AS3 Flash Isometric Game Engine Released – FFilmation 1.0

The FFilmation AS3 Flash Isometric Engine has been released into the wild.  Jordi Ministral has been generous to watch his creation grow and evolve with the help of the open source community and the flash community is one of the best open source communities out there even though the core (adobe flash) is still closed. Open sourcing is one of the best ways to market test your skills really and this engine has much anyone can learn in making isometric engines for flash. You can see our first post on this great engine here.

Here’s a peek at the classes in the API:

All Classes


Get your game on!

AS3 Nascar Game By mr. doob – AS3 Flash Library Mashup

I have been one upped by mr. doob! I did a little nascar like RC pro am like prototype in march ’07 when the pv3d kit showed up on my screen and I was hooked like most suceptible flashers who have longed for 3d in flash! Only my version is like Nintendo64 and his is like xbox360 with updated effects and physics kits and some doob magic. All these are based off of, of course the original race car driver in Papervision and its creator Carlos Ulloa (Adobe should be paying this man).

To the feature! This is a sweet game by mr. doob, called burn and brag for Nascar.

Now I don’t’ particularly like Nascar all that much but who doesn’t like to peel out to some fiddlin’? I mainly do Nascar stuff because it is highly marketable and like the only answer most ad agencies have for getting the southern us markets it seems, that and c-o-u-n-t-r-y mu-si-c (must be said at a slower rate).

But I digress, this is a perfect mix of advertisment, game play, fun and experience. It is fast, simple, and playable. Exactly the simplicity and smoothness needed of gameplay and playback.  Great ad work but it also gives something fun to do and best of all it is built in AS3 flash with a plethora of libraries from the flash as3 community.

The game platform is emerging fantastically in the AS3 market. mrdoob used these kits to build this:

It would be cool to see a post on how he did the replays with tweener – I imagine just a series of points collected with car state (current position state) and then just play them back with a call back or time delay. You’d have to capture alot for smooth playback without laggy movements.  I am working on multiplayer games with this same issue for a current project.

Game on! The question is when will this be SOTD or SOTM at

Flash/Flex Application Proofs: Adobe Launches Photoshop Express

If there ever was a proof that more intense applications like word processors and image manipulation software are capable of being built and some aspects even better than their desktop counterparts with flash and flex then Scrapblog, Buzzword, Picnik and Photoshop Express are that (in fact Photoshop Express is a direct competitor with Picnik it seems…).  

Adobe launches Photoshop Express today to add to that set that are very usable, quality applications built with Flash9/Flex and most of all actionscript 3 (as3) and the new AVM2. These apps just weren’t possible with AS2 and with Flex they can be easily managed codebases (one major problem with old skool flash actionscript is it was throwaway many times because it was so scripter specific and full of optimizations just to barely perform – now these are actual code bases made by programmers and you see the results).  The great thing about buzzword, picnik and photoshop express are that they are easy to use. Flash/Flex make sense in their case and they tend to mimic and use very good usability patterns.There is no way an AJAX app (even though I build lots of those too) can come close to this integration of style, usability and expected results on all browsers.One important point of this article on mentioning this:

The service will go live in beta test mode on Thursday. Mack said that the company intends to use the test period as a way garner feedback from customers.Adobe intends to offer more features to consumers who pay a yearly fee. Some planned features include a printing service, more storage, support for audio and other media, and the ability to read additional image file types (the service works with .JPGs now.)Adobe also plans to build an offline client using AIR (the Adobe Integrated Runtime) so that people can edit photos offline, executives said.

A couple things here.  First there is going to be an AIR version for the same experience on the web and the desktop for a major application.  Second, flash IS limited to certain file types JPG, SWF, PNG, GIF, and a few others for sound and video.  So why an online photoshop is great, it is still only web based photos, simple edits, etc.  Photographers and users above 72dpi in the 300 600 ++ ranges will still be using Photoshop.  Users with EPS,RAW, etc will still have to use Photoshop until Adobe figures a way to either proxy an image and handle the real source (be it another format) behind the scenes.  Or, improve the flash player to handle other raster and vector image types.A project a while back we had this issue where it was a approval system of media types but the types could be PDF or EPS in addition to web image formats or on occasion other formats and it became a challenge where the content was marked up with flash.  Eventually it was in a div overlay so we could load in the unsupported types behind and sync them with javascript, where flash was just a canvas or screen on top to put notes and markings.  But when it comes to editing that is different, you expect to edit. Also, working with the real source in image manipulation is extremely important so a proxy to the real image seems unlikely a good choice except for simple web uses.In any case, Photoshop Express is a great web based image tool but there are limitations that prevent it from taking any large swath of share from the normal old desktop Photoshop any time soon.

