Papervision3D CS3 Component: Guy Wheeler shows ease of use in client project

Guy Wheeler has taken the Papervision3D CS3 Component and used it in exactly the way I’d hoped someone would. He’s been kind enough to write out his processes and take some screenshots of his workflow to show you here. This is a great example and use of Collada and the new interactive features of Papervision3D. He’s able to model in Maya, and end up in completely familiar environment in the Flash IDE to pull it all together visually.

This version is beta and still going through changes, but it’s really well done and engaging. I think what’s most powerful is the use of Tweener and every day UI components on the textures of the planes and how that interactivity was enabled literally by a click in a checkbox.

The version of Papervision3D component Guy used has not been released yet and was released to the class he attended. I’ll be handing this one out at the NYC classes (Dec 1&2) which will be based off of Papervision2.0 engine.

Here’s Guy’s description of his workflow:

The 3D Stage

The main structure is a studio I designed and built in Maya 8, then exported using Feeling Software’s ‘ColladaMaya’ plugin. The model is chopped up into several square sections to reduce ‘texture-area wastage’, for example; the seating area floor is part of one square floor texture). This also helps to reduce the final image sizes that the player needs to animate at runtime. To further assist the player, the model was combined at the final stage.

Texturing Stage

Once the initial model was rendering smoothly, I went back and removed as many polygons as possible, leaving light-clusters in areas that the eye notices the distortion most. Mr Doob’s PV3D Viewer was indispensable here! Using parallel lines on textures like floorboards can be counterproductive, especially when the lines cross mid-polygon. The studio was textured in several stages, initially using a composition of photographs (including a wooden floor). Once aligned, it was baked using Mental Ray to enrich it with shadows from the spiral staircase and support beams, then optimised in Photoshop. I shot the 360′ panorama for the sky whilst in Italy & it shows Italy, France and Switzerland, including Lake Como & Lake Lugano.

The Papervision3D Stage

Once prepared, the Collada model was loaded into Flash CS3, where it calls all it’s textures from external .jpg’s. To optimise the render further, the InteractiveScene3D is cropped using the RectangleTriangleCuller. This provides a wonderful effect around the edges, which is then disguised with a ‘glory_hole’, rather than a mask. This eliminates any future rendering complications, as a result of assets that can’t be displayed correctly under a mask. Screens are animated using Tweener to fly into place. InteractiveMovieMaterials (with transparency), display screens and their buttons separately. The contents is handled by the interactiveSceneManager, and displays animation, scrollable text boxes and active links. These are set to both animated & smooth, to ensure a crisp display.


Once in place, the UI is controlled using a combination of keyboard and mouse clicks. Keyboard arrow keys allow the visitor to ‘walk & turn’, and the ZX keys handle the sidestepping required to skip between the screens on the walls. Clicking reveals text and links under each of the image screens. With so many assets on the screen at a time, the stage quality is also toggled whenever the camera is moving.

He gets a nice solid 3 Rockon’s for this one!

RockOn Rating:   RockOn voteRockOn voteRockOn vote

    • Mike
    • November 13th, 2007

    That is oh so sweet! I was really surprised when I could go outside of the building and hover around it. I’m sorry I couldn’t go upstairs. 😉

    When will us “little people” who can’t get to NYC be able to get a hold of the new component?

  1. the 2.0 version of the component will be released just after the NYC classes 🙂

    • Phillip Kerman
    • November 14th, 2007

    What is the rock-on-rating? I mean, is it based on total possible of 5 rockons? Or, is it like this Thai restaurant I used to go to where their hot rating was 1-17 but when you ordered…say, a 5 the waiter would say “no, you can’t handle a 5… those wimps over there have a 3 and look at them. I’ll switch your to a 4.”

  2. @Philip: First, you’re hilarious – I seriously had to put down the mouse and laugh LOL – “I’ll switch you to a 4” classic

    here are the breakdowns of ratings (because I knew Phillip would ask someday)

    Guy got a 3 based on those standards and because he went out on very little instruction/information and created this on his own with the latest version of the component. I haven’t’ seen any other production uses of the component besides my own, so there was a cool factor involved there as well.

    If anyone else has used the CS3 component in a production project, please email me, I’d love to see it and post it with the other examples!

    • steve
    • November 15th, 2007

    @John, Any more news on when PV3D 2.0 classes will hit the streets?

  3. @steve: Yeah man, we’re working on a pretty decent TODO list right now as a team to get that out in the next week or so. I know we’ve been saying that for a while now, but with everyone’s schedule and going to conferences, it’s been a struggle to get it done! Not to mention this is a HUGE release with alot of intense features 🙂

    But it HAS to be released before DEC 1 for the NYC classes and that’s a definite!

    • steve
    • November 15th, 2007

    Don’t use your schedule as a selfish excuse! I paid a lot of money for these classes and I demand support!

    😉 kidding!

    “a lot of intense features” This is gonna pick up where Director Shockwave left off. That’s why we’re all anxious. Thanks for all the team does to make Flash “ROCKON!”

  4. @steve: have mercy master!! don’t beat me! 🙂

  5. @Steve: its not where Director left off by any means, but I know we’re hoping to GET to that level some day on a platform we all love and know. That’s been my hope for so long now. At one point, I was so desperate to do 3D work, I bought a Lingo book (GASP) and a 3D Director book. I started reading through and trying stuff, and it just didn’t make any sense at all. Lingo, IMO, is a crap language and I hesitate to even call it a language. It’s more like a jibberish to accomplish a task. You know, you’d think that MM or Adobe would be motivated to 86 Lingo, get AS3 working in it and standardize the IDE’s so people could easily switch back and forth. I mean, man, talk about a no-brainer.

    ok Director elf’s NO FLAMES, just speakin’ the truth here.

    • steve
    • November 19th, 2007

    @John: All right, maybe not where they left off but PV3D is definitely headed in the right direction for the Flash IDE. Couldn’t agree more about Lingo. Very counter-intuitive, but to its credit, very powerful. Does anyone publish Director to the web anymore? Here’s hoping Flash 10 gets us a lot closer.

  6. @Steve: agreed and agreed. I do hope we get MUCH closer and I do think the changes and direction Adobe is taking could result in just that!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s