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realFlow Report Summary

Project ID: 637014
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - realFlow (Virtualization of Real Flows for Animation and Simulation)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"This ERC StG project is titled "realFlow - Virtualization of Real Flows for Animation and Simulation". It's goal is to improve the simulation of physical processes and, above all, make it possible to generate such simulations more quickly. The focus here is on liquids and gases, so-called fluids.

Simulations of fluids can be very useful in many applications – for example in the design of aircraft wings and the depiction of explosions in films and computer games. Blood flow simulations in medicine can help in the assessment of the threat posed by aneurysms. We plan to create a database containing previously-calculated simulations and video recordings of the behavior of real fluids. This information would then be available for new simulations. The project involves, firstly, the development of machine learning algorithms that will enable the processing, comparison and classification of enormous volumes of data. Video recordings of the actual liquids or gases must also be analyzed and transformed into compatible data. Ideally, this will lead to interactive and stable simulations of complex physics effects."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

So far we have developed methods for flow reconstruction using coupled optical-flow and physics simulations. We could show that this combination significantly out-performs purely visual optical flow reconstructions, which illustrates one of the central themes of this research project: the usefulness of physics simulations to disambiguate measurements. In addition, we have developed a fluid simulation methods to perform simulations with pre-computed space-time data sets. Thus, instead of re-running simulations from the start, this makes first steps towards the “recycling” of simulation data sets. Additional projects have targeted controllable and example-based simulations, which work hand-in-hand towards the goal to establish data-driven methods for flow simulations, and other physical phenomena.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond the existing state of the art was made in several areas:

- making it possible to employ so called “stream functions” to simulate liquids,

- controlling the plastic deformation of elastic objects with rigged examples,

- enabling correct dispersion effects in real-time water wave simulations,

- extracting the physical parameters of collisions from video,

- and robustly interpolating whole space-time data sets of liquid and smoke simulations.

Despite impact in the area of computer graphics research, we are confident that these methods will find their way into the production pipelines for virtual worlds in the near future.

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