A rubber cube is… a cube yes, but not your everyday kind of cube ! Also called « drunken cube », this effect shows a rotating 3D cube that goes distorting as if I was made of melting rubber or was going liquid. Somehow this is a combination between a 3D object and a distorter.

I searched the web for a while until I stumbled on what is supposedly, at least on Atari STf, the first attempt at producing this effect. Presented as a « premiere » it can be seen in the 1993  Traou’n int ket bet graet ben breman demo by Adrenaline (hard to tell tho who actually coded it first as you can read below).

Tadaa it’s a rubber cube and you’ve never seen it before !

I would say that this effect is pretty cool and unlike others like shadebobs it managed to evolve so that today it still looks fresh and interesting. For instance in the 1993 Brace demo by Diamond Design you can spot a very stylish and colorful rubber cube.

Add nice colors, a background and it looks new at once !
As the water level rises up the basic cube turns into a rubber cube. A nice idea seen in the 1992  Cozmic Jam demo by Imagina.

What’s nice about the rubber cube is that you can combine it with another effect. After all a cube is basically nothing more than a 3D object isn’t it ? Then why not add a texture and make it a mapped cube as in 1993 Rising Force demo by Holocaust  ? :

Behold the next gen rubber cube  !

Indeed the next generation of rubber cubes fully embraced the wave of « new school » effects (as opposed to « old school » being of the early generation from the 80s till mid 90s). This is how this effect managed to live a new life thanks to the uprising of mapping, among others.

This cube just looks awesome ! Watch the video taken from the 2003  Fantasia  demo by Dune and Sector One right below.

Now shake it baby, yeah shake it ! Let’s have a look at a rubber cube first with a short excerpt taken from the 2003 Illusion demo by Dune :

Then we move on with a mapped rubber cube moving all around the screen like wild. And there is a lot more to be enjoyed from the2003 Fantasia demo by Dune and Sector One :

Last but not least we have to thank the coder of Checkpoint for giving us another improved variation of a rubber cube in the 2014 Thunderdome demo. Not only the cube is mapped but also light sourced (not sure this is bumpmapping), that is to say that light creates reflections and shadows over the cube but better check it out by yourself  :

 

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