Michael Cairns

3D Model Deformation using Finite Elements

Thesis: 3D Model Deformation using Finite Elements

In recent years major effects houses have started to use the finite element method to better model soft bodies. As more computing power has become available this technique has become more feasible in the timeframe of a production. The objectives of this project were to investigate how fnite elements are used to model and simulate deformation in visual effects. Specifically, linear elasticity was covered and the beginnings of plastic deformation.

A program was created in C++ which allows a user to load a surface mesh and by setting material properties and applying forces, create a simulation. The results show how physically correct animation can be produced using the finite element method although it is mentioned that knowing exact material properties helps.

a screenshot of the program
another screenshot
a distorted cube, like jelly
a render of a crushed can
a render of a squashed cylinder