Bend modifier for Papervision3D
Bending objects is one of the classic features of any 3D package. I thought it would be nice to be able to bend stuff in Papervision3D too.
UPDATE Sept 9th, 2008. The Bend modifier is now part of AS3Dmod library. Use that one instead of the class linked below.
UPDATE June 16th 2008. Check the next post for a newer version of Bend class (demo included).
First, I had to spend a couple of days trying to understand the concept of bending. It is fairly obvious when you see it, but when it comes to express bending with mathematical formulas, it is not. Plus, I am not very strong in math, and that doesn't help :)
Eventually I grasped the concept: bending means distributing all the vertices of an object around a point in space. The closer the point is from the object, the stronger the bend. I will prepare a separate post explaining this theory soon. For now, just play with the demo.
Currently the Bend class only accepts Planes, but I am working on a version that will be able to bend anything else. The source for the Bend class is here. It is a very basic version and the algorithm is not yet optimized, but it should give everyone who's interested a fairly good idea on how it is done. You can also grab the class and use it with your planes created in Papervision3D. Here's a basic use case:
plane = new Plane(someMaterial, 200, 200, 20, 20); bend = new Bend(plane); scene.addChild(plane); bend.bend(Bend.X, Bend.Z, 1, 0.5);
Check the source file for detailed info about the arguments.
In general this kind of transformations are called modifiers and can be organized in stacks. This means that one modifier can be applied to an object, and then another one can be applied to the result of this transformation. For an interesting list of possible modifiers check here (examples are from 3dsMAX).
Modifiers stack is a powerful tool in 3dsMAX, it would definitely be good to have something like this in Papervision3D, don't you think?