Away3D 3.6 Essentials

Away3D 3.6 Essentials
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Create stunning 3D environments with highly detailed textures
  • Animate and transform all types of 3D objects, including 3D Text
  • Eliminate the need for expensive hardware with proven Away3D optimization techniques, without compromising on visual appeal
  • Written in a practical and illustrative style, which will appeal to Away3D beginners and Flash developers alike

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 400 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : January 2011
ISBN : 184951206X
ISBN 13 : 9781849512060
Author(s) : Matthew Casperson
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Other, Games, Open Source

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Building Your First Away3D Application
Chapter 2: Creating and Displaying Primitives
Chapter 3: Moving Objects
Chapter 4: Z-Sorting
Chapter 5: Materials
Chapter 6: Models and Animations
Chapter 7: Cameras
Chapter 8: Mouse Interactivity
Chapter 9: Special Effects with Sprites
Chapter 10: Creating 3D Text
Chapter 11: Extrusions and Modifiers
Chapter 12: Filters and Postprocessing Effects
Chapter 13: Performance Tips
  • Chapter 1: Building Your First Away3D Application
    • Choosing between Away3D for Flash Player 9 or Flash Player 10
    • Downloading Away3D
      • Downloading the source ZIP file
      • Downloading the source using SVN
        • Using TortoiseSVN
    • Creating an empty project for Away3D
      • Adobe Flex Builder or Flash Builder
      • FlashDevelop
      • Adobe Flash CS4
    • Targeting the Flash Player 10 runtime
      • Adobe Flex Builder and Adobe Flash Builder
      • FlashDevelop
      • Adobe Flash CS4
    • Creating the initial application
    • Running Away3DTemplate
      • Adobe Flex Builder and Adobe Flash Builder
      • FlashDevelop
      • Adobe Flash CS4
      • The end result
    • Positioning objects in a 3D scene
    • Extending Away3DTemplate to populate the scene
    • Running SphereDemo
      • Adobe Flex and Adobe Flash Builder
      • FlashDevelop
      • Adobe Flash CS4
      • The end result
    • Summary
    • Chapter 2: Creating and Displaying Primitives
      • The basic elements of a 3D object
        • Vertices
        • Triangle faces
        • Sprite3D
        • Segments
      • UV coordinates
      • Creating primitive 3D objects
        • Common init object properties
        • Cone
        • Cube
        • Cylinder
        • Geodesic sphere
        • Grid plane
        • LineSegment
        • Plane
        • RegularPolygon
        • RoundedCube
        • SeaTurtle
        • Skybox
        • Skybox6
        • Sphere
        • Torus
        • Triangle
        • Trident
      • Summary
      • Chapter 3: Moving Objects
        • Global, parent, and local coordinate systems
          • World space
          • Parent space
          • Local space
        • Transformation functions / properties and their coordinate systems
        • Modifying position
          • The x, y, and z properties
          • The position property
          • The move functions
          • The moveTo() function
        • Modifying rotation
          • The rotation init object parameters
          • The rotation properties
          • The rotateTo() function
          • The eulers property
          • The rotate() function
          • The lookAt() function
          • The pivotPoint property
          • The movePivot() function
          • The scenePivotPoint property
          • The pitch(), roll(), and yaw() functions
        • Modifying scale
          • The scale init object parameter
          • The scale() function
          • The scaleX, scaleY, and scaleZ properties
        • Modifying the transform
        • Tweening
        • Nesting
        • Summary
        • Chapter 4: Z-Sorting
          • The painter's algorithm
          • Sorting the scene
          • Adjusting the sorting order
            • The pushfront and pushback properties
            • The screenZOffset property
            • The ownCanvas property
          • A note about Z-Sorting
          • Additional renderers
          • Summary
          • Chapter 5: Materials
            • The difference between textures and materials
            • Resource management
            • Defining colors in Away3D
              • By integer
              • By string
            • Pixel Bender
            • Lights and materials
            • Shading techniques
              • Texture mapping
              • Normal mapping
              • Environment mapping
              • Flat shading
              • Phong shading
            • Applying materials
              • Basic materials
                • WireColorMaterial
                • WireframeMaterial
                • ColorMaterial
              • Bitmap materials
                • BitmapMaterial
                • TransformBitmapMaterial
              • Animated materials
                • MovieMaterial
                • AnimatedBitmapMaterial
                • Interactive MovieMaterial
