Away3D 3.6 Cookbook

Away3D 3.6 Cookbook
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Invaluable tips and techniques to take your Away 3D applications to the top
  • Reveals the secrets of cleaning your scene from z-sorting artifacts without killing your CPU
  • Get 2D objects into the 3D world by learning to work with TextField3D and extracting graphics from vector graphics
  • Learn essential topics like collision detection, elevation reading, terrain generation, skyboxes, and much more
  • Gain an exclusive and practical introduction to Molehill, the next generation of 3D APIs for the Flash platform - by creating a rotating sphere from scratch.
  • Part of Packt's Cookbook series: each recipe is a carefully organized sequence of instructions to complete the task as efficiently as possible

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 480 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : May 2011
ISBN : 1849512809
ISBN 13 : 9781849512800
Author(s) : Michael Ivanov
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Other, Flash, Cookbooks, Games, Open Source, Web Graphics & Video

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Working with Away3D Materials
Chapter 2: Working with Away3D Cameras
Chapter 3: Animating the 3D World
Chapter 4: Fun by Adding Interactivity
Chapter 5: Experiencing the Wonders of Special Effects
Chapter 6: Using Text and 2D Graphics to Amaze
Chapter 7: Depth-sorting and Artifacts Solutions
Chapter 8: Prefab3D
Chapter 9: Working with External Assets
Chapter 10: Integration with Open Source Libraries
Chapter 11: Away3D Lite
Chapter 12: Optimizing Performance
Chapter 13: Doing More with Away3D
Appendix: Beginning Molehill API
  • Chapter 1: Working with Away3D Materials
    • Introduction
    • Using a single MovieClip for multiple materials
    • Controlling the MovieClip of MovieMaterial
    • Streaming VOD from FMS for VideoMaterial
    • Interpolating material color dynamically with DepthBitmapMaterial
    • Creating normal maps in Photoshop
    • Generating normal maps using Away3D NormalMapGenerator
    • Getting your hands dirty with Pixel Bender materials
    • Assembling composite materials
    • Chapter 2: Working with Away3D Cameras
      • Introduction
      • Creating an FPS controller
      • Creating Camera Depth of Field Effect
      • Detecting whether an object is in front of or behind the camera
      • Changing lenses
      • Following a third-person view with a spring camera
      • Tracking screen coordinates of 3D objects
      • Transforming objects in 3D space relative to the camera position
      • Using Quaternion camera transformations for advanced image gallery viewing
      • Chapter 3: Animating the 3D World
        • Introduction
        • Animating (Rigging) characters in 3DsMax
        • Controlling bones animation in Collada
        • Working with MD2 animations
        • Morphing objects
        • Animating geometry with Tween engines
        • Moving an object on top of the geometry with FaceLink
        • Chapter 4: Fun by Adding Interactivity
          • Introduction
          • Adding rotational interactivity to an Away3D primitive by using Mouse movements
          • Implementing advanced object rotation using vector math
          • Creating advanced spherical surface transitions with Quaternions
          • Interactively painting on the model's texture
          • Dragging on geometry by unprojecting mouse coordinates
          • Morphing mesh interactively
          • Creating a controllable non-physical car
            • Chapter 6: Using Text and 2D Graphics to Amaze
              • Introduction
              • Setting dynamic text with TextField3D
              • Interactive animation of text along a path
              • Creating 3D objects from 2D vector data
              • Drawing with segments in 3D
              • Creating a 3D illusion with Away3D sprites
                • Chapter 8: Prefab3D
                  • Introduction
                  • Exporting models from Prefab
                  • Normal mapping with Prefab
                  • Maintaining workflow with AwayConnector
                  • UV map editing with Prefab
                  • Creating terrain
                  • Generating light maps
                  • Creating and animating paths
                  • Chapter 9: Working with External Assets
                    • Introduction
                    • Exporting models from 3DsMax/Maya/Blender
                    • Exporting models from 3DsMax to ActionScript class
                    • Preparing MD2 models for Away3D in MilkShape
                    • Loading and parsing models (DAE, 3ds, Obj, MD2)
                    • Storing and accessing external assets in SWF
                    • Preloading 3D scene assets
                    • Chapter 10: Integration with Open Source Libraries
                      • Introduction
                      • Setting Away3D with JigLib
                      • Creating a physical car with JigLib
                      • Morphing Away3D geometry with AS3DMOD
                      • Exploding particles with FLINT
                      • Setting Augmented Realty with FLARToolkit in Away3D
                      • Adding Box2D physics to Away3D objects
                      • Chapter 11: Away3D Lite
                        • Introduction
                        • Setting up Away3D Lite using templates
                        • Importing external models in Away3D Lite
                        • Manipulating geometry
                        • Making 2D shapes appear three dimensional by using Sprite3D
                        • Managing Z-Sorting by automatic sorting and using layers
                        • Creating virtual trackball
                        • Writing Away3D Lite applications with haXe
                        • Chapter 12: Optimizing Performance
                          • Introduction
                          • Defining depth of rendering
                          • Restricting the scene poly count
                          • Working with LOD objects
                          • Optimizing geometry by welding vertices
                          • Excluding objects from rendering
                          • Image size consideration
                          • Important tips for performance optimization
                          • Chapter 13: Doing More with Away3D
                            • Introduction
                            • Moving on uneven surfaces
                            • Detecting collisions between objects in Away3D
                            • Creating cool effects with animated normal maps
                            • Creating skyboxes and their textures
                            • Running heavy scenes faster using BSP trees

