Physical Simulations for Modeling and Animation

March 2, 2010
Halligan 111B
Speaker: Martin Wicke


Simulations, or computer experiments, are an important tool for engineering and science. Modeling and animation tasks present simulation methods with different challenges than classical engineering: interactivity or even real-time constraints drastically limit the available computation budgets. User interaction can be unpredictable and requires methods that are stable even when presented with unreasonable inputs. Finally, special effects often contain phenomena like fracture or extreme deformations whose physics is not understood perfectly.

In this talk, I will show how physical simulations can be used in a computer graphics context. I will present my work on finite element methods that allow for more flexible, dynamic, and adaptive discretizations. Based on this work, I will discuss methods for elasto-plastic deformations and fracture, interactive posing and animation, as well as real-time methods based on model reduction.


After completing undergraduate studies in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Martin Wicke pursued graduate studies at the Computer Graphics Laboratory at ETH Zurich. He worked with Markus Gross on geometric modeling and physically-based simulation using particle methods. In 2007, he received the degree of Doctor of Science for his dissertation on "Modeling and Simulation with Relaxed Connectivity Requirements". Martin Wicke was a fellow of the Max-Planck Center for Visual Computing and Communication and a visiting assistant professor at Stanford University.

He is currently a researcher at UC Berkeley, working with Jonathan Shewchuk and James O'Brien. His main research interests include physically-based modeling of fluids and deformable solids, in particular dynamic discretizations for finite element simulations and reduced-order models, as well as applications of principles derived from physics to geometric modeling and geometry processing.