Not logged in, Join Here! or Log In Below:  
News Articles Search    

Submitted by The MPM Team, posted on May 03, 2001

Image Description, by The MPM Team

Material Point Method (MPM) is a mathematical method used to describe the interaction of colliding objects. We were challenged with a project to create courseware to teach MPM. In order to best explain this method to students, simulation software was created. One of the main goals of our software was to have (semi)real-time representations of the simulation. Because of the medium (the internet) we were restricted by bandwidth and technology.

Different pieces of this courseware made use of different technologies:
  • Interface [html, css, layers, javascript] - Users are capable of entering parameters for up to five object, as well as general parameters. "Tabs" (implemented in layers) allow the user to jump between separate parameter "pages".
  • Graphs - using Perl and the GD package we were able to dynamically create graphs based on the energy levels during the simulation. Although not amazing eye-candy, these do provide insight into the simulation.
  • Movies - basic OpenGL function calls within a C program were used to create the individual frames for the movie, which were then encoded with an mpeg encoder.
  • Check it out, have some fun, and if you feel like helping us out, fill out the survey.


    -The MPM Team

    Image of the Day Gallery


    Message Center / Reader Comments: ( To Participate in the Discussion, Join the Community )
    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

    May 03, 2001, 02:44 PM

    Am I first????? :-)

    This looks damn sweet. Why does the terrain not have decent textures, though?

    Really, it's interesting. I love fizzics simulations. Checking it out currently. :-)


    May 03, 2001, 02:48 PM

    Fascinating. Not only the physics simulation, but the fact that you are creating MPEG movies in real-time is pretty cool too.


    May 03, 2001, 02:52 PM

    it's too dark.

    Seriously though, that looks like a cool simulation. i am all about particle systems. I didn't look at the page, but what is the colorization supposed to represent? Energy level? Displacement?


    May 03, 2001, 04:11 PM

    I see significant disbalance in colors.
    White spots combined with black spots and gray zones, that can easily cause headache. Pink color cant be together with gray (thats my oppinion, but I know Im right)
    I hope that your program is simply genial, so I believe that it's cool.


    May 03, 2001, 06:31 PM


    Hih huh heh heh huh heheheheheheheh.



    May 03, 2001, 07:27 PM

    What would you suggest, MC_BAXTON? Perhaps you can give us your list of improvements so this software/demo can be made better.

    Thank you for your insight in advance,
    Greg & Friends


    May 03, 2001, 07:31 PM

    Here, let me start it off:

    I like the software pictures. However, I do not like the colors of your windows color scheme. It sucks. Also, "Domain Size" has a purple haze around it. Please get rid of it. It also sucks. Thank you.


    PS: just kidding :)

    George Babey

    May 03, 2001, 07:37 PM

    First off let me apologize to anyone trying to access the tool. The movies are currently broken. Heres the story of day:

    We had a presentation for the project to give in 45 minutes. We go to try the site and it is broken. Wonderful! So we figure out the reason it does not work is the mesaGL directory we were linking to was removed (because of space limitations, we were just linking to the mesaGL directory a graphics class here at school was using). So we get the mesaGL directories from a backup and copy them into our user directory. But now some changes as far as location need to be made.

    Those are in progress. Hopefully it will be working soon. real soon.

    Thanks for all the kind words,
    George and the rest of the MPM team.

    George Babey

    May 03, 2001, 08:15 PM

    Problem fixed. Damn disk quota gets ya everytime. It should run now. Just post if you have any problems or questions.

    George Babey

    May 03, 2001, 08:18 PM

    The haze around "Domain size" is actually just the product of a bad screenshot, the page itself has no haze. =)


    May 04, 2001, 02:15 AM

    Hey... Someone did a cool IQP. I'm surprised you didn't get a network outage in there somewhere too :)

    Anyway, it /could/ be a little prettier... but it still looks very cool, especially with the stress colorations. And besides - that's not really the point anyway - it's for visualization and, although I don't know anything about MPM, it looks like it does what it's supposed to.


    May 04, 2001, 04:41 AM

    I agree with MC_BAXTON; the colors are truely horrible.
    Also, the fonts should be more carefully chosen next time.
    Time is represented as a number, but there is not a hint to be found about what that number might be.

    Therefore, I do not think this program is well-made or well-functioning;
    for if the colors and fonts are not good, the entire program cannot be any good.


    May 04, 2001, 05:48 AM

    I agree with MC_BAXTON

    Never thought I'd hear that coming from Denninger :)

    Looks good, particularly as I'm currently trying to get my head round a physics simulation idea I'm working on. Downloading now...



    May 04, 2001, 11:47 AM

    God, would earth be a great place if MC_BAXTON and friends would be wiped out from the face of earth...



    May 04, 2001, 12:28 PM

    Truth be told, if the fonts aren't great this is a function of your browser. The font type is not set in the page, so any bad looking font is what you have as your default, this could be done quite easily, I imagine, with CSS. Definitely an oversite in development.

    So far it sounds like people think the colors suck and that the fonts should be better chosen. Noted, and agreed to on this end.

    Any thoughts on the interface setup. such as the layers approach to data entry and the layout of the page in general.

    Thanks to all for looking at it and voicing your opinion, good or bad, mean or nice, everything is helpfull in some way.


    May 04, 2001, 12:54 PM

    If L.E. Denninger and MC_BAXTON agree, this forum has got so much friendlier suddenly!
    OH BABY!
    anyway... I agree that the colors are horrible, but that doesn't say anything about the underlying code of the program. Just change the colors, make them alternating grayscale or perhaps have different background pictures rather than colors like pink, etc.

    Also, dont be afraid to use darker colors with light text on them.


    Mark Friedenbach

    May 04, 2001, 01:14 PM

    I think it was sarcasm...

    Ramon Smits

    May 04, 2001, 01:19 PM

    Definitely sarcasm, no doubt about that ! :)


    May 04, 2001, 01:49 PM

    Maybe you say this somewhere, but how computationally expensive is your algorithm you are trying to teach? Is it realistic to incorporate into a game, or is it more for commercial applications. I've been looking for information like what you present, and your descriptions are pretty clear.


    May 04, 2001, 03:14 PM

    I know it was sarcasm - I am British. :)


    Thomas Sanders

    May 04, 2001, 08:20 PM

    Hooray! Fellow WPI. Neat stuff!


    May 04, 2001, 09:53 PM

    Looks pretty cool. I don't know if it's just my browser setup or not but I think the movie window could do with a slider bar. The action goes by a bit quick. I had to watch the videos a few times to get an idea of how things were reacting.

    Perhaps the W3 consortium would consider adding a sarcasm tag the the next HTML standard so that everyone would understand what is going on.

    This thread contains 22 messages.
    Hosting by Solid Eight Studios, maker of PhotoTangler Collage Maker.