Clack, Billy (2012-05). Physical Simulation of an Embedded Surface Mesh Involving Deformation and Fracture. Master's Thesis.
Simulating virtual objects which can deform or break apart within their environments is now common in state-of-the-art virtual simulations such as video games or surgery simulations. Real-time performance requires a physical model which provides an approximation to the true solution for fast computations but at the same time provides enough believability of the simulation to the user. Recent research in object deformation and fracture has revolved around embedding portions of the simulation for graphical display inside a much simpler physical domain which is invisible to the user. Embedding complex geometry in a simpler domain allows for very complex effects to occur in a much more robust and computationally efficient manner. This thesis explores a novel method to efficiently embed a high-resolution surface mesh inside a coarse tetrahedral physical mesh for the purposes of interactive simulation and display. A technique to display interior regions as solid geometry without explicitly re-meshing the graphical mesh during fracture has been explored and developed. Keeping the graphical mesh static in memory during simulation allows the geometry to be off-loaded to the GPU while shaders can be utilized to only display portions of the geometry which are locally contained within the physical mesh. Recent advances in GPU technology have also been exploited in order to provide an increase in visual fidelity and help achieve the illusion that the virtual object itself is breaking apart in a physically plausible manner.