By Laze Ristoski
5 Tips for Simulating Soft Bodies
Soft vs. Rigid Bodies
Soft body is a particular kind of physical entity that deforms in the presence of external forces. This is in contrast to rigid bodies which always retain their shape. Rigid bodies can be represented by a single particle in the center of mass.
To represent a soft body, though, you must keep track of multiple particles, simultaneously. Each particle is simulated separately but an additional layer of processing, in the form of constraints, is required to have them behave as a cohesive whole.
Constraints are conditions that the particles must satisfy. For example, two particles must always be a certain distance apart. A single soft body may exercise multiple constraints, and constraints may affect more than two particles.
Blobs tend to assume circular shape unless acted on by external forces. Two constraints apply here: adjacent particles are kept at a certain distance from each other, and the surface area (encircled by the particles) is kept constant.
More blobs, more fun. :) That's where collision detection comes in. A list of contacts is the output of this process and one can think of it as yet another constraint to satisfy, i.e. no particle should end inside the area encircled by another blob.
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