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NVIDIA : Patent Issued for Unified Position Based Solver for Visual Effects (USPTO 9589383)

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03/16/2017 | 07:14 pm

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- NVIDIA CORPORATION (Santa Clara, CA) has been issued patent number 9589383, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Mueller-Fischer, Matthias (Uerikon, CH); Macklin, Miles (Freemans Bay, NZ).

This patent was filed on December 31, 2013 and was published online on March 7, 2017.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The field of physically based animation in computer graphics involves simulation of physical phenomenon such as the dynamics of rigid bodies, clothing, deformable objects or fluid flow.

"One conventional approach has been to simulate dynamic objects by computing forces acting on an object over time steps. At the beginning of each time step, internal and external forces are accumulated. Examples of internal forces are elastic forces in deformable objects or viscosity and pressure forces in fluids. Gravity and collision are examples of external forces. It is well known that Newton's second law of motion relates forces to accelerations via the mass. Using the density or lumped masses of vertices, the forces can then be transformed into acceleration values. Subsequently, any time integration scheme can be used to first compute the velocities from the accelerations and then the positions from the velocities. Some approaches alternatively use impulses instead of forces to control the animation.

"Another conventional approach to simulating dynamic objects involves using position based dynamics. A position based approach eliminates the velocity layer and immediately works on the positions. In computer graphics and especially in computer games, it is often desirable to have direct control over positions of objects or vertices of a mesh. The user may want to attach a vertex to a kinematic object or ensure the vertex always stay outside a colliding object. In such cases, it is beneficial to have an approach that works directly on the positions of objects, which makes such manipulations more efficient. In addition, with the position based approach it is possible to control the integration directly, thereby, avoiding overshooting and energy gain problems in connection with explicit integration.

"Software-based constraint solvers are typically used in simulation systems, e.g. position based systems to ensure that the dynamic objects being simulated satisfy a series of predefined physical constraints. Visual effects are typically built using a combination of different physics solvers, e.g., a solver for rigid bodies, a solver for fluids, a solver for clothing etc. One shortcoming of implementing separate solvers is that the different solver systems are not usually able to interact with each other, which makes two-way coupling between different objects or materials difficult, e.g., having simulated fluid dynamics interact with simulated cloth etc. Further, there is often significant overlap between the solver systems functionally to where it is inefficient to implement separate solver systems. For example, collision detection and response functionality is similar for different solver systems. Implementing separate solvers therefore, creates redundancies."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Accordingly, a need exists for a unified constraint solver that models several different types of materials and objects, e.g., rigid bodies, clothing, liquids etc. using a single general-purpose framework. Further, a need exists for a unified constraint solver that allows two-way coupling between the different types of objects and materials.

"In one embodiment, the present invention avoids the duplicating effort involved in maintaining different solvers and provides functionality for all types of materials and objects in a unified manner within one general purpose solver system. In one embodiment, the present invention provides a unified constraint solver system for position based simulation systems that simulates rigid bodies, fluids and other materials, e.g. clothing, within a single unified solver and also allows for two-way coupling between the different types of objects and materials. Further, in one embodiment, the unified solver system is designed to take advantage of parallel architectures such as GPUs, wherein different sets of constraints can be solved in a parallel fashion.

"In one embodiment, a method for simulating visual effects is disclosed. The method first comprises modeling each visual effect within a simulation as a set of associated particles with associated constraints applicable thereto. It also comprises predicting first velocities and first positions of a plurality of particles being used to simulate a visual effect based on an external force applied to the plurality of particles. Next, it comprises identifying a set of neighboring particles for each of the plurality of particles. The method also comprises solving a plurality of constraints related to the visual effect, wherein each of the plurality of constraints is solved for the plurality of particles in parallel. Lastly, responsive to the solving, the method comprises determining second velocities and second positions for the plurality of particles.

"In another embodiment, a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium having stored thereon, computer executable instructions that, if executed by a computer system cause the computer system to perform a method of simulating visual effects is disclosed. The method first comprises modeling each visual effect within a simulation as a set of associated particles with associated constraints applicable thereto. It also comprises predicting first velocities and first positions of a plurality of particles being used to simulate a visual effect based on an external force applied to the plurality of particles. Next, it comprises identifying a set of neighboring particles for each of the plurality of particles. The method also comprises solving a plurality of constraints related to the visual effect, wherein each of the plurality of constraints is solved for the plurality of particles in parallel. Lastly, responsive to the solving, the method comprises determining second velocities and second positions for the plurality of particles.

"In a different embodiment, a system for simulating visual effects is disclosed. The system comprises a memory storing information related to a unified position based solver and a processor coupled to the memory, the processor operable to implement a method of solving for visual effects. The method first comprises modeling each visual effect within a simulation as a set of associated particles with associated constraints applicable thereto. It also comprises predicting first velocities and first positions of a plurality of particles being used to simulate a visual effect based on an external force applied to the plurality of particles. Next, it comprises identifying a set of neighboring particles for each of the plurality of particles. The method also comprises solving a plurality of constraints related to the visual effect, wherein each of the plurality of constraints is solved for the plurality of particles in parallel. Lastly, responsive to the solving, the method comprises determining second velocities and second positions for the plurality of particles.

"The following detailed description together with the accompanying drawings will provide a better understanding of the nature and advantages of the present invention."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Mueller-Fischer, Matthias; Macklin, Miles. Unified Position Based Solver for Visual Effects. U.S. Patent Number 9589383, filed December 31, 2013, and published online on March 7, 2017. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9589383.PN.&OS=PN/9589383RS=PN/9589383

Keywords for this news article include: NVIDIA CORPORATION.

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