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Whatever feature vector
s hits on the Gauss map, that is the support feature
in direction s :
2 ,
( s )) ,
( s )) is the Gauss map of feature
( s ).
4.6 Computing Full Contact Manifolds
SAT is not particularly constructive. It doesn't tell us much about contact mani-
folds or explain how to compute collision response. We'll compute the collision
response in the solver using the contact-manifold vertices, a.k.a. contact points,
trying to reduce penetration distance, velocity, and/or acceleration in all of them
at the same time. But for now, our algorithm of finding the contact manifold
consists of the following three steps:
1. Find the contact normal s . It needs to be the MTD or something close
to it for the contact-manifold generation to work because we need support
polygons that actually intersect. SAT, the expanding polytope algorithm
(EPA) [van den Bergen 01], and Gilbert-Johnson-Keerthi algorithm (GJK)
[van den Bergen ] all generate MTD. Approximate direction, like the one
Xenocollide [Snethen 08] or Dual-CD [Choi et al. 05] produces, can be
used, too. To warm start many algorithms, we may cache s found on the
previous frame, exploiting coherence.
2. Find the support shapes, or the outlines of the shape surfaces “touching”
(close enough to) the plane of contact and potentially the other shape.
3. Intersect the contact areas to get the final contact manifold. We need to
choose a few representative points from the outline contour. It must be at
least three points, but if we choose just the corners, it may be unstable (see
Figure 4.3(b) ) : whatever three corners we choose at the base of a cube, the
projection of the center of mass will not lie well inside their convex hull, a
condition necessary for stability. Four points are practically enough in most
cases (see below for a discussion on choosing the number of points).
4.6.1 Step 1: Find the Contact Normal
The s min as described in Section 4.4, or the approximation thereof, will be our
contact normal. In convex shapes, the support features (along s min )arealsothe
closest features. Denote a plane in the middle of the support planes and the contact
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