              • Composite materials
                • DepthBitmapMaterial
                • EnviroBitmapMaterial
                • EnviroColorMaterial
              • Light materials
                • WhiteShadingBitmapMaterial
                • ShadingColorMaterial
                • PhongBitmapMaterial
                • PhongColorMaterial
                • PhongMovieMaterial
                • Dot3BitmapMaterial
              • Pixel Bender materials
                • Dot3BitmapMaterialF10
                • PhongPBMaterial
                • PhongMultiPassMaterial
                • FresnelPBMaterial
                • CubicEnvMapPBMaterial
            • Loading textures from external files
              • BitmapFileMaterial
              • Using the TextureLoadQueue
            • Summary
            • Chapter 6: Models and Animations
              • 3D formats supported by Away3D
                • Exporting 3D models
                  • Exporting from 3ds Max
                  • Exporting from MilkShape
                  • Exporting from Sketch-Up
                  • Exporting from Blender
                  • A note about the Collada exporters
              • Loading a 3D model
                • Animated models
                  • MD2—Loading an embedded file
                  • Static models
                • The problem with init and Init objects
                • Converting a loaded model to an ActionScript class
                • Summary
              • Chapter 7: Cameras
                • The properties of a camera
                • Camera lenses
                  • ZoomFocusLens and PerspectiveLens classes
                  • SphericalLens class
                  • OrthogonalLens class
                • Camera classes
                  • Target camera
                  • Hover camera
                  • Spring camera
                • Summary
                • Chapter 8: Mouse Interactivity
                  • Away3D mouse events
                  • The difference between ROLL_OVER / ROLL_OUT and MOUSE_OVER / MOUSE_OUT
                  • Projecting the mouse position into the scene
                  • Summary
                  • Chapter 9: Special Effects with Sprites
                    • Using the Sprite3D class
                    • Using the DirectionalSprite class
                    • Using the DepthOfFieldSprite class
                    • Using a particle system
                      • Creating the Away3D Stardust initializer
                      • Creating the Away3D Stardust particle renderer
                      • Creating the Stardust emitter
                      • Putting it all together
                    • Summary
                      • Chapter 11: Extrusions and Modifiers
                        • Creating a flag with the PathExtrusion class
                        • Creating walls with the LinearExtrusion class
                        • Creating a vase with the LatheExtrusion class
                        • Creating terrain with the SkinExtrusion class
                        • Reading the height of a terrain surface with the ElevationReader class
                        • HeightMapModifier
                        • Summary
                        • Chapter 12: Filters and Postprocessing Effects
                          • Flash and Away3D filters
                            • The Flash filters
                              • Applying filters
                              • Applying the BlurFilter
                              • Applying the DisplacementMapFilter
                              • Applying the GlowFilter
                              • Applying Pixel Bender shaders
                              • Applying filters to the view
                            • Away3D filters
                          • Render Sessions
                            • Postprocessing with the BitmapRenderSession
                          • Summary
                          • Chapter 13: Performance Tips
                            • Determining the current frame rate
                            • Setting the maximum frame rate
                            • Setting Flash quality to low
                            • Reducing the size of the viewport
                            • Scaling the viewport output
                            • Triangle caching
                            • Level of detail models
                            • Away3D filters
                              • ZDepthFilter
                              • MaxPolyFilter
                            • Offscreen rendering
                            • Model formats
                            • Summary

                            Matthew Casperson

                            Matthew Casperson has worked in IT for nearly a decade in a variety of roles including development and support, and in his spare time loves nothing more than to experiment with the latest web and multimedia technologies. Many of these experiments can be found on Matthews personal website at

                            Away3D Essentials is Matthews first book, but hopefully won't be the last!

