12 Feb 2009

Away3D 2.3: Feature overload!

by Andreas Engstrom

Away3D has always been about practical features and easy implementation. The 2.3 release takes this to new levels, adding variations on this theme in nearly all areas of the engine, from core functionality to workflow tools to geometry generators to shading tools, as well as now offering two fully supported versions, one for Flash 9 and the other for Flash 10. room_demo One of the key core features added in this release is full support for frustum and nearfield culling, as well as object culling for standard clipping which can help with rendering speed for large outdoor scenes. The above demo illustrates how this can also be beneficial for interior scenes where regular rectangle culling causes artifacts - use the mouse and cursor keys to navigate the room and the keyboard shortcuts listed in the demo to compare between old and new clipping techniques. The source for this can be found bundled with the demos download from the downloads page as can the source for the 2.3 version, or directly from the svn. Normalmaps Normalmaps have been available in Away3D for a while now, but version 2.3 adds a new set of tools that can help you with their generation and/or manipulation. This will become even more useful in upcoming enhancements to the Flash 10 version of Away3D. The above demo shows what can be done with the new system, full details of how this was accomplished and more examples can be seen by going here and here. Utah teapot defined by bezier patches BezierPatch is a new geometry generation tool that allows you to create bezier surfaces programatically. The above demo shows an example of where this can lead - with possibly the most famous bezier surface ever produced wink Full documentation for using this system will be released soon, along with a visual tool for aiding the generation of bezier surfaces by hand. awaybuilder_maya Awaybuilder is a productivity tool that allows you to set up scenes created in the 3D modelling software as realtime 3D scenes for the web. You can set up your project with objects, materials, cameras and their properties, then play it back online without the need for extensive programming or recompilation. flash Awaybuilder comes with a custom parser for Maya scenes saved as Collada files. For Maya users, this can dramatically speed up your 3D workflow, as it allows you control geometry, materials, and even camera viewports and interaction directly from the 3D application. The above scene was created in Awaybuilder using the Maya plugin, and is available for download as a demo in the 2.3 release. You can click on the cards to navigate in or out of the scene. More plugins for other software packages will follow in future releases. Some other feature highlights in this release include:

  • Interchangeable camera lenses to allow for different types of projection
  • All values allowed for stage properties "align" and "scaleMode"
  • Improved memory management
  • Improved extrusion tools
  • ROLL_OVER/ROLL_OUT events added to MouseEvent3D
  • Billboard mesh objects for fast 2d sprites
Of course, we will be working to provide some assistance in learning these new features in our tutorials section over the coming weeks. Plus there will be a lot more demo source coming soon in the demos download. keep an eye on our mailing list for updates, including where to find the flash 10 upgrade, which should be released in the next few days. In the meantime, enjoy the new release! The Away3d Team


12 Feb 2009 09:00 PM

felix said:

waaah! [head explodes]

13 Feb 2009 04:03 AM

Hebiflux » Away3D 2.3 sorti et démos said:

[...] Away3D commence à être Far, far (away) avec cette dernière version 2.3 et des démos tout à fait convaincantes. Outre la qualité de rendu et la finesse de certains éléments, on notera un outil d’exportation : AwayBuilder qui se présente sous la forme d’un plugin pour exporter ses scènes en 3D directement de logiciels pros. [...]

13 Feb 2009 04:44 AM

trace(myBitmapdata); » Blog Archive » said:

[...] I'm very proud to announce that Away3D 2.3 is officially released! [...]

13 Feb 2009 05:23 AM

dVyper said:

VERY impressive examples! This is the firs time I'd heard of Awaybuilder - it also looks impressive! Great work!

13 Feb 2009 10:36 AM

Nail said:

I am confused, does the Away Builder only work with Maya?

13 Feb 2009 04:22 PM

Andreas Engstrom said:

Hi Nail.

Awaybuilder is intended to make it easy to replace it's different parts to fit your needs. There will be more 3D packages supported in future releases, and other, more custom formats are being planned. Away3D content can be created from any source that a parser is written for. Currently, it comes with one for parsing Maya scenes but if you need support for something specific, I would be happy to help.

The Maya parser is based on reading a Maya scene exported as Collada, that uses a specific object hierarchy and 'dynamic attributes' on the objects themselves. This should not be specific to Maya and if the export looks the same from other 3D packages, it might not be necessary to write a new parser.

If you could provide an example output from your 3D editor of choice and post it on the mailing list, I will look into creating a new parser for you if needed.

13 Feb 2009 04:30 PM

Andreas Engstrom said:

A tutorial for how to set up a Maya scene with Awaybuilder is in the making.

