Mark Newbold's Animated Necker Cube


screen shot

Gamelan Staff Pick (Educational), October 1996
 
JARS TOP 5%, September 1996
(S/N A100924-9)
 
Net-mom Approved, June 1998


More Java applets here. My Java Notes here.

The Necker Cube is named after the Swiss crystallographer Louis Albert Necker, who in the mid-1800's saw cubic shapes spontaneously reverse in perspective.

The human mind perceives the 2-dimensional shadow of a cube as a 3-dimensional object, but the 2-D image doesn't distinguish the front and back faces. You can perceive either face as being in front.

The Animated Necker Cube applet forces you to periodically switch your perception of the cube. It does this by moving images horizontally and vertically through the cube in a mutually inconsistent way.


The flying dog is Jack.
The jumping person is me.
You can put this applet on your own web page and have your own images moving through the cube. Click here for instructions.

These people have done it (web pages listed in chronological order):


Notes on the Java Applet

The applet begins by displaying moving rectangular beams. A separate thread loads images from my web server while previously-loaded images are being viewed. The images are "transparent GIF's". The black "Necker Cube" is always the same (though I draw its edges in a different order depending on which perspective I am showing).

Some Related Links:


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