                            Code Downloads

                            Download the code and support files for this book.

                            Submit Errata

                            Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


                            - 6 submitted: last submission 14 Jan 2014

                            Errata type: Code page no:220

                            hoverCamera = new HoverCamera3D( { target: sphere, distance: 100, mintiltangle: 5, tiltAngle: 45 }); it should be hoverCamera = new HoverCamera3D( { target: sphere, distance: 100, minTiltAngle: 5, tiltAngle: 45 });

                            Errata Type: Typo Page no:46

                            ...(except for the Trident,Skybox,add SkyBox6 classes)..." i think that "add" is suppose to be "and"

                            Errata type:Code Page no: 243

                            bottom of the page ...(ballonTextures.length -... suppose to read "(baloonTextures.length"

                            Errata type:Code Page no:320

                            "new GlowFilter((" should be "new GlowFilter("

                            Errata type:Code Page no:329

                            view.session=bitmapRenderSession; suppose to be view.session=bitmapSession;

                            Errata type:Code Page no:339

                            minx,maxX,... "minx" is suppose to be "minX".

                            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

                            • Draw primitive shapes such as cubes, cones, spheres, and planes without having to manually construct them from their basic elements
                            • Add eye-catching special effects to your Away3D application
                            • Warp, curve, modify, and bend 3D text to your will
                            • Focus the Camera and view 3D objects from all angles
                            • Improve mouse interactivity in your 3D application
                            • Integrate third-party libraries such as TweenLite and Stardust with Away3D to animate 3D objects and create particle effects
                            • Use sprites and sprite classes
                            • Utilize the power of Pixel Bender for image processing
                            • Export 3D models from 3D modeling applications such as 3ds Max, Blender, MilkShape, and Sketch-Up
                            • Get practical tips on achieving maximum performance in your 3D applications


                            In Detail

                            Away3D is one of the most popular real-time 3D engines for Flash. Besides creating various detailed 3D environments you can also create animated 3D scenes, use various special effects, integrate third-party libraries, and much more. The possibilities of using this engine are endless. But will you be able take full advantage of all these features and make a 3D application that is picture perfect?

                            This is the best book for guiding you through Away3D, and the possibilities it opens up for the Flash platform. You'll be able to create basic 3D objects, display lifelike animated characters, construct complex 3D scenes in stunning detail, and much more with this practical hands-on guide.

                            Starting with the very basics, this book will walk you through creating your first Away3D application, and then move on to describe and demonstrate the many features that are available within Away3D such as lighting, shading, animation, 3D text, model loading and more. With the help of this comprehensive guide to all the information you ever needed to use Away3D, you'll find yourself creating incredibly detailed 3D environments in no time.

                            You begin with an overview of downloading the Away3D source code and configuring various authoring tools like Flex Builder, Flash Builder, FlashDevelop, and Flash CS4. Next you ease your way through creating your first primitive 3D object from scratch, then move on to creating stunning 3D environments with incredibly detailed textures and animations. You will make applications react to mouse events, with the click of a mouse – literally, learn ways to focus your camera and perfect your creation by viewing it from all angles, and take your Away3D application to the next level by overcoming the limitations in default Away3D algorithms. You will also learn optimization techniques to obtain the best performance from Away3D, without compromising on visual appeal.

                            Create stunning real-world 3D Flash applications, right from displaying your first sphere to creating entire 3D cities, with plenty of tips to help you avoid common pitfalls


                            Away3D is an impressive technology, and this book is focused on showing you how to create practical and fun 3D Flash applications with plenty of step-by-step examples, tips to help you avoid common mistakes, plain English explanations of the concepts and techniques used by Away3D, and honest advice to help you understand some of the inconsistencies in the Away3D code base.

                            Who this book is for

                            This book is meant for beginners as well as experienced Flash developers who are looking to create 3D applications in Flash using the Away3D engine. Whether you are using Away3D for the first time or are a seasoned developer, this book will provide you with a solid foundation in taking Flash to the next dimension. It can also be used as a reference guide by Flash developers who are already familiar with Away3D.

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