Swedish research can make Super Mario more realistic

Mar 06, 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

Explore further: Coping with floods—of water and data

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

In Curiosity Hacked, children learn to make, not buy

Dec 14, 2014

With her right hand, my 8-year-old daughter, Kalian, presses the red-hot soldering iron against the circuit board. With her left hand, she guides a thin, tin wire until it's pressing against both the circuit board and the ...

Two robots, one challenge, endless possibility

Dec 11, 2014

To the theme song of "2001: A Space Odyssey," a robot with a twisty spine rolled toward Thomas Rosenbaum, the new president of the California Institute of Technology, on Oct. 24, as he stood on a stage at ...

Using robots to get more food from raw materials

Dec 09, 2014

Can an industrial robot succeed both at removing the breast fillet from a chicken, and at the same time get more out of the raw materials? This is one of the questions to which researchers working on the ...

Recommended for you

Coping with floods—of water and data

Dec 19, 2014

Halloween 2013 brought real terror to an Austin, Texas, neighborhood, when a flash flood killed four residents and damaged roughly 1,200 homes. Following torrential rains, Onion Creek swept over its banks and inundated the ...

Cloud computing helps make sense of cloud forests

Dec 17, 2014

The forests that surround Campos do Jordao are among the foggiest places on Earth. With a canopy shrouded in mist much of time, these are the renowned cloud forests of the Brazilian state of São Paulo. It is here that researchers ...

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

axemaster
not rated yet Mar 07, 2009
Wow. This article said nothing whatsoever.
el_gramador
not rated yet Mar 07, 2009
I agree.
Smatt
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".
Icester
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!

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

http://www.mrtc.m...0354.pdf
SciTechdude
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
GBogumil
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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.