Techniques for Single System Integration of Elastic Simulation Features

Nathan Mitchell University of Wisconsin - Madison

Techniques for simulating the behavior of elastic objects have matured considerably over the last several decades, tackling diverse problems from non-linear models for incompressibility to accurate self-collisions. Alongside these contributions, advances in parallel hardware design and algorithms have made simulation more efficient and affordable than ever before. However, prior research often has had to commit to design choices that compromise certain simulation features to better optimize others, resulting in a fragmented landscape of solutions. For complex, real-world tasks, such as virtual surgery, a holistic approach is desirable, where complex behavior, performance, and ease of modeling are supported equally. This dissertation caters to this goal in the form of several interconnected threads of investigation, each of which contributes a piece of an unified solution. First, it will be demonstrated how various non-linear materials can be combined with lattice deformers to yield simulations with behavioral richness and a high potential for parallelism. This potential will be exploited to show how a hybrid solver approach based on large macroblocks can accelerate the convergence of these deformers. Further extensions of the lattice concept with non-manifold topology will allow for efficient processing of self-collisions and topology change. Finally, these concepts will be explored in the context of a case study on virtual plastic surgery, demonstrating a real-world problem space where these ideas can be combined to build an expressive authoring tool, allowing surgeons to record procedures digitally for future reference or education.

N. Mitchell Techniques for Single System Integration of Elastic Simulation Features University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017