Exploratories   Spherical Texture Mapping


One of three applets written to illustrate different types of texture mapping. The Spherical Texture Mapping applet uses Java3D to show the graphical ramifications of the mathematics used to wrap a flat image around a sphere model. The applet allows the user to designate a point on the sphere and displays the corresponding point on the image, which is represented on a unit plane. Both numerical and graphical representations of each point are present in hopes that the user will thereby gain a more intuitive understanding of the correlation between them.


The Spherical Texture Mapping applet was developed as a conceptual aid to students learning computer graphics programming and is intended to supplement a coursework segment and/or computer graphics text section on texture mapping.


The pyramid model in the 3D scene can be dragged by the user to specify various 3D points on the surface of the sphere. This updates the numerical representation of the 3D point (in spherical coordinates), the circular marker on the unit plane, and the numerical representation of the 2D point designated by the circular marker. The viewpoint can be rotated and scaled via mouse controls. The pyramid dragger model and axes in the scene can be turned on and off with menu commands, and the transparency of the sphere can also be adjusted in this way. Finally, the image used as the texture map can be changed from the "Other Images" menu.