Intersection-free rigid body dynamics

Zachary Ferguson, Minchen Li, Teseo Schneider, Francisca Gil-Ureta, Timothy Langlois, Chenfanfu Jiang, Denis Zorin, Danny M. Kaufman, Daniele Panozzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce the first implicit time-stepping algorithm for rigid body dynamics, with contact and friction, that guarantees intersection-free configurations at every time step. Our algorithm explicitly models the curved trajectories traced by rigid bodies in both collision detection and response. For collision detection, we propose a conservative narrow phase collision detection algorithm for curved trajectories, which reduces the problem to a sequence of linear CCD queries with minimal separation. For time integration and contact response, we extend the recently proposed incremental potential contact framework to reduced coordinates and rigid body dynamics. We introduce a benchmark for rigid body simulation and show that our approach, while less efficient than alternatives, can robustly handle a wide array of complex scenes, which cannot be simulated with competing methods, without requiring per-scene parameter tuning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number183
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • contact mechanics
  • continuous collision detection
  • rigid body simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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