Multi-Scale Simulation of Nonlinear Thin-Shell Sound with Wave Turbulence
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Multi-Scale Simulation of Nonlinear Thin-Shell Sound with Wave Turbulence

Gabriel Cirio, Ante Qu, George Drettakis, Eitan Grinspun, Changxi Zheng
ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Conference Proceedings), Volume 37, Number 4 - Aug 2018
Download the publication : ThinShellSounds.pdf [18.5Mo]  
Thin shells — solids that are thin in one dimension compared to the other two — often emit rich nonlinear sounds when struck. Strong excitations can even cause chaotic thin-shell vibrations, producing sounds whose energy spectrum diffuses from low to high frequencies over time — a phenomenon known as wave turbulence. It is all these nonlinearities that grant shells such as cymbals and gongs their characteristic “glinting” sound. Yet, simulation models that efficiently capture these sound effects remain elusive. We propose a physically based, multi-scale reduced simulation method to synthesize nonlinear thin-shell sounds. We first split nonlinear vibrations into two scales, with a small low-frequency part simulated in a fully nonlinear way, and a high-frequency part containing many more modes approximated through time-varying linearization. This allows us to capture interesting nonlinearities in the shells’ deformation, tens of times faster than previous approaches. Furthermore, we propose a method that enriches simulated sounds with wave turbulent sound details through a phenomenological diffusion model in the frequency domain, and thereby sidestep the expensive simulation of chaotic high-frequency dynamics. We show several examples of our simulations, illustrating the efficiency and realism of our model.

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Acknowledgements and Funding

We thank the anonymous reviewers for their feedback and Jeffrey N. Chadwick for early software assistance. Ante Qu contributed to this project when he was a summer intern at Columbia University. This project was partially funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska- Curie grant agreement No. 706708, PhySound. This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. CAREER-1453101, 1717268, 1409286, 1717178, and DGE-1656518. We are grateful for generous support from SoftBank Group, Adobe, Autodesk, Pixar, and SideFX. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or others.


BibTex references

  author       = "Cirio, Gabriel and Qu, Ante and Drettakis, George and Grinspun, Eitan and Zheng, Changxi",
  title        = "Multi-Scale Simulation of Nonlinear Thin-Shell Sound with Wave Turbulence",
  journal      = "ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Conference Proceedings)",
  number       = "4",
  volume       = "37",
  month        = "Aug",
  year         = "2018",
  url          = ""

Other publications in the database

» Gabriel Cirio
» George Drettakis