Away3D 3.6 Essentials

Take Flash to the next dimension by creating detailed, animated, and interactive 3D worlds with Away3D
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Away3D 3.6 Essentials

Matthew Casperson

Take Flash to the next dimension by creating detailed, animated, and interactive 3D worlds with Away3D
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849512060
Paperback400 pages

Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Building Your First Away3D Application
Choosing between Away3D for Flash Player 9 or Flash Player 10
Downloading Away3D
Creating an empty project for Away3D
Targeting the Flash Player 10 runtime
Creating the initial application
Running Away3DTemplate
Positioning objects in a 3D scene
Extending Away3DTemplate to populate the scene
Running SphereDemo
Summary
Chapter 2: Creating and Displaying Primitives
The basic elements of a 3D object
UV coordinates
Creating primitive 3D objects
Summary
Chapter 3: Moving Objects
Global, parent, and local coordinate systems
Transformation functions / properties and their coordinate systems
Modifying position
Modifying rotation
Modifying scale
Modifying the transform
Tweening
Nesting
Summary
Chapter 4: Z-Sorting
The painter's algorithm
Sorting the scene
Adjusting the sorting order
A note about Z-Sorting
Additional renderers
Summary
Chapter 5: Materials
The difference between textures and materials
Resource management
Defining colors in Away3D
Pixel Bender
Lights and materials
Shading techniques
Applying materials
Loading textures from external files
Summary
Chapter 6: Models and Animations
3D formats supported by Away3D
Loading a 3D model
Chapter 7: Cameras
The properties of a camera
Camera lenses
Camera classes
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
Summary
Chapter 10: Creating 3D Text
Embedding fonts
Displaying text in the scene
3D Text materials
Warping 3D text
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
Render Sessions
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
Offscreen rendering
Model formats
Summary

What You Will Learn

  • 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

 

Authors

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Building Your First Away3D Application
Choosing between Away3D for Flash Player 9 or Flash Player 10
Downloading Away3D
Creating an empty project for Away3D
Targeting the Flash Player 10 runtime
Creating the initial application
Running Away3DTemplate
Positioning objects in a 3D scene
Extending Away3DTemplate to populate the scene
Running SphereDemo
Summary
Chapter 2: Creating and Displaying Primitives
The basic elements of a 3D object
UV coordinates
Creating primitive 3D objects
Summary
Chapter 3: Moving Objects
Global, parent, and local coordinate systems
Transformation functions / properties and their coordinate systems
Modifying position
Modifying rotation
Modifying scale
Modifying the transform
Tweening
Nesting
Summary
Chapter 4: Z-Sorting
The painter's algorithm
Sorting the scene
Adjusting the sorting order
A note about Z-Sorting
Additional renderers
Summary
Chapter 5: Materials
The difference between textures and materials
Resource management
Defining colors in Away3D
Pixel Bender
Lights and materials
Shading techniques
Applying materials
Loading textures from external files
Summary
Chapter 6: Models and Animations
3D formats supported by Away3D
Loading a 3D model
Chapter 7: Cameras
The properties of a camera
Camera lenses
Camera classes
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
Summary
Chapter 10: Creating 3D Text
Embedding fonts
Displaying text in the scene
3D Text materials
Warping 3D text
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
Render Sessions
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
Offscreen rendering
Model formats
Summary

Book Details

ISBN 139781849512060
Paperback400 pages
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