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The operations used for stepping a physics simulation are most commonly:

  • Integrate velocity and position
  • Collision detection and resolution
  • Contact resolution (in advanced cases)

A while ago I came across this paper from Stanford that proposed an alternative scheme, which is as follows:

  • Collision detection and resolution
  • Integrate velocity
  • Contact resolution
  • Integrate position

It's intriguing because it allows for robust solutions to the stacking problem. So it got me wondering...

What, if any, alternative schemes are available, either simple or complex? What are their benefits, drawbacks, and performance considerations?

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1 Answer

The technique I found which has worked best for me over the years is this:

  • Integrate velocity

  • Collision detection

  • Constraint solver (including contact resolution)

  • Integrate position

Apparently this is called 'semi-implicit'. I've found it to be the most stable of all the techniques I've tried. I used this in the physics engine behind Little Big Planet PSP.

Hope it helps!

Cheers, Paul.

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