Doug Rudolph

Wrapping Waves

Posted on February 2nd, 2018

Illusion of alternating sine and cosine waves

Okay, so I lied in the last blog. For this animation, I ended up using vanilla JavaScript again, and the overall experience, to my surprise, was enjoyable. Rather than having to constantly search the internet to port my knowledge from one language to another, I was able to find that zen like state of mind. It has been awhile since I have been able to completely focus on nothing but the problem in front of me. It was nice to see that a lot of what I learned from the first project carried over.

As for the project itself, my goal with this animation was to make it feel like a sine and cosine wave are wrapping around each other in 2D space. Rather than creating an actual 3D environment, I felt that I could rely on the illusion of creating depth through changing the radius of the each circle. By shrinking the radius as each particle goes up, and enlarging the radius as a given particle goes down, the outcome is as if the 2D scene has depth of field.

What’s kind of interesting is that through this, I found out that the illusion for some people is immediately noticeable, and for others, takes some time to really see. What’s also cool is once you see it, you can change the direction the waves are rotating in.

Anyways, this post was more of quick update, rather than a showing off my larger creative ideas.

And as before, stay tuned for the next post.