Modeling and Rendering Fibrous Materials
Riensche, Roderick Martin
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This dissertation describes research and development that led to the creation of a novel method of modeling fibrous materials (focusing especially on wood) and construction of a proof-of-concept implementation.The initial goal of this research was to extend the state of the art in simulated combustion of wood. Early work completed in pursuit of that goal (presented in Chapter 3) revealed serious complications related to the required resolution of a modeled piece of wood if the goal is to simulate effects of the interior structure of wood (caused by the seasonal variations in wood properties that are visually manifested as "growth rings").When considering the internal structure variations caused by differences in individual wood fibers, a voxel grid as used in prior work was no longer suitable. This limitation motivated development of the primary contribution of this dissertation: a new fiber modeling paradigm, inspired by the natural processes that lead to formation of wood. The fiber model treats each individual fiber as a series of spline segments, which can be described mathematically and evaluated to find the nearest fiber to an arbitrary point within the modeled object in order to look up physical characteristics. The development of this model and a proof-of-concept application are detailed in Chapter 4 and evaluated in Chapter 5.The resulting fiber model shows promise as a potential efficient means for representing fibrous materials at very high resolutions. Future work envisioned in Chapter 6 includes potential optimization of fiber model implementations as well as coupling with combustion simulations.