Computer simulation techniques for cardiac beating motions potentially have many applications and a broad audience. However, most existing methods require enormous computational costs and often show unstable behavior for extreme parameter sets, which interrupts smooth simulation study and make it difficult to apply them to interactive applications. To address this issue, we present an efficient and robust framework for simulating the cardiac beating motion. The global cardiac motion is generated by the accumulation of local myocardial fiber contractions. We compute such local-to-global deformations using a kinematic approach; we divide a heart mesh model into overlapping local regions, contract them independently according to fiber orientation, and compute a global shape that satisfies contracted shapes of all local regions as much as possible. A comparison between our method and a physics-based method showed that our method can generate motion very close to that of a physics-based simulation. Our kinematic method has high controllability; the simulated ventricle-wall-contraction speed can be easily adjusted to that of a real heart by controlling local contraction timing. We demonstrate that our method achieves a highly realistic beating motion of a whole heart in real time on a consumer-level computer. Our method provides an important step to bridge a gap between cardiac simulations and interactive applications.
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