Stable Constrained Dynamics
Maxime Tournier, Matthieu Nesme, Benjamin Gilles, François Faure
We present a unification of the two main approaches to simulate deformable solids, namely elasticity and constraints. Elasticity accurately handles soft to moderately stiff objects, but becomes numerically hard as stiffness increases. Constraints efficiently handle high stiffness, but when integrated in time they can suffer from instabilities in the nullspace directions, generating spurious transverse vibrations when pulling hard on thin inextensible objects or articulated rigid bodies. We show that geometric stiffness, the tensor encoding the change of force directions (as opposed to intensities) in response to a change of positions, is the missing piece between the two approaches. This previously neglected stiffness term is easy to implement and dramatically improves the stability of inextensible objects and articulated chains, without adding artificial bending forces. This allows time step increases up to several orders of magnitude using standard linear solvers.