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.

Recent Publications

Divergence-Free SPH for Incompressible and Viscous Fluids

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

In this paper we present a novel Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method for the efficient and stable simulation of incompressible fluids. The most efficient SPH-based approaches enforce incompressibility either on position or velocity level. However, the continuity equation for incompressible flow demands to maintain a constant density and a divergence-free velocity field. We propose a combination of two novel implicit pressure solvers enforcing both a low volume compression as well as a divergence-free velocity field. While a compression-free fluid is essential for realistic physical behavior, a divergence-free velocity field drastically reduces the number of required solver iterations and increases the stability of the simulation significantly. Thanks to the improved stability, our method can handle larger time steps than previous approaches. This results in a substantial performance gain since the computationally expensive neighborhood search has to be performed less frequently. Moreover, we introduce a third optional implicit solver to simulate highly viscous fluids which seamlessly integrates into our solver framework. Our implicit viscosity solver produces realistic results while introducing almost no numerical damping. We demonstrate the efficiency, robustness and scalability of our method in a variety of complex simulations including scenarios with millions of turbulent particles or highly viscous materials.


Hierarchical hp-Adaptive Signed Distance Fields

ACM SIGGRAPH / EUROGRAPHICS Symposium on Computer Animation

In this paper we propose a novel method to construct hierarchical $hp$-adaptive Signed Distance Fields (SDFs). We discretize the signed distance function of an input mesh using piecewise polynomials on an axis-aligned hexahedral grid. Besides spatial refinement based on octree subdivision to refine the cell size (h), we hierarchically increase each cell's polynomial degree (p) in order to construct a very accurate but memory-efficient representation. Presenting a novel criterion to decide whether to apply h- or p-refinement, we demonstrate that our method is able to construct more accurate SDFs at significantly lower memory consumption than previous approaches. Finally, we demonstrate the usage of our representation as collision detector for geometrically highly complex solid objects in the application area of physically-based simulation.


Deferred Warping

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications

We introduce deferred warping, a novel approach for real-time deformation of 3D objects attached to an animated or manipulated surface. Our target application is virtual prototyping of garments where 2D pattern modeling is combined with 3D garment simulation which allows an immediate validation of the design. The technique works in two steps: First, the surface deformation of the target object is determined and the resulting transformation field is stored as a matrix texture. Then the matrix texture is used as look-up table to transform a given geometry onto a deformed surface. Splitting the process in two steps yields a large flexibility since different attachment types can be realized by simply defining specific mapping functions. Our technique can directly handle complex topology changes within the surface. We demonstrate a fast implementation in the vertex shading stage allowing the use of highly decorated surfaces with millions of triangles in real-time.

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