Melting Objects

Dr. Mark W. Jones
University of Wales Swansea
Department of Computer Science
Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP



Keywords: Volume Graphics, Melting, Heat Transfer, Enthlapy, Radiative Transfer, Distance Fields, Voxelization


This paper describes a technique for producing realistic animations of melting objects. The work presented here introduces a method that accurately models both thermal flow and the latent heat during the phase change. The mechanism for energy transfer to the model is via both boundary conditions and radiation. Emphasis is made on accurately modelling the solid object and the method is particularly suited to rigid solids with complex surface geometry. The underlying objects are constructed using Volume Graphics modelling techniques (specifically voxelization), and a numerical simulation computes the time-dependent heat flow throughout the object. A technique for computing the phase transition is given, and details for rendering the melting objects are provided. The melting is controlled by material parameters, such as specific heat capacity, thermal conductivity, latent heat and temperature. Examples are given of melting ice and a plastic man.