Super Space Clothoids   Paper   Video   Code   Material

Abstract: Thin elastic filaments in real world such as vine tendrils, hair ringlets or curled ribbons often depict a very smooth, curved shape that low-order rod models — e.g., segment-based rods — fail to reproduce accurately and compactly. In this paper, we push forward the investigation of high-order models for thin, inextensible elastic rods by building the dynamics of a $G^2$-continuous piecewise 3D clothoid: a smooth space curve with piecewise affine curvature. With the aim of precisely integrating the rod kinematic problem, for which no closed-form solution exists, we introduce a dedicated integration scheme based on power series expansions. It turns out that our algorithm reaches machine precision orders of magnitude faster compared to classical numerical integrators. This property, nicely preserved under simple algebraic and differential operations, allows us to compute all spatial terms of the rod kinematics and dynamics in both an efficient and accurate way. Combined with a semi-implicit time-stepping scheme, our method leads to the efficient and robust simulation of arbitrary curly filaments that exhibit rich, visually pleasing configurations and motion. Our approach was successfully applied to generate various scenarios such as the unwinding of a curled ribbon as well as the aesthetic animation of spiral-like hair or the fascinating growth of twining plants.