AS3 Geom Class Exporter for 3ds max to PV3D, Sandy and Away3D

shirotokoro has created something interesting in the view of a pipeline for getting assets from 3d into the new Flash 3D engines with a Geom Class Exporter for 3ds max for PV3D, Sandy and Away3D.

One of the difficulties is the DAE/COLLADA and ASE imports dynamically at runtime in Flash 3d Engines sometimes takes some work to clean up the 3d objects in COLLADA xml or the ASE or 3ds if you are Sandy. But this takes that step out of the process and exports 3d models straight to flash 3d engine object scenes.

This is great for models that don’t’ need to be dynamically imported/parsed (which takes lots of time usually to parse the DAE in flash). I am not sure how detailed or elaborate the models can get as I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet but it is an interesting idea and development but the cat samples he has are fairly complex for a flash 3d engine and they look great. I think this can be used elsewhere preparing objects for 3d in flash as precompiled movieclips already. Maybe even a turbosquid like market for flash 3d. This could be fun.

from shirotokoro via pv3d list:

AS3 Geom Class Exporter is a 3DS Max designed script that allows you to directly export 3D models to AS3 classes.

he benefit is that you don’t need anymore to load and parse a texte file (ase, obj, 3ds).
You just have to import the class and to create an instance, like you do with usual objects like plan, sphere and box classes.

This script is compatible with the following AS3-3D engines :

Away3d
Sandy 3.0
Papervision 1.5

Installation :

Download zip file and unzip in any folder.
In 3DS Max, tools tab, open the maxscript panel and click the “execute script” button.
Select the script. It is now displayed in the available scripts list.
Select it, a new AS3 panel “AS3 geom Exporter” appears.

Options :

– Package : the exported class package
– ClassName : the class name
– Engine : the 3D engine you want to use
– Scale : scale the 3D object
– Swap face normal : with some 3D models, the faces export is swapped, you can fix this by selecting this box.

Here are rendering examples of an object in the following 3D engines :

Away3d
Sandy
Papervision
Download demo sources and 3ds max script

 

Thanks shirotokoro !

SharpDevelop 3.0 (Open Source .NET IDE) w/ WPF and XAML Support

SharpDevelop 3 which can be downloaded from build servers here is looking pretty good for revision 3 of my favorite .NET Open Source IDE and maybe even favorite overall considering it responds quicker that everyone’s .NET tool VS.NET.

The latest revision in builds just got the WPF and XAML tools in there. I tend to not use SharpDevelop for website development but do so for class libraries, apps and maybe forms development on occasion. This might help the layout side of things for the next gen of user interface development in .NET beyond just Expression.

One thing that has been apparent with IDEs as sometimes as they grow in size and scope and try to add more features, it is actually a slow down in some cases. I have been slowed from VS.NET 2003 to 2005. They are great tools but things start taking longer, it seems it should be the other way around.

When I need to just bust out a class library many times I do so in SharpDevelop because it is responsive and quick. I just hope they retain this speed. I unfortunately like to work on many projects at once so my IDE has to be smart about long processes (I curse you pending checkins! In 2004 when in beta VS.NET forced me to external IDE source control in Subversion and TortoiseSVN – much happier now).

XAMLPad right now is a pretty good quick development tools for XAML as well beyond just Expression and VS.NET Orcas Beta.

Be sure to try out SharpDevelop if you have not yet and develop .NET or would like to start. It is a great IDE and has some good extras like converting C# > VB.NET buffers whichcan be extended out to a service.

IronRuby Released, and the Dynamic Language Rising

Microsoft has been busy pushing the DLR (Dynamic Language Runtime) and there is many interesting developments from C# 3.0 to IronPython and now Microsoft released IronRuby public alpha.

Will these languages be treated like J# and JScript.NET? We shall see.

If they perform better than their counterparts it might make python and ruby coders able to take on more platforms and capabilities.

It is still only pre-alpha and missing much but like mono.net, it can have an impact when platforms and languages merge.

Earlier this year, Microsoft assured developers that it would be continuing to build languages on top of the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR). Considering that IronPython had been a success in terms of implementation, the company decided that it would make an attempt at bringing Ruby into the world of .NET. With the help of Ruby expert John Lam, today the company announced that a pre-alpha build of IronRuby is now available. You heard it right, this release is pre-alpha—many Ruby features and libraries have not yet been implemented.

One very interesting aspect of all these DLR languages is that Silverlight Alpha 1.1 supports IronPython. Will it support IronRuby? Silverlight is very fun to code in C# and can be coded in Python as well. This over just AS3 in Flash. However, AS3 is very fun and is based very closely to the Javascript2 spec. Javascript can be argued that it is the most dynamic language and functional language there is that is so widespread in, Javascript 2 could be a big thing. Languages seem to be converging on this point.

For IronRuby fun ScottGu has a great blog post on getting started with IronRuby.

