Prefab3D: Making the BattleCell demo

Demos, News

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Away3D Prefab3D 1.3

Application, Flash, News

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Away3D Prefab3D 1.1

Flash, News

Away3D PreFab v1.1

Just uploaded a new update for Prefab3D, 1.102, and checked my database. It shows that since the first release there are now almost 3000 installs! I was even surprised to discover it was installed on Serge Jespers‘s mac yesterday during AUGXL!

For me, this is the best motivation I can get to continue Prefab3D’s development!

I have changed, added and updated so many things since the first release, that I prefer show to you a few of the latest features available in the application instead of a long history dev list.
I will let you discover the other ones yourself if you haven’t tried Prefab3D yet.

Away3D PreFab v1.1
Pointlight gel map with bump

Away3D PreFab v1.1.
Another variation using different projection settings

Away3D PreFab v1.1
Environment reflection and bump

Away3D PreFab v1.1
The generated map of the above model

Away3D PreFab v1.1
Glow map: This is the first implementation, and in upcomming releases the blending options should be implemented as well, coupled with illumination (affecting neighbours maps)

Away3D PreFab v1.1
Inversed glow map coupled with bump

Away3D PreFab v1.1
glow map + environment map + bump map

Away3D PreFab v1.1
A newcomer: the replicate panel.

Away3D PreFab v1.1
Also new for this release, the new Mirror function.

Away3D PreFab v1.1
The uvmapper in its latest form.

Away3D PreFab v1.1
Also added own shadow rendering, since it takes more CPU to render and is not necessary for most models. You can set it on/off in the prefs panel.

New updates are available on a regular base. So keep an eye on the “check update” button!

Download Prefab3D

Away3D: Loading & exporting data

Flash, News, Tutorials

Hi All, I’m new to Away3D, what is best way to load models into my project?
I often read messages like this on our Google User Group. Many new features for this have been added in the past few months, so it’s time for a closer look at what possibilities Away3D offers at the moment.

Away3D supports 3 kinds of data files:

  • Models from other (3D) applications
  • Models encoded as pure AS3 classes
  • Away3D AWD format

    Supported 3D model formats
    The Away3D engine is able to load, parse and display these 3D/exchange formats:

  • Wavefront Obj *
  • Metasequoia MQO *
  • Md2still and Md2 animated
  • Max3DS
  • Kmz
  • Collada
  • Ase
  • Other formats such as LWO, ACD3 will be soon added to this list

    If you work with 3D applications, chances are that you have either used or heard of one of the above formats. They all hold 3D data and you can load them into another 3D application if it supports the given format.

    Away3D also supports some quite unique formats:

  • Swf
  • AWData (.awd)
  • Fonts

    Swf is not as the name might suggest a loader for swf’s. It is rather a parser allowing you to extract vector information directly from movieclips in a swf and display the extracted vector content in 3D. Here’s an example.

    AWData (away data files .awd) is an entirely new format. This format is the first version of the Away3D native format. It will be a compact, featured and backward compatible format. More on this further down in this post.Transformers: The Last Knight live streaming film

    Away3D  Data only v1
    Same data in various formats. awd data is not compressed yet ?

    Fonts can be used with the Textfield3D class and extrusions derivated from font information, making it possible to embed font outlines in Away3D.

    The exporters
    Getting a model into your project is one thing, but what if you want to go the other way? If you create a tool that creates 3D models – how do you get it back out? Away3D has multiple exporters.

  • 4 different AS3 outputs
  • Wavefront obj
  • Away data (.awd)
  • The AS3 exporters
    Currently you can output to 4 different kinds of AS3 classes. The 2 first ones are the AS3Exporter and the AS3LiteExporter. As the obvious names are suggesting, their output is compatible for Away3D or Away3DLite. These are able to export a whole scene (up to 100k polys whithout having memory issues at compile time). The export is written as a single AS3 class that you can then use directly in your project using standard syntax, for example: new MyExportedClass().

    The third method (a Mesh method) allows you to export a single Mesh description to AS3.  If the source was an animated md2 model, this method will export the mesh animation information as well. This class also features export of single Mesh as xml if you should need that. Note that this methods will probably be removed in futures versions when the AWD format and the other AS3 class exporters get animation support.

    The last is the Elevation2AS3 exporter that exports not only the elevation information, but also creates the bitmap generation data you need for surface tracking.

    Use Wavefront obj to exchange models
    For some projects, it is handy to export the content of your scene to an external 3D editor such as Maya, 3DS MAX, Blender or others. You can use the ObjExporter for this. It allows you to perfectly match your scene in your editor, but also to export dynamically generated objects.

