Date of Award

12-2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Digital Production Arts

Advisor

Davis, Timothy

Abstract

Computer animation, coupled with scientific experimentation and modeling, allows scientists to produce detailed visualizations that potentially enable more comprehensive perception of physical phenomena and ultimately, new discoveries. With the use of Maya, an animation and modeling program that incorporates the natural laws of physics to control the behavior of virtual objects in computer animation, data from the modeling of physical processes such as polymer fibers and films can be explored in the visual realm. Currently, few attempts have been made at the continuum level to represent polymer properties via computer animation using advanced graphics. As a result, scientists may be unable to recognize patterns and trends in a specific polymer quickly and efficiently, and thus, lose time and money commonly required for further experiments. In this paper, the relationship of dynamic quantities, such as velocity, temperature, crystallinity, and tensile stress of polymers, are visualized through speed, color, surface texture, and shape, respectively, with the use of animated glyphs created in Maya. This method ultimately allows users to better understand the properties of complex fluids, such as polymers, exhibited at multiple scale levels in a more aesthetically pleasing and intuitive fashion. Although we represent scientific data, a secondary objective is to present the information from a more artistic approach, as we introduce the continuum level process from an abstract perspective.

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