This example builds a simple Java 3D Application using the Sun utility classes: MainFrame and SimpleUniverse. The example displays a moving sphere, in front of a background image. It uses a texture image and one light to increase the visual impact of the scene.

 import java.applet.Applet;

import javax.media.j3d.Alpha;
import javax.media.j3d.Appearance;
import javax.media.j3d.Background;
import javax.media.j3d.BoundingSphere;
import javax.media.j3d.BranchGroup;
import javax.media.j3d.DirectionalLight;
import javax.media.j3d.Material;
import javax.media.j3d.PositionInterpolator;
import javax.media.j3d.Texture;
import javax.media.j3d.Transform3D;
import javax.media.j3d.TransformGroup;
import javax.vecmath.Color3f;
import javax.vecmath.Point3d;
import javax.vecmath.Vector3f;

import com.sun.j3d.utils.geometry.Primitive;
import com.sun.j3d.utils.geometry.Sphere;
import com.sun.j3d.utils.image.TextureLoader;
import com.sun.j3d.utils.universe.SimpleUniverse;

/*
 * This example builds a simple Java 3D Application using the SUN utility
 * classes: MainFrame and SimpleUniverse. The example displays a moving sphere,
 * in front of a background image. It uses a texture image and one light to
 * increase the visual impact of the scene.
 */
public class SimpleTest extends Applet {
  /*
   * Create a simple Java 3D environment containing: a sphere (geometry), a
   * light,background geometry with an applied texture, and a behavior that
   * will move the sphere along the X-axis.
   */
  public SimpleTest() {
    // create the SimpleUniverse class that will
    // encapsulate the scene that we are building.
    // SimpleUniverse is a helper class (utility)
    // from SUN that is included with the core Java 3D
    // distribution.
    SimpleUniverse u = new SimpleUniverse();

    // create a BranchGroup. A BranchGroup is a node in
    // a Tree data structure that can have child nodes
    BranchGroup bgRoot = new BranchGroup();

    // create the Background node and add it to the SimpleUniverse
    u.addBranchGraph(createBackground());

    // create the behaviors to move the geometry along the X-axis.
    // The behavior is added as a child of the bgRoot node.
    // Anything add as a child of the tg node will be effected by the
    // behvior (will be moved along the X-axis).
    TransformGroup tg = createBehaviors(bgRoot);

    // add the Sphere geometry as a child of the tg
    // so that it will be moved along the X-axis.
    tg.addChild(createSceneGraph());

    // because the sphere was added at the 0,0,0 coordinate
    // and by default the viewer is also located at 0,0,0
    // we have to move the viewer back a little so that
    // she can see the scene.
    u.getViewingPlatform().setNominalViewingTransform();

    // add a light to the root BranchGroup to illuminate the scene
    addLights(bgRoot);

    // finally wire everything together by adding the root
    // BranchGroup to the SimpleUniverse
    u.addBranchGraph(bgRoot);
  }

  /*
   * Create the geometry for the scene. In this case we simply create a Sphere
   * (a built-in Java 3D primitive).
   */
  public BranchGroup createSceneGraph() {
    // create a parent BranchGroup node for the Sphere
    BranchGroup bg = new BranchGroup();

    // create an Appearance for the Sphere.
    // The Appearance object controls various rendering
    // options for the Sphere geometry.
    Appearance app = new Appearance();

    // assign a Material to the Appearance. For the Sphere
    // to respond to the light in the scene it must have a Material.
    // Assign some colors to the Material and a shininess setting
    // that controls how reflective the surface is to lighting.
    Color3f objColor = new Color3f(0.8f, 0.2f, 1.0f);
    Color3f black = new Color3f(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);
    app.setMaterial(new Material(objColor, black, objColor, black, 80.0f));

    // create a Sphere with a radius of 0.1
    // and associate the Appearance that we described.
    // the option GENERATE_NORMALS is required to ensure that the
    // Sphere responds correctly to lighting.
    Sphere sphere = new Sphere(0.1f, Primitive.GENERATE_NORMALS, app);

    // add the sphere to the BranchGroup to wire
    // it into the scene.
    bg.addChild(sphere);
    return bg;
  }

  /*
   * Add a directional light to the BranchGroup.
   */
  public void addLights(BranchGroup bg) {
    // create the color for the light
    Color3f color = new Color3f(1.0f, 1.0f, 0.0f);

    // create a vector that describes the direction that
    // the light is shining.
    Vector3f direction = new Vector3f(-1.0f, -1.0f, -1.0f);

    // create the directional light with the color and direction
    DirectionalLight light = new DirectionalLight(color, direction);

