26 Aug 2014

The Away Foundation at Reasons to be Creative

by Rob Bateman The Away Foundation at Reasons to be Creative

The Away Foundation is pleased to announce its involvement at this years Reasons to be Creative conference in Brighton, UK. This year, Rob Bateman will be presenting a brand new talk on the emergence of accelerated 3D use on the web.

"New Adventures in 3D" will include a showcase of current areas of research, some forays into the more technical aspects of whats possible with today's technology, and a smattering of insights into the what the future holds for this burgeoning area of web development. Full details can be found in the session description here.

09 Jun 2014

Away3D 2014 Showreel

by Rob Bateman Away3D 2014 Showreel

This year's showreel video covers an incredible breadth of interactive content, from 1st person sports games to RPGs, technically impressive marketing campaigns to perfectly formed indie darlings.

As mere framework wranglers we constantly find something new & impressive in the creative output you the community produce, and so we hope you enjoy this year's homage to the artists & experimentalists of the Away3D world in 2014.


18 May 2014

The Away Foundation at Multi Mania

by Rob Bateman The Away Foundation at Multi Mania

Multi Mania is a conference now in its 14th year, that brings together some of the best creative technologists from around the world for two days of presentations on design, developement and entrepreneurship. We are pleased to announce that Rob Bateman will be speaking on some of the latest work being done at The Away Foundation for the native web.

The conference is free for all attendees, and attracts some 2000 professionals & students to Kortrijk Belgium every year - this year from 19-20th May.

We'll be talking about some of the new libraries currently in development that build on the abilities of Away3D, making them the perfect path for those interested in taking their first steps in GPU accelerated native web applications & games. The presentation is called Introducing AwayJS, and you can find out more by reading the second day schedule here.

05 May 2014

Away3D Typescript training at DevGAMM Moscow

by Rob Bateman Away3D Typescript training at DevGAMM Moscow

The Away Foundation is pleased to announce a second training day for Away3D Typescript will be held in Moscow as part of the annual DevGAMM conference.

The previous training held in Kiev in December last year was a blast, and we now hope to repeat this success in slightly warmer climes wink

The one-day workshop will take place on the 17th May, the day after DevGAMM. Cost is currently only $100 (£66) for the entire day, but hurry as these early-bird tickets are in limited supply!

The agenda follows a similar pattern to our previous training sessions, with full details along with payment options found on our eventbrite page (For those looking to pay in rubles, we have setup a parallel registration page on Timepad). Location is at the Neuron Hackspace in central Moscow.

Our presenter Rob Bateman will also be giving a talk about Away3D Typescript at DevGAMM Moscow as part of the conference, alongside a selection of great speakers from around the globe. More details can be found here.

23 Feb 2014

Away3D at FITC Amsterdam 2014

by Rob Bateman Away3D at FITC Amsterdam 2014

Away3D and The Away Foundation are please to be a part of the upcoming FITC conference in Amsterdam. The 2 day event will run from Feb 24th-25th and includes a wide range of presentations from the world of art, technology and creative design.

Rob Bateman will be presenting a session on the new work we are doing with Away3D in Typescript and WebGL. The talk will be held on Tuesday afternoon in the in the Voodoo lounge, a special innovation track run by the good people at Influxis. You can find full details of the session here.

06 Feb 2014

Away Foundation roadmap 2014

by Rob Bateman

Welcome to another roadmap post, a condensed report outlining some of the areas we will be focussing on over the next few months. This year, we are looking to dedicate time to several new development platforms, extending the Away3D engine's reach and offering more publishing options to our user base. We also have planned upgrades to existing libraries and tools.

Away3D Typescript and WebGL

Late last year, we made an initial exploration of the WebGL world with our Alpha release of Away3D Typescript. The community response has been incredibly positive, and thanks go to everyone who has been involved so far in creating demos, writing articles and assisting with development. Our appearances at Mozfest and Devgamm  gave us an opportunity to collect even more feedback from developers. This has led to expanded thinking around future work and the potential application of the library, based on the requirements we see in the Typescript & Javascript world.

One action we have taken early this year is to split the existing Typescript library in two - a core library for Stage3D and displaylist-related APIs, and a separate library for the existing Away3D TS implementation. We will be publishing more details on the former in the next week or so, but the general idea is to assist the proliferation of graphics libraries on the web by creating a simple WebGL-enabled API for developers to use as a base for custom rich media frameworks. In the meantime, we will be continuing work on the latter, looking to publish a beta with a completed port sometime in March.

An exciting development in this area is a new collaboration between The Away Foundation and Gamua. The creators of the 2D Actionscript library Starling have been working on a Typescript / WebGL port (codenamed StarlingJS) that due to recent scoping priority changes was looking at an uncertain future. After discussing options with Starling author and Gamua co-founder Daniel Sperl, we are pleased to announce that as of today we will be taking over the development of StarlingJS, working with Gamua to integrate the conversion with our newly separated Stage3D layer in Typescript. This brand new project will be managed under The Away Foundation, and we look forward to revealing more about the library in the very near future. You can read more about the motivations for the switch over at the Gamua blog.

