Modelling a Tear Drop

Written by Paul Bourke
February 1995

Sample C code

The is following describes the parametric equations which give rise to an approximate model of a drop of water, for example, a tear drop. Rendered examples are shown on the right.

The equations as functions of longitude phi and latitude theta are:

When theta is 0 there is a discontinuity at the apex where (x,y,z) = (0,0,1)


Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the binding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I cried, than before - more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.
Charles Dickens, Greate Expectations

Glass model

©2002 Rolfe A. Leary

Glass works by Glas-Smedjen
Andrew J. Brown & Nanna Backhaus Brown


World Trade Center Memorial

The inspiration for an entry to the World Trade Center Memorial Competition by Peter Taylor Ernest (Architect) and Rolfe Leary.



Glob tear drop

Graphics by Paul Bourke
March 2003
0.5 x5 + 0.5 x4 - y2 - z2 = 0

Piriform tear drop

Graphics by Paul Bourke
March 2003
x4 - x3 + y2 + z2 = 0