Director 11 Is Released

I was able to download the demo and it is in the store and on Adobe’s site. The new AGEIA™ PhysX™  physics engine and some sort of updated 3D with hardware rendering is nice.

But, Director is like the Rodney Dangerfield of products at Adobe.  Everywhere you have to dig for it, it doesn’t even have updated marketing in most places, the shockwave player link is still from 2002 etc.  I wish that Adobe would support it more, open it up, allow better IDEs, integrate ES4 based Actionscript 3 or 4 into it and keep the 3d market that shockwave supports moving along.

Maybe they will give Director more love but if they don’t allow for some community input and work on the platform like Flex and Flash have thrived on, well they might just lose that piece of the market (3d gaming, hardware).

First impression is the fonts do look much better.  Unicode support is so far so good and I haven’t had a chance to dig into the AEGIS PhysX engine yet but that looks very very fun.

For instance here is a Physics Engine call that creates a rigid body terrain

//JavaScript Syntax
var objTerrain= member("PhysicsWorld").createTerrain("myterrain",terrainDesc,position,orientation,1,1,1);

Or some raycasting:

//JavaScript Syntax
var lstraycast = member(“PhysicsWorld”).rayCastAll (vector(10,0,0),vector(0,0,1));
for(i = 1; i < = lstraycast.count ; i++) {   raycstEntry = lstraycast[i];   put("Name:" + raycstEntry[1].name);   put"Contact Point:" & raycstEntry[2]);   put("Contact Normal:" & raycstEntry[3]);   put("Distance:" & raycstEntry[4]); }[/sourcecode]I use the Javascript source simply because it is much more usable to me. Unfortunately the docs are only partially converted to Javascript.  Lingo is pretty close to it though but it scares people off. What Adobe needs to do is port into Flash the ability to use Shockwave3D (hardware rendering for 3d), AEGIS PhysX, would that not blow up big time or what?

AS3 Extruding Pixels to 3D with Papervision 3D

Den Ivanov scored another “why didn’t I think of that” flash demos with extruding pixels into 3d with papervision.  He has some great samples and demos on his site about it.  Den Ivanov is a long time flasher and recent scores with Brahma bus (one of the coolest first papervision commercial projects) and the terrain generator.

This uses ExtrudeImage which does exactly what the class says.

AS3 Real-Time Raytracing

Forrest Briggs throwing down with a real-time raytracer in AS3. Also a C++ OpenGL version sample on the page.

Real-time pixel manipulation in flash is getting faster, but is still probably going to have to be faked in AS3, maybe AS4 will provide us per pixel speeds that Andre Michelle has been harping on since flash 8.5. Native operations can be much faster in that area. AIF might look to change some of that but that is Flash 10.

Here is the code for the as3 raytracer. Read more at laserpirate.

import flash.display.Sprite;
import flash.display.Bitmap;
import flash.display.BitmapData;
import flash.utils.getTimer;
import flash.text.TextField;
import flash.text.TextFormat;

public class RayTracer extends Sprite
private var t:Number;
private var dt:Number = .01;
private var frameTimeTxt:TextField;

public static const BUFFER_WIDTH:int = 160;
public static const BUFFER_HEIGHT:int = 120;
public static const BUFFER_SCALEDDOWN:int = 320 / BUFFER_WIDTH;

public static const HALF_BUFFER_WIDTH:int = BUFFER_WIDTH / 2;
public static const HALF_BUFFER_HEIGHT:int = BUFFER_HEIGHT / 2;

private var outputBitmapData:BitmapData;
private var outputBitmap:Bitmap;

public var FOV:Number = 20;

public var sphereCenterX:Array = [0, 0, 0, 0];
public var sphereCenterY:Array = [0, -.2, .4, 100.5];
public var sphereCenterZ:Array = [4, 4, 4, 10];
public var sphereRadius:Array = [.35, .35, .25, 100];
public var sphereR:Array = [255, 0, 0, 20];
public var sphereG:Array = [0, 150, 0, 20];
public var sphereB:Array = [0, 0, 255, 20];
public var sphereReflects:Array = [false, false, false, true];
public var sphereReflectiveness:Array = [0,0,0,.3];
public var sphere2dX:Array = new Array(sphereCenterX.length);
public var sphere2dY:Array = new Array(sphereCenterX.length);
public var sphere2dR:Array = new Array(sphereCenterX.length);

