Wind simulation with modifiers and WOW Engine
WOW-Engine is an Actionscript API to simulate physics in a 3d environment. The code is based on a popular 2d physics library – APE. It offers some very interesting possibilities in 3D animation, and everyone doing 3D in Flash should have it in their toolbox.
WOW engine simulates a physics world model composed of entities called particles. Particles can be connected using constraints and exposed to different forces that make them move around. Some more information as well as a few tutorials can be found on the projects home page.
The basic technique of using WOW and 3D in Flash is to map those particles to objects on the 3D scene, and before each render read synchronize their x, y and z coordinates. But there are other ways too… On the WOW page, here and here you can find some examples of particles mapped not to whole objects but rather to individual vertices.
Animation based on vertices has been my main preoccupation for some time now, so I got immediately interested. Unfortunately those WOW examples come without source code, so I had to figure that out on my own. The demo video above shows the result.
Some quick details: the windsock was modeled in Blender and the textures were baked using the technique I mentioned in my previous post. On the flash side Papervision3D engine is used and a couple of AS3Dmod modifiers – Taper and Perlin.
This is my first experiment with WOW physics engine, but after getting a basic understanding of how it works, I am convinced there is a big potential in combining AS3Dmod and WOW, so more stuff will be coming hopefully!
As usual here's the source code. Please mind that this code is a result of a late night coding session ;)