Computer Graphics, Animation, and Simulation: From Sorcery to Engineering

The computer graphics community has been developing numerical models of physical systems since at least the 1980’s. This is seemingly a parallel line of investigation to that of the computational mechanics community, with relatively little cross-over in previous decades. Yet graphics research has relied significantly on advances in the mechanics community, while injecting additional emphasis on interactivity, efficiency, approximation and stability. Research in graphical simulation has tended toward addressing dramatic scenarios involving significant nonlinearities (e.g., large post buckling deformations) and complex frictional multi-contact problems. Throughout, this line of research seeks to capture with sufficient plausibility the qualitative aspects of the physical system while maintaining an economy of computation. This approach has led to numerical codes that enable a variety of applications, including cinematic visual special effects, interactive CAD tools for fashion design, and design space analysis. This talk, which accompanies a more significant participation of computer graphics researchers at this WCCM than any former year, seeks to expand the dialogue between the two communities, and to ask the question, “how can advances in graphical simulation contribute to the computational mechanics community?