physically based modeling, modeling packages


We address the problem of directable weathering of exposed concave rock for use in computer-generated animation or games. Previous weathering models that admit concave surfaces are computationally inefficient and difficult to control. In nature, the spheroidal and cavernous weathering rates depend on the surface curvature. Spheroidal weathering is fastest in areas with large positive mean curvature and cavernous weathering is fastest in areas with large negative mean curvature. We simulate both processes using an approximation of mean curvature on a voxel grid. Both weathering rates are also influenced by rock durability. The user controls rock durability by editing a durability graph before and during weathering simulation. Simulations of rockfall and colluvium deposition further improve realism. The profile of the final weathered rock matches the shape of the durability graph up to the effects of weathering and colluvium deposition. We demonstrate the top-down directability and visual plausibility of the resulting model through a series of screenshots and rendered images. The results include the weathering of a cube into a sphere and of a sheltered inside corner into a cavern as predicted by the underlying geomorphological models.

Original Publication Citation

M. Jones, M. Farlay, J. Butler and M. Beardall, "Directable Weathering of Concave Rock using Curvature Estimation", IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphic, IEEE Press, Vol. 16(1), pp.7-8. January 21.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Physical and Mathematical Sciences


Computer Science