public var numSpheres = sphereCenterX.length;

var skyR:int = 20;
var skyG:int = 20;
var skyB:int = 20;
var skyColor:int = (skyR< <16) + (skyG<<8) + skyB; var ambientIllumination:Number = .1; var canvas:BlankClip; var theta:Number = 0; var mouseIsDown:Boolean = false; var mouseDownTheta:Number = 0; var mouseDownX:Number = 0; public function RayTracer() { outputBitmapData = new BitmapData(BUFFER_WIDTH, BUFFER_HEIGHT, false); outputBitmap = new Bitmap(outputBitmapData); addChild(outputBitmap); //outputBitmap.smoothing = true; outputBitmap.width= 320; outputBitmap.height = 240; canvas = new BlankClip; addChild(canvas); canvas.buttonMode = true; canvas.useHandCursor = true; frameTimeTxt = new TextField(); frameTimeTxt.defaultTextFormat = new TextFormat("Arial"); frameTimeTxt.x = 8; frameTimeTxt.y = 8; frameTimeTxt.width = 640; frameTimeTxt.textColor = 0xFFFFFF; frameTimeTxt.selectable = false; addChild(frameTimeTxt); t = 0; addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, update, false, 0, true); canvas.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN, mouseDownHandler); canvas.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_UP, mouseUpHandler); } public function mouseDownHandler(e:*):void { mouseIsDown = true; mouseDownX = stage.mouseX; mouseDownTheta = theta; } public function mouseUpHandler(e:*):void { mouseIsDown = false; } public function update(e:*) { // start frame timer and update global time var timer:Number = getTimer(); t += dt; // handle mouse rotation if( mouseIsDown ) theta = mouseDownTheta - .0015 * (stage.mouseX - mouseDownX); theta += dt; // do some funky animation sphereCenterX[0] = .5*Math.sin(theta*5); sphereCenterZ[0] =1 + .5*Math.cos(theta*5); sphereCenterX[1] = .5*Math.sin(theta*5 + 2 * Math.PI / 3); sphereCenterZ[1] = 1 + .5*Math.cos(theta*5 + 2 * Math.PI / 3); sphereCenterX[2] = .5*Math.sin(theta*5 + 4 * Math.PI / 3); sphereCenterZ[2] = 1 + .5*Math.cos(theta*5 + 4 * Math.PI / 3); // reused variables var x:int; var y:int; var i:int; var j:int; var r:int; var g:int; var b:int; var dx:Number; var dy:Number; var rayDirX:Number; var rayDirY:Number; var rayDirZ:Number; var rayDirMag:Number; var reflectRayDirX:Number; var reflectRayDirY:Number; var reflectRayDirZ:Number; var intersectionX:Number; var intersectionY:Number; var intersectionZ:Number; var reflectIntersectionX:Number; var reflectIntersectionY:Number; var reflectIntersectionZ:Number; var rayToSphereCenterX:Number; var rayToSphereCenterY:Number; var rayToSphereCenterZ:Number; var lengthRTSC2:Number; var closestApproach:Number; var halfCord2:Number; var dist:Number; var normalX:Number; var normalY:Number; var normalZ:Number; var normalMag:Number; var illumination:Number; var reflectIllumination:Number; var reflectR:Number; var reflectG:Number; var reflectB:Number; // setup light dir var lightDirX:Number = .3; var lightDirY:Number = -1; var lightDirZ:Number = -.5; var lightDirMag:Number = 1/Math.sqrt(lightDirX*lightDirX +lightDirY*lightDirY +lightDirZ*lightDirZ); lightDirX *= lightDirMag; lightDirY *= lightDirMag; lightDirZ *= lightDirMag; // vars used to in intersection tests var closestIntersectionDist:Number; var closestSphereIndex:int; var reflectClosestSphereIndex:int; // compute screen space bounding circles //; //, 0xFF0000, .25); for(i = 0; i < numSpheres; ++i) { sphere2dX[i] = (BUFFER_WIDTH / 2 + FOV * sphereCenterX[i] / sphereCenterZ[i]); sphere2dY[i] = (BUFFER_HEIGHT /2 + FOV * sphereCenterY[i] / sphereCenterZ[i]); sphere2dR[i] = (3 * FOV * sphereRadius[i] / sphereCenterZ[i]); //[i]*BUFFER_SCALEDDOWN, sphere2dY[i]*BUFFER_SCALEDDOWN, sphere2dR[i]*BUFFER_SCALEDDOWN); sphere2dR[i] *= sphere2dR[i]; // store the squared value } // write to each pixel outputBitmapData.lock(); for(y = 0; y < BUFFER_HEIGHT; ++y) { for(x = 0; x < BUFFER_WIDTH; ++x) { // compute ray direction rayDirX = x - HALF_BUFFER_WIDTH; rayDirY = y - HALF_BUFFER_HEIGHT; rayDirZ = FOV; rayDirMag = 1/Math.sqrt(rayDirX * rayDirX + rayDirY * rayDirY +rayDirZ * rayDirZ); rayDirX *= rayDirMag; rayDirY *= rayDirMag; rayDirZ *= rayDirMag; /// trace the primary ray /// closestIntersectionDist = Number.POSITIVE_INFINITY; closestSphereIndex = -1 for(i = 0; i < numSpheres; ++i) { // check against screen space bounding circle dx = x - sphere2dX[i]; dy = y - sphere2dY[i]; if( dx * dx + dy * dy > sphere2dR[i] ) continue;

