Speaker: Nils Thuerey

Title: Turbulent Fluids for Interactive Graphics

Physics simulations are widely recognized to be crucial tools for complex special effects in feature films, and real-time simulations are often central game-play elements in modern computer games. There are, however, inherent difficulties with these simulations: we are still very far from being able to accurately simulate the complexity of nature around us. Additionally, the numerical methods that are commonly used are notoriously difficult to fine-tune and control. The central goal of the speaker's research is to address these issues with novel multi-physics solvers. 
 
In this talk the speaker will highlight this goal by discussing his research on controllable simulations of anisotropic turbulence. Phenomena such as the rising smoke of a chimney, a burning fire, and an exploding car are typical examples where fluid simulations are heavily used in computer graphics. As these every day phenomena exhibit complicated shapes and motions that are completely impractical to re-create manually, numerical simulations have become an invaluable tool in the CG industry to realize such effects. However, these simulations suffer from the problems mentioned above: they have very long run-times, many days in the worst case, and they are very hard to control due to the non-linear nature of the underlying equations. 
 
This is where the wavelet turbulence approach, comes into play. For the first time, it allows for a two-stage work-flow, such that artists can quickly iterate on a low-resolution version of a flow, and increase the amount of detail in a decoupled second step. An intuitive overview of this algorithm will be provided, together with an explanation of its physical motivation. The approach, published in 2008, has been widely successful, and has become a de-facto standard for detailed simulations of explosions and smoke in movies. Apart from its use in feature films, the speaker will explain how these ideas can be adopted for interactive simulations.The talk will be concluded by giving an outlook of future research projects, and the industry impact that can be expected from advances in the field.
TASC 1 Room 9204
Monday, March 4, 2013 - 10:00