Karen Marcelo: Projects: Tetrahedonism: About

About Tetrahedonism

The illustration shows the parameters used by the applet to define and iterate a tetrahedron.
  • L (length) is the fundamtental dimension of the base tetrahedron used in the iteration process
  • P (proportion) controls the aspect ratio of the base tetrahedron, and is the same for both short edges
  • A (scale) is the relative size of each succeeding iteration to the previous tetrahedron - a value less than one makes each succeeding tetrahedron in the series smaller than the previous one, while a value greater than one results in a series of increasing size.

Iterations are generated outward from each of the four faces of the base tetrahedron, resulting in a sculpture of 4-fold symmetry.

The TetraHedonism applet is written in Java using the VRML External Authoring Interface. It interacts with the Browser to receive the parameters entered by the user, calculate the resulting sculpture, and generate VRML 2.0 code on the fly, directly manipulating the .wrl's scene graph.

TetraHedonism uses computer graphics as a creative medium per se. That is, the calculation power of the computer is used to generate the geometry and complexity of the scene, not just to imitate "reality" by byte-intensive representation. Also, because it's a java applet, there is no transfer between server and client machines after the initial load - exploring the variety of worlds that can be generated with different sets of parameters doesn't hog bandwidth.

-Frank Revi

At the VRML Excellence Awards, this got an award...

This was demo'd at the Earth2Avatars conference last October. These are some reviews and coverage on TetraHedonism online at: VRMLSite (scroll way down) and at inquiry.com's VRML Gallery (scroll down).

Frank Revi, inspired by Buckminster Fuller came up with the idea of recursively iterating a tetrahedron for the demo. Frank did the math and ititial static models using AutoCad and 3DStudioMax. I converted it to VRML2 and added more nodes, wrote a Java applet using the External Authoring Interface to change the scene based on dimensions and iterations specified.

Here are images of what you might see depending on the tetrahedron parameters and number of iterations you specify.

What you will need to see this (as of 1/97):

  1. Netscape 3.0
  2. plugin VRML 2.0 browser (Intervista's WorldView Beta 2 or SGI's Cosmo Player Beta 2 or 3)

Once you have all that, check out TetraHedonism for real. This is the beta version -still working on a different algorithm and maybe other features...