                              Michael Ivanov

                              Although initially dreaming of becoming a historian, in the middle of his undergraduate studies in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Michael already understood that his real passion is computers. Today he has been a professional Flash developer working in the field of web and game development for more than 5 years .Being a researcher by nature with a strong hunger for technological exploration he constantly broadens his professional knowledge by exploring a wide range of technologies from different fields of computer science where real-time 3D engines are of primary interest. For the past two years Michael has been working for Neurotech Solutions Ltd, which is a rapidly growing Israeli startup bringing revolutionizing solutions in the field of research and treatment of ADHD, as lead programmer. Michael led the development of unique ADHD training game programs, which are based on the Adobe Flash platform powered by open source 3D libraries such as PV3D and Away3D. Although in everyday life he works mostly on RIA and desktop application development, his true passion is 3D graphics and game programming. In his little spare time Michael works with such technologies as Java3D Epic's UDK, Unity3D, and wide range of Flash open source 3D libraries from which Away3D is his favorite .Michael is a zealous promoter of cutting-edge 3D technologies, especially those that are open source, and misses no opportunity to speak on these subjects at local game industry events and conferences. Born in Russia, today Michael has lived and worked in Israel for more than 12 years. When he is not writing a code he enjoys playing around with his three-year old son David as well as reading history book and running. You can find him in the Web on his personal blog, or as an active member of the Away3D developers community group at:
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                              Sample chapters

                              You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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                              What you will learn from this book

                              • Learn how to prepare and get into Away3D external models of diverse formats (DAE, MD2, 3DS, Obj)
                              • Manage your assets by loading 3D models right from the database via AMF binary stream or compressing them into SWF resource containers
                              • Have fun with special effects such as geometry explosions, 3D clouds, and sound visualization
                              • Rig characters in 3DsMax and learn how to control it in Away3D
                              • Animate with Tween engines and Away3D generic tools
                              • Dive into 3D math by learning advanced interactivity concepts like virtual trackball, moving objects in 3D space based on mouse input, and how to create a fully interactive vehicle
                              • Transform 2D objects into the 3D world by learning to work with TextField3D and extracting graphics from vector graphics
                              • Optimize your application implementing such techniques as depth of rendering, selective rendering, LOD Objects, and the low poly modeling approach
                              • Explore Prefab, and see how it helps to speed up the development process
                              • Get to know essential 3D terminology , such as normal maps, light maps, texture baking, and UV Mapping and how to create these assets
                              • Discover the secrets of cleaning your scene from z-sorting artifacts without killing your CPU
                              • Integrate external libraries like JigLibFlash, FLINT, BOX2DFlash, FLARToolkit, and more
                              • Get introduced to Away3DLite- lightest and fastest Away3D junior brother on the market
                              • Skin your geometry with PixelBender shaded materials and learn how to set a video from Adobe FMS as a source for Away3D VideoMaterial
                              • Manipulate Away3D cameras and learn how to set up first- and third-person controllers, get introduced to advanced camera transformations, and discover the power of Quaternions
                              • Learn what BSP trees really are and how to use them for creating complex geometry indoor scenes with a minimal impact on performance

                              In Detail

                              Three dimensions are better than two—and it's not a secret anymore that 3D is here to stay. Gone are the days when Flash was just used for 2D animations. In the last few years online Flash content has undergone a revolution with the introduction of real-time 3D engines for Flash. Away3D is the big daddy of them all—which makes it the ultimate resource for top-rated 3D content development and for powering today's coolest games and Flash sites. Away 3D 3.6 Cookbook is your answer to learning all you need to take your Flash or Away3D skills to the next level— and having fun doing it.

                              This book is your practical companion that will teach you more than just the essentials of Away3D, and will provide you with all the tools and techniques you need to create a stunning 3D experience. You will find recipes targeting every possible field related to Away3D, 3D development pipelines, and best practices in general. You will find practically relevant content exploring advanced topics, which will clear your way to developing cutting edge applications—not to mention saving hours of searching for help on the internet.

                              The recipes in this book will teach you diverse aspects of 3D application development with Away3D. They will guide you through essential aspects like creation of assets in external programs and their integration into Away3D, working with material, animation, interactivity, special effects, and much more. Each topic is packed with recipes targeting different levels of complexity so that even experienced Away3D developers will find a lot of useful and unique information.

                              By the time you are done with this book, you'll be creating your own awesome Away 3D applications and games in less time than you can say "design".


                              The book consists of recipes, each of which delivers a detailed solution to a specific problem scoped inside a broader topic of the chapter. Each recipe contains a detailed guide of what you need to set up for the solution to work, the full example code, rendered images, and step-by-step explanations so that you will be able to fully understand the mechanics of the program. Many recipes don't stop at giving only one solution to the problem but also suggest alternative or more advanced approaches to the same problem giving you much a broader set of options in your development process.

                              Who this book is for

                              The book is written for experienced Flash developers who want to work with the Away3D engine as well as for those who are already acquainted with the engine but wish to take their skills to the next level.

                              Basic knowledge of Away3D and familiarity with ActionScript 3.0 and OOP concepts is assumed.

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