Abhinav Golas


Sand Simulation

Abstract: Simulation of Granular Materials (like sand)

For my project I'm working on trying to implement and improve sand simulation and the general problem of the simulation of granular materials. Granular materials present an interesting simulation problem as they pose behavior that does not fully coincide with either fluids, solids, or even gases (see 3). In the field of Computer graphics, there have been 2 major approaches to simulation of granular materials, one using particles, and the alternate being a continuum approach using fluid simulation. Both approaches have their limitation, particle based approaches being limited in scale due to the complexity explosion for simulating even medium scale scenes containing billions or even trillions of sand or granular particles. Continuum approaches suffer from being able to truly handle only very macroscopic behavior, and thus lack detail at smaller scales. In addition, certain effects, like the capping of pressure in a column of sand are still not demonstrated by fluid simulation based approaches.

I will be attempting to develop a new formulation to develop a hybrid system using continuum and particle approaches using a Level-of-detail approach. I will attempt to "get the best of both worlds" to have a system that demonstrates the expected behavior of a granular system while avoiding the costly pitfalls of using either approach solely. I will also attempt to use recent developments in fluid simulation to enhance the continuum model. A list of related papers/references (this list may be expanded later):

  1. Animating Sand as a Fluid, Zhu et al. (SIGGRAPH 2005)
  2. Particle Based Simulation of Granular Materials, Bell et al. (Eurographics 2005)
  3. Granular solids, liquids, and gases, Jaeger & Nagel (Reviews of Modern Physics, '96)
  4. Instability in the Evolution Equations Describing Granular Flow, Schaeffer (1985)
  5. The Material Point Method for Granular Materials, Bardenhagen et al. (Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg, 2000)
  6. Two dimensional Lagrangian particle finite-difference method for modeling large soil deformations, Konagai & Johannson (Structural Eng./Earthquake Eng, 2001)
  7. Mechanics of Materials, Third Edition, Gere & Timoshenko (For basic physics reference)

Progress Reports/Media:

  1. Proposal presentation (3/5/2009) (PPTX,PPT,PDF)
  2. Progress Report (4/6/2009) (PDF) Slides(PPTX,PPT,PDF)
  3. Final Presentation (5/6/2009) (PPTX,PPT,PDF)
  4. Final Report (5/7/2009) (PDF)
  5. Demo video, OpenGL (5/7/2009) (Xvid)
  6. Full Source (Needs libpng,libtiff, Intel MKL, GLUT)