"Energized Rigid Body Fracture"

Compelling animation of fracture is a vital challenge for computer graphics. Methods based on continuum mechanics are physically accurate, but computationally expensive since they require computing elastic deformation. In many applications, this elastic deformation is imperceptible, so simulation methods based on rigid body dynamic with breakable constraints are popular in practice. Simply deleting constraints when thresholds on force or displacement are reached ignores the elastic energy that is stored just before fracture, which is captured by continuum mechanics based methods. Our approach computes the energy stored in these constraints when they are broken, and reintroduces it to the system as kinetic energy. As a result, our method is able to animate energetic fracture scenarios with results comparable to continuum mechanics approaches, but with the computational efficiency of rigid body simulation.

Xiaokai Li, Sheldon Andrews, Ben Jones, and Adam W. Bargteil
"Energized Rigid Body Fracture."
Proceedings of the ACM on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. 1 (1), 9.

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