Computation of contact points is a critical sub-component of physics-based animation. The success and correctness of simulation results are very sensitive to the quality of the contact points. Hence, quality plays a critical role when comparing methods, and this is highly relevant for simulating objects with sharp edges. The importance of contact point quality is largely overlooked and lacks rigor and as such may become a bottleneck in moving the research field forward.
We establish a taxonomy of contact point generation methods and lay down an analysis of what normal contact quality implies. The analysis enables us to establish a novel methodology for assessing and studying quality for mesh-based shapes. The core idea is based on a test suite of three complex cases and a small portfolio of simple cases. We apply our methodology to eight local contact point generation methods and conclude that the selected local methods are unable to provide correct information in all cases. The immediate benefit of the proposed methodology is a foundation for others to evaluate and select the best local method for their specific application. In the longer perspective, the presented work suggests future research focusing on semi-local methods.
ACM TOG paper