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Turold

ODE and tunneling

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Does collision detection in ODE support very high movement velocites? I am aware of a problem which I believe is named "tunneling", when an object "teleports" through other object and collision is not detected, because in one time step it's to early for collision and in the next it's to late. You know what I mean. The problem with fast moving bullets for ex. Is ODE without modifications capable of simulating such extremely fast movement?

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The default collision detection system built with ODE and part of the ODE distribution is OPCODE, which is a very nice discrete time collision detection library. Though OPCODE is a very nice library, since it only checks shapes to see how their volumes overlap at a given instant in time----just prior to the physics update, it is indeed subject to tunneling errors.

This isn't an issue with ODE per se. But, to answer your other question, no, ODE without modifications isn't capable of proper collision detection of object with high velocities. You would have to integrate a continuous collision detection (CCD) library. ODE is set up to make it not too awful difficult to use an alternate collision detection library.

You may actually want to take a look at the Bullet library, another open source physics library that does, out-of-the-box, have support for continuous collision detection and high velocity objects. There is some synergy between ODE and Bullet, though they are separate projects. The Bullet forums are fairly active, and you will find discussion of ODE vs. Bullet, and continuous collision detection there. I have personally integrated both ODE and Bullet into a couple of different rendering engines, and find them comparible in terms of ease-of-use and integration.

Bullet Continuous Collision Detection and Physics Library

Even if you wish to use ODE for physics integration, you could benefit from Bullet by using its CCD system. It too is fairly modular and easy to break pieces out for use elsewhere. In fact, it may be that someone has already done this. Check the Bullet forums.

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