Real-time Interactive Tree Animation

We present a novel method for posing and animating botanical tree models interactively in real time. Unlike other state of the art methods which tend to produce trees that are overly flexible, bending and deforming as if they were underwater plants, our approach allows for arbitrarily high stiffness while still maintaining real-time frame rates without spurious artifacts, even on quite large trees with over ten thousand branches. This is accomplished by using an articulated rigid body model with as-stiff-as-desired rotational springs in conjunction with our newly proposed simulation technique, which is motivated both by position based dynamics and the typical O(N) algorithms for articulated rigid bodies. The efficiency of our algorithm allows us to pose and animate trees with millions of branches or alternatively simulate a small forest comprised of many highly detailed trees. Even using only a single CPU core, we can simulate ten thousand branches in real time while still maintaining quite crisp user interactivity. This has allowed us to incorporate our framework into a commodity game engine to run interactively even on a low-budget tablet. We show that our method is amenable to the incorporation of a large variety of desirable effects such as wind, leaves, fictitious forces, collisions, fracture, etc.

Real-time Interactive Tree Animation

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