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Video Game Graphics and Physics 
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#1
Oct1913, 06:29 PM

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I was numerically solving the wave equation earlier just to produce a simple illustration of a vibrating string and my computer was working pretty hard. Then I realized how many video games nowadays have such awesome graphics with things like water, waves, motion in general, etc... Are these consoles numerically solving PDEs with obscure boundary conditions to make these animations??? If that's the case, it really makes you appreciate how powerful these consoles can be (especially when user input can alter the equations and boundary conditions and run so smoothly).
My question: Are gaming consoles numerically solving PDEs with obscure boundary conditions to make animations? 


#2
Oct1913, 06:58 PM

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#3
Oct2013, 02:57 AM

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See if this page: http://vterrain.org/Water/ doesn't help. 


#4
Oct2013, 03:36 AM

P: 178

Video Game Graphics and Physics
there was this video in which they used what they call " real physics engine "
i then went on to read more about this engine , it claims that it uses reallife physical computations to compute the movement of particles like dust , bullets and whatsoever , i dont remember the name of the video but it was for one of UnReal games * no pun its just the name of the game :p * also check this PhysX engine to quote wikipedia " It supports rigid body dynamics, soft body dynamics, ragdolls and character controllers, vehicle dynamics, volumetric fluid simulation and cloth simulation including tearing and pressurized cloth. " 


#5
Oct2013, 05:50 PM

P: 162

Yes that's what I was looking for. That is truly amazing if you ask me... I wonder if physicists and engineers working in computational mechanics realize that their work is also being used in video games? LOL... 


#6
Oct2013, 06:10 PM

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No, they're totally oblivious to such things.
I'm curious as to what you mean by 'PDEs with obscure boundary conditions'. Most of the PDEs describing fluid flow and such have relatively simple and quite common boundary conditions. 


#7
Oct2113, 08:29 PM

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#8
Oct2113, 09:09 PM

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But the objectives are very different even if the hardware and even some of the numerical methods are the same. A video game animation has to look right (or at least, not look too wrong) when it is computed in real time. And if it doesn't look quite right, adding some smoke, flames, and/or sound effects can easily ihide that fact!. An engineering simulation has to be right, not just look pretty, but getting answers in real time is usually irrelevant. At work, we use simulations that run for hundreds of hours, to compute what happens to something in a few milliseconds. 


#9
Oct2213, 06:02 PM

P: 162

Out of curiosity, what do you do? 


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