Google Tech Talk: Simple interactive 3D modeling for all – VideoTrace

3D models from basic video… This can be huge in all sorts of ways.  For exponential growth you need to go virtual.

  • This is a technology called VideoTrace from Australia
  • The Siggraph paper describing VideoTrace is available here (pdf 6MB)
  • Larger videos available here, with a more compressed version here.

Away3D 3d Labyrinth Like Level Demo and Technique To Help Polycount

Who’s up for some flash 3d gauntlet? Away3d and Fabrice have posted a pretty sweet demo that samples a 3d level with a little 3d avatar running around (animated).

Fabrice has some other good notes on keeping assets in flash low poly and not relying on full 3d or shrinking that down where possible. For instance in making the walls they are more dynamic and just extrudes not really 3d point collections.
Most 3d usages (even outside flash) resort to this to make sure the featured 3d models get all the processing power and polys needed to look good but still be optimized for flash 3d (fake software rendered 3d — slower). I agree and also am interested in loading 3d flash assets as compiled SWFs, but that has it’s own set of duplication whoas. It has to be designed/planned very smart to pull off a game that can perform well.

The stuff for generating 3d worlds in flash from the FPS demo from Animas (Paul Spitzer), the intense work going on at Alternativa Game, toolkits like AS3 Geometry Exporter for 3dsmax (to away, sandy or papervision 3d format/types). And of course all the great 3d engines, physics engines and animation kits that have helped make the 3d flash pipeline for actionscript 3 (as3) a little more optimized and quite fun.

Sandy3D and Red5 Server Attack! – Sandy 3.0 Final Released for AS2 and AS3

Sandy 3.0 was released today. To go along with that a RedSandy (Red5 and sandy demo) has also been released. Sandy is the original 3d flash engine that was around before Papervision3D and Away3D and all the others. Sandy3d is an excellent library and it has many features that others do not have well particularly in the easier control of objects and importing all types of files such as ASE, WRL and 3ds in addition to COLLADA which other 3d engines like PV3d and Away3d support although it has been slower in the past 3.0 may change that.

Sandy 3D engine main features are :

  • Flash player 7 to 9 compatibility.

  • Both MTASC and Macromedia compilers compliant for AS2 and Flash CS3 and FlexBuilder for AS3 versions.

  • Several 3D primitives, allowing fast and parameterized object creation without any 3D modelisation knowledge.

  • Advanced and easy object management allowing some fantastic possibilities during your creations (scaling, rotation, translation, tween, etc.)

  • Advanced camera management ( rotation, motion on linear or bezier-curve path, movements, etc.)

  • Complex object loading thanks to the .ASE and .WRL files parser , but also Collada and 3DS files for AS3, (files generated by several 3D object modeling packages such as 3D Studio Max or Blender)

  • Material system to easily change your objects appearance. Several material are available allowing to create transparent faces, bitmap texture and video texture as webcam video stream.

  • Managment of Flash filters bringing some very nice visual effects

Red5 is the best multi-user media server out there right now and it is built with Java.

The cool and probably most interesting part is Sandy combined with Red5 to create multi-user environments in 3d for flash. There have been experiments with this and many attempts at this and is being done but an open source kit that does this is very helpful and these are two great flash toolkits in Sandy and Red5.

Get your game on!

Getting started video with Sandy 3.0 with a wise robot

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 :

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 :

Download demo sources and 3ds max script


Thanks shirotokoro !

HOW TO: Setup an Orthographic Camera in 3dsMax9

{ draw logic } will be presenting HOWTOs every once in a while based on current projects or very simple, targeted actions in game development, programming, data design etc. 

Setup an Orthographic Camera in 3dsMax9

Axonometric Projection allows you to make flat Isometric game assets or views sometimes needed for maps layouts where false or flat 3D is used so you can see the items up close as well as you can see the items off in the distance. This view was common in the early sim citygames and many RPGs like Command and Conquer Red Alert (oh no not the blimps!). Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Orthographic views are a camera setting that makes it so there is no vanishing point or correct perspective but instead parallel external lines. Sometimes this is key in scrolling 2d games or maps like I said but its also to help reuse assets over and over to create a better cache to pull from.  Orthographic viewscan also make flattening textures to be used in texturing in isometric games very simple.

To setup a camera in 3d Studio Max for orthographic renders follow these steps:

  1. Open up your file and get a perspective you want. Usually this is a diagonal 45 degree view or a 45 degree angle where 2/3 of one side shows and 1/3 of the other showsPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  2. Go to the perspective view and click in it. 
  3. Create a new camera by clicking CTRL+C. This will create a new ‘Camera01‘.
  4. Click C to jump into your new camera.
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  5. As you can see this view has the perspective vanishing point and the lines on the outside of the model will eventually meet on the horizon.  For game assets this doesn’t always work when making an isometric or axonometric view.We want to make it an orthographic view so that there is a void of perspective and correct vanishing lines.
  6. To flatten this true perspective make sure the camera is still selected by clicking on the camera or by pressing ‘C’ (brings up all cameras as ‘P’ does the perspective view again) or selecting it from the object list.
  7.  Then under the modifiers tabs check the “Orthographic Projection” checkmark.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket 
  8. All done, now make a boatload more assets for your game/project!

See the difference in renders here:

True Perspective View:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Orthographic View:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket 

You can see that if the homes were to be stacked in rows where their walls are parallel (like the command and conquer screenshot above) the orthographic view is more suited for games or maps where you need to see all items the same size or scale. Click here to see a flash version of this that stretched full screen fluid flash.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here’s the MAX file source of the house. I used 3dsmax9 and built on a model I found online making it more cartoonish and simplistic/vector-like. For this tutorial some of the settings may be changed in your version but all 3d programs have this setting somewhere even if you are not using 3dsmax.