// begin actual ray tracing if its inside the bounding circle

lengthRTSC2 = sphereCenterX[i] * sphereCenterX[i] +
sphereCenterY[i] * sphereCenterY[i] +
sphereCenterZ[i] * sphereCenterZ[i];

closestApproach = sphereCenterX[i] * rayDirX +
sphereCenterY[i] * rayDirY +
sphereCenterZ[i] * rayDirZ;

if( closestApproach < 0 ) // intersection behind the origin continue; halfCord2 = sphereRadius[i] * sphereRadius[i] - lengthRTSC2 + (closestApproach * closestApproach); if( halfCord2 < 0 ) // ray misses the sphere continue; // ray hits the sphere dist = closestApproach - Math.sqrt(halfCord2); if( dist < closestIntersectionDist ) { closestIntersectionDist = dist; closestSphereIndex=i; } } /// end of trace primary ray /// // primary ray doesn't hit anything if( closestSphereIndex == - 1) { outputBitmapData.setPixel(x, y, skyColor); } else // primary ray hits a sphere.. calculate shading, shadow and reflection { // location of ray-sphere intersection intersectionX = rayDirX * closestIntersectionDist; intersectionY = rayDirY * closestIntersectionDist; intersectionZ = rayDirZ * closestIntersectionDist; // sphere normal at intersection point normalX = intersectionX - sphereCenterX[closestSphereIndex]; normalY = intersectionY - sphereCenterY[closestSphereIndex]; normalZ = intersectionZ - sphereCenterZ[closestSphereIndex]; normalX /= sphereRadius[closestSphereIndex]; // could be multiply by precacluated 1/rad normalY /= sphereRadius[closestSphereIndex]; normalZ /= sphereRadius[closestSphereIndex]; // diffuse illumination coef illumination = normalX * lightDirX + normalY * lightDirY + normalZ * lightDirZ; if( illumination < ambientIllumination ) illumination = ambientIllumination; /// trace a shadow ray /// var isInShadow:Boolean = false; for(j = 0; j < numSpheres; ++j) { if( j == closestSphereIndex ) continue; rayToSphereCenterX = sphereCenterX[j] - intersectionX; rayToSphereCenterY = sphereCenterY[j] - intersectionY; rayToSphereCenterZ = sphereCenterZ[j] - intersectionZ; lengthRTSC2 = rayToSphereCenterX * rayToSphereCenterX + rayToSphereCenterY * rayToSphereCenterY + rayToSphereCenterZ * rayToSphereCenterZ; closestApproach = rayToSphereCenterX * lightDirX + rayToSphereCenterY * lightDirY + rayToSphereCenterZ * lightDirZ; if( closestApproach < 0 ) // intersection behind the origin continue; halfCord2 = sphereRadius[j] * sphereRadius[j] - lengthRTSC2 + (closestApproach * closestApproach); if( halfCord2 < 0 ) // ray misses the sphere continue; isInShadow = true; break; } /// end of shadow ray /// if( isInShadow ) illumination *= .5; /// trace reflected ray /// if( sphereReflects[closestSphereIndex] ) { // calculate reflected ray direction var reflectCoef:Number = 2 * (rayDirX * normalX + rayDirY * normalY + rayDirZ * normalZ); reflectRayDirX = rayDirX - normalX * reflectCoef; reflectRayDirY = rayDirY - normalY * reflectCoef; reflectRayDirZ = rayDirZ - normalZ * reflectCoef; closestIntersectionDist = Number.POSITIVE_INFINITY; reflectClosestSphereIndex = -1 for(j = 0; j < numSpheres; ++j) { if( j == closestSphereIndex ) continue; rayToSphereCenterX = sphereCenterX[j] - intersectionX; rayToSphereCenterY = sphereCenterY[j] - intersectionY; rayToSphereCenterZ = sphereCenterZ[j] - intersectionZ; lengthRTSC2 = rayToSphereCenterX * rayToSphereCenterX + rayToSphereCenterY * rayToSphereCenterY + rayToSphereCenterZ * rayToSphereCenterZ; closestApproach = rayToSphereCenterX * reflectRayDirX + rayToSphereCenterY * reflectRayDirY + rayToSphereCenterZ * reflectRayDirZ; if( closestApproach < 0 ) // intersection behind the origin continue; halfCord2 = sphereRadius[j] * sphereRadius[j] - lengthRTSC2 + (closestApproach * closestApproach); if( halfCord2 < 0 ) // ray misses the sphere continue; // ray hits the sphere dist = closestApproach - Math.sqrt(halfCord2); if( dist < closestIntersectionDist ) { closestIntersectionDist = dist; reflectClosestSphereIndex=j; } } // end loop through spheres for reflect ray if( reflectClosestSphereIndex == - 1) // reflected ray misses { r = sphereR[closestSphereIndex] * illumination; g = sphereG[closestSphereIndex] * illumination; b = sphereB[closestSphereIndex] * illumination; } else { //trace("ref hit"); // location of ray-sphere intersection reflectIntersectionX = reflectRayDirX * closestIntersectionDist + intersectionX; reflectIntersectionY = reflectRayDirY * closestIntersectionDist + intersectionY; reflectIntersectionZ = reflectRayDirZ * closestIntersectionDist + intersectionZ; // sphere normal at intersection point normalX = reflectIntersectionX - sphereCenterX[reflectClosestSphereIndex]; normalY = reflectIntersectionY - sphereCenterY[reflectClosestSphereIndex]; normalZ = reflectIntersectionZ - sphereCenterZ[reflectClosestSphereIndex]; normalX /= sphereRadius[reflectClosestSphereIndex]; // could be multiply by precacluated 1/rad normalY /= sphereRadius[reflectClosestSphereIndex]; normalZ /= sphereRadius[reflectClosestSphereIndex]; // diffuse illumination coef reflectIllumination = normalX * lightDirX + normalY * lightDirY + normalZ * lightDirZ; if( reflectIllumination < ambientIllumination ) reflectIllumination = ambientIllumination; r = sphereR[closestSphereIndex] * illumination + .5 * sphereR[reflectClosestSphereIndex] * reflectIllumination; g = sphereG[closestSphereIndex] * illumination + .5 * sphereG[reflectClosestSphereIndex] * reflectIllumination; b = sphereB[closestSphereIndex] * illumination + .5 * sphereB[reflectClosestSphereIndex] * reflectIllumination; if( r > 255 ) r = 255;
if( g > 255 ) g = 255;
if( b > 255 ) b = 255;

