Guiding of Smoke Animations Through Variational Coupling of Simulations at Different Resolutions

Michael B. Nielsen, Brian B. Christensen, Nafees Bin Zafar, Doug Roble, Ken Museth
Proceedings of the 2009 ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA '09)


We propose a novel approach to guiding of Eulerian-based smoke animations through coupling of simulations at different grid resolutions. Specifically we present a variational formulation that allows smoke animations to adopt the low-frequency features from a lower resolution simulation (or non-physical synthesis), while simultaneously developing higher frequencies. The overall motivation for this work is to address the fact that art-direction of smoke animations is notoriously tedious. Particularly a change in grid resolution can result in dramatic changes in the behavior of smoke animations, and existing methods for guiding either significantly lack high frequency detail or may result in undesired features developing over time. Provided that the bulk movement can be represented satisfactorily at low resolution, our technique effectively allows artists to prototype simulations at low resolution (where computations are fast) and subsequently add extra details without altering the overall “look and feel”. Our implementation is based on a customized multi-grid solver with memory-efficient data structures.


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