Dancing Tubes

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"Dancing Tubes" is a screen saver based on animated Mathematica tubes.


Click the second of the "time" buttons at the top left to play the animation. Be patient; new displays come up over time. Play with the controls to get many different effects.


Contributed by: Karl Scherer (June 2015)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA




"type" This selects the type of component.

Here are the details (but you do not have to understand them to play with the controls): 1. Line[{{0,0,0},s{a,b,c}}] 2. Polygon[{{0,0,0},s{a,b,0},s{a,b,c}}] (triangle) 3. Polygon[{{0,0,0},s{a,0,0},s{a,c,0},s{0,b,0}}] (rectangle) 4. Cuboid[{0,0,0},s{a,b,c}] 5. Cylinder[{{0,0,0},s{a,b,c}},d] 6. Tube[{{0,0,0},s{a,b,c}},{d,0}] 7. Ellipsoid[{0,0,0},s{a,b,c}] 8. BSplineCurve[{{0,0,0},s{a,0,0},s{a,b,c}}] 9. Tube[BSplineCurve[{{0,0,0},s{a,d,e},s{a,b,c}}],f] 10. Tube[BSplineCurve[{{0,0,0},s{a,0,f},s{a,b,c}}],{d,e}] 11. Polygon[{{0,0,0},s{a,-b,0},s{a+c,0,0},s{a,b,0}}] ("kite") In addition to the variables a, b, c, d, e, f, and s, there are also: 12. rx for rotation around the axis 13. ry for rotation around the axis 14. rz for rotation around the axis 15. g for line thickness 16. h for height (this selects how much the ring is shifted up) 17. r for ring size (this selects the radius of the ring; the petals are arranged along this ring)


"spec" Modifies the specularity to a value between 0 and 1 in steps of 0.1. High specularity means that the object strongly mirrors the light coming in from the (virtual) lamp positioned at the top right.

"number" Selects how many tubes (or other part type) take part in the dance.

"opacity" Controls the transparency of the tubes.

"frozen 1" and "frozen 2" toggler bars Click one of the buttons to "freeze" the associated variable a, b, c, rx, ry, rz, d, e, f, g, h, r, s. This variable will not change over time after the start button has been clicked, but you can change it with the associated slider.

"col1" The tubes show a transition from one color to another color and back. Col1 is the first of these two colors. Click the color swatch to edit the color.

"col2" The tubes show a transition from one color to another color and back. Col2 is the second of these two colors. Click the color swatch to edit the color.

"rc" (randomize colors)

Click the toggle "rc" to let the system create random colors "col1" and "col2".

"bg" Click "bg" to change the background color.


- If you select simple tokens (such as "triangle" or "rectangle"), the dance looks best with a large number of tokens (see control "number" above).

- You can click "rc" (random colors) and "spec" (specularity) while the dance is running.

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