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Fire-Breathing Dragon Roars to Life


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The first practical technique for recreating the sound of fire, based on its behavior, for virtual worlds has been devised by Jeff Chadwick and colleagues at Cornell University. A combination of two approaches, the method produces low frequencies based on a physical model, using a simulator to solve mathematical equations for determining what a flame is doing at each point in time.

However, significant computational power is needed, which would be too costly to accurately capture high frequencies. Instead, the team uses recorded sound clips to fill in the high-pitched details of the sound of a blaze and synchronizes them with low frequencies. The approach enables the user to control the final result by choosing an appropriate recording.

Chadwick says the system could soon be used to simulate fire in real time. "One of our goals is to be able to produce virtual environments with compelling visual and auditory feedback," Chadwick says. "Recorded sounds are insufficient since a user may wish to interact with a virtual environment in some never-before-seen way."

From New Scientist
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