Saturday, February 5, 2011

Testing the Waters, ep. 6 - rigid bodies

(experiments in fluid dynamics)

silly rabbit,
click to enlarge

As I continue to pick up skills, these fluid videos will gradually become more sophisticated; or that's the plan. This is the first experiment that resembles a practical application, i.e., something you might see in a movie or ad.

A rigid body is a non-deforming piece of geometry in a dynamic simulation. This means it can be thrown around by forces and collide with other objects, but can't be smashed, squished, or shmushed. (By contrast, a SOFT body is a deforming piece of dynamic geometry, like something made of fabric, paper, or rubber.)

In this test, the rigid bodies are breakfast cereal Os, a bowl, and a spoon. The bowl and spoon are static rigid bodies. They aren't affected by forces, but contribute to cereal collisions.

cereal sim : filling the bowl

If you have hundreds of objects that you need to arrange into a pile, the quickest way is through dynamic simulation. My first simulation fills the bowl with cereal, and isn't included in the final animation. The second simulation pours the milk.

my epic

The simulations are so time-consuming, that I eventually had to end the adjustments and settle for less-than-satisfactory results.
  • The milk should permeate the cereal more quickly.
  • The cereal shouldn't be thrown around by the milk so easily.
  • The cereal should slowly rise and expand as the milk displaces it.
  • The drops should not bounce off the bowl. They should stick and slide down, leaving a film, if possible.
Right now, I don't have the computing power and time to perfect this, but someday I'll revisit the project to fix the dynamics, and add some fruit slices.
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