Yin Yang Challenge

john's Avatar


29 Jul, 2021 10:06 PM

YouTube has a nice tutorial that shows how to make a yin yang symbol using only ten nodes:


The result, shown in the attached screenshot, is a great way for beginners to get a feel for NodeBox. Now here is a challenge for more advanced users:

Can you find a way to create the exact same symbol from scratch (no fonts or SVGs) using only SEVEN nodes?

Give it a try! The first one to post an answer will have the admiration of the entire NodeBox community.

Give up? I have attached one solution as a zip file.

I think these "minimum node" puzzles make nice brain teasers. If anyone out there can come up with another one, please post it here!


  1. 1 Posted by Eugene Chekhov on 23 May, 2023 02:09 PM

    Eugene Chekhov's Avatar

    Thank you, John!

    I did not know about this possibility of using the "make springs" node, that's very interesting.

    I made a small explanation in the form of a screenshot so that this method is more understandable for beginners:)

  2. 2 Posted by edgeofinnerspac... on 06 Jun, 2023 06:44 AM

    edgeofinnerspace's Avatar

    hey this was a fun project.
    6 nodes fellas. read em and weep. i think its possible to do it in 5 but i ran out of time tonight. cheers!

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by john on 11 Jun, 2023 09:43 AM

    john's Avatar


    I'll be damned. You did it in six nodes! It was clever to use the copy node that way, and truly ingenious to use colorize nodes like that. Well done!

    Thanks also to Eugene for producing that helpful diagram of my (now second best) solution.

    Hats off to you both! I wonder if anyone would like to create a new challenge like this. Any takers?


  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by john on 11 Jun, 2023 10:19 AM

    john's Avatar


    Inspired by edgeofinnerspace's technique, I found a way of making the yin yang symbol with ONLY FIVE NODES! Each node is a different type. And I do NOT need to use a combine node.

    I zipped the solution (attached) so you can try to figure it out yourself before peeking at the answer.

    I am amazed you can do this in five nodes. I can't imagine doing it in any fewer nodes (with no fonts or SVGs).

    Bask in amazement!


  5. 5 Posted by edgeofinnerspac... on 13 Jun, 2023 06:12 AM

    edgeofinnerspace's Avatar

    Ok, nicely done. Here's a challenge: using nodebox as strategy/percent chance calculator for various card games. This came to mind because i have a buddy who is really good at poker and I would like to play but I never learned to. I just find the concept of the "bluffing" to be really interesting. And that it's also a level of skill not only gambling.

    So what about:
    Use nodebox to "deal cards to "x" number of hands, one of them being your own. Using these visible cards, calculate your chances for different outcomes based on how many other hands were dealt? Have an option of revealing any number of the other hands up front to help understand the cards distribution and how it affects the chance of certain hands and outcomes!

    BONUS: rainman style card counter.

  6. 6 Posted by Eugene Chekhov on 05 Jul, 2023 04:34 PM

    Eugene Chekhov's Avatar

    I collected all the versionsin the project on Nodbox Life:
    https://nodebox.live/eugenechekhov/test001 (is it possible to change project name here?).

    @edgeofinnerspace , unfortunatly i can't open your project file, it seems like something wrong with archive... And regarding your challenge, how about your version? :)

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by john on 05 Jul, 2023 11:44 PM

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    This is very cool! Thanks for creating that interactive history of the yin yang challenge in Nodebox Live. I wonder who will see it. Are you still doing YouTube tutorials? If so, maybe you could do a YouTube piece about this.

    Sorry, I don't understand what you mean about changing the project name. Change what project name? Change it where? Could you rephrase?

    As you know, I also made an animation showing how the 5-node method work and posted it on Instagram. Attaching a copy of the video here for posterity.

    I also agree with you that if @edgeofinnerspace is serious about his new challenge, he should begin by offering at least an initial version of his own.


    My apologies for not responding to your previous note until now. I think your challenge is a little too ambitious and not as well-defined as it could be. You can calculate probabilities without doing simulations, so not clear if you are more interested in the calculations or creating an interactive simulation (which is hard to do in Nodebox). Designing a UI to support that interaction would be a formidable and interesting challenge on its own. Even just representing the cards (if you want to represent them) would be a complex challenge.

    If you are serious about this challenge, in addition to providing an initial solution of your own, I would advise scaling it WAY down to something much simpler. You could begin by challenging people to draw the 52 cards from scratch - or even just the four suits (diamond, heart, club, spade). Even just making a heart from scratch is an interesting challenge on par with drawing a yin yang symbol.

    If you do want to pursue this, please start a new thread in the forum!

    Thanks to everyone! This has been a great success.


  8. 8 Posted by edgeofinnerspac... on 06 Feb, 2024 04:45 AM

    edgeofinnerspace's Avatar

    @Eugene Chekhov

    i think it could be because i just appended ".zip" to the end of the file name and it isnt actually a zipped file. sorry bout that!

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