Backwards Steps in Rigid Body Simulation



Physically based simulation of rigid body dynamics is commonly done by time-stepping systems forward in time. In this paper, we propose methods to allow time-stepping rigid body systems backward in time. Unfortunately, reverse-time integration of rigid bodies involving frictional contact is mathematically ill-posed, and can lack unique solutions. We instead propose time-reversed rigid body integrators that can sample possible solutions when unique ones do not exist. We also discuss challenges related to dissipation-related energy gain, sensitivity to initial conditions, stacking, constraints and articulation, rolling, sliding, skidding, bouncing, high angular velocities, rapid velocity growth from micro-collisions, and other problems encountered when going against the usual flow of time.


Christopher D. Twigg and Doug L. James. Backwards Steps in Rigid Body Simulation. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2008), 27(3), August 2008.




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