JavaFX RIA Test Added to Bubblemark RIA Benchmarks (Flex/Silverlight/Javascript)

Bubblemark has added a JavaFX version of his bubble animation test that spans now all of the RIA technologies out there. Bubblemark is a great site and has been a great site for comparing animation in the browser. Alexey Gavrilov has kept the site up to date on all versions of Silverlight since when it was WPF/E and it is a nice quick baseline test to check FPS performance across these new vector toolkits and scripting.

My results are very similar to Bubblemarks tests:

JavaFX — 14 fps
Firefox + Silverlight (JavaScript) — 56 fps
Firefox + Flex — 62 fps
Adobe AIR — 62 fps
Firefox + Silverlight (CLR) — 99 fps

Silverlight is not final and is quite light compared to Flex (I wonder if a vanilla Flash9/AS3 export has been done or if it would perform any different), but if Silverlight has a lead on FPS, where FPS is really success of any kit in RIA or vector, then it could be a rough battle. Flash/Flex is really far far ahead due to the browser penetration and the development community but the better performance is always a good indicator of possible success. Plus, Microsoft controls the desktop market and any “benefits” it might give their own kit which includes distribution and performance in preloading or caching.

AS3 APE Physics Engine Recently Updated, New License (MIT) and New Demo

APE an actionscript physics engine and it recently moved from LGPL to MIT license, updated to version .45 and added a new walker demo.  Although the Google group is available there is no RSS feed of releases for this engine so be sure to check back for new releases of APE Physics Engine for AS3 from Alec Cove.

Walk on!

JohnK Flash Ad and Good Flash Use

This has to be one of the best ads I have seen online in some time. If you like JohnK cartoons (Ren & Stimpy creator) check out this excellent Comcast ad by JohnK and his production team.

This is a good example of the right amount of Flash in mixed media content environments. Short, quick and entertaining, and gets the message out. JohnK has always been a good proponent of Flash and using it for web cartoons. The Goddamn George Liquor Program and Spumco (now defunct) were essentially the first online cartoons and web toon shops before even CampChaos, joecartoon, icebox etc.

If you are into illustration and web movies of your toons be sure to check out JohnK at all kinds of stuff regularly.

Right now for webtoons, shows, games, interactives, web based apps there is no match to Flash.

Comparison of Papervision3D and Away3D and Current Flash 3D Engines

mr doob has posted a first away3d verses papervision3D test for the same model and found pv3d to be faster than away3D. Who wants to take the source and test it on Sandy?

Disclaimer: Test can vary on types of content and different systems or browsers to it is not a definitive test just one test, more will be coming and the faster it makes engines the better for adding more content to each project.

Papervision3D (src): 14FPS, Memory: ~8,5Mbytes
Away3D (src): 10FPS, Memory: OPS!
Away3D (CORRECT_Z_ORDER) (src): 5FPS, Memory: OPS!

So far there are a few good flash 3d engines But it will all come down to performance for the best.

The top three are the only ones viable for full screen and projects that can cross into the commercial realm, other pixel level systems like scanline z-buffers in flash are really just tech showcases right now.  The fast and dirty Painter’s Algorithm of Papervision and drawing things the fastest wins out when dealing with software rendering and processor based graphics.  When and if 3d acceleration is added, that will change the game immensly.

AS3 Physics Previews of Motor Physics Engine by Polygonal Labs

Polygonal labs who has the lion share of cool physics demos with their motor physics engine has posted another excellent physics demo.

This demo should be called the Jedi demo  because when you move the particles around it feels like the force is helping you out that is how cool this physics engine is.

Let’s hope this is released soon and has a license to make Polygonal Labs famous, which would be an open source one 🙂

3D Textured Silverlight and Silverlight 3D Engine

Sample Silverlight textured 3d in a pretty slick Vista Silverlight theme. It is a pretty impressive demo that is full screen app and a slight performance test with the 3d in it.

I would love for some kits like papervision3d, Sandy etc to be ported to Silverlight. There are some other early 3d works from bubblemark, a 3D engine recently released in early stages called Balder (source at codeplex), pageturns, and more but it is still pretty young.

Sample Textured Silverlight 3d Vista demo

3D Engine for Silverlight Alpha 1.1

But until Silverlight is available in the market it will hard to justify projects in it unless they are demos or technology show pieces. When it hits around 85% market availability and is finalized (it is currently 1.1 Alpha) it could be dangerous.

3D Flash Perlin Noise Terrains with AS3 and Sandy

Rafajafar posted a great tutorial on 3D Flash Perlin Noise dynamic terrain generations with AS3 and Sandy.

Sandy is a flash 3d engine that has been out just a little longer than Papervision3D. The code for Sandy is very clear and it is a great engine. I have experimented with it and found it to be a bit slower it seems that papervision but it has great tools, including an extra 3ds file importer in addition to the Collada and ASE formats that most flash 3d engines support.

Using Perlin Noise is very common in 3d engines to draw large terrains and realistic terrains for 3d games or simulations. This technique makes it very easy to make dynamic terrains or randomly generated terrains, water effects, fire, clouds, whatever your need.

