Published in 20th International Conference on Computer Application in Industry and Engineering Proeedings: San Francisco, CA, November 7, 2007, pages 128-134.
Realism has always been a goal in computer graphics. However, the algorithms involved in mimicking the physical world are often complex, abstract, and sensitive to changes in experimental parameters. We present an interface to a physically-based algorithm, a thin shell animation, which focuses on visualization, experimentation, and control. Through the use of dynamic surface coloring, abstract visual cues, robust user interaction, and full control over the algorithm parameters, our system facilitates experimentation and the process of discovery. The system is targeted at enhancing the user’s learning experience by clarifying interactions between various components of many physically-based animations.