Disney Research has a faster way to render realistic fabrics

Computer graphics have come a long way, but there are still a few aspects that are pretty time consuming to get right. Realistic fabric movement that reacts to gravity and other forces is one of 'em and the folks at Disney Research have found a way to make life-like cloth simulations by six to eight times in certain situations. Walt's science department says that using a technique called multigrid, specifically, smoothed aggregation allowed it to make clothing worn by a main character or fabrics that make up the foreground of a scene at a much faster clip. There's an awful lot of science and equations behind the concept (PDF), but the long and short of it is that this should allow for more realistic cloth simulations that stretch and act like fabric does in the real world and even aid in virtual try-on situations.