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# (Retitled) 2D ball collision and sliding (I am aware it is a repeated subject)

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This should be as easy one: I am working on a 2D physics routine involving a bunch of balls bouncing and rolling (almost) around a world of line segments. The collision is handled via circle-segment sweeps and circle-circle sweeps. Here is my problem... A ball collides with a line segment. It is therefore moved to the point of collision and it's velocity is reflected. Next frame, ball is still colliding with that same line segment so, theoretically, its velocity is again reflected and the ball gets stuck. This problem is easily solved by ignoring collision when the ball is traveling away from the collision normal (correct term?). When the ball collides against the segment the collision normal is the normal of the line segment. Most of the time. I detect whether the ball is traveling away from the collision by checking to see the original ball's centre position (before the collision) minus a point on the line and the balls velocity are on the same side of the collision normal. If so, then the collision can be ignored: (an example) L1 and L2 defines the segment OP is the balls original position (centre) V is the balls velocity N is the normal of collision (which, usually, is L2-L1 with x equalling -y and y equalling x if the sign of (OP-L1).N and the sign of V.N are the same then the ball is moving away from the collision and therefore can be ignored. This works like a charm until it comes to bouncing the ball of the points of the line segment. In this case, the collision normal runs from the point of which the ball collided to the centre of the ball (after it has been moved to the point of first collision). Problem. The original position of the ball (centre) is now on the collision normal, for starters. I though I could perhaps treat the tangent formed by the ball and the collision point as the collision normal when testing but this did not seem to work (although it should be acknowledged that by this time my code is a mess). To cut a long story short, how do I determine if a circle is moving away from a collision detected with a fixed point? Damn this seems like such a simple one - I really should have figured this one out for myself . [edited by - jack_1313 on March 30, 2004 3:49:00 AM]

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Well, just compare the distances :
- collision point - sphere center
- collision point - sphere center + velocity

if the second one is greater than the second one, the sphere goes away...

quote:
Original post by jack_1313
This should be as easy one:

Next frame, ball is still colliding with that same line segment so, theoretically, its velocity is again reflected and the ball gets stuck
<SPAN CLASS=editedby>[edited by - jack_1313 on March 26, 2004 6:43:42 AM]</SPAN>

Here is your problem, this must not be the case. Next frame, the sphere position is the sphere position when colliding PLUS a bit of the reflecting vector. Determining this "bit" can be done by determining the time of "pure" collision.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Well, just compare the distances :
- collision point - sphere center
- collision point - sphere center + velocity

if the second one is greater than the second one, the sphere goes away...

quote:
Original post by jack_1313
This should be as easy one:

Next frame, ball is still colliding with that same line segment so, theoretically, its velocity is again reflected and the ball gets stuck
<SPAN CLASS=editedby>[edited by - jack_1313 on March 26, 2004 6:43:42 AM]</SPAN>

Here is your problem, this must not be the case. Next frame, the sphere position is the sphere position when colliding PLUS a bit of the reflecting vector. Determining this "bit" can be done by determining the time of "pure" collision.

Yeah, that was what I was initially doing. However, suppose that the ball ends up in a position like such:

\O/

(Try to be imaginative...)

Suppose the ball collides with the segment on the left. The ball is moved slightly in the direction of the reflection vector and now it intersects the segment on the right. I am only registering the first collision that occurred and ignoring the rest, which means that on the next frame the ball is already intersecting the segment on the right. The problems begin.

Thanks for providing a valid solution - it is so simple! But that should probably be:
collision point - sphere center
collision point - sphere center + velocity sized to (for instance) half the radius of the ball
This will eliminate false results in the case that the ball's velocity is very high (higher than double the ball's radius, if my mind is operating correctly).

[edited by - jack_1313 on March 27, 2004 9:38:22 PM]

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hehe, you''re right...

I was intending to write you to make the test on left panel then on the right one, but I realised the sphere will repeat rebounding on right and left and right and left and so ...

Maybe you should try to cumulate the reflecting vectors (with the inital speedth vector) before moving the sphere ?

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Here is what I have ended up with and why:

After a collision move the ball a miniature amount in the direction it came from (-v). If the ball came from that direction then we know there will not be a collision there.
Ignore collisions with endpoints if the ball is moving away from it.

The reason I have done this is gravity - it poses problems because my circle-segment sweep acts as if the circle moved directly from one position to another (which it does, but in the real world it does not).
The first problem involves checking to see whether the ball is moving away from a collision with a surface by checking to see if the ball''s original position is on the same sides of the segment as the ball''s velocity. This works fine 99% of the time, except that occasionally the method fails due to the effect of gravity. When the ball is bouncing almost at a standstill there may be a time when the ball is determined to be moving away from the collision, but next frame the gravity has caused the ball to collide with the segment in question. This rarely happens but the fact that it does means it must be avoided. Therefore I move the ball slightly away from a collision in the direction it came from.
The second problem is similar but it involves collision with endpoints and the method of moving the ball slightly away after a collision. The problem is described in this thread, although I do not believe they came to a solution. Basically, the ball is reflected off an endpoint at a near horizontal angle, but next frame the path of the ball actually registers a collision with that same endpoint due to the fact that the new position of the ball has been effected by gravity. The end result is that the ball gets stuck on endpoints from time to time. One way to fix it is to increase the ''small value'' of which you move the ball after a collision to allow for this - an unattractive solution. A better solution is to ignore collisions that occur when the ball is determined to be moving away from the end point. Problem solved.

quote:

Maybe you should try to cumulate the reflecting vectors (with the inital speedth vector) before moving the sphere ?

