All You Need Is Force: a constraint-based approach for rigid body dynamics in computer animation

  • Kees van Overveld
  • Bart Barenbrug
Part of the Eurographics book series (EUROGRAPH)


Over the last few years, simulating the motion of linked articulated rigid bodies based on classical rigid body dynamics has become a valuable paradigm for making realistic 3-D computer animations. Although several operational methods for dynamical simulation have been developed, in general these are both conceptually and computationally complex. To inspire further research in devising alternative and possibly simpler schemes for dealing with articulated rigid bodies, this paper discusses an alternative approach to rigid body dynamics which is based on (conceptually much simpler) point mechanics. Geometric constraints, e.g. the requirement that the distance between two points should be conserved, take the form of additional algebraic equations. We propose to solve these algebraic constraints in concert with the numerical integration. First, we give a general formulation of such a scheme. Next, we describe a preliminar implementation on the basis of a very naive numerical solver for ODE’s (ordinary differential equations).


Rigid Body Reaction Force Point Mass Constraint Force Computer Animation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kees van Overveld
    • 1
  • Bart Barenbrug
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Computing ScienceEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhoventhe Netherlands

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