Sunday, November 20, 2011

Physics Simulation

A physics engine is a computer software that provides a simulation of certain physical systems such as rigid body dynamics (including collision detection), soft body dynamics, and fluid dynamics.
This being said, each physics engine usually falls into one of two categories: real-time (uses simple calculations and decreased accuracy to compute in time for the game to respond at an appropriate rate for game play, usually used in video games and other forms of interactive computing)

and high-precision (calculate very precise physics used by scientists and computer animated movies, require more processing power).

There are limitations to a simulation involving physics. Physics engine realism is the precision of numbers representing the position of and forces acting upon objects. When precision is too low, rounding errors effect results and small fluctuations not modeled in the simulation can drastically change the predicted results, simulated objects can behave unexpectedly or arrive at the wrong location.

Done correctly however, the physics engine can yield amazing results. Below the creator applied the physics engine to the blender effect to cause the buildings to collapse.

1 comment :

  1. Whenever you use a particle system inside After Effects you are using a "physics engine". Recently a plugin called Newton has been made available that converts any layer or object in AE into a "rigid body" that can then be used for the physics simulation. Here is an example.

    Of course 3D programs such as Maya utilize such "engines" to deal with dynamic systems. By the way, Blender is actually the name of the open source/free program used to create some of the simulations you posted. It is a powerful program with a wide following. Of course as students you can get Maya (a 4000 dol program) absolutely free as long as you don't use it for profit.