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Welcome


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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.

News

Implicit Density Projection now available on GitHub!

The code for our paper "Implicit Density Projection for Volume Conserving Liquids" has been implemented in the open source project Mantaflow and is now available on GitHub. Check here for the most recent version.

July 27, 2022

Best Paper Award

Our paper "Fast Corotated Elastic SPH Solids with Implicit Zero-Energy Mode Control" got the best paper award at the ACM SIGGRAPH / EUROGRAPHICS Symposium on Computer Animation 2021.

Sept. 10, 2021

Best Paper Award

Our paper "Volume Maps: An Implicit Boundary Representation for SPH" got the best paper award at the ACM SIGGRAPH Motion, Interaction and Games.

Nov. 15, 2019

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

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Fast Octree Neighborhood Search for SPH Simulations

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Asia 2022)

We present a new octree-based neighborhood search method for SPH simulation. A speedup of up to 1.9x is observed in comparison to state-of-the-art methods which rely on uniform grids. While our method focuses on maximizing performance in fixed-radius SPH simulations, we show that it can also be used in scenarios where the particle support radius is not constant thanks to the adaptive nature of the octree acceleration structure. Neighborhood search methods typically consist of an acceleration structure that prunes the space of possible particle neighbor pairs, followed by direct distance comparisons between the remaining particle pairs. Previous works have focused on minimizing the number of comparisons. However, in an effort to minimize the actual computation time, we find that distance comparisons exhibit very high throughput on modern CPUs. By permitting more comparisons than strictly necessary, the time spent on preparing and searching the acceleration structure can be reduced, yielding a net positive speedup. The choice of an octree acceleration structure, instead of the uniform grid typically used in fixed-radius methods, ensures balanced computational tasks. This benefits both parallelism and provides consistently high computational intensity for the distance comparisons. We present a detailed account of high-level considerations that, together with low-level decisions, enable high throughput for performance-critical parts of the algorithm. Finally, we demonstrate the high performance of our algorithm on a number of large-scale fixed-radius SPH benchmarks and show in experiments with a support radius ratio up to 3 that our method is also effective in multi-resolution SPH simulations.

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A Survey on SPH Methods in Computer Graphics

Computer Graphics Forum

Throughout the past decades, the graphics community has spent major resources on the research and development of physics simulators on the mission to computer-generate behaviors achieving outstanding visual effects or to make the virtual world indistinguishable from reality. The variety and impact of recent research based on Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) demonstrates the concept's importance as one of the most versatile tools for the simulation of fluids and solids. With this survey, we offer an overview of the developments and still-active research on physics simulation methodologies based on SPH that has not been addressed in previous SPH surveys. Following an introduction about typical SPH discretization techniques, we provide an overview over the most used incompressibility solvers and present novel insights regarding their relation and conditional equivalence. The survey further covers recent advances in implicit and particle-based boundary handling and sampling techniques. While SPH is best known in the context of fluid simulation we discuss modern concepts to augment the range of simulatable physical characteristics including turbulence, highly viscous matter, deformable solids, as well as rigid body contact handling. Besides the purely numerical approaches, simulation techniques aided by machine learning are on the rise. Thus, the survey discusses recent data-driven approaches and the impact of differentiable solvers on artist control. Finally, we provide context for discussion by outlining existing problems and opportunities to open up new research directions.

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Gazebo Fluids: SPH-based simulation of fluid interaction with articulated rigid body dynamics

IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

Physical simulation is an indispensable component of robotics simulation platforms that serves as the basis for a plethora of research directions. Looking strictly at robotics, the common characteristic of the most popular physics engines, such as ODE, DART, MuJoCo, bullet, SimBody, PhysX or RaiSim, is that they focus on the solution of articulated rigid bodies with collisions and contacts problems, while paying less attention to other physical phenomena. This restriction limits the range of addressable simulation problems, rendering applications such as soft robotics, cloth simulation, simulation of viscoelastic materials, and fluid dynamics, especially surface swimming, infeasible. In this work, we present Gazebo Fluids, an open-source extension of the popular Gazebo robotics simulator that enables the interaction of articulated rigid body dynamics with particle-based fluid and deformable solid simulation. We implement fluid dynamics and highly viscous and elastic material simulation capabilities based on the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics method. We demonstrate the practical impact of this extension for previously infeasible application scenarios in a series of experiments, showcasing one of the first self-propelled robot swimming simulations with SPH in a robotics simulator.

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