} // end if reflected ray hits

} /// end if reflects
else // primary ray doesn’t reflect
r = sphereR[closestSphereIndex] * illumination;
g = sphereG[closestSphereIndex] * illumination;
b = sphereB[closestSphereIndex] * illumination;

outputBitmapData.setPixel(x, y, (r<<16) + (g<<8) + b); } // end if primary ray hit } // end x loop } // end y loop outputBitmapData.unlock(); // compute FPS var fps:Number = 1.0/((getTimer() - timer) / 1000.0); frameTimeTxt.text = "Drag to rotate. FPS: " + int(fps); } } }[/sourcecode]

AS3 Water Effects in Papervision 3D, Away3D and Sandy3D

I was messing with water effects and Perlin Noise (sandy3d) and some other stuff and collected some water effects and simulations that are fluid like for research, a snapshot of the state of fluid and water effects in 3d in flash.

Ralph Hauwert, of course one of the original pv3d team members, posted some great samples on water effects on 3d objects in Papervision 3D. Of course the papervision list spawned this discussion from another great post on water simulation in papervision and away3d by Exey Panteleev .

Also, some other water like effects from Fabrice Closier and the notorious mrdoob.

Ralph’s Water Effect Demos:

Hey look, the water ball is smiling at you.

Exey Panteleev’s Water Simulation:

Some other Water Like Fluid Effects:

Water is hard in flash. Fluid dynamics will probably have to be cheated but it is still looking pretty good. The amount of processor usage depends on how real you want it to look.

If you are looking to make some agua, with x, the y AND the z in Flash or Flex, these are a good place to start.