Cornell University computer science researchers have developed new algorithms to simulate the sounds of water to correspond with images. Cornell professor Doug James and graduate student Changxi Zheng will present their research at ACM's SIGGRAPH 2009 conference, which takes place August 3-7 in New Orleans. The water simulation is the first step in a wider research effort on sound synthesis, supported by a $1.2 million grant from the Human Centered Computing Program at the National Science Foundation. In computer animation, sound can be added after the animation is completed, but as virtual worlds become increasingly interactive and immersive, the researchers say sound will need to be generated automatically to fit the unpredictable events that users will encounter and create. In addition to fluid sounds, the researchers will simulate sounds made by objects coming into contact with each other. The simulations will be based on the physics of the objects being simulated in computer graphics, calculating how those objects would vibrate in real life, and how those vibrations would produce acoustic waves in the air.
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