3D magic cube viewer

Newer version available

Please note: there is a refined version of this Java applet (developed in collaboration with Greg Turner) where you can view magic cubes from order 3 to order 12 in one window, change the cube's foreground and background colours, turn numbers on and off, and move it in 3D space (resize your window to see the controls). Future versions are planned to allow users to upload new magic cubes.

Recently, Greg Turner rewrote the magic-cube generating part of cubeLife using processing.js, which may be publicly available in some form at some point in time.

About this applet

Click on the thumbnails above to view 3D visualisations of magic cubes, using a Java applet designed in collaboration with and written by the late Ben Daglish, a friend of mine (programmer and musician).

Press the 'n' key to switch numbers on and off (orders 3 and 5 have them on by default). Click once in in the applet window and wait a few seconds).

To rotate the patterns click and drag in the applet window.

The red animation on the order 3 and 4 cubes traces the magic line created by joining all points in sequence from first to last. Orders 3 and 4 have an elementary perspecive effect to enhance depth, but orders 5 to 9 are shown in 1-pixel line view because otherwise the pattern becomes obscured. If you press 's' a starfield is turned on or off (I'm not conviced, but Ben insisted, and it does create a Borg Cube effect...

The foundations of cubeLife

If you're interested in 2D magic squares and have an old Apple Mac (System 6.8 - 9 or Classic on OS X) you can download the magic square application (zip file or .sit file) I wrote - you'll need HyperCard Player (amazingly, still available from Apple), if it's not already on your old/classic Mac. In a similar manner to the cube applet, it draws the patterns formed by magic squares and is a handy method of storing and examining the magic lines drawn by the three main classes of square (I'm working on a javascript-based version). If you want more information on the subject or have a particular inquiry, the links on Harvey Heinz's excellent pages on number patterns is a good place to start.

3D images of magic cubes are the departure point for my digital artwork CubeLife, where the images mutate through interaction with a heartbeat monitor. You can view stills from an early adaptation of this applet or go straight to a QuickTime movie of the same images in sequence (no order 5 cube at that stage). The Java for the artwork was written by Greg Turner, from my rough pseudocode. An image from another version shows several cubes in various colours, one of them (in blue) malformed because part of the integer sequence was missing. I'm archiving material connected with this process, and preparing background research material on the cultural interpretation of number at the dedicated site for the project cubelife.org.

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