Linear Time Super-Helices

Florence Bertails 1, *
* Corresponding author
1 BIPOP - Modelling, Simulation, Control and Optimization of Non-Smooth Dynamical Systems
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LJK - Laboratoire Jean Kuntzmann, INPG - Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble
Abstract : Thin elastic rods such as cables, phone coils, tree branches, or hair, are common objects in the real world but computing their dynamics accurately remains challenging. The recent Super-Helix model, based on the discrete equations of Kirchhoff for a piecewise helical rod, is one of the most promising models for simulating non-stretchable rods that can bend and twist. However, this model suffers from a complexity at least quadratic in the number of discrete elements, which, in the context of interactive applications, makes it limited to a few number of degrees of freedom - or equivalently to a low number of variations in curvature along the mean curve. This paper proposes a new, recursive scheme for the dynamics of a Super-Helix, inspired by the popular algorithm of Featherstone for serial multibody chains. Similarly to Featherstone's algorithm, we exploit the recursive kinematics of a Super-Helix to propagate elements inertias from the free end to the clamped end of the rod, while the dynamics is solved within a second pass traversing the rod in the reverse way. Besides the gain in linear complexity, which allows us to simulate a rod of complex shape much faster than the original approach, our algorithm makes it straightforward to simulate tree-like structures of Super-Helices, which turns out to be particularly useful for animating trees and plants realistically, under large displacements.
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Florence Bertails. Linear Time Super-Helices. Computer Graphics Forum, Wiley, 2009, Proceedings of Eurographics 2009, 28 (2), pp.417-426. ⟨10.1111/j.1467-8659.2009.01381.x⟩. ⟨inria-00384727v2⟩

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