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Issue No.08 - Aug. (2012 vol.18)
pp: 1189-1190
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
This special section presents expanded versions of four of the best papers from SCA 2011, the 10th annual ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation. SCA has established itself as the premier conference dedicated specifically to innovations in the software and technology of computer animation. SCA 2011 was held in Vancouver, Canada, from 5-7 August 2011. Of the 77 paper submissions, 30 were accepted for publication and presentation at SCA. Each full-paper submission received four high-quality reviews from our 71-member program committee, followed by a thorough week-long online discussion. We are delighted to present the four papers invited for this special section as representing the very best of SCA 2011. This selection was informed by the original reviews and the conference presentations. Each of the invited papers contains a minimum of 30 percent new material and received at least three reviews, including one reviewer not among the original SCA reviewers.
The first paper, “A Multigrid Fluid Pressure Solver Handling Separating Solid Boundary Conditions,” tackles two difficult problems at once. First, it develops a practical multigrid solution for fluid simulation, based on the Poisson equation arising from variational methods. Second, it further demonstrates that a multigrid method can solve the linear complementarity problem needed to enforce nonsticky boundary conditions.
The second paper, “Preserving Fluid Sheets with Adaptively Sampled Anisotropic Particles,” tackles a very different aspect of fluid simulation. It develops a particle-based framework that preserves thin fluid sheets. The key innovation is the introduction of adaptively sampled anisotropic particles that can split and merge as required by the situation. This yields a method that offers ease of implementation, including parallelization, and can produce visually complex liquid animations with thin structures such as fluid sheets.
The third paper, entitled “Detail-Preserving Controllable Deformation from Sparse Examples,” examines how to build high quality animated deformable models from a very sparse set of high resolution scans of hands. The solution is developed around the insight that learned deformation mappings should use a good model of local similarity. For the case of a hand, this should include both spatial proximity and the pose space of the hand. When further augmented by fine-scale displacement modeling, this allows for high quality deformable hand models to be constructed from as few as 14 example poses.
The fourth paper looks at the problem of developing physics-based skinning models based on modal deformations. Entitled “Physics-Based Character Skinning Using Multidomain Subspace Deformations,” it develops the use of modal deformations as applied to multiple connected body parts. The challenge that arises is that of how to efficiently model the coupling that is introduced where these body parts are connected because the unconstrained deformation modes will generally be incompatible with each other. A novel Fast Sandwich Transform is proposed as a solution, which allows for interactive simulation with hundreds of modes.
Seen together, these four papers all provide insights into how to build models of diverse phenomena (fluids, hands, and character skins) that are rich in detail, but that exploit underlying representations that can be surprisingly sparse. We expect that this will be an important theme for years to come.
Adam Bargteil
Michiel van de Panne
Guest Editors

    A.W. Bargteil is with the School of Computing, 50 S. Central Campus Drive, 3190 MEB, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9205.


    M. van de Panne is with the Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia, 2366 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada. E-mail:

For information on obtaining reprints of this article, please send e-mail to:

Adam W. Bargteil received the PhD degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley and spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is an assistant professor at the University of Utah. His primary research interests lie in the area of physics-based animation. He is currently an associate editor of the ACM Transactions on Graphics and Graphical Models. He was program cochair of the ACM/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation in 2011 and has served on several program committees, including ACM SIGGRAPH, ACM SIGGRAPH Asia, ACM/EG SCA, and Pacific Graphics. From 2005 to 2007, he was a consultant at PDI/DreamWorks, developing fluid simulation tools that were used in “Shrek the Third” and “Bee Movie.”

Michiel van de Panne received the BASc degree in 1987 (University of Calgary), and the MASc & PhD degrees in 1989 and 1994, respectively (University of Toronto). His research interests are in computer graphics, physics-based animation and simulation, motion planning and control, robotics, sketch-based modeling, and applications of machine learning to computer graphics. He holds a Tier-2 Canada Research Chair in Computer Graphics and Animation. In 2002, he cofounded the ACM/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation, a leading forum for computer animation research. He has served as an associate editor of the ACM Transactions on Graphics (2005-2008). He has cochaired EG CAS 1997, ACM/EG SCA 2002, Skigraph 2004, GI 2005, SBIM 2007, and SCA 2011. He has served on numerous program committees, including ACM SIGGRAPH, Eurographics, ACM/EG SCA, ACM I3D, Graphics Interface, NPAR, and CASA. The work he did with his MSc student, Ivan Neulander, helped form the basis of the Rhythm & Hues hair rendering pipeline for “The Chronicles of Narnia” and other films. From 1993 to 2001, he was a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Since 2002, he has been with the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia as an associate professor (2002-2008) and as a full professor (2008-present). From 2000-2001, he was a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia, and founded Motion Playground Inc. to develop games and educational applications using physics-based animation and simulation.
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