Sorry... ah... what do you mean by ''cumulate'' the vectors? My vector maths isn''t quite as complete as I''d like it to be .

Anyhow, the issue I am facing now is that of getting the ball to slide realistically down a slope. Currently I am determining the new velocity of the ball after a collision by reflecting it off the collision normal. This causes the ball to eventually stop on a slope (well, it slides at a speed determined by the small value of which is used to move the ball away from the collision - this is obviously not correct). Any ideas? Is it a problem with the method I use to determine the new velocity of the ball? Time for me to do some searching...

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I believe that the problem regarding the lack of sliding is enhanced by my method of simulating the loss of energy in each bounce (dampening?).
Here is how my collision detection operates between segments and circles in 2D:

1) Go through all collisions and determine the earliest (Currently I only deal with the first collision)
2) Determine the point of intersection using a circle-segment sweep. Move the ball to the intersection point minus the ball''s velocity sized to 0.0001f.
3) Reflect the velocity off the collision normal:
R = V - N*(2 * V.N)
Where V is the ball''s velocity and N is the collision normal. The exception is when colliding with an endpoint:
R = (N*(2 * V.N)) sized to the length of V
4) Simulate the loss of force in the collision by multiplying the ball''s new velocity by 0.7

At this stage, the ball bounces about, losing energy in each bounce until it comes to a stand still, which may well be on a steep slope.
I believe the problem partially lies in the method used to dampen the ball''s velocity after each collision. It seems that the amount of energy lost should be determined by the difference between the balls reflected velocity and the normal of the collision. Is this correct? What is the formula? Will this cause the ball to both bounce and slide on a slope when appropriate?

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I break down the velocity of the ball along the normal, and the rest (being the direction of the edge in 2D, of the collision plane in 3D).

as to determine if the ball is moving towards the intersection point, I simply do

float vn = Ball.Vel * N;
if (vn > 0.0f) // ball moving away

so, it all becomes

Vector &V = Ball.Vel;float  vn = V * N;Vector Vn = vn * N;Vector Vt = V - Vn;if (vn < 0.0f) Vn = Vector(0.0f, 0.0f);V        -= (1.0f + elasticity) * Vn + friction * Vt;

the friction is more like drag, really. but it slows down the ball. the ball velocity will never reach zero though, so you need to check it yourself against a threshold to stop the ball dead.

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Thanks Oliii. That kind of worked, but not really.
Just for testing, I ignore the endpoints and treat the collision surface as the line segment at all times. I tried your code but, while it produced a nicer reflection based upon the friction and elasticity (rather than perfectly reflecting the ball’s velocity off the surface), it did not allow the ball do roll down a slope successfully.
The first problem is that the reflection only works correctly on one side of a segment (!). Basically this means that half the time the ball will simply stick to the surface it collides with. This problem is solved simply by checking which side of N the ball’s velocity is on and reversing N in the case that it is facing the wrong way. Problem no longer exists.
The second (main) problem is my ball still does not roll. Sure, it glides down a surface while traveling at speed, but if it is bouncing up a slope, slowing down as it does, it will still comes to a stop on the slope due to the effect of gravity. I can change the value of which I use to move the ball away from a collision after detection to something substantial (ie 1 or 2) and the ball will slide (in an ugly way) – but this is an undesirable option as it looks odd, is incorrect and the ball slides at the exact same speed on any slope (determined by friction and gravity).
Here is the code I adapted (excuse the mess that it is):

	Vector2D N = Lines[j].p2 - Lines[j].p1;	if(Balls[i].v.Side(N) != 1)	N.Invert();	//Be sure that N is facing the right way	N.Normalize();	float temp = N.x;	N.x = -N.y;	N.y = temp;	Vector2D &V = Balls[i].v;	float  vn = V.Dot(N);	Vector2D Vn = N * vn;	Vector2D Vt = V - Vn;	if (vn < 0.0f)	{		Vn.x = 0.0f;		Vn.y = 0.0f;	}	float elasticity =0.7f;	float friction =0.5f;	V -= Vn * (1.0f + elasticity) + Vt * friction;

Does that look correct? How can I get the ball to slide down a slope correctly?

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that looks correct.

for the normal sign, I''d check the sign of the sphere position from the collision plane. if it is negative, invert the normal.

as for the correct friction behaviour, it''s tricky. Especially if you want to consider angular velocities so the ball actually rolls, not just slides.

something like

Vector Vt = V - Vn;Vector Vf = Vt;Vf.Normalise();Vf *= -vn;float elasticity = 0.3f;float grip = 0.4f;float drag = 0.1f;V -= (1.0f + elasticity) * Vn + (drag) * Vt + (grip) * Vf;

it roughly based on the coulomb friction model. the maximum friction force you can get along the tangent plane is the vertical force times a friction constant (grip).

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Thanks oliii, I used your code, but it still does not get the ball to slide (sorry... I''m obviously not the best at this) . It has the effect of creating a nice reflection off the collision surface, but the ball still stops dead when it gets to be bouncing so low that gravity causes the ball to register a collision every frame. The only way I can get the ball sliding is to change the small value used to move the ball away from a collision from 0.01 to 1 - an even then it does not work particularly well.
I know I''m probably being a pain, but I just can get this to work... I''m thinking that, when detecting collisions, I need move the collision point along the normal of the surface by a certain value somehow determined by the velocity of the ball (the difference between the reflected velocity and the collision normal - but would this cause the ball to roll down a steep slope faster than a shallow one?)...? Any thoughts? Your code works like a charm except it does not solve my main problem

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