GDC03 - Real-Time Fluid Dynamics for Games Jos Stam Alias |...

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Real-Time Fluid Dynamics for Games Jos Stam Alias | wavefront 210 King Street East Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5A 1J7 Email: jstam@aw.sgi.com , Url: http://www.dgp.toronto.edu/people/stam/reality/index.html . Abstract In this paper we present a simple and rapid implementation of a fluid dynamics solver for game engines. Our tools can greatly enhance games by providing realistic fluid-like effects such as swirling smoke past a moving character. The potential applications are endless. Our algorithms are based on the physical equations of fluid flow, namely the Navier-Stokes equations. These equations are notoriously hard to solve when strict physical accuracy is of prime importance. Our solvers on the other hand are geared towards visual quality. Our emphasis is on stability and speed, which means that our simulations can be advanced with arbitrary time steps. We also demonstrate that our solvers are easy to code by providing a complete C code implementation in this paper. Our algorithms run in real-time for reasonable grid sizes in both two and three dimensions on standard PC hardware, as demonstrated during the presentation of this paper at the conference. Introduction Fluid flows are everywhere: from rising smoke, clouds and mist to the flow of rivers and oceans. Because one of the major goals of games is to immerse players into plausible virtual worlds, it is desirable to include fluid flows into game engines. There already exist many ad- hoc models that attempt to fake fluid-like effects, such as particles rendered as textured sprites. However, animating them in a convincing manner is not easy. We believe that a better alternative is to use the physics of fluid flows which have been developed since the time of Euler, Navier and Stokes (from the 1750 ’s to the 1850 ’s). These developments have led to the so-called Navier-Stokes Equations , a precise mathematical model for most fluid flows occurring in Nature. These equations, however, only admit analytical solutions in very simple cases. No progress was therefore made until the 1950 ’s when researchers started to use computers and develop numerical algorithms to solve the equations. In general, these algorithms strive for accuracy and are fairly complex and time consuming. This is because the applications that require these solvers have to be physically accurate. It is obviously crucial that the stresses and drag on an airplane or a bridge are calculated precisely. In computer graphics and in games on the other hand what matters most is that the simulations both look convincing and are fast. In addition it is important that the solvers aren ’ t
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too complex so that they can be implemented on standard PCs, game consoles or PDAs. In this paper we present a set of algorithms which meet these requirements. To achieve these goals we depart from conventional wisdom in computational physics and develop algorithms custom tailored for creating visual effects. Unlike physically accurate solvers which have strict
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course CAP 4800 taught by Professor Fishwick during the Fall '08 term at University of Florida.

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GDC03 - Real-Time Fluid Dynamics for Games Jos Stam Alias |...

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