The Visual Computer

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 231-240

The dynamics of articulated rigid bodies for purposes of animation

  • William W. ArmstrongAffiliated withDepartment of Computing Science, University of Alberta
  • , Mark W. GreenAffiliated withDepartment of Computing Science, University of Alberta

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Curves and surfaces satisfying continuity and smoothness conditions are used in computer graphics to fit spatial data points. In a similar fashion, smooth motions of objects should be available to animators in such a way that the dynamics are correct to the degree required for realism. The motion, like a curve or surface shape, should be controllable by easy manipulations of a set of control parameters or by real-time interaction between the animator and a scene generated by dynamic simulation. In this paper, the objects considered have the form of rigid links joined at hinges to form a tree. This is a reasonable first approximation to human and animal bodies. The equations of motion are formulated with respect to hinge-centered coordinates, and are solved by an efficient technique in time which grows linearly with the number of links.

Key words

Dynamics Animation Equations of motion Robotics