Away3D 4.2 & Away3D Flash

Our commitment to the development of Away3D in Flash will continue this year with a planned update for the Away3D codebase to version 4.2. Details of the featureset are still being finalised, but some prominant features taking priority include:

  • Deferred lighting renderer
  • Dynamic 3D Text & Vector tesselation
  • Animation system extensions
  • Material enhancements & gamma correction

The focus of 4.2 development will be heavily biased towards rendering and speed improvements, while retaining an emphasis on simplified internal APIs for easy extensibility. Further details, including estimates on timelines and release dates, will be revealed later this month.

Away3D OpenFL

Now for an entirely new area of development. We have for the first time been experimenting with code for a Haxe port of Away3D 4.1. For those new to the project, Haxe is an open source language designed to be used in the creation of multi-platform content. You can find out more on Haxe and the Haxe Foundation by going to http://haxe.org/.

While Haxe is a familiar platform to older Away3D versions, previous reasearch into a compatible implementation of Stage3D for cross-platform development left us will a few stumbling blocks. Several recent updates have changed all that, with the introduction of OpenFL being the most significant milestone for improving both the compatibility and reach of native Haxe applications. We've now had quite a bit of success with an experimental branch of the Away3D 4.1 codebase written in Haxe, compiling to cpp, HTML5 and Flash targets. For a demonstration of the current capabilities of Away3D OpenFL, watch this video by core team member Greg Caldwell.

Development is still very much ongoing and currently only a few examples are up and running with the system, but early successes have been very encouraging. You can download a preview version of the source from the official github repo at https://github.com/away3d/away3d-core-openfl. A video of experiments with some of the OpenFL-compatible platforms derived from the cpp target can be viewed here.

We love the direction OpenFL is taking the Haxe platform, and look forward to making a full port of the Away3D engine available for this vibrant community of developers. The flexible approach to multiple platform targets that OpenFL offers is still in its early stages, but we highly recommend anyone with a passing interest in open-source, multi-platform authoring to check out its capabilties at http://www.openfl.org/

Away Builder

The official Away3D workflow tool Away Builder is also in line for significant improvements this year, including additional UI elements for editing and previewing animations, materials and AWD output options. We are expecting new features to focus around data processing tools, designed to simplify the creation and management of 3D scenes, such as:

  • Procedural terrain generation
  • Cell partition generation
  • Pre-baked lightmap handling
  • Mesh tools for vertex manipulation

Away Builder updates will be tied-in with ongoing updates to the AWD format, the official file format for Away3D. Last year saw the move from AWD 2.0 to AWD 2.1 with many useful additions to the data storage capablities of an AWD file. To maintain a cross-platform workflow, we will continue the development of the AWD format across all Away3D codebases, ensuring Away Builder is capable of integrating a workflow into any platform utilising the Away3D engine. Parallel to this work, we will be continuing the creation of support material for Away Builder, with more video tutorials, steo-by-step guides and documentation.


We always welcome community contributions, so if any of the plans outlined above sound like something you'd be interested in getting involved with, don't be shy! There are many ways you can help out - on Github through our issues tracker, on the forums with answers and advice on technical issues, on Twitter and Facebook with info about your latest experiments and projects. If you have an idea for a specific feature not mentioned here (and the items above are by no means an exhaustive list), or you are working on a project that may result in extensions you'd be willing to donate back to the community, you can get in contact directly through the comments section below.

Happy 2014!

The Away3D Team


24 Jan 2014

Away3D 4.1.6 Release

by Rob Bateman Away3D 4.1.6 Release

The Away3D Team & The Away Foundation are pleased to announce a new update of the Away3D Flash engine, Away3D 4.1.6. This update contains may fixes and optimisations to the core functionality of the library, and we recommend updating any projects currently using Away3D 4.1 to take full advantage of these improvements. The release has also been fully tested with the newly launched Flash Player 12 and AIR 4.0 runtimes (release notes here), 

Alongside the fixes and optimisations, there have been several minor additions to functionality in order to assist with some problems we see regularly in Away3D use. These include:

  • Automatic smoothing option on 3DS files with no smoothing group data
  • Better event handling for adding and removing efffects methods on materials
  • Spritesheet animator compatibility with shadows
  • Coordinate system selector on lenses allowing the use of either left or right-handed projection systems

For a full list of fixes and updates, please view the Changelog.txt file in the master branch. A big thanx goes out to all community members who submitted pull requests or issue reports to the github repo - we are truly grateful for the help and support!

As always, you can visit the Away3D downloads page for binaries, source code and examples links. Or you can grab a bleeding-edge build from our github repos for core and examples.

Enjoy the new release!

28 Nov 2013

Open Exhibits partner with the Away Foundation

by Rob Bateman Open Exhibits partner with the Away Foundation

Open Exhibits is a free, multitouch software initiative for museums, education, nonprofits and students. Using either Adobe Flash or Adobe AIR, users can create interactive kiosk applications for any kind of exhibit.

