Real-Time Rigid Body Interactions

Fredrik Fossum
Department of Computer and Information Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2011


   title={Real-Time Rigid Body Interactions},

   author={Fossum, F.},



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Rigid body simulations are useful in many areas, most notably video games and computer animation. However, the requirements for accuracy and performance vary greatly between applications. In this project we combine methods and techniques from different sources to implement a rigid body simulation. The simulation uses a particle representation to approximate objects with the intent of reaching better performance at the cost of accuracy. We simulate cubes in order to showcase the behavior of our simulation, and also to highlight its flaws. We also write a graphical interface for our simulation using OpenGL which allows us to move and zoom around our simulation, and choose whether to render cube geometry or the particle representations. We show how our simulation behaves in a realistic way, and when running our simulation on a CPU we are able to simulate several hundred cubes in real-time. We use OpenCL to accelerate our simulation on a GPU, and take advantage of OpenCL/OpenGL interoperability to increase performance. Our OpenCL implementation achieves speedups up to 12 compared to the CPU version, and is able to simulate thousands of cubes in real-time.
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