I wanted to teach my graphics class the basics of ray tracing. It seemed important to use a shape that is in the public domain, so that they could use it as a starting point, and feel encouraged to create their own variations.
And what could be more "public domain" than H2O, the shape of a water molecule?
Below, I've placed the humble water molecule into situations of varying dramatic texture. Each situation provides a way to introduce another use of procedural texturing.
The technical discipline is that everything needs to run interactively in a browser, using nothing but plain old-fashioned Java 1.0.
Simply ray traced
With one band of noise
With three bands of noise
In a cloudy mood