The latest release of the Open Exhibits software includes the ability to define and manipulate 3D objects quickly and easily through the OE Player, via a custom markup language called CML. Ideum, the company behind Open Exhibits, worked with The Away Foundation to integrate an Away3D view into version 3.0 of the Open Exhibits SDK, in order to provide an easy path for importing and manipulating 3D models.

Open Exhibits join the Away Foundation as an Enterprise Partner, and the two organisations will continue to work together on 3D features for the OE Player and SDK. You can read more about the partnership at The Away Foundation partners page.

15 Nov 2013

Away3D Typescript Training at Devgamm

by Rob Bateman Away3D Typescript Training at Devgamm

The Away Foundation is pleased to announce the first training day for Away3D Typescript will be held in Kiev as part of the annual Devgamm conference.

The one-day workshop will take place on the 6th December, the day before Devgamm. Cost is currently only $25 for the entire day, but hurry as these early-bird tickets will sell out quickly! The following is a short description of the planned agenda.

This intensive one day course is the perfect primer for anyone interested in expanding their realtime 3D capabilities natively in the browser. We'll start with an introduction to Typescript, the new web language designed for building rich web apps that should be familiar to anyone with Actionscript experience.

Installation and setup of the Away3D.ts framework will be covered in detail, providing an accessible API for creating smooth & performant 3D graphics with modern WebGL-enabled browsers. We'll look at basic 3D geometry / texture creation as well as more complex movement and interaction capabilities.

Practical tips for external assets import and use will be demonstrated, navigating some of the more common gotchas of 3D programming. We'll finish the day with a look at workflow methods for Away3D content, using the freely available Away Builder tool to prepare and import more complex scenes into an Away3D Typescript project.

The course is aimed at developers and code-oriented designers interested in creating their first 3D applications in Away3D Typescript. For a full breakdown of the day as well as ticket ordering, please visit our eventbrite page.

If you are attending Devgamm, you will also get a chance to hear about the planned future for Away3D Typescript and the potential of WebGL at Rob's Devgamm presentation on the 7th. Hope you can make it!


28 Oct 2013

JetBrains partnership and interview

by Rob Bateman JetBrains partnership and interview

The excellent developer tools company JetBrains have joined the Away Foundation as an Associate Partner, and have kindly agreed to donate licenses for both WebStorm and Intellij IDEA to the Away3D Team as part of their OS projects initiative.

We recently caught up with Elena Ganenkova from JetBrains to talk about the work we do at the Away Foundation, our philosophy and approach to OS software, the cool content that we see created with libraries like Away3D, and how our internal development process relies on Jetbrains tools. You can read the full interview over at the Jetbrains blog.


22 Oct 2013

Away3D at Mosaic3DX

by Rob Bateman Away3D at Mosaic3DX

The Away Foundation is pleased to announce its participation in the Mosaic3DX conference, occurring this month on the 30th and 31st October at the Microsoft Research Center in Cambridge, UK.

Mosaic3DX is a science & technology conference focusing on imaging, visualisation, and 3D graphics systems. We'll be presenting a hour-long session on Away3D, and be available for discussion and demos in the exhibitors hall throughout the rest of the conference.

Tickets are still availble for 2-day passes, and we feel attendance at the conference will be well worth it - notable items on the schedule include presentations from Microsoft, Unity, Autodesk and the Khronos Group.

22 Oct 2013

Away3D at Mozfest London 2013

by Rob Bateman Away3D at Mozfest London 2013

This weekend, The Away Foundation will be attending the annual Mozfest conference in Ravensbourne, London. As one of the facilitators, we will be arriving armed with a ton of useful demos and advice on how to build games with Away3D. You'll be able to find our booth in the Open Games area where you'll have a chance to chat to us about what we do and how it can benefit your own projects.

We will also be hosting a scheduled 2 hour workshop during the conference with the title "Getting started with Away3D in Typescript". This will be part of the Open Games session track, official details of which will be announced in the next day or so. Keep an eye on the Mozfest site for more info.

We're excited to be part of Mozfest and look forward to meeting fellow Away3D'ers as well as those new to the world of 3D in the browser. If you want to follow along with the workshop, a laptop is recommended but not essential.

See you there!

09 Oct 2013

Away3D Typescript 4.1 Alpha

by Rob Bateman Away3D Typescript 4.1 Alpha

The Away3D team is pleased to announce the first official release of Away3D Typescript!

The more observant of you may have noticed a few suspicious-looking tweets and posts around development activity over the last few months, but we can now officially reveal that yes, there is a new version of Away3D in development, and yes, it is built on top of Typescript / Javascript and WebGL.

Today we release some information around progress and support material, and plan to have more updates for you on our development roadmap in a separate post later this month.


To get you up to speed with Away3D Typescript, we first of all need to outline exactly what Typescript is and why it is so beneficial to Away3D. For more information about the language itself you can go to the official site linked above, but in a nutshell, Typescript is a superset of Javascript that adds class-like inheritance and typed functions & variables to basic Javascript code. It does this by using a compiler to convert Typescript code to Javascript code, which then runs natively in a browser or HTML5-based application platform.

