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Contact sound models based on linear modal analysis are commonly used with rigid body dynamics. Unfortunately, treating vibrating objects as “rigid” during collision and contact processing fundamentally limits the range of sounds that can be computed, and contact solvers for rigid body animation can be ill-suited for modal contact sound synthesis, producing various sound artifacts. In this paper, we resolve modal vibrations in both collision and frictional contact processing stages, thereby enabling non-rigid sound phenomena such as micro-collisions, vibrational energy exchange, and chattering. We propose a frictional multibody contact formulation and modified Staggered Projections solver which is well-suited to sound rendering and avoids noise artifacts associated with spatial and temporal contact-force fluctuations which plague prior methods. To enable practical animation and sound synthesis of numerous bodies with many coupled modes, we propose a novel asynchronous integrator with model-level adaptivity built into the frictional contact solver. Vibrational contact damping is modeled to approximate contact-dependent sound dissipation. Results are provided that demonstrate high-quality contact resolution with sound.



Changxi Zheng and Doug L. James, Toward High-Quality Modal Contact Sound, ACM Transaction on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2011), 30(4), August, 2011.


Selected Press


  • The National Science Foundation (HCC-0905506)
  • The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
  • Intel (ISTC-VC)
  • Pixar Animation Studio
  • Autodesk
  • Advanced CAE Research, LLC (FastBEM)
  • Yafaray 3D rendering engin
  • Indigo Renderer