14 Feb 2009 04:15 AM

Ray said:

Wow! The feature set of Away3D is looking very interesting indeed. Well done with this release guys.

The AwayBuilder tool is also extremely interesting and could be the thing that draws me away (no pun intended) from Papervision. The most frustrating thing that I am finding in working with real time 3D in Flash is that I have to programmatically setup a scene or import through Collada both of which require a lot of setup code, and difficulty with setting up cameras.

andreasengstrom - is there a list you can release of the 3D software you intend to support? I would dearly love a parser for Cinema 4D. Considering C4D dominates the motion graphics arena these days it could really draw a lot of people into using Away3D. I could provide you with any scenes you require to be of assistance with building such a parser.

14 Feb 2009 08:57 AM

Fabrice Closier said:

Hey Ray,
I can be wrong, but have you actually tried Away? If ease of use is that important for you, AwayBuilder should not be the only reason to switch.

14 Feb 2009 11:00 AM

Andreas Engstrom said:

Hi Ray.

Currently, there is only the Maya parser but I will be looking into Cinema 4D support as the very next thing. There is no road-map list of future supported 3D packages, but I will do my best to add support for different tools as requested. Please post requests on the mailing list for any specific tools that you would like to be supported. I unfortunately don't have a copy of most 3D packages but if supplied with some examples I could work from, it shouldn't take very long to add support for them.

16 Feb 2009 01:16 PM

3D con ActionScript - Nueva versión de Away3D &la said:

[...] - Nueva versión de Away3D Tiene rato que Away3D se ve poca madre, pues bueno, su nueva versión no nos [...]

16 Feb 2009 01:46 PM

Top Flash Links for This Week | Weber Design Labs said:

[...] Away3D 2.3 Is Out – Check out these demos http://away3d.com/away3d-23-feature-overload [...]

16 Feb 2009 01:46 PM

Top Flash Links for This Week | Weber Design Labs said:

[...] Away3D 2.3 Is Out – Check out these demos http://away3d.com/away3d-23-feature-overload [...]

16 Feb 2009 03:29 PM

localToGlobal » Blog Archive » news re said:

[...] > Away3D Flash Engine » Away3D 2.3: Feature overload! [...]

16 Feb 2009 09:45 PM

????tv?? » Flash?3D, Away3D 2. said:

[...] Away3D 2.3: Feature overload! [...]

17 Feb 2009 04:52 PM

ozgur uksal said:

where can I download Awaybuilder?

18 Feb 2009 07:56 AM

Fabrice Closier said:

You can download everything you need from our SVN repository.

19 Feb 2009 07:47 AM

Dave Stewart said:

Hey Andreas,
I'd certainly be interested in building an Away3D Builder for 3dsmax.
Email me if you're interested in collaborating.

19 Feb 2009 06:47 PM

Andreas Engstrom said:

Absolutely! An email is 'away' wink

15 Apr 2009 02:03 AM

Nicholas Bieber said:

David Hasselhoff! awesome!

16 Apr 2009 05:03 AM

Jorrit said:

Great, tools! An important step in easing development

24 Apr 2009 03:53 AM

Away3D Coolness « Tales from a Trading Desk said:

[...] Impressive features in 2.3! Nice to see Maya [...]

11 May 2009 04:41 AM

lj svenson said:

Stumbled upon this kinda by accident. Really looks like a great tool but I'm looking how to set this up for Maya? And starting from which version this is possible? Or is this allready documented somewhere? Maybe this is a good alternative for the shockwave exporter to use with Director.

12 May 2009 08:14 AM

Andreas said:

Awaybuilder has been around since just before rev 1000 on svn but I
strongly recommend you use the latest version as there has been many
improvements since then. There are a few examples in the 'examples/
Awaybuilder' folder and Juan Bonfante has a few tutorials and other
interesting information on how to get started over at his blog (Thanks


14 May 2009 06:30 AM

lj svenson said:

Hi Andreas, thanks for the links.

23 May 2009 08:03 PM

Cyclone103 said:

Any chance of a Blender parser?


26 May 2009 05:26 PM

Andreas said:

Blender comes with an exporter for Collada 1.4 and it will save the dynamic attributes that Awaybuilder require. The only question is if you will be able to 'group' the objects in the scene as required by Awaybuilder, however I would be very surprised if that would not be possible. If that all works then it's only the time needed to write a parser that's in the way of Blender support.

15 Jul 2009 10:53 PM

sherry said:

very nice, i enjoy it

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