At first glance this may seem like a convoluted route to Javascript development, but the advantages soon become clear the moment you start playing with the Typescript language. For complex libraries like Away3D, having type safety means less errors, clearer functionality, faster coding and more descriptive documentation. It will also be instantly familiar to anyone from an Actionscript 3 background because the two languages are derived from similar ECMAScript standards (Typescript is ES5, while the older Actionscript 3 is based on ES4). And it already has support from many industry-standard development tools such as FlashDevelop, Eclipse, WebStorm and Sublime Text.

Another huge benefit of Typescript is that it isn't trying to be something radically new, and doesn't force you to only work one way. Standard Javascript libs will happily work within a Typescript workflow with the inclusion of an easily created definitions file that specifies the mappings between Javascript and Typescript languages. Don't want to create a definitions file yourself? Head over to DefinitelyTyped, where you'll find several hundred definition files already created for the most popular JS libraries. Want to paste Javascript code into a Typescript file? Again not a problem - Typescript uses typed objects for error checking but you only have to use them if you want that feature.

So why is this beneficial to Away3D? Because this is where we see the web heading, and the emerging role of hardware accelerated graphics in cross-platform content. WebGL has been a web standard for several years now, and browser vendors are beginning to integrate WebGL support into their public version releases. We even see activity on mobile browsers with several vendors releasing WebGL-enabled developer releases on Android, Blackberry and iOS platforms. It is our intention to place Away3D at the center of this new standard as it reaches a coverage viable for use in commercial  projects - something we are only now starting to see.


Our new Github repos have the latest sources to sync, and we will be posting a "binary" release with minified includes and accompanying CDN urls later this month. The current version converts around 75% of the existing Flash version of Away3D 4.1 Gold, although we don't expect the same stability just yet as there are still some quirks of WebGL and Javascript that require working through. The library is being tested on all major browsers including those with WebGL capabilities on mobile, in order to focus on providing the best cross-platform experience with Away3D content.

A significant step of the conversion was to resolve our shader scripts into GLSL compatible scripts - not an easy task as all internal Away3D shaders are written on the fly. This was eventually cracked by Adobe, who very kindly donated some R&D work on an AGAL -> GLSL convertor. The code was ported to Typescript and has its own package structure separate from the main classes (christened AGLSL) for those interested in using the source in their own library conversion projects.


No release would be complete without some examples, so the above link takes you to a specially prepared mini-site where you can try out various demos and tests of the Away3D Typescript framework. Right now we have a limited subset of Away3D functionality ported from Away3D Flash 4.1, but we hope to be adding more very soon.

Remember, you will need a WebGL compatible setup to view the examples - this handy chart shows how compatibility has progressed over the last few years and can point you in the direction of a suitable browser version to download. Another aspect to consider is your operating system and hardware setup which has a role in determining if you will be able to view WebGL content or not - the Khronos Group has a maintained Blacklists and whitelists page on this very subject in case you are experiencing problems.

Getting Started

For a step-by step guide on how to setup your development environment for Away3D Typescript, take a look at the tutorial above. This will guide you through the initial install process of the typescript compiler, and has all the necessary links for downloading a set of examples and a compatible IDE. We have also created a few accompanying video tutorials that should guide you through the basics (in these we use the excellent WebStorm IDE for coding).

Further Updates

Keep an eye on our new Github repos for development activity - we are expecting to put in plenty of work over the coming weeks and months to complete the 4.1 conversion and firm up the library ready for a production release. We will also be posting more on various public speaking events where Away3D Typescript will be presented and discussed. The first of these will be at the Flash Online Conference #6 later this week on Friday 11th October, where you'll hear more about the current state of things, and get a chance to ask any questions you may have. Show your interest by selecting our session on the Stage3D facebook group page.

We are always keen to encourage others to get involved with Away3D development, and with any new development the time to get stuck in is at the start, so let us know if you are interested in helping out! Get in touch via Github or the Away3D forums, we'd also love to hear feedback or suggestions on the current library's implementation / features / bugs.

Enjoy the new release!

The Away3D team

22 Aug 2013

Away3D online presentations at the Flash Online Conference and Flash Camp Hawaii

by Rob Bateman Away3D online presentations at the Flash Online Conference and Flash Camp Hawaii

So how did this happen? We have back-2-back presentations coming up this Friday and Sunday on Away3D, and the good news is that both will be held online and be open to all comers.

Flash Online Conference #5 (http://gonchar.me/stage3d/)

Formally the Stage3D online conf, this live stream event in its 5th incarnation will kick off at 2pm UTC (3pm UK time), Friday 23rd Aug with a selection of presentations from the developers involved in today's cutting-edge Flash content. The full schedule can be seen on their site including such cool technologies as live-coding tool COLT and particle-busting 2D accelerated engine Genome2D. For the Away3D portion, be sure to tune in around 4.20pm where we will be presenting a feature on our new workflow tool Away Builder. The Flash Online conferences always get plenty of feedback and Q & A, so if you feel like getting your voice heard, be sure to login and join the discussion.

