Visual Simulation of Ice Crystal Growth

Theodore Kim, Ming Lin

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Stained glass patterns courtesy of Dover Publications. A.G. Smith, Art Nouveau Windows Stained Glass Coloring Book
  • Visual Simulation of Ice Crystal Growth
    Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH / Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation 2003

    Small version (1.5MB) [PDF]
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  • Abstract:

            The beautiful, branching structure of ice is one of the most striking visual phenomena of the winter landscape. Yet there is little study about modeling this effect in computer graphics. In this paper, we present a novel approach for visual simulation of ice growth. We use a numerical simulation technique from computational physics, the "phase field method," and modify it to allow aesthetic manipulation of ice crystal growth. We present acceleration techniques to achieve interactive simulation performance, as well as a novel geometric sharpening algorithm that removes some of the smoothing artifacts from the implicit representations. We have successfully applied this approach to generate ice crystal growth on 3D object surfaces in several scenes.

    For recent results, also see:

  • A Hybrid Algorithm for Modeling Ice Formation
  • Modeling Ice Dynamics As A Thin-Film Stefan Problem

Simulation Performance
Grid Size CPU (Hz) GPU (Hz) Speedup
64 x 64 250 624 2.50x
128 x 128 25 236 9.44x
256 x 256 8 67.47 8.43x
512 x 512 3.5 17.67 5.05x
1024 x 1024 1.08 3.77 3.49x

CPU: 1.8 Ghz Pentium 4; GPU: GeForceFX 5800 Ultra

Supplemental Material
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Last Updated 5/28/03