Concentration of light, especially sunlight, can burn. The word caustic, in fact, comes from the Greek καυστός, burnt, via the Latincausticus, burning. A common situation where caustics are visible is when light shines on a drinking glass. The glass casts a shadow, but also produces a curved region of bright light.”


Based on the concept of caustics the project took place.

The idea was to draw using the projection of particles over vertical and horizontal planes and how these geometries can change according to the behavior of the particles.

To do so, a simulation of particles falling like water drops under gravity influence was done in Processing and by the consecutive fall of every single particle, a unique and continuous line was draw connecting them.

The effect then is this geometrical like caustics effect moving over the planes and changing over time.


As the particle generation of set infinite, in other words, every frame a new particle was created, the main concern with the code was the memory consumption after a while. So a “lifespan” modifier was added making the particles to be removed from the process as long as they reached the lower part of the desired canvas (like when water drops fall on the ground).

After the cleaning of the unused particles the lines are created and painted with RGB colors to contrast the different planes they represent: XY plane as RED, YZ plane as BLUE and XZ plane as green.


The result then is this 3D volume created by the particles and the planar projection of its axis colored by the geometrical caustics.

Caustics is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

developed at Master in Advanced Architecture,

in 2016 by:

Students: Andre Resende

Faculty: Angelos Chronis