The demo has terrain generation class that can be used to build the dynamic terrain generation and the perlin noise material movement.

Samples using the TerrainCreator class to make different terrains. This could be used to also make level editors and other components of the game making pipeline in flash 3d.

//Water
ter = new TerrainCreator("MyTerrain", 1000000,
128, 9, 6000, 6000, 10,60,60, false,false, 15,
BitmapDataChannel.BLUE, false);

//Gentle Hills
ter = new TerrainCreator("MyTerrain", 10, 128, 9,
6000, 6000, 10,120,120, false,false, 15, 7, true);

//Smooth Hills
ter = new TerrainCreator("MyTerrain", 10, 128, 9,
6000, 6000, 10,120,120, true,true, 30, 7, true);

//Mountainous
ter = new TerrainCreator("MyTerrain", 30, 128, 3,
6000, 6000, 15,100,100, false,false, 10, 7, true);

Click here for the full tutorial and source files on 3D Flash Perlin Noise dynamic terrain generations with AS3 and Sandy.

Now if we could just fast forward 2-3 years on processor power and speed, or get hardware acceleration for Flash…

3D Materials, Texturing and Mapping in AS3 and the Limits of Flash and Software Rendering

Who’s got the textures and cool chrome shiny 3d objects in Flash? There have been lots of materials work recently from papervision list developers and away3d developers (away3d is a branch of Papervision3D) and recently it is heating up a bit.

Early on on the papervision3D excitement, flash possibilities in 3d with AS3 specifically, much of that was due to 3d in flash but also the ability to texture and have bump mapping, toon rendering/cell shading and other neat effects like baked lighting, faked real-time lighting, video and movieclips on flash 3d objects and animated textures.

But when it comes to environmental mapping and true 3d reflection that might be simply stretching Flash to a limit that might require hardware acceleration but that isn’t stopping some.

I am not sure if environmental mapping will every be possible on a large scale without hardware acceleration. Pushing the limits could help influence Adobe to the market direction. But then again I never thought I would see the level of 3d in flash that we have and maybe in 2-3 years with multi-core processors it will be possible.

Here’s a snapshot of the current materials and environmental mapping (fake and real attempts).

UnitZeroOne first environment mapping /bump mapping:


Some toon renderings from UnitZeroOne

Recent work by mr doob

Wood

Metal

Weird

Weird 2

Recent work by actionscript architect

Perlin noise algorithm to animate texture real-time into water effect

More environmental mapping effects by the away3d materials developer Fabrice. Fabrice and the away3d developers are really taking off with the papervision3d core. I am seeing lots of engine limits tested and some great work at away3d.

Bumpy Meteor

Flat Lighting on bitmapMaterial

Chrome Ball (dont’ zoom in too far 🙂 )

Did your processor melt yet?

I think that for games and flash effects faking it or real environmental mapping will have to be judged by what is needed for your purpose. I think that Flash player on software rendering can only go so far. So if you have real-time environmental reflections and surroundings it doesn’t always make your gameplay better and it won’t make your demo better if it means removing assets in other areas to make up for the performance drain of software rendering and the pressures it puts on the processor or browser plug-in.

You can still make really killer effects with baked animations, fake environmental mapping, faked dynamic real-time lighting and other effects. Flash, nor silverlight, will not be able to match hardware rendered shaders, per pixel lighting and physics anytime soon. But people are making good progress on this. I think it would be great if hardware acceleration were added to both Silverlight and Flash, with that, a brand new massive game market online, and it will be game on!

AIR Application Export Panel for Flash CS3

Grant Skinner has one upped the Flash CS3 AIR application export ability by adding a very useful panel to package Adobe AIR applications.

This is a pretty nice tool as usual from gskinner.  Be sure to check out the panel and all the installation info at Grant Skinner’s blog.

Download the AIRPanel zip file from here 

3D Pathfinding in AS3

The actionscript architect Paul Spitzer has posted two killer demos of pathfinding using A* in AS3/Flash 9 using the Away3D engine (derivative of Papervision3D that is taking off) and you can download the source for both. These demos not only highlight the pathfinding but also provide editing of the graph to be traversed which could easily be made into a game world editor.

Paul adds to some path finding work with the likes of Zeh using Tweener (the best animation kit for AS3 yet) with the bezier papervision pathfinding and the good work going on at polygonal labs in data structures for games and their usage in pathfinding for gaming in flash.

At the actionscript architect’s blog check out the true 3d path finding in all three dimensions, and a 2d based pathfind using A* algorithm in 3d.

Here’s the 3d pathfinding with true 3d (x,y,z) points used in the path.

Here’s the 2d pathfinding with 3d interface.

Paul has been doing very cool vector work from video on 3d in flash using papervision3D, to being one of the first people making demos for WPF and Silverlight such as the Northface Demo.

If you are working on path finding or gaming in AS3 be sure to check out Paul’s work, Zeh’s bezier pathing in papervision and polygonal labs often.