deformable objects, a novel class of deformable objects obtained by applying statistical model reduction to finite element models. The idea is to replace the general degrees of freedom of a deformable object for a much smaller set of reduced degrees of freedom, thereby trading accuracy for speed. The reduced degrees of freedom incorporate geometric and material information, and are chosen automatically from the first principles of continuum mechanics.

In addition, I will present a time-critical algorithm for collision detection, deformable object simulation and contact force computation between reduced-coordinate deformable (or rigid) objects with detailed geometry. The algorithm runs at haptic rates (1000 Hz), enabling applications in interactive path planning, virtual assembly and game haptics.

Finally, I will present an algorithm for real-time sound synthesis where both the mechanical vibrations (deformations) that cause sound, and the sound propagation (wave equation) into the surrounding air for detailed geometries, are (approximately) simulated at audio rates (44,100 Hz). This captures effects such as object self-shadowing and diffraction of sound around corners, and further improves realism of real-time virtual environments.

Refreshments will be served

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