3D symbols for point data: spheres and beachballs

Needing to make small 3D symbols for point data, spheres in particular, I am using code like that in the ucar.visad package, class ShapeUtility.java, which creates VisADGeometryArray-s by specifiy the
xyz locaiton of every vertex, and a normal for each vertex and face.
See the 3d pyramids in the figure at the bottom of
The VisADGeometryArray and the ShapeUtility code allows the
needed feature of resizing the shape and setting a color. But making a sphere looks difficult, since it is not a simple
polygon with flat faces. Has someone a solution?

Looking ahead, I need to color the sphere in panels (gores) like a
beachball for earthquake focal mechanisms. See
Any ideas?


Stuart Wier