Physics and Collision Detection Engines for Computer Applications

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Physics engines are used to simulate real physical interactions in a virtual environment. Many 3d based applications have physic engines included. Software such as modeling and animation programs, have physics engines that tell the program how the models react to certain forces to make them seem more realistic. This is used in the movie industry when creating computer generated effects to composite with live footage. They computer generated images need to look and react the same as real objects. Physics engines help determine the Game software include physics engines to create a a richer environment for the gamer to experience. By using physics engines, encounters do not have to follow pre-scripted courses, but can appear to react as they would in the real world. In both industries effects such as fire, smoke, fluid dynamics, and geometry-based sound all benefit from physics engines. Nothing moves by itself. Animating objects using traditional methods is complicated and time-consuming. You have to "tell" the object specifically where to go and what to do. Creating natural motion means that objects will respond to environmental forces spontaneously. For example, if there is nothing to support it, an object should fall to the ground and come to rest. Physics-based simulation is a first step in making objects move the way they do in real-life, but there is more to it than that. The aim of natural behavior technology is to generate the expected behavior of the objects that appear in a 3D application. This includes satisfying the laws of physics (or an interesting deviation from them) and some degree of artificial intelligence and autonomous simulated behavior.

Physics engines are basically code libraries. When a object is created it is giving a set of values for mass, height, weight, initial velocity, center of gravity, ect, ect. Then when a reaction needs to be calculated these values are used along with the correct formula. These formulas are part of the library and are stored along with it. The reason physics engines are hard to create is because it has to write functions to caculate certain reactions and has to have functions for every single reaction that could take place. In more complex environments there could be millions of formulas needed to be able to give correct answers for all the reactions. They used as reference libraries in the coding for the particular application that needs a physics engine and the functions are called on in that code.
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