This Java tip illustrates the use of rasters.

 import java.applet.Applet;
import java.awt.BorderLayout;
import java.awt.GraphicsConfiguration;
import java.awt.image.BufferedImage;
import java.util.Enumeration;

import javax.media.j3d.Alpha;
import javax.media.j3d.BoundingSphere;
import javax.media.j3d.BranchGroup;
import javax.media.j3d.Canvas3D;
import javax.media.j3d.GraphicsContext3D;
import javax.media.j3d.ImageComponent;
import javax.media.j3d.ImageComponent2D;
import javax.media.j3d.Raster;
import javax.media.j3d.RotationInterpolator;
import javax.media.j3d.Shape3D;
import javax.media.j3d.Transform3D;
import javax.media.j3d.TransformGroup;
import javax.vecmath.Point3d;
import javax.vecmath.Point3f;
import javax.vecmath.Vector3d;

import com.sun.j3d.utils.applet.MainFrame;
import com.sun.j3d.utils.geometry.ColorCube;
import com.sun.j3d.utils.universe.SimpleUniverse;

public class ReadRaster extends Applet {

  private SimpleUniverse u = null;

  public BranchGroup createSceneGraph(BufferedImage bImage, Raster readRaster) {

    // Create the root of the branch graph
    BranchGroup objRoot = new BranchGroup();

    // Create a Raster shape. Add it to the root of the subgraph

    ImageComponent2D drawImageComponent = new ImageComponent2D(
        ImageComponent.FORMAT_RGB, bImage);

    Raster drawRaster = new Raster(new Point3f(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f),
        Raster.RASTER_COLOR, 0, 0, bImage.getWidth(), bImage
            .getHeight(), drawImageComponent, null);
    Shape3D shape = new Shape3D(drawRaster);
    drawRaster.setCapability(Raster.ALLOW_IMAGE_WRITE);
    objRoot.addChild(shape);

    // Ceate the transform greup node and initialize it to the
    // identity. Enable the TRANSFORM_WRITE capability so that
    // our behavior code can modify it at runtime. Add it to the
    // root of the subgraph.
    TransformGroup objTrans = new TransformGroup();
    objTrans.setCapability(TransformGroup.ALLOW_TRANSFORM_WRITE);

    TransformGroup cubeScale = new TransformGroup();
    Transform3D t3d = new Transform3D();
    t3d.setTranslation(new Vector3d(-0.5, 0.5, 0.0));
    cubeScale.setTransform(t3d);

    cubeScale.addChild(objTrans);
    objRoot.addChild(cubeScale);

    // Create a simple shape leaf node, add it to the scene graph.
    objTrans.addChild(new ColorCube(0.3));

    // Create a new Behavior object that will perform the desired
    // operation on the specified transform object and add it into
    // the scene graph.
    Transform3D yAxis = new Transform3D();
    Alpha rotationAlpha = new Alpha(-1, Alpha.INCREASING_ENABLE, 0, 0,
        4000, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0);
    myRotationInterpolator rotator = new myRotationInterpolator(drawRaster,
        readRaster, rotationAlpha, objTrans, yAxis, 0.0f,
        (float) Math.PI * 2.0f);
    BoundingSphere bounds = new BoundingSphere(new Point3d(0.0, 0.0, 0.0),
        100.0);
    rotator.setSchedulingBounds(bounds);
    objTrans.addChild(rotator);

    // Have Java 3D perform optimizations on this scene graph.
    objRoot.compile();

    return objRoot;
  }

  public ReadRaster() {
  }

  public void init() {

    int width = 128;
    int height = 128;

    ImageComponent2D readImageComponent = new ImageComponent2D(
        ImageComponent.FORMAT_RGB, width, height);

    Raster readRaster = new Raster(new Point3f(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f),
        Raster.RASTER_COLOR, 0, 0, width, height, readImageComponent,
        null);

    setLayout(new BorderLayout());
    GraphicsConfiguration config = SimpleUniverse
        .getPreferredConfiguration();

    Canvas3D c = new myCanvas3D(config, readRaster);
    add("Center", c);

    // Create a simple scene and attach it to the virtual universe
    BufferedImage bImage = new BufferedImage(width, height,
        BufferedImage.TYPE_INT_ARGB);

    BranchGroup scene = createSceneGraph(bImage, readRaster);
    u = new SimpleUniverse(c);

    // This will move the ViewPlatform back a bit so the
    // objects in the scene can be viewed.
    u.getViewingPlatform().setNominalViewingTransform();

    u.addBranchGraph(scene);
  }

  public void destroy() {
    u.cleanup();
  }

  //
  // The following allows ReadRaster to be run as an application
  // as well as an applet
  //
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    new MainFrame(new ReadRaster(), 256, 256);
  }
}

class myCanvas3D extends Canvas3D {

  Raster readRaster;

  GraphicsContext3D gc;

  public myCanvas3D(GraphicsConfiguration graphicsConfiguration,
      Raster readRaster) {

    super(graphicsConfiguration);
    this.readRaster = readRaster;
    gc = getGraphicsContext3D();
  }

  public void postSwap() {
    super.postSwap();
    synchronized (readRaster) {
      gc.readRaster(readRaster);
    }
  }
}

class myRotationInterpolator extends RotationInterpolator {
  Point3f wPos = new Point3f(0.025f, -0.025f, 0.0f);

  Raster drawRaster;

  Raster readRaster;

  BufferedImage bImage;

  ImageComponent2D newImageComponent;

  public myRotationInterpolator(Raster drawRaster, Raster readRaster,
      Alpha alpha, TransformGroup target, Transform3D axisOfRotation,
      float minimumAngle, float maximumAngle) {

    super(alpha, target, axisOfRotation, minimumAngle, maximumAngle);
    this.drawRaster = drawRaster;
    this.readRaster = readRaster;
  }

  public void processStimulus(Enumeration criteria) {

    synchronized (readRaster) {
      bImage = readRaster.getImage().getImage();
    }
    newImageComponent = new ImageComponent2D(ImageComponent.FORMAT_RGB,
        bImage);
    drawRaster.setImage(newImageComponent);
    super.processStimulus(criteria);
  }
}