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Resources: ‘Jelly’ sphere

The Flash animation on the right, of which two iterations are shown, was initially created using Papervision3D, and used to grace the main page of the Mousepickle website.

It depicts a ‘jelly’ sphere or bubble; it demonstrates one way in which simple algorithms, giving only first-order approximations to real-world jelly bubbles, can generate quite sophisticated-looking effects.

The sphere itself is generated by recursively quartering the faces of a platonic solid, with every new vertex being normalised on each iteration, to the surface of a bounding sphere. Thanks to Tartley for the timely supply of some icosahedron vertex coordinates; it’s a starting point that gives a nice even distribution to the vertices of the finished body.

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Clicking on the lower of the two movies will add fresh ‘spikes’ to the surface, each of which will then propogate around the sphere surface in a wave.

You can view the files in a full browser window by clicking here or here.

The underlying modelled sphere formed the basis for the Tinkerball application for iPhone® and iPad®.

Link to the App Store where you can buy Tinkerball