Archive for July, 2007

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

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!

Friday, July 6th, 2007

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 

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

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.