B67: Animation of Water Droplets on a Hydrophobic Windshield

Nakata,N., Kakimoto,M., Nishita,T.

Animation of water drops on a windshield is used as a special effect in advanced driving games and simulators. Existing water droplet animation methods trace the trajectories of the droplets on the glass taking into account the hydrophilic or water-attracting nature of the glass material. Meanwhile, in the automobile industry, usage of hydrophobic glass windshields has recently been a common solution for the drivers' clear vision in addition to cleaning the water with wipers. Water drops on a hydrophobic windshield behave differently from those on a hydrophilic one. This paper proposes a real-time animation method for water droplets on a windshield taking account of hydrophobicity. Our method assumes each relatively large droplet as a mass point and simulates its movement using contact angle hysteresis accounting for dynamic hydrophobicity as well as other external forces such as gravity and air resistance. All of a huge number of still, tiny droplets are treated together in a normal map applied to the windshield. We also visualize the Lotus effect, a cleaning action by the moving droplets. Based on the proposed simulation scheme, this paper demonstrates the motion of the virtual water droplets on the windshield of a running vehicle model.