“An Implementation of Rigid Body Dynamics”
1.1 Project Overview
The aim of this project is to study the problem of implementing physics in the areas of computer graphics, so that physics may be used in the production of animation, simulations and computer games. The motivation behind simulating physics is founded by the demand for greater realism in applications containing virtual environments . In the past, there simply wasn’t enough processor power to implement a real-time model of physics on a computer, especially if the computer was expected to render a 3-D environment at the same time. However, in recent years there has been an exponential increase in processor power and growth in technology, meaning that is now possible to envisage an accurate physical model in a 3D environment . In the case of computer games, the interest in physics has only recently become a major factor in their creation. It is the latest in a long line of continuing developments which have aimed to provide the player with a more realistic gaming environment, following on from the vast improvements in the realism of both graphical and sonic effects in recent years.
1.2 Why physics?
The obvious reason for wanting to implement a physical model on a computer is to add an extra dimension of realism to applications such as simulations. True physical models have seldom been used in the past, although physics has often been “faked” in computer games to make them appear more realistic. These models may support certain aspects of physics, such as ensuring your car accelerates realistically, but they often overlook areas such as sending your opponent’s vehicle crashing and spinning across the course after you pushed it into the wall. One of the reasons for the lack of real physics in computer games is that programmers assume that the subject will be difficult to understand and contain a large amount of tricky mathematics, as well as the programmers not having enough time…