The Shape Matching Element Method: Direct Animation of Curved Surface Models SIGGRAPH 2021

Ty Trusty, University of Toronto
Honglin Chen, University of Toronto
David I.W. Levin, University of Toronto


We introduce a new method for direct physics-based animation of volumetric curved models, represented using NURBS surfaces. Our technical contribution is the Shape Matching Element Method (SEM). SEM is a completely meshless algorithm, the first to simultaneously be robust to gaps and overlaps in geometry, be compatible with standard constitutive models and time integration schemes, support contact and frictional interactions and to preserve feature correspondence during simulation which enables editable simulated output. We demonstrate the efficacy of our algorithm by producing compelling physics-based animations from a variety of curved input models.




  title={The Shape Matching Element Method: Direct Animation of Curved Surface Models}, 
  url={}, DOI={10.1145/3450626.3459772}, 
  journal={ACM Transactions on Graphics}, 
  author={Ty Trusty and Honglin Chen and David I.W. Levin}, 


This work is funded in part by NSERC Discovery (RGPIN-2017-05524), Connaught Fund (503114), CFI-JELF Fund, Accelerator (RGPAS-2017-507909), and the Canada Research Chairs Program. We thank Abhishek Madan, Otman Benchekroun, Sarah Kushner, Michael Tao, Nicholas Vining, and Christopher Batty for proofreading.