    Away data format
    The new comer into the Away3D arsenal is the AWD file. This format is currently a data only export for static object(s). Like all the other AS3 exporters, you can export a whole scene, but the file doesn’t need to be compiled. It can be embedded, it can be read from remote locations such as databases or simply loaded runtime. Next to a huge size gain compared to standard formats, the format is also compatible with the F9 Away3D (2.4 and higher), F10 Away3D and F10 Away3DLite. It will be extended and developed with this “cross engine” idea for upcoming updates. Mesh animation support for this format is currently under development.

    Away3D is open source, this means that all the classes to import and export are available to you in our google code repository. You also can find additional features for these exports such as material embedding in our AwayAIR package. So you can create your own tools in AIR as well.

    In case you choose to go the easy way and just want to improve your workflow, the latest version of PreFab3D is supporting all these with an extra for the awd format: you can drag&drop the awd files on the app to load them back for further editing or viewing. Of course you can embed your prebaked textures from PreFab3D into your AS3 and awd files.

    Best practices
    Many swear by collada, others by 3ds or obj. The point is that most of these formats are ideal for development purposes but most of them are not very suitable for web because of the extra verbose they hold or like the kmz format, even adding extra cpu/ram costs to decompress the zipped files.

    So if your project is not asking for md2 mesh animation or collada bones animation.
    The best way to avoid loading blues and have much smaller project footprint is to export to AS3 or awd format.

    I hope this little post adresses a few of the questions you might have and will help you to make a (better) choice for a format in your next Away3D project.

    If you need technical support or if you have questions, please register on our our dev group or read our documentation/example section on the main Away3D site.

    Away3D PreFab 1.0: From Scene to Scenic

    Application, Flash, News

    Away3D PreFab v1.

    I have been doing Flash 3D for more than 3 years now, and since day one, I’ve remarked that the workflow is one of the bottlenecks that Flash devs and designers encounter each day. How do you explain to a designer that his designs will not be respected? As a designer with little or no programming skills, how do you deliver to a Flash dev the stuff he needs?

    Away3D PreFab v1.

    With the first release of preFab, I’ve tried to bring some solutions to these problems.
    If you are a Flash designer or an experienced Flash developer working on Flash 3D projects, this application might become your best friend!

    Away3D PreFab v1.

    Release 1
    Today I turn 42, apart from me getting an extra candle, this day was also the deadline I’ve set myself for this first release. So many features still under development haven’t made the 1.0 but as you will notice, there is a little button in the main menu that says: “check update”…

    Away3D PreFab v1.

    Quick start
    I do not want write a long story here, but since I haven’t found the time to add anything yet that looks like a doc or a guide, let me give you just a few hints to get started:

  • To be able to have nice results the uvmapping of your model MUST be unique. Each face of the model uses an area of the map shared by no other faces. You can use UV editor to edit your model as well
  • To get something rendered, your model must fall into at least one of the lights’ falloffs.
    if not, the default scenery ambient value will be used for the model.
  • To make previews faster in Raytrace render mode, there are max width and height settings
  • Rendering speed is directly linked to map size and polygon count
  • Check out the export options.

  • Away3D PreFab v1.

    To do very soon

  • Add doc, help files etc…
  • Metasequoia files support
  • Away3D Lite AS3 exporter
  • Fix some collada’s and 3ds assets loading problems
  • Fix the dragbox
  • In meanwhile, go get it and I hope you’ll enjoy PreFab and find it as usefull as I do!

    Away3D PreFab v1.

    Away3D: BBC Formula 1 circuit guides 2009


    Away3D BBC Formula 1 circuit guides

    After a few weeks of hard work, the first release of the BBC Formula 1 circuit guides for the 2009 season is a fact. I did for this project (you’ll never guess) the 3D part.

    I usually do not publish over my commercial work here, but for once, I’ll make an exception:
    How often do you work with talented creatives that actually do understand Flash, project managers who love their work and a client who wants the best and dares to be innovative?
    Not even talking about the building process that turns out to be one of the most challenging Flash 3D project I’ve ever made.

    Away3D Formula 1

    On the technical side, I could tell you about the editors I needed to write in order to extract data from the delivered highres static models and output the dynamics, the elevation projections, that the 57 tracks generated (19 tracks in 3 tastes will be soon on the site) are pure AS3 and standalone, that they are all between 180 and 220 kb’s, the API to drive the 3D etc…
    Instead, I’ll be short: without the advanced tools available in Away: no way!

    The “Driver’s Lap” part of the application with its vids sync to live data and 3D is for the Formula 1 fans a must see. The video’s are only available for the UK.

    Away3D Formula 1

    For the international visitors like me, the information is sound driven.

    Away3D Formula 1

    No need to say I’m very proud of this piece!

    Monterosa was commissioned by the BBC and brought in the Away Media team to produce the Flash 3D.