EDIT: If you're confused by all this multi-national UTC standard nonsense (as i was), here is a handly UTC timer countdown to ensure you don't miss out!

Flash Camp Hawaii (http://flashcamphawaii.com/)

The following day sees the kickoff of a two-day event being help both online and in the real world, broadcasting from Hawaii USA. From Aug 24th - 25th there will be a collection of presentations on Flash-related topics, including the design workflows of the new Flash CC tool, Flash use in education and of course, Flash and games. Our presentation is on the second day at 12pm local time, which works out as 11pm London time. We'll be talking about the Away3D 4.1 milestone that was reached earlier in July this year, what kind of improvements we've seen during that time, and what further advancements we can expect to see in the near-future. Should be an entertaining evening so feel free to join us if you can.


Adobe Connect Recordings for both these presentations are now available. Please click below to watch the recording you are after (the Away3D presentation for the Flash Online Conference occurs around 2/3 of the way in)

Flash Camp Hawaii - Introducing Away3D 4.1

Flash Online Conference #5 - Free, open source 3D authoring with Away Builder



22 Aug 2013

Away3D talk shop with AMD @ GDC 2013

by Rob Bateman

Earlier this year we were apprehended by the AMD team at the annual GDC conference in San Fransisco to talk a little bit about the work we do with Adobe and how it benefits games content creators. Above is the full interview between Andrew Baum from AMD and our very own Rob Bateman from The Away Foundation. Andrew was insistent in calling me "CEO" despite the fact that non-profit orgs tend to have Directors (in the UK at least), but I felt it wasn't the forum to be worrying about such minor semantics wink

The video is part of a selection of content published by AMD from its GDC experience. You can see other related video interviews with various Adobe Gaming team members here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8f4qeh6WxQ - Bill Howard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4vNbGxSB6g - Renaun Eriksson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R1w2F430D0&hd=1 - AMD & Adobe

16 Jul 2013

Away3D 4.1.4 Gold release

by Rob Bateman Away3D 4.1.4 Gold release

The Away3D Team & The Away Foundation are pleased to announce the release of Away3D 4.1.4 Gold. This is a significant milestone in Away3D development with the 4.1 branch becoming the official production ready release of Away3D, merging with the master branch on GitHub and marking the completion of the first completed software development cycle of The Away Foundation!

The 4.1 release is a culmination of a year's development by the Away3D team and its countless supports and contributors. To all, we'd like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you. As well as updating our own resources on away3d.com, Adobe have released the Adobe Gaming SDK 1.2 update which comes bundled with the new version of Away3D.


We have a bunch of updates in the new release, the vast majority being bugfix and stability related. Of those that aren't, we are pleased to say that we have added 3D Touch Event support as well as a few new API features in particles, tools and geometry packages. For a full list of updates, you can check out our new Away3D releases section on GitHub, where you can view our release notes for 4.1 and download the sources, or grab a binary to drop into a project if you just require a pre-compiled swc.

Away Builder 1.0

As well as the engine updates, we have one more goodie to give you - the first production version of the Away Foundation tool Away Builder!

This is a workflow tool written in Flash and AIR to be used alongside Away3D, providing a visual approach to the tricky business of asset preparation. The tool is aimed at designers wanting to preview and tweak all manner of Away3D features without having to write code, and is available as both an AIR binary download and live in-browser application.

Because the Away Builder tool is a completely new development stream for The Away Foundation, we felt that such a responsibility deserves a completely new site. So we'd like to annouce the brand new Away Tools website which can be viewed at http://www.awaytools.com. This our new home for all information around Away3D-related workflow tools and resources, and we plan to be adding plenty of content in the coming weeks.


To get you started with Away Builder, we have prepared two brand new video tutorials that can be accessed from the Away Tools website.

  • Introduction to Away Builder gives you a quick tour around some of the more common capabilities of the application. Models can be imported from a variety of formats, have materials and effects such and lighting and shadows applied, and then be exported to a compact binary file that is used directly by your Away3D project.
  • Geometry Primitives Creation and Manipulation takes a first look at how you can create simple geometry primitives such as planes and spheres, manipulate them to your requirements in Away Builder, and then apply materials with a variety of useful lighting options and effects.

In addition, we are preparing several updated AWDs using the new 2.1 format spec which you will be able to download and test in the project. The first of these (and the one seen in the screeshot above) is available right now as a recreation of the sponza scene from the 4.1 Alpha release, arranged entirely from data within the file. We hope this illustrates just some of the solutions Away Builder offers existing 3D workflows, and the release of more examples and tutorial demontrations will follow.

AWD 2.1

As the underlying backbone of our project workflow, the 2.1 update to the existing AWD format brings workflow possibilites to a whole new level. We are looking to finalise the new featureset in the coming weeks, as well as bringing some of the other Away3D tools that use AWD up to date. You can follow this and other annoucements at http://www.awaytools.com/awdformat where you will also find useful information about the current specifications of the format. AWD 2.1 is the perfect companion for Away3D due to its familiar data structure, and we hope to consolidate this into a formal release very soon.

