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Eye candy: Disney’s snow simulation system from Frozen

Thursday, November 21st, 2013 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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Who has the most words to describe different types of snow? Probably not speakers of Eskimo-Aleut languages: according to Wikipedia, that’s an urban myth.

But who can simulate the most different types of snow in CG? On the evidence of its latest tech video, A Material Point Method for Snow Simulation, probably Disney Animation.

First math, then eye candy
Released to promote Frozen, Disney’s animated take on The Snow Queen, which goes on general release next week, the video shows the snow-simulation techniques used in the movie.

In practice, that means one minute of technical detail (it’s a fairly involved ten-step hybrid particle/grid-based method), then three minutes of what everyone really wanted to see: cool sims.

The demo starts off simply, with simulated snowballs colliding with walls, and with one another, but the final section, which shows characters interacting with deep snow, is beautifully detailed.

If you want more detail, the research paper that the video accompanies has been posted online by one of its five authors, Joseph Teran of UCLA. Find it via the link below.

Read A Material Point Method of Snow Simulation on Joseph Teran’s website

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