Physically based deformable models in computer graphics

Andrew Nealen, Matthias Müller, Richard Keiser, Eddy Boxerman, Mark Carlson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Physically based deformable models have been widely embraced by the Computer Graphics community. Many problems outlined in a previous survey by Gibson and Mirtich have been addressed, thereby making these models interesting and useful for both offline and real-time applications, such as motion pictures and video games. In this paper, we present the most significant contributions of the past decade, which produce such impressive, and perceivably realistic animations and simulations: finite element/difference/volume methods, mass-spring systems, mesh-free methods, coupled particle systems and reduced deformable models-based on modal analysis. For completeness, we also make a connection to the simulation of other continua, such as fluids, gases and melting objects. Since time integration is inherent to all simulated phenomena, the general notion of time discretization is treated separately, while specifics are left to the respective models. Finally, we discuss areas of application, such as elastoplastic deformation and fracture, cloth and hair animation, virtual surgery simulation, interactive entertainment and fluid/smoke animation, and also suggest areas for future research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)809-836
    Number of pages28
    JournalComputer Graphics Forum
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 2006


    • Continuum elasticity
    • Deformation
    • FEM
    • Fluid animation
    • Mass-spring
    • Mesh-free methods
    • Modal analysis
    • Physically based animation
    • Time integration

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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