Next steps

As this is a Gold release, the required Away3D 4.1 branch for git users has switched to the current master on Github, and you can also download a zip and swc binary via the handy new Away3D releases page. The releases page is also where you'll find legacy downloads for  Away3D 4.0.x. We are of course still maintaining our usual Away3D downloads page, and our Away Builder download page has also been updated for those who want to download the AIR application or source files in a zip. Of course, for up to the minute Away Builder info, we recommend you check out the new Away Tools site over at http://www.awaytools.com new tutorials, updates and planned releases will be annouced in future.

We are currently in discussions with Adobe over the next phase of Away3D development and will hopefully have more to say on the subject very soon. For now, enjoy the new release!



08 May 2013

Away3D 4.1.1 Beta release

by Rob Bateman Away3D 4.1.1 Beta release

The Away3D Team & The Away Foundation are pleased to announce the release of Away3D 4.1.1 Beta. This update builds on the wealth of new functionality to come out with the alpha in November last year, providing the some of the optimisations and stability required for production use. We will be continuing this process now, right up until the final Gold release for 4.1 is made in July.

Features & Improvements

As well as what seems like an endless list of bugfixes, the release has seen a string of new features added. Most notable are spritesheets animators and a constrained mode option for shaders, the former being a feature that can sync with your spritesheets created via Flash CS6 etc, the latter an option for those wanting to maximise their hardware acceleration reach while sacrificing a little on visuals. Improvements to the shadow options, scene partitioning and shading are also present, offering more options and an optimised render pipeline for those processor-hungry scenes.


There are some new tutorials to feast your eyes on in our tutorials wiki, as well as several that have popped up recently on the Adobe Developer Connection. For those interested in having a crack at the new spritesheet APIs, have a look at Using spritesheets in your projects, a fantastically detailed look at everything that can be done with this new Away3D feature. We also have a look at how writing custom materials can help optimise you shader (especially when using constrained mode) in Writing Custom Materials part 1 & part 2.

Over at ADC, we now have An introduction to mouse picking in Away3D and Simulating the globe with Away3D, both excellent intermediate tutorials for those wanting to get a bit more out of the API

Away Builder 0.9.0 Alpha

Now we get to a very exciting area of development - our brand new workflow tool Away Builder. You can download the latest stable binary from our Away Builder downloads page, or get a bleeding-edge build by grabbing the source and compiling for yourself. Everything for Away Builder is developed free and open source, so you can even create your own extensions directly in the tool interface should your project demand it.

Away Builder has been created from the ground up to provide a better link between 3D design and development. Essentially, Away Builder is a designer interface for accessing the visual stack in Away3D. Anything you can do in Away3D you can do in Away Builder, although right now (due to our Alpha status) this is restricted to covering materials, textures, lights, meshes and geometry.

As well as the development of the tool, we have spent considerable time on enhancing the AWD format to be able to store and retrieve the scene data required for the new asset setups you create. AWD 2.1 is still in draft spec, but you can follow this and other AWD developments from inside a new github organisation at http://github.com/awaytools. For the latest specifications doc on AWD, goto AWD_format_specification2_1_Alpha.pdf

Code Examples

Some new examples have been added to the examples zip to support the additional features of 4.1.1 Beta - Intermediate_MonsterHeadShading is an update on our old head model from Mr Perry Lee-Smith, replacing him with something altogether more... monstrous. With a poly-count through the roof and some added shading and shadow effects, it really shows how the engine has improved these past few months.

We also have a new demo showing off the potential of spritesheets, simulating a old-fashioned bedside clock, Intermediate_SpriteSheetAnimation. At first glance nothing is amiss... but wait, is that the time where you are? And is it updating with every second? Yes it is, and whats more, no GPU upload calls were hurt in its making. wink

This update being a bit of a two-parter, its hard to know what to end on. The Away3D 4.1.1 Beta is now available on the dev branch of github, or the usual downloads page for Away3D. This is primarily a stability update so we're looking forward to your feedback - any issues experienced then please alert us on the forums or our github issues page. Away Builder 0.9.0 is currently an alpha build - due to technical restrictions we were forced to roll back the release of a full beta candidate until the end of May. However, this gives us the advantage of responding to your feedback early in the development process. Any feature wishlists, bug reports or missing functionality you'd like to see addressed, please let us know via the github issues page or the brand new forum section for Away Builder discussion.

Also, for those wanting to hear a little more about what Away Builder and Away3D 4.1.1 Beta offer, Rob Bateman will be giving a presentation on Wed 8th May as part of the Game Frameworks Panel at this year's Adobe Max conference, so hop on the live stream (9.30am local time) or come along and introduce yourselves if you're lucky enough to be there in person.

Enjoy the new release(s)!

