Conway's Game Of Life in 3D (version 2)

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Following up on my previous post, I’ve had another play with three.js, trying to push it a little more. I’ve allowed the organism to grow into a 3D grid, added some random cube colours, lighting and shadows:

Conway3Dv2 You can:

Take Conway to the 3rd dimension

First, I wanted to allow the Conway organism to grow into the 3rd dimension. There are many suggested rule sets for this throughout the internet. But in order to see a continuously growing organism, I left the 2D rules unchanged. The grid has been extended to 20x20x20.

Advanced lighting and shading

In order to add some more interesting lighting, I’ve added some spotlights:

light = new THREE.SpotLight(0xff170f, 1);
light.position.set(0, 500, 2000);
light.castShadow = true;

light2 = new THREE.SpotLight(0xffcf0f, 1);
light2.position.set(0, -400, -1800);
light2.castShadow = true;

A spotlight is a point-light that can cast a shadow. I’ve also enabled shadows in the renderer:

renderer = new THREE.WebGLRenderer({ antialias: true });
renderer.sortObjects = true;
renderer.setSize(window.innerWidth, window.innerHeight);

renderer.shadowCameraFov = camera.fov;
renderer.shadowMapBias = 0.0039;
renderer.shadowMapDarkness = 0.5;
renderer.shadowMapWidth = renderer.shadowMapHeight = 2048;

renderer.shadowMapEnabled = true;
renderer.shadowMapSoft = true;


That’s it, feel free to have a look at the demo or read the code. This demo will only work in WebGL browsers as I couldn’t get the lighting to run in a HTML 5 canvas.

By the way there is another example of this on

Thomas Glaser


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Web & Mobile Engineer, Founder, Lean Startup Enthusiast.

tk glaser consulting

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