    // set the volume of influence of the light.
    // Only objects within the Influencing Bounds
    // will be illuminated.
    light.setInfluencingBounds(getBoundingSphere());

    // add the light to the BranchGroup
    bg.addChild(light);
  }

  /*
   * Create some Background geometry to use as a backdrop for the application.
   * Here we create a Sphere that will enclose the entire scene and apply a
   * texture image onto the inside of the Sphere to serve as a graphical
   * backdrop for the scene.
   */
  public BranchGroup createBackground() {
    // create a parent BranchGroup for the Background
    BranchGroup backgroundGroup = new BranchGroup();

    // create a new Background node
    Background back = new Background();

    // set the range of influence of the background
    back.setApplicationBounds(getBoundingSphere());

    // create a BranchGroup that will hold
    // our Sphere geometry
    BranchGroup bgGeometry = new BranchGroup();

    // create an appearance for the Sphere
    Appearance app = new Appearance();

    // load a texture image using the Java 3D texture loader
    Texture tex = new TextureLoader("back.jpg", this).getTexture();

    // apply the texture to the Appearance
    app.setTexture(tex);

    // create the Sphere geometry with radius 1.0
    // we tell the Sphere to generate texture coordinates
    // to enable the texture image to be rendered
    // and because we are *inside* the Sphere we have to generate
    // Normal coordinates inwards or the Sphere will not be visible.
    Sphere sphere = new Sphere(1.0f, Primitive.GENERATE_TEXTURE_COORDS
        | Primitive.GENERATE_NORMALS_INWARD, app);

    // start wiring everything together
    // add the Sphere to its parent BranchGroup
    bgGeometry.addChild(sphere);

    // assign the BranchGroup to the Background as geometry.
    back.setGeometry(bgGeometry);

    // add the Background node to its parent BranchGroup
    backgroundGroup.addChild(back);

    return backgroundGroup;
  }

  /*
   * Create a behavior to move child nodes along the X-axis. The behavior is
   * added to the BranchGroup bg, whereas any nodes added to the returned
   * TransformGroup will be effected by the behavior.
   */
  public TransformGroup createBehaviors(BranchGroup bg) {
    // create a TransformGroup.
    //
    // A TransformGroup is a Group node (can have children)
    // and contains a Transform3D member.
    //
    // The Transform3D member contains a 4x4 transformation matrix
    // that is applied during rendering to all the TransformGroup's
    // child nodes. The 4x4 matrix can describe:
    // scaling, translation and rotation in one neat package!

    // enable the TRANSFORM_WRITE capability so that
    // our behavior code can modify it at runtime
    TransformGroup objTrans = new TransformGroup();
    objTrans.setCapability(TransformGroup.ALLOW_TRANSFORM_WRITE);

    // create a new Transform3D that will describe
    // the direction we want to move.
    Transform3D xAxis = new Transform3D();

    // create an Alpha object.
    // The Alpha object describes a function against time.
    // The Alpha will output a value that ranges between 0 and 1
    // using the time parameters (in milliseconds).
    Alpha xAlpha = new Alpha(-1, Alpha.DECREASING_ENABLE
        | Alpha.INCREASING_ENABLE, 1000, 1000, 5000, 1000, 1000, 10000,
        2000, 4000);

    // create a PositionInterpolator
    // The PositionInterpolator will modify the translation components
    // of a TransformGroup's Transform3D (objTrans) based on the output
    // from the Alpha. In this case the movement will range from
    // -0.8 along the X-axis with Alpha=0 to X=0.8 when Alpha=1.
    PositionInterpolator posInt = new PositionInterpolator(xAlpha,
        objTrans, xAxis, -0.8f, 0.8f);

    // set the range of influence of the PositionInterpolator
    posInt.setSchedulingBounds(getBoundingSphere());

    // wire the PositionInterpolator into its parent
    // TransformGroup. Just like rendering nodes behaviors
    // must be added to the scenegraph.
    objTrans.addChild(posInt);

    // add the TransformGroup to its parent BranchGroup
    bg.addChild(objTrans);

    // we return the TransformGroup with the
    // behavior attached so that we can add nodes to it
    // (which will be effected by the PositionInterpolator).
    return objTrans;
  }

  /*
   * Return a BoundingSphere that describes the volume of the scene.
   */
  BoundingSphere getBoundingSphere() {
    return new BoundingSphere(new Point3d(0.0, 0.0, 0.0), 200.0);
  }

  /*
   * main entry point for the Application.
   */
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    SimpleTest simpleTest = new SimpleTest();
  }
}