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Character Animation with Direct3D® by Carl Granberg

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Introduction to Rigid Body Physics

If you’ve never come across the topic of rigid bodies before, don’t worry; it is quite easy to understand (even though it can be quite hard to simulate). A rigid body is by definition a solid mass in space that does not change shape. A real-life basketball is an example of a non-rigid body. The fact that the basketball is not rigid is what causes it to bounce once it hits the floor. Instead, imagine a sphere the size of a basketball in solid steel hitting a steel floor. Very likely there wouldn’t be a very large bounce from a collision like this. This is because the steel sphere won’t change its shape. It is rigid!

In computer graphics there are accurate mathematical systems where rigid bodies are simulated ...

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