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Module Descriptor School of Computer Science and Statistics

Module CodeCS7057
Module NameReal-time Physics
Module Short Title
Semester Taught
Contact Hours

2 Hours lectures and 1 Tutorial per week

Module PersonnelAssistant Professor John Dingliana
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • outline, describe and explain the architecture and components of a physics pipeline that would be employed in a typical game, virtual reality or interactive animation
  • describe motion representations used in physically based animation and explain how motions may be processed in real-time
  • discuss and explain rigid body dynamics and the mechanics of deformable systems as modelled in interactive entertainment applications
  • analyze and compare different approaches for collision detection and collision response of rigid and deformable objects
  • build a real-time rigid body simulation system for convex polyhedra
  • discuss state-of-the-art issues in real-time physics in  interactive entertainment 
Learning Aims

The aim of this course is to provide students with a deep understanding of the theory and techniques behind real-time physically based animation. We will study various techniques to simulate the physical behaviour of objects in interactive graphical applications such as games.

Module Content
  1. Introduction to Physically-based Animation
  2. Particle System Dynamics
  3. Rigid Body Dynamics
  4. Collision detection for polyhedral objects
    1. Broad-phase collision detection
    2. Narrow Phase Collision detection
    3. Bounding Volume Hierarchies
  5. Contact Modelling
  6. Collision Response
  7. Multiple contact resolution
  8. Deformable object simulation concepts
  9. Cloth Simulation
  10. Fluid Simulation
  11. Simulation Levels of Detail
Recommended Reading List

Required Reading

  • Baraff, D., Wikin, A. and Kass, M. "Physically Based Modelling - Siggraph 2001 Course Notes, 2001

Recommended Reading

  • Eberley, D. "Game Physics". Morgan Kaufmann, 2003. ISBN: 1558607404
  • Ericson, C. "Real-Time Collision Detection" - Morgan Kaufmann, 2005, ISBN: 1558607323
  • Erleben, K. Sporring, J. Henriksen, K. and Dohlman, H. "Physics-based Animation", Charles River Media, 2005, ISBN: 1584503807
  • Millington, I. "Game Physics Engine Development" - Morgan Kaufmann, 2007, ISBN: 012369471X

Additional Sources References in Lectures

Research Papers from Leading Conferences and Journals such as ACM Siggraph and ACM Transaction on Graphics

Module Prerequisites

Students should have attended module CS7033


Students should be competent in C/C++ or C#, have had some experience in OpenGL or and equivalent 3D Graphics Library and be familiar with a 3D Modelling Transforms

Assessment Details

The module is fully assessed based on coursework. This will be in the form of continuous assessment (largely consisting of weekly labs assessments) worth a total of 60% and a major project worth 40%.

If a supplemental is required for this module, this will be based on an an additional coursework assignment and will account for 100% of the module.

Module Website
Academic Year of Data