Nucleus Physics

Autodesk Research at SIGGRAPH 2015

If you're attending SIGGRAPH 2015 in Los Angeles, watch out for these presentations from members of Autodesk Research and say hi to the presenters!:

Kitty: Sketching Dynamic and Interactive Illustrations

Monday, 10 August 3:45 pm - 5:15 pm, Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 402AB

Rubaiat Habib, Fanny Chevalier, Tovi Grossman and George Fitzmaurice

Kitty will be part of the UIST Reprise and you can read more about Kitty in this blog post.

Printing Elastics

Thursday, 13 August 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM, Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 150/151

Session Chair: Nobuyuki Umetani

Convolutional Wasserstein Distances: Efficient Optimal Transportation on Geometric Domains

Tuesday, 11 August 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM, Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 152

Justin Solomon, Fernando de Goes, Gabriel Peyré, Marco Cuturi, Adrian Butscher, Andy Nguyen, Tao Du, Leonidas Guibas

This paper introduces a new class of algorithms for optimization problems involving optimal transportation over geometric domains. The main contribution is to show that optimal transportation can be made tractable over large graphics domains, such as images and triangle meshes, improving performance by orders of magnitude compared to previous work.

OmniAD: Data-Driven Omni-Directional Aerodynamics

Wednesday, 12 August 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM, Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 153A-C

Tobias Martin, Nobuyuki Umetani, Bernd Bickel

Introducing OmniAD, a novel data-driven pipeline to model and acquire the aerodynamics of three-dimensional rigid objects simply by capturing their falling motion using a single camera. OmniAD enables realistic real-time simulation of rigid bodies and interactively designed three-dimensional kites that actually fly.

Computational Tools for 3D Printing

Thursday, 13 August 2:00 pm - 5:15 pm, Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 403AB

Nobuyuki Umetani, Bernd Bickel, Wojciech Matusik

This course reviews current 3D printing hardware and software pipelines, and analyzes their potential and shortcomings. Then it focuses on computational specification for fabrication methods, which allow designing or computing an object's shape and material composition from a functional description.

3D-Printed Prosthetics for the Developing World

Thursday, 13 August, 9-10:30 am,SIGGRAPH Studio

Ryan Schmidt, Ginger Coons, Vincent Chen, Timotheus Gmeiner, Matt Ratto

You can read more about this project here.

Autodesk Exhibitor Sessions

Members of your favourite Autodesk product teams will be showing off cool, new things throughout the week.

The Art of Fluid Animation

And you may see Jos Stam wearing a shirt like this - ask him about it :)

Autodesk Research The Art of Fluid Animation


This Nucleus Simulation Shows How Your Brain is Like a Wad of Paper

Science Magazine recently published an article called Your Brain is like a Wad of Paper. When the team at Autodesk Research saw it Jos Stam recalled that it looks like a simulation Duncan Brinsmead from the Maya team had done with Nucleus a number of years ago.

Autodesk Research Brain Nucleus

From the article in Science Magazine:

Suzana Herculano-Houzel and Bruno Mota—a neuroscientist and physicist, respectively, at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil—have found a mathematical relation for folding in mammals' brains that appears to be universal.

It may sound complicated, but that universal relationship is the same one that describes crumpled wads of paper—as Herculano-Houzel showed by scrunching up sheets of paper of different sizes and thickness at her dining room table and measuring their surface areas. The relationship comes about because the bent-up paper settles into the configuration that minimizes its energy. So presumably, in folding, the cortex also simply settles into the configuration of least mechanical energy.

Duncan Brinsmead says, "The process of crumpling based on surface area in a confined space is what we are simulating. However there are a lot of subtle effects that probably make our result differ."

Jos Stam adds, "It is a qualitative demonstration of the theory described in the paper. The cool thing is that Nucleus is able to show the process and the resulting shape. The brain, like a walnut, is an emergent form from basic constraints. That is what Nucleus is all about."

Here's what the Nucleus simulation in Maya looks like:

You can read Nucleus: Towards a Unified Dynamics Solver for Computer Graphics to learn more about how the Nucleus solver works and watch the video associated with Physics-based Generative Design to see some other interesting uses of Nucleus like below.

Autodesk Research Nucleus Physics Generative Design

4D Printing: aka 3D Printing Self Evolving Structures

4D Printing adds the dimension of time to 3D Printing. Instead of printing stable and static objects, with multi-material printing we are starting to manufacture soft and active objects that can react to their environment. In our post on Synthetic Biology for Architects we talk about the potential of growing a house from a seed. In this post we'll talk about some of the steps being taken by the Autodesk Research Programmable Matter team to get there.

Other than growing a house, why else might you want a 3D printed object to change over time? 

Soft robotics and bio-inspired robotics are one popular reason. These soft machines inspired by nature are particularly interesting to medical science at smaller scales that can be applied within a body. Another reason might be that the object being manufactured is larger than the printer but it can be folded up.

With this research we are using the Nucleus Physics solver to help simulate the behaviour of the objects - they can bend and stretch.

Autodesk Research 4D PrintingThe objects are composed of bars and disks. The disks in the center act as stoppers. By adjusting the distances between the stoppers it is possible to set the final folding angle.

4d printing Autodesk Research

The magic of this process is the combination of two materials at printing time. We use a rigid plastic base and a material that expands upon exposure to water. The expanding material is a UV curable polymer that when exposed to water absorbs and creates a hydrogel with up to 200% of the original volume.

With this system we've been able to create a variety of shapes getting as complicated as this undulating grid pictured below.

4d printing Autodesk Research

In the video below you can see the objects change over time as they are immersed in water.

You can read more about this exciting project on the Autodesk Research site.