06 May 2013

Digitas France partner with The Away Foundation

by Rob Bateman

We are pleased to announce Digitas France as the latest Associate Partner of The Away Foundation.

Digitas France (Publicis Groupe) is an integrated brand agency – with a real-time digital core building powerful brands, creating valuable content and utility in the here-and-now of every touch point. We feel honoured to be able to make this official connection with a company that has already provided so much high quality Away3D content to the web,  showing that 3D in the browser can be an amazing experience when done right.

Their latest release to use Away3D is the highly polished Nissan Juke Personalisation experience. On announcing the partnership, Digtas France said:

Digitas is proud to announce its partnership with the Away Foundation, reflecting our will and excitement to deliver the best 3D content for brands showing that 3D is not only for gaming anymore!

Judging by their extensive backcatalog of showcase entries on our site, we couldn't agree more.

26 Apr 2013

Away Studios takes over from Away Media as official pro support service

by Rob Bateman

Our long standing Enterprise Partner Away Media have recently upped their game by metamorposing into the larger, further reaching and infinitely more visible company Away Studios.

Away Studios will be taking over Enterprise Partner duties from Away Media, dedicating developer resources and funds to The Away Foundation for the continued development of Away3D, as well as managing the official pro-support services for Away3D and associated libraries.

As well as company support, Away Studios have increased both their capacity and service remit, adding project concepting, design and management into the mix of services they offer. Find out more by taking a stroll around their new site at http://www.awaystudios.com

29 Mar 2013

Away3D 2013 Showreel

by Rob Bateman Away3D 2013 Showreel

As a final parting gift to this year's GDC in San Francisco, we have released a brand new Away3D showreel containing some of the latest Away3D games and applications. Highlights include the recently launch KingRoad from Rumble games, as well as a new and visually stunning update to Starforce Delta from Pro 3 Games.

We want to thank all companies and individuals who submitted Away3D content for GDC. Its been an amazing year for Away3D and the Away Foundation so far, and we look forward to more incredible looking 3D releases in the coming months.

The Away3D Team

Alternative youtube link:


25 Mar 2013

Scoreoid offers Away3D developers extended freemium package

by Rob Bateman

Today we are pleased to announce that The Away Foundation has a new associate partner with Scoreiod, an online backend service for gaming. To show their suppport, Scoreoid are offering an extended freemium package to Away3D developers who are looking for a non-restrictive, reliable and easy to use platform for games. With Scoreoid you can easily create saved games for your players and advanced leaderboards, game achievements, in-game notifications and more, managing your data across multiple platforms and from anywhere in the world. To get you started, Scoreiod offers built in filters and custom options for each platform your game uses. As part of their commitment to open source communities, Scoreoid are offering Away3D developers an extended Scoreoid freemium package, which includes the following:

  • Game limit set to 8 (up from 5)
  • Player limit set to 60,000 (up from 40K)
  • Unlimited API calls
  • Early access to new features, start with our new cloud storage
  • X1 for push notifications (coming soon)

Developers who take advantage of the offer while it is running are not subject to any time limit on the extensions Away3D allows. The current offer is set to run until the end of September 2013. In order to receive your Away3D extensions:

29 Jan 2013

Away Foundation roadmap & releases

by Rob Bateman

Over the last few weeks, there has been much internal discussion around our development roadmaps for the various libraries of the Away Foundation. We can confirm that Adobe is continuing its role as strategic sponsor of the foundation, and as we move forward this year, one of the core areas of management we will be focusing on improving is the synchronization between Away Foundation and Adobe Gaming activities.

As Adobe Gaming annouce their own roadmap for the year, there are some exciting times ahead for Away Foundation projects. The key areas of development we have planned so far are outlined below.

Away Builder workflow tool

The recent inclusion of Away3D in the Adobe Gaming SDK has provided us with a strong platform on which to further develop our resource libraries. As part of this ongoing relationship, we are preparing a brand new development stream for the creation of an open source AIR tool for the preview and preparation of Away3D content. The work will combine several of our existing strands of development in this area, including our work carried out so far on the highly optimised AWD format, with the intention of establishing a new project called Away Builder that will smooth the 3D production workflow between design and development. Some of the features of the first Away Builder release will include:

  • An import mechanism that accepts a variety of industry-standard formats and provides preview and export functionality

  • A WYSIWYG scene editor that will simplify material and light setups for Away3D, exposing core engine settings & functionality at the design stage

  • An updated format specification for AWD allowing the Away3D engine to recreate many more Away3D scene elements and settings from exported data.

  • An asset manager to easily tweak and optimise all aspects of the content contained inside individual AWD files, not just those visible on the stage.

The focus for development will be on easy of use and optimising output, and should make Away3D asset preparation a much easier prospect for 3D designers & developers in future. The Away Builder tool interface will be built on Adobe AIR and Apache Flex, and will be subject to the same Apache 2.0 licensing as the Away3D engine, making community contributions and / or bespoke company alterations and additions as easy as downloading the source and getting stuck in.

