Message #333

From: Melinda Green <>
Subject: Now with shadows!
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2006 19:51:44 -0700

Dear Cubists,

Don and I have created a version of MC4D that projects a shadow of the
puzzle onto a ground plane. I’ve just now uploaded the result. The
shadows move with the puzzle as you rotate and animate it which I think
gives it a much more physical feeling. It also seems to help to draw the
ground plane though it also works surprisingly well even if it is just
the puzzle and it’s shadow hanging in empty space. I now also draw the
ground plane by default and have changed the default background color to
a sky blue. You can still get the original view if you want by turning
off the display of the ground and shadows and by changing the background
color to gray (RGB = 77,77,77).

Another change I made was to turn on antialiased rendering which gets
rid of the jagged edges. The results are beautiful but there could be
problems. One thing I quickly discovered is that it degrades the
performance even on my modern laptop. I therefore turn off antialiasing
when the puzzle is in motion. You should see a slight change to the
image when rotations and animations stop but overall it seems to be a
good compromise. I’m a little more worried that by attempting to use
this modern Java feature, it might fail to run at all in some older
browsers. I would therefore appreciate it if you would help test the
applet version by trying to bring up in whatever browsers and
operating systems you can and letting me know if you have any problems.

Well I hope you enjoy the new features. I’ve been wanting to implement
shadows for longer than I care to admit.
Thanks Don!!