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A declarative API for particle systems

Pavel Krajcevski, John Reppy
Disney Interactive Studios
Practical Aspects of Declarative Languages, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2011, Volume 6539/2011, 130-144

@article{krajcevski2011declarative,

   title={A declarative API for particle systems},

   author={Krajcevski, P. and Reppy, J.},

   journal={Practical Aspects of Declarative Languages},

   pages={130–144},

   year={2011},

   publisher={Springer}

}

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Recent trends in computer-graphics APIs and hardware have made it practical to use high-level functional languages for real-time graphics applications. Thus we have the opportunity to develop new approaches to computer graphics that take advantage of the high-level features of functional languages. This paper describes one such project that uses the techniques of functional programming to define and implement a combinator library for particle systems. Particle systems are a popular technique for rendering fuzzy phenomena, such as fire, smoke, and explosions. Using our combinators, a programmer can provide a declarative specification of how a particle system behaves. This specification includes rules for how particles are created, how they evolve, and how they are rendered. Our library translates these declarative specifications into a low-level intermediate language that can be compiled to run on the GPU or interpreted by the CPU.
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