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Task Fall 2000


Started as a uni project, the first working lava lamp demo of which was nicknamed the blobulator [1] [2] Quote:

As a child, Ilya, the creator of LavaLamp3D was always fascinated with lava lamps. His first memory of seeing a lava lamp was at a restaurant in Kiev, Ukraine, where the patrons sat at cozy little tables, each of which was inside a huge wine-cask. Lava lamps with yellow liquid and red lava provided the illumination. The experience must have had some subconscious effect, since in 2001, as a senior at college, he decided to make a lava lamp for his final project in computer graphics. Although some people thought it would be impossible to do, he and his good friend Julien came up with the idea of simulating the lava with particles and rendering a smooth surface over them. This is how the first 3d lava lamp, which was originally called "the blobulator" looked:

Screen saver August 20, 2004

Project was released online as shareware and as a paid piece of software.[1] Quote:

A few years later, Ilya was feeling bored and aimless, and decided to resurrect the lava lamp project. His artistically inclined and observant friend Miru pointed out all the ways in which LavaLamp3D didn’t look like real lava lamp. With that constructive criticism in mind, and the desire to turn LavaLamp3D into high-quality software, Ilya went to work. After many, many sleepless nights, he was able to come up with algorithms that allowed simulating not just five or ten but hundreds of particles, and gave the lava lamp a more conventional shape with better lighting. When the program was ready, his old elementary school friend Charles helped build a professional web site, and today, we hope you are enjoying the result of our efforts on your own desktop.

Touch screen 2006

Project was ported onto a proof of concept touchscreen display.[3][4]

Valve source particle benchmark late 2006

Picked up by valve, the technology used to power his lava lamp rendering project was morphed into a demonstration particle for the source particle benchmark and the library was named blobulator after the first working lava lamp above.

Directed design experiments November 2007 – February 2008

The library was used in the directed design experiments to power a creature that would morph into different shapes allowing it to climb, go into grates, split up and reform from damage and absorb enemies.

Thanks to an I3d presentation(February 15 - 17, 2008)[5] and it’s release of a publication[6][7], we know what this Blob monster looked like and a little bit more about how it’s internals worked, unfortunately only the images are available and the “supplied files” for the video are not present.

ILava Phone app December 4th 2008

Project was updated to work on phones


The technology seems to have gained some use in hl2 ep3 development with the “weaponizer” being made reference to in portal 2, it’s sounds apparently being reused for the in-development paint gun.[8] [9]

Portal 2

The technology sees retail use to render the blobs forming the paint mechanic in portal 2, the library was updated and optimised a huge amount during this time allowing for efficient rendering on both pc and consoles through multithreading and other techniques. these blobs would have been first used with the paint gun while it was being developed before being dropped in favour of utilizing the paint itself with the portal gun rather than having a separate gun.