This Java tip builds a red sphere using the Sphere utility class and adds lights so that you can see it shape. It creates a material for the sphere, creates an ambient light and a one directional light.

 import java.awt.BorderLayout;
import java.awt.Button;
import java.awt.Frame;
import java.awt.event.ActionEvent;
import java.awt.event.ActionListener;

import javax.media.j3d.AmbientLight;
import javax.media.j3d.Appearance;
import javax.media.j3d.BoundingSphere;
import javax.media.j3d.BranchGroup;
import javax.media.j3d.Canvas3D;
import javax.media.j3d.DirectionalLight;
import javax.media.j3d.Locale;
import javax.media.j3d.Material;
import javax.media.j3d.PhysicalBody;
import javax.media.j3d.PhysicalEnvironment;
import javax.media.j3d.PointLight;
import javax.media.j3d.Transform3D;
import javax.media.j3d.TransformGroup;
import javax.media.j3d.View;
import javax.media.j3d.ViewPlatform;
import javax.media.j3d.VirtualUniverse;
import javax.vecmath.AxisAngle4d;
import javax.vecmath.Color3f;
import javax.vecmath.Point3d;
import javax.vecmath.Point3f;
import javax.vecmath.Vector3f;

import com.sun.j3d.utils.geometry.Sphere;

/**
 * This builds a red sphere using the Sphere utility class and adds lights so
 * that you can see it shape. It creates a material for the sphere, creates an
 * ambient light and a one directional light.
 * 
 * @author I.J.Palmer
 * @version 1.0
 */
public class SimpleSphere extends Frame implements ActionListener {
  protected Canvas3D myCanvas3D = new Canvas3D(null);

  protected Button myButton = new Button("Exit");

  /**
   * This function builds the view branch of the scene graph. It creates a
   * branch group and then creates the necessary view elements to give a
   * useful view of our content.
   * 
   * @param c
   *            Canvas3D that will display the view
   * @return BranchGroup that is the root of the view elements
   */
  protected BranchGroup buildViewBranch(Canvas3D c) {
    BranchGroup viewBranch = new BranchGroup();
    Transform3D viewXfm = new Transform3D();
    viewXfm.set(new Vector3f(0.0f, 0.0f, 10.0f));
    TransformGroup viewXfmGroup = new TransformGroup(viewXfm);
    ViewPlatform myViewPlatform = new ViewPlatform();
    PhysicalBody myBody = new PhysicalBody();
    PhysicalEnvironment myEnvironment = new PhysicalEnvironment();
    viewXfmGroup.addChild(myViewPlatform);
    viewBranch.addChild(viewXfmGroup);
    View myView = new View();
    myView.addCanvas3D(c);
    myView.attachViewPlatform(myViewPlatform);
    myView.setPhysicalBody(myBody);
    myView.setPhysicalEnvironment(myEnvironment);
    return viewBranch;
  }

  protected void addLights(BranchGroup b) {
    // Create a bounds for the lights
    BoundingSphere bounds = new BoundingSphere(new Point3d(0.0, 0.0, 0.0),
        100.0);
    // Set up the global lights
    Color3f lightColour1 = new Color3f(1.0f, 1.0f, 1.0f);
    Vector3f lightDir1 = new Vector3f(-1.0f, -1.0f, -1.0f);
    Color3f lightColour2 = new Color3f(1.0f, 1.0f, 1.0f);
    Point3f lightPosition2 = new Point3f(3.0f, 3.0f, 3.0f);
    Point3f lightAtten2 = new Point3f(0.0f, 0.0f, 1.0f);
    Vector3f lightDir2 = new Vector3f(-1.0f, -1.0f, -1.0f);
    Color3f ambientColour = new Color3f(0.2f, 0.2f, 0.2f);
    AmbientLight ambientLight1 = new AmbientLight(ambientColour);
    ambientLight1.setInfluencingBounds(bounds);
    DirectionalLight light1 = new DirectionalLight(lightColour1, lightDir1);
    light1.setInfluencingBounds(bounds);
    PointLight light2 = new PointLight(lightColour2, lightPosition2,
        lightAtten2);
    light2.setInfluencingBounds(bounds);
    b.addChild(ambientLight1);
    b.addChild(light1);
    //b.addChild(light2);
  }

  protected BranchGroup buildContentBranch() {
    BranchGroup contentBranch = new BranchGroup();
    Transform3D rotateCube = new Transform3D();
    rotateCube.set(new AxisAngle4d(1.0, 1.0, 0.0, Math.PI / 4.0));
    //                rotateCube.set(new AxisAngle4d(1.0,0.0,0.0,Math.PI/2.0));
    TransformGroup rotationGroup = new TransformGroup(rotateCube);
    contentBranch.addChild(rotationGroup);
    Appearance app = new Appearance();
    Color3f ambientColour = new Color3f(1.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);
    Color3f diffuseColour = new Color3f(1.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);
    Color3f specularColour = new Color3f(1.0f, 1.0f, 1.0f);
    Color3f emissiveColour = new Color3f(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);
    float shininess = 20.0f;
    app.setMaterial(new Material(ambientColour, emissiveColour,
        diffuseColour, specularColour, shininess));
    rotationGroup.addChild(new Sphere(2.0f, Sphere.GENERATE_NORMALS, 120,
        app));
    addLights(contentBranch);
    return contentBranch;
  }

  public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
    dispose();
    System.exit(0);
  }

  public SimpleSphere() {
    VirtualUniverse myUniverse = new VirtualUniverse();
    Locale myLocale = new Locale(myUniverse);
    myLocale.addBranchGraph(buildViewBranch(myCanvas3D));
    myLocale.addBranchGraph(buildContentBranch());
    setTitle("SimpleWorld");
    setSize(400, 400);
    setLayout(new BorderLayout());
    add("Center", myCanvas3D);
    add("South", myButton);
    myButton.addActionListener(this);
    setVisible(true);
  }

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    SimpleSphere sw = new SimpleSphere();
  }
}