AS3Dmod, a modifier library for all Flash 3d engines
Meet AS3Dmod, a cross-engine 3d modifier library for Flash. Sounds cool? Yeah, I am sure it does! Just in case, however, let's see what it does step by step.
3D in Flash is around here for some time now, and it resulted in quite a few engines available. Each engine has some cool features of its own, and sometimes having to choose between them can result in a headache. While AS3Dmod won't solve this situation, it is an attempt to create some functionality that will be available across different engines.
B. Modifier library.
The readers of this blog probably remember the Bend modifier I wrote for PV3D. Well, it is one of many possible modifiers. Classic 3d packages come equipped with at least a dozen of them, which include: taper, twist, noise, skew, etc. Modifiers are basically functions that can be applied to a 3d object to transform it in a certain way. They can be used separately, but when combined they become a very powerful tool. In this, they are much like filters in Photoshop.
Instead of explaining how modifiers work in Flash, here's a short list of some of the possible uses: a sheet of paper, a ribbon, a waving flag, water, cloth, a tree or other plant, a butterfly, a birds wing… They could also be helpful in animating a human face, and in many other situations where animations exported from 3d editors might fall short.
Does it sound cooler now? It sounded to me when I had the idea a few days ago. As you can imagine I was not able to develop anything close to a full featured library in this short time. Nevertheless, I publish what I was able to come up so far, so that you can all see where I am heading. For the moment, here's what's in there:
- a framework for creating static and animated modifier stacks
- 3 basic modifiers: Noise, Bend and Perlin
- plug-ins for the most popular engines: Papervision3d, Away3d, Sandy3d and Alternativa3d
- a simple demo for each engine
- basic documentation
The project is at Google Code. You can do a checkout from SVN or download a ZIP.
In the repository you can find 4 demo SWFs, one for each engine. It features a basic stack of 4 modifiers - Noise, Perlin and Bend x2. You can also compile the project yourself. Just follow the instructions I added in the document class code.
- There is no plug-in for FIVe3D - that is because this engine works in a quite different way and doesn't use vertices which are fundamental to modifiers.
- The Alternativa3d version works in a bit weird way. I think, it is because there's something I don't understand about this engine, but I will be figuring this out.