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Away3D 3.6 Essentials

April 17th, 2011 - Category: 3D , Developers
Away3D is one of the best 3D engines for ActionScript 3. It allows you to create amazing 3D scenes and animate them.

Away3D 3.6 Essentials

I announced in a
post few weeks ago that I was going to review the book published by Packt about 3D in Flash Away3D: Away3D 3.6 Essential by Matthew Casperson .
This book explains all the aspects of the version 3.6 of Away3D API in 400 pages, it is pretty thick, and it covers anything you can possibly need to know.

If you are new to Away3D it is a great starting point. Even if the alpha version 4.0 (
Molehill ) has been released bear in mind that you will not be able to use it for any project-related development until the new Flash Player 11 is out of beta, which could be a while.

Away3D 4.0 will have major changes in both the materials and animators packages. However, a lot of the other external-facing functionality will remain intact.

If you want to be ready for that day this is the best guide you can find since the 90% of the API will remain pretty much the same in the transition from 3.6 to 4.0.

Besides that, the book covers any possible angle of the API:
- How to set up a scene with various IDE (FlashDevelop, Flash Builder and CS4)
- Creating and displaying primitives
- Moving objects
- Z-Sorting
- Materials
- Models and Animations
- Cameras
- Mouse interactivity
- Special effects
- 3D Text
- Extrusions
- Filters and Postprocessing
- Performance

The only topic that is not discussed is “Physics", but actually Away3D doesn’t have any physic class, infact to use it you will have to use library like
Jiglib .

I have been using Away3D for years but with this book I was able to find new technique especially for improving performance. I was impressed by the details touched in the tutorials, they get to a point where it is impossible to make any mistake.

If you have never experimented with Away3D though, this book will blow your mind.
It is incredible what is possible to do with Flash using third API like this.
I totally recommend you to try it, maybe before to get the book, do some test with the tutorial, and then if you really get into it go to the next step and buy it.

The future of Flash is going to be in 3D, I guess you don’t want to miss that.


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