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Helderash

Modern Methods of Mesh Deformation

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Hey folks! I'm currently working on a project based on mesh deformation when under an applied force, and one topic I'm interested in researching is the method currently used by the market leaders in Physics engines. I understand the PhysX SDK is available to developers (though it's currently being rather temperamental and the installer doesn't seem to want to do much), but does anyone know if the Havok documentation is accessible, or possibly know of the method the Havok engine uses for calculating the deformation of a mesh during collision, for example? Thankyou for your help, it's very much appreciated!

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Oooh, thankyou very much!

That's somewhat scary! I'm just getting underway with cube squishing :P

My biggest problem at the moment seems to be finding a way of mapping my deformation (in the form of a displacement array) to the vertex buffers of the graphics engine Im using (Irrlicht). I'm using Finite Element Analysis, and there seems to be a big difference between FEA meshs and 3D graphics meshs..

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you should look into freeform deformation (FFD), I think CellDamage used this approach to model squishy stuff with an FEM-based simulation.

here's a paper, google should turn up a lot more: http://www.darwin3d.com/gamedev/articles/col0600.pdf

basically, don't describe the deformation using offsets/displacements, instead embed the graphics verts in a space that you can warp -- just like smooth/blended skeletal animation, where the graphics verts are in "bone space".

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FFD does look very useful indeed! It seems I'd be able to drop the 3D mesh into a coarser FEA mesh, and avoid having to perform the FEA on every single vertex point (saving computational time and any mapping problems).

Thanks for the help Raigan, I'll most definately be following that one up!

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