4554 CPU Hours Spent Analyzing Cloth Behavior
Realism is the ultimate goal for any artist working on a computer animation, but for some materials, realism is just unrealistic. One of these materials is cloth as its many interactions with the human body and itself are extremely complicated and no mathematical model exists to describe them. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University however decided to put the cloud to use, building a massive database on how cloth behaves.
To build the database, the researchers created advanced algorithms for modeling individual frames of cloth behavior on a moving body. Sometimes a transition error would occur, causing the cloth to jump in a physically impossible way. When that happens though, the algorithms would explore the error more, until it was removed and the cloth behaved properly.
When completed, the database of pre-rendered frames was 33 GB in size, making it a bit much for gaming computers. However, by applying conventional compression techniques, the database could be reduced to just tens of megabytes, without sacrificing much in accuracy, making it ideal for future video games. Follow this link to find a video about the research: Near-exhaustive Precomputation of Secondary Cloth Effects.
Source: Carnegie Mellon University