“Position-based Methods for the Simulation of Solid Objects in Computer Graphics” – recent paper by Matthias Müller-Fischer, PhysX SDK Research Lead in NVIDIA, and others.
Paper provides in-depth overview of special class of simulation methods, namely position-based approaches, for solid objects, such as rigid bodies, cloth and softbodies.
The dynamic simulation of solids has a long history in computer graphics. The classical methods in this field are based on the use of forces or impulses to simulate joints between rigid bodies as well as the stretching, shearing and bending stiffness of deformable objects. In the last years the class of position-based methods has become popular in the graphics community. These kinds of methods are fast, unconditionally stable and controllable which make them well-suited for the use in interactive environments.
Position-based methods are not as accurate as force based methods in general but they provide visual plausibility. Therefore, the main application areas of these approaches are virtual reality, computer games and special effects in movies.
This state of the art report covers the large variety of position-based methods that were developed in the field of deformable solids. We will introduce the concept of position-based dynamics, present dynamic simulation based on shape matching and discuss data-driven approaches. Furthermore, we will present several applications for these methods.
Some of the described techniques were used in PhysX SDK (as well as other physics engines) for a long time, some have been implemented only recently, other are yet ander active research.