Surface Modeling with Oriented Particle Systems

Richard Szeliski and David Tonnesen


Splines and deformable surface models are widely used in computer graphics to describe free-form surfaces. These methods require manual preprocessing to discretize the surface into patches and to specify their connectivity. We present a new model of elastic surfaces based on interacting particle systems, which, unlike previous techniques, can be used to split, join, or extend surfaces without the need for manual intervention. The particles we use have long-range attraction forces and short-range repulsion forces and follow Newtonian dynamics, much like recent computational models of fluids and solids. To enable our particles to model surface elements instead of point masses or volume elements, we add an orientation to each particle's state. We devise new interaction potentials for our oriented particles which favor locally planar or spherical arrangements. We also develop techniques for adding new particles automatically, which enables our surfaces to stretch and grow. We demonstrate the application of our new particle system to modeling surfaces in 3-D and the interpolation of 3-D point sets.


Publication typeArticle
Published inComputer Graphics (SIGGRAPH'92)
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