Vivace: a Practical Gauss-Seidel Method for Stable Soft Body Dynamics

M. Fratarcangeli, V. Tibaldo, F. Pellacini
ACM Transaction on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Asia 2016), 2016


The solution of large sparse systems of linear constraints is at the base of most interactive solvers for physically-based animation of soft body dynamics. We focus on applications with hard and tight per-frame resource budgets, such as video games, where the solution of soft body dynamics needs to be computed in a few milliseconds. Linear iterative methods are preferred in these cases since they provide approximate solutions within a given error tolerance and in a short amount of time. We present a parallel randomized Gauss-Seidel method which can be effectively employed to enable the animation of 3D soft objects discretized as large and irregular triangular or tetrahedral meshes. At the beginning of each frame, we partition the set of equations governing the system us- ing a randomized graph coloring algorithm. The unknowns in the equations belonging to the same partition are independent of each other. Then, all the equations belonging to the same partition are solved at the same time in parallel. Our algorithm runs completely on the GPU and can support changes in the constraints topology. We tested our method as a solver for soft body dynamics within the Projective Dynamics and Position Based Dynamics frameworks. We show how the algorithmic simplicity of this iterative strategy enables great numerical stability and fast convergence speed, which are essential features for physically based animations with fixed and small hard time budgets. Compared to the state of the art, we found our method to be faster and scale better while providing stabler solutions for very small time budgets.