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Away3D 3.6 Cookbook

Michael Ivanov

Over 80 practical recipes for creating stunning graphics and effects with the fascinating Away3D engine
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849512800
Paperback480 pages

About This Book

  • 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

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.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Working with Away3D Materials
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
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
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
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 5: Experiencing the Wonders of Special Effects
Exploding geometry
Creating advanced bitmap effects using filters
Creating clouds
Visualizing sound in 3D
Creating lens flair effects
Masking 3D objects
Chapter 6: Using Text and 2D Graphics to Amaze
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 7: Depth-sorting and Artifacts Solutions
Fixing geometry artifacts with Frustum and NearField clipping
Removing artifacts from intersecting objects
Solving depth-sorting problems with Layers and Render Modes
Chapter 8: Prefab3D
Exporting models from Prefab
Normal mapping with Prefab
Maintaining workflow with AwayConnector
UV map editing with Prefab
Creating terrain
Generating light maps
Chapter 9: Working with External Assets
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
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
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
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
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

What You Will Learn

  • 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".


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