Author: Paweł
Comments: 12 comments

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3d page flip animation created using cocos2d framework.
My 3d concept of flipping a page is based on its 2d version. We will still reflect points that are in front of the symmetry axis but we will also modify the z coordinate of these points (see picture 5).
Pic.5. 3d version of page flip effect.
To understand the concept, imagine a cylinder with a large radius which is running on the same path as the symmetry axis. When the cylinder touches the paper, it begins to wrap around the cylinder until it reaches the cylinder’s top edge. After that, the piece of paper which has passed the cylinder’s top edge (actually the grid’s vertices that represent that piece of paper) should behave as if they were reflected across the symmetry axis. So the z value of the moveable points should be between 0 and 2*R (R is a radius of the cylinder).
Pic. 6. Cross section of the page wrapped around the cylinder.
The radius of the cylinder decreases in time.
To make the whole effect even more realistic the radius of the cylinder should decrease from its maximum value to zero in time. Below is a piece of code which does all mentioned stuff. In the code I use Vertex and Point data structures. I did an assumption that Vertex and Point represent points in 3d and 2d space respectively. But it’s fair to treat points as vertices with z = 0. So if you see p = 5 * v; it means that only x and y coordinates take part in calculation.
// time is a value from 0 to 1;
// 0 - begin of the effect,
// 1 - whole page has been flipped
void update(float time)
    const Point A, B', C, D;  // corners of the animated page (except B')
    const float t = sqrt(time);
    const Point P1 = lerp(B', A, t);
    const Point P2 = lerp(C, D, t);
    const Line line = CreateLineFromPoints(P1, P2);
    const Point N = GetNormalVectorFromLine(line);
    const float maxRadius = 0.5 * pageWidth * pi;
    float R;
    if (time <= 0.5)
        // for the first half of the effect keep a fixed value of radius
        R = maxRadius;
        // in the second half decrease the radius from its max value to 0
        const float s = sqrt( 2 * (1 - time) );
        // note that "2 * (1 - time)" is between 0 and 1, so is "s"

        R = (0, maxRadius, s);      // <=>  R = maxRadius * s;

    const float invR = 1 / R;
    const float halfCylinderCircumference = π * R;    // π ≈ 3.14159
    Vertex v;
    for v in grid.vertices
        const float dist = distance(v, line);
         if (dist > 0)
               const Point p = v - N * dist;
              if (dist <= halfCylinderCircumference)
                     const float alpha = dist * invR;
                     const float sinAlpha = R * sin(alpha);
                     v.x = p.x + N.x * sinAlpha;
                     v.y = p.y + N.y * sinAlpha;
                     v.z = (1 - cos(alpha)) * R;
                   v.x = p.x - N.x * (dist - halfCylinderCircumference);
                   v.y = p.y - N.y * (dist - halfCylinderCircumference);
                   v.z = 2 * R;
This is the easiest 3d version of page flip algorithm I can imagine. It’s not perfect. It’s still have artefacts when viewing in slow motion but when animation is fast enough it looks realistic. The best approach to the page curl simulation is to use cone instead of cylinder (see W. Dana Nuon blog for details). But no matter what solid you use, the idea is the same, only equations may vary.
Over 8 years of experience in the design and development of desktop applications, tools, graphics and user interfaces. Worked as a software developer for global companies such as Imagination Technologies and Codemasters.
  • Nicolas Lau

    can u give me the source code including sample?


    • Prosenjit

      Please give me the algorithm, i will implemented it.

  • felix

    Hi, I want source code too.
    Please open it :)

  • saltik

    Can u give me the source code including sample?

  • Ali

    Can you please share the source code?

  • Bala

    Is this possible in BlackBerry Applications?…i need guidance regarding this

  • sb ceress

    Can you share your 3D page flip effect source code ?
    Thanks in advanced

  • thirupathi

    Hi,Can u tel me how to create epub iphone/ipad app…..and kindle book reader app …….please provide code project….

    thanks in advance…….

  • steve


    Can you share your source code?

    Thanks .

  • Dotto

    Hi there, it’s very good job !

    Can you share the source code with me?


  • Jose

    Thats just awesome, great look !
    Is there a way you can share the source code and the example showed in the video? i would be really thankful .


  • Prosenjit

    Please give me the algorithm, i will implemented it for iOS.