Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Ying Zhu

Second Advisor

G. Scott Owen

Third Advisor

Rajshekhar Sunderraman

Fourth Advisor

Dajun Dai


Restoration of realistic animation is a critical part in the area of computer graphics. The goal of this sort of simulation is to imitate the behavior of the transformation in real life to the greatest extent. Physics-based simulation provides a solid background and proficient theories that can be applied in the simulation. In this dissertation, I will present real-time simulations which are physics-based in the area of terrain deformation and ship oscillations.

When ground vehicles navigate on soft terrains such as sand, snow and mud, they often leave distinctive tracks. The realistic simulation of such vehicle-terrain interaction is important for ground based visual simulations and many video games. However, the existing research in terrain deformation has not addressed this issue effectively. In this dissertation, I present a new terrain deformation algorithm for simulating vehicle-terrain interaction in real time. The algorithm is based on the classic terramechanics theories, and calculates terrain deformation according to the vehicle load, velocity, tire size, and soil concentration. As a result, this algorithm can simulate different vehicle tracks on different types of terrains with different vehicle properties. I demonstrate my algorithm by vehicle tracks on soft terrain.

In the field of ship oscillation simulation, I propose a new method for simulating ship motions in waves. Although there have been plenty of previous work on physics based fluid-solid simulation, most of these methods are not suitable for real-time applications. In particular, few methods are designed specifically for simulating ship motion in waves. My method is based on physics theories of ship motion, but with necessary simplifications to ensure real-time performance. My results show that this method is well suited to simulate sophisticated ship motions in real time applications.