Swedish research can make Super Mario more realistic

March 6, 2009

Computer games are being developed at an ever more rapid pace, and the technical demands are rising, not least regarding graphics boards.  At Mälardalen University in Sweden, researchers have now found a solution to a problem that often arises when new computer games are constructed, namely how you can efficiently make sure that the animated figures don’t run right through each other.

Researcher Thomas Larsson is presenting a new model that enables complex figures to collide with each other in a credible way - preferably with sound effects, deformations, and other consequences, just as in reality.

In his dissertation he presents faster methods for discovering collisions in interactive simulations with computer graphics. The methods function both with rigid bodies and various types of deformable bodies.  Besides computer games, simulations in robotics, virtual surgery, and visualization are suitable applications for the methods.

“Today regular computers can draw realistic images of complex 3D environments in the blink of an eye. This is thoroughly exploited in modern computer games, for example.  The images are therefore better and better in quality, so people even use terms like photographic realism. These images are generated by a powerful graphics board in the computer, which draws millions of tiny surfaces, usually triangles, in a few milliseconds.”

“But it’s not enough simply to draw the images. To animate or simulate objects that move or fly around on the screen, the objects need to be able to react to collisions. In many cases the collision calculations, just like the image generation itself, have to be done in a few milliseconds, otherwise the interactivity and the experience are ruined.”

All this is self-evident in the real world where objects follow the rules of physics governing movement and collisions.  But in a computer simulation objects go right through each other as if they had never collided, unless special measures are taken.  These measures require methods that use calculations to discover that objects are actually colliding with each other and then take suitable measures. In some cases it is sufficient to have the objects change direction by bouncing off each other. In other cases they may need to be dented (deformed), break into pieces, or even explode.

Future versions of “Super Mario” will require superfast collision calculations in order to stimulate and visualize characters’ movements and interaction with their surroundings in a realistic manner.

Provided by Swedish Research Council

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not rated yet Mar 07, 2009
Wow. This article said nothing whatsoever.
not rated yet Mar 07, 2009
I agree.
not rated yet Mar 07, 2009
It could have expressed the same meaning in a sentence:

"Swedish researcher's dissertation presents faster methods for collision detection".

Not quite "nothing whatsoever".
not rated yet Mar 07, 2009
Pretty close to nothing. Absolutely useless article - as el gramador said, "it could have expressed the same meaning in a [single] sentence".

As written, it is a waste to time to read the article. Some details, heck, even ONE detail might make it worth reading, but as written, this article is useless.

Sheesh, there isn't even a follow-up link or even a title that one can go to for more information!

not rated yet Mar 07, 2009
Details for the win.

not rated yet Mar 12, 2009
Why did they even mention Mario in this? What does this have to do with Mario specifically? Won't pretty much all games use this eventually, or something like it? Piff
not rated yet Mar 18, 2009
is there a better site than physorg with similar content? Too many of the articles seem to stink lately.

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