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Setting up and solving a physically-based animation proceeds as follows:

  1. Create a model with physical attributes: mass, moment of inertia, elasticity, etc.
  2. Derive differential equations by applying the laws of Newtonian physics.
  3. Define initial conditions, i.e., initial velocities and positions.
  4. Supply functions for external forces (possibly via keyframing).
  5. Solve the differential equations to derive animation, i.e., motion of all objects in scene as a function of time.

CS488/688: Introduction to Interactive Computer Graphics
University of Waterloo
Computer Graphics Lab