Optimization-based animation

V. J. Milenkovic, H. Schmidl

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Current techniques for rigid body simulation run slowly on scenes with many bodies in close proximity. Each time two bodies collide or make or break a static contact, the simulator must interrupt the numerical integration of velocities and accelerations. Even for simple scenes, the number of discontinuities per frame time can rise to the millions. An efficient optimization-based animation (OBA) algorithm is presented which can simulate scenes with many convex three-dimensional bodies settling into stacks and other "crowded" arrangements. This algorithm simulates Newtonian (second order) physics and Coulomb friction, and it uses quadratic programming (QP) to calculate new positions, momenta and accelerations strictly at frame times. Contact points are synchronized at the end of each frame. The extremely small integration steps inherent to traditional simulation techniques are avoided. Non-convex bodies are simulated as unions of convex bodies. Links and joints are simulated successfully with bi-directional constraints. A hybrid of OBA and retroactive detection (RD) has been implemented as well. A review of existing work finds no other packages that can simulate similarly complex scenes in a practical amount of time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
EventComputer Graphics Annual Conference (SIGGRAPH 2001) - Los Angeles, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 12 2001Aug 17 2001


OtherComputer Graphics Annual Conference (SIGGRAPH 2001)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles, CA


  • Animation
  • Animation w/Constraints
  • Physically Based Animation
  • Physically Based Modeling
  • Scientific Visualization
  • Solid Modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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