Technical Reports (CIS)

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

April 1993


University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science Technical Report No. MS-CIS-93-45.


The idea of using physics-based models has received considerable interest in computer graphics and computer vision research the last ten years. The interest arises from the fact that simple geometric primitives cannot accurately represent natural objects. In computer graphics physics-based models are used to generate and visualize constrained shapes, motions of rigid and nonrigid objects and object interactions with the environment for the purposes of animation. On the other hand, in computer vision, the method applies to complex 3-D shape representation, shape reconstruction and motion estimation. In this paper we review two models that have been used in computer graphics and two models that apply to both areas. In the area of computer graphics, Miller [48] uses a mass-spring model to animate three forms of locomotion of snakes and worms. To overcome the problem of the multitude of degrees of freedom associated with the mass-spring lattices, Witkin and Welch [87] present a geometric method to model global deformations. To achieve the same result Pentland and Horowitz in [54] delineate the object motion into rigid and nonrigid deformation modes. To overcome problems of these two last approaches, Metaxas and Terzopoulos in [45] successfully combine local deformations with global ones. Modeling based on physical principles is a potent technique for computer graphics and computer vision. It is a rich and fruitful area for research in terms of both theory and applications. It is important, though, to develop concepts, methodologies, and techniques which will be widely applicable to many types of applications.



Date Posted: 16 July 2007