“Evaluating the visual fidelity of physically based animations” by O’Sullivan, Dingliana, Giang and Kaiser

  • ©Carol O'Sullivan, John Dingliana, Thanh Giang, and Mary Kaiser




    Evaluating the visual fidelity of physically based animations



    For many systems that produce physically based animations, plausibility rather than accuracy is acceptable. We consider the problem of evaluating the visual quality of animations in which physical parameters have been distorted or degraded, either unavoidably due to real-time frame-rate requirements, or intentionally for aesthetic reasons. To date, no generic means of evaluating or predicting the fidelity, either physical or visual, of the dynamic events occurring in an animation exists. As a first step towards providing such a metric, we present a set of psychophysical experiments that established some thresholds for human sensitivity to dynamic anomalies, including angular, momentum and spatio-temporal distortions applied to simple animations depicting the elastic collision of two rigid objects. In addition to finding significant acceptance thresholds for these distortions under varying conditions, we identified some interesting biases that indicate non-symmetric responses to these distortions (e.g., expansion of the angle between post-collision trajectories was preferred to contraction and increases in velocity were preferred to decreases). Based on these results, we derived a set of probability functions that can be used to evaluate the visual fidelity of a physically based simulation. To illustrate how our results could be used, two simple case studies of simulation levels of detail and constrained dynamics are presented.


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