MacWorld AS2/AS3 Speed Comparision Demo

This past Monday, we had the privilege of having a Papervision3D demo shown as an AS2/AS3 speed comparison at FlashForward/Macworld expo by Grant Skinner and apparently, it went really well. Grant likes to give lots of notice with things like this (4 days?) and well, I just happened to be working on a space demo for Paperworld game engine we’re all cookin’ up over at the PV3D list.

Basically, they needed to find a sample of something showing a stark contrast between Actionscript2 and Actionscript3 and they needed it to be visually stunning. Well, I’d seen the differences myself, but I had no idea *how* well it would perform with many models in a scene. So, I told Grant to give me an evening, run some tests to make sure it’s what he’d be looking for. I spent the next 8 hrs, and a good half of the weekend with my jaw on the floor at the performance – I couldnt’ stop starring at it. I’d been waiting 8yrs+ to see Flash do, what I was seeing it do – I still can’t hardly believe it!

The first test was to put the Xwing model (949 faces) into an as2 container and see how it performed. It stayed around 2-8fps on average and rotating it was a joke. Very klunky to say the least. So, I figured if AS3 could smoothly render the xwing with a star field and a death star in the back ground, that’d be a sweet demo. What I ended up with was 100x’s better than I could have imagined. I can’t really take credit for the end result – Grant pretty well had an idea of what he thought would be a good demo and that’s how you see what you see 😉

7 Xwings, 7 Ties, Death Star, Endor and a fully rendered star field in PV3D and it ran at a staggering 26-30fps on my laptop 😉 Yeah, we had a good contrast demo. Then I attached a TargetCamera to the ships as a follow cam and made the ships clickable so you could jump from ship to ship and follow along as they flew back and forth and I finally realized – Flash doesn’t look like flash anymore 🙂

Also note, that while there is some image skewing of objects as they go away from center, that’s in no way a limitation of Papervision3D. On the contrary, that shows you the control you actually have over focus and zoom of the camera object. I just ran out of time to play with it and get it right.

View it online – BUT GO FULLSCREEN – it seems to play better at fullscreen. Just click the bottom right button in the corner.

Download the files from the link below and play around with it. On just about eveyrone’s system that’s tried the demo, it’s run between 15-30fps.

Falcon3D.swf – click and drag around the scene to move the camera view
Falcon3D_cameraFollow.swf – attaches a target camera to the last xwing created. Click on any ship in the scene to switch targets

AS2 – 949 Faces :: 2-8fps
Chugs when rotating the single Xwing

AS3 – 8107 Faces :: 20-30fps
Plays smoothly at full scree with 7 xwings, 7 ties, Death Star, Endor and fully rendered star field by Papervision3D!

Download Demos
  1. Pure sex.

    • plugisto
    • January 10th, 2007

    sounds awesome.
    but something seems to be missing in your demo. there’s only the starfiled, no xwing and nothing showing up.
    i am using flash player 9, safari 2, osx 10.4.8, mac pro.

  2. Time for someone to develop X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter II on Flash! It just blows me away. Great work.

  3. Very fast indeed…
    It would be nice to have a speed/features comparsion table between Sandy and Papervision.

  4. Two words: AWE SOME!!
    The pilot seems to be a bit drunken though! 😉

  5. very very impressive indication of whats in store for flash this year. Fantastic work John. Now, let us into those tie fighters so I can crush those rebel scum 😉

  6. I can also confirm the starfield-only glitch with OmniWeb. Does work in Camino and gets between 7-10fps on my Dual G4 (which isn’t bad at all). The as2 demo beachballs Camino. Go go as3!

  7. If you’re only seeing a starfield and no other models, load the swf into the Flash Stand Alone player rather than a browser. I’ll be putting up links for the browser demo today

    go here to get the latest stand alone debug player (They call it a projector, so don’t just get the plugin)

    • randy
    • January 22nd, 2007

    I just read the post again and realized you could switch ships in the follow cam mode! Awsome! Just wasted a half hour going from Republican to Democrat and back again! Any chance we can sneak a peak at the Force, I mean, Source code? I have a Millenium Falcon I would love to get into the Fray.

  8. hehe yah! I’ll release the code after this next update with the latest version of PV3D. Carlos basically rewrote much of the engine and we’ve got some cool features of the Star Wars demo we’re hoping to get done and then release the code.

    Things like “cockpit” view and chase as well as flight controls 😉 SHHHHHH, don’t tell anyone…

    • randy
    • January 22nd, 2007

    That is just sick, I am building what I thought was a fairly cool UI and you guys are just busting every preconception the web has held about flash for the past 8 years! I can’t wait to play catch up!

  9. man that’s exactly it – I couldn’t have said it better! I’ve been waiting 8+ yrs for realtime 3D in Flash and it’s finally here. 2007’s gonna see some incredible stuff 😉

  10. That is absolutely cool in Flash!

  11. Just wanted to say this is amazing! I do allot of stuff on 3d and flash and had always wanted to mix the 2 and seems like now we are going to be having the tools to do just that. 🙂 AMAZING!

  12. Very impressive.

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