Away3D 4.1 Beta & Gold

Building on the 4.1 Alpha release towards the end of last year, the Away3D 4.1 engine will receive two further updates this year. A beta release will finalise the featureset and consolidate some of the feedback and fixes proposed by our community, while the production-ready gold release will perform a final sweep on stability and optimisations, accompanied by further updates and improvements to documentation, tutorials and reference material.

In terms of features, we are looking to prioritise the following for Away3D 4.1 Beta

  • Completion of Constrained Mode Stage3D support

  • Expanded animation engine to enable more complex animation trees

  • Additional animation types for GPU accelerated modifiers

  • Expanded texture options to provide more choice for texture types

  • Expanded post-processing options for advanced realtime effects

As the number of different platforms enabled for Stage3D publishing increases, we become ever more aware of the importance of flexible optimisation options for Away3D projects. The primary goal of our work on the gold release will be to increase our options in this area, in order to provide a truly multi-platform engine that delivers the optimal performance for 3D, whatever the underlying hardware.

Away Physics

A significant announcement in the Adobe roadmap blog post is the removal of licensing requirements from the XC APIs (formally Alchemy). This is great news for the Flash community, and will hold special significance for the Away Physics project which will no longer require an Adobe premium features license in order to be used in the Flash Player. We will be taking an in-depth look at what we can do in the near future to get Away Physics to production release status and hopefully have more information on our roadmap in this area very soon.

Timescales for release

As before, we are setting release dates for the above Away Foundation work so that our partners can plan ahead for when such releases will be available. We intend to release Away Builder 1.0 Beta alongside the Away3D 4.1 Beta at the beginning of May 2013. The following Away3D 4.1 gold release will occur at the end of July. Exact dates will be revealed closer to time.

As always, our outlines for work contain the general direction for us over the next few months, but this doesn't mean that we are no longer looking at user patches and pull requests. If you have an improvement that you feel should be included in the official release, or some area that is currently causing trouble in your Away3D project, please get in contact via the Away3D forums or github issues list and we can include you in the discussion.

04 Dec 2012

Adobe Gaming SDK 1.0

by Rob Bateman Adobe Gaming SDK 1.0

Today Adobe have announced their first release of a new suite of tools and libs for the Flash Platform that center around gaming. The Adobe Gaming SDK is intended as a starting point for game developers to build next-gen games in AS3, using all the latest Flash/AIR features: GPU-enabled graphics, ATF texture compression, and native extensions for device-specific functionality such as iAds and in-app purchasing.

The SDK package includes a number of open source frameworks that are officially supported by Adobe. Currently the list includes Starling for 2D graphics, Away3D for 3D and Feathers for UI components. We are very proud to be included in the existing supported frameworks of the SDK, and intend to be fully supportive of this new resource. At this stage, Adobe appear to have a good attitude when it comes to open source support for libraries that assist the Flash gaming workflow, and we welcome this continuing and expanding as more developers look towards Flash and AIR for crossplatform gaming development.

The bundle can be downloaded for free by logging into the Adobe Creative Cloud - don't worry if you don't have an account yet, as registration for this service is also free. Along with the open source libraries, several source examples are included. For Away3D, a new game demo called Invawayders is bundled which demonstrates how you can build a fun little 3D take on an arcade classic using the SDK. For a cross-platform preview of the game, check out the live web version, as well as published mobile versions on both Android and iOS. This content will also be updated over time, so watch this space for more info on SDK examples and updates.

For more info on the SDK, visit http://gaming.adobe.com/technologies/gamingsdk/


08 Nov 2012

Away3D 4.1 Alpha release

by Rob Bateman Away3D 4.1 Alpha release

The Away3D Team & The Away Foundation are pleased to announce the first release of the next major Away3D iteration. Imaginatively titled Away3D 4.1 Alpha, this update represents a significant leap forward, both in terms of performance and features. Many updates have come at the request of our community, while some have been added in order to enhance the multiplatform potential of the engine, setting the stage for what we hope will be a prolific period for Away3D games and apps across devices.


One big new feature comes in the form of multipass shading, enabling more complex effects and higher fidelity lighting for computers with more powerful GPUs. The demo above highlights some of the benefits - multiple-lightsources and cascading shadows are now easily possible and open the door for even more varieties of shading effects in the future, adding to our already bulging toolset. The use of multipass materials is a choice the developer can make at runtime, allowing seamless management of the overall experience between differently matched client machines.


To offer more options when creating photo-realistic scenes, several new materials have been created to simulate the application of realtime reflections on the surface of an object. The demo above demonstrates the use of such techniques in a scene where a desert landscape and R2D2 droid are beautifully reflected in the surface of the shape. We have also introduced an entirely new material texture type to allow the use of ATF textures in an Away3D scene. ATF textures are specially compressed for GPU use and as a result provide much better performance than traditional textures - for more information on how to use these in your project please check out our new ATF texture tutorial.


With the initial introduction of GPU-based animation in Away3D, we saw an impressive increase in animation performance across web and mobile applications. The new particle animation system extends this idea to a highly configurable GPU-based particle API - creating thