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.

Open PhD positions

Currently, we are seeking PhD candidates with a strong interest in physically-based simulation in the field of computer graphics.

Candidates should send their application containing a letter of motivation, CV, master and bachelor transcripts and further relevant certificates via email in pdf format to Prof. Dr. Jan Bender.

June 7, 2018

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

Fast Corotated FEM using Operator Splitting

Computer Graphics Forum (SCA)

In this paper we present a novel operator splitting approach for corotated FEM simulations. The deformation energy of the corotated linear material model consists of two additive terms. The first term models stretching in the individual spatial directions and the second term describes resistance to volume changes. By formulating the backward Euler time integration scheme as an optimization problem, we show that the first term is invariant to rotations. This allows us to use an operator splitting approach and to solve both terms individually with different numerical methods. The stretching part is solved accurately with an optimization integrator, which can be done very efficiently because the system matrix is constant over time such that its Cholesky factorization can be precomputed. The volume term is solved approximately by using the compliant constraints method and Gauss-Seidel iterations. Further, we introduce the analytic polar decomposition which allows us to speed up the extraction of the rotational part of the deformation gradient and to recover inverted elements. Finally, this results in an extremely fast and robust simulation method with high visual quality that outperforms standard corotated FEMs by more than two orders of magnitude and even the fast but inaccurate PBD and shape matching methods by more than one order of magnitude without having their typical drawbacks. This enables a very efficient simulation of complex scenes containing more than a million elements.


Turbulent Micropolar SPH Fluids with Foam

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

In this paper we introduce a novel micropolar material model for the simulation of turbulent inviscid fluids. The governing equations are solved by using the concept of Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH). As already investigated in previous works, SPH fluid simulations suffer from numerical diffusion which leads to a lower vorticity, a loss in turbulent details and finally in less realistic results. To solve this problem we propose a micropolar fluid model. The micropolar fluid model is a generalization of the classical Navier-Stokes equations, which are typically used in computer graphics to simulate fluids. In contrast to the classical Navier-Stokes model, micropolar fluids have a microstructure and therefore consider the rotational motion of fluid particles. In addition to the linear velocity field these fluids also have a field of microrotation which represents existing vortices and provides a source for new ones. However, classical micropolar materials are viscous and the translational and the rotational motion are coupled in a dissipative way. Since our goal is to simulate turbulent fluids, we introduce a novel modified micropolar material for inviscid fluids with a non-dissipative coupling. Our model can generate realistic turbulences, is linear and angular momentum conserving, can be easily integrated in existing SPH simulation methods and its computational overhead is negligible. Another important visual feature of turbulent liquids is foam. Therefore, we present a post-processing method which considers microrotation in the foam particle generation. It works completely automatic and requires only one user-defined parameter to control the amount of foam.


A Physically Consistent Implicit Viscosity Solver for SPH Fluids

Computer Graphics Forum (Eurographics)

In this paper, we present a novel physically consistent implicit solver for the simulation of highly viscous fluids using the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) formalism. Our method is the result of a theoretical and practical in-depth analysis of the most recent implicit SPH solvers for viscous materials. Based on our findings, we developed a list of requirements that are vital to produce a realistic motion of a viscous fluid. These essential requirements include momentum conservation, a physically meaningful behavior under temporal and spatial refinement, the absence of ghost forces induced by spurious viscosities and the ability to reproduce complex physical effects that can be observed in nature. On the basis of several theoretical analyses, quantitative academic comparisons and complex visual experiments we show that none of the recent approaches is able to satisfy all requirements. In contrast, our proposed method meets all demands and therefore produces realistic animations in highly complex scenarios. We demonstrate that our solver outperforms former approaches in terms of physical accuracy and memory consumption while it is comparable in terms of computational performance. In addition to the implicit viscosity solver, we present a method to simulate melting objects. Therefore, we generalize the viscosity model to a spatially varying viscosity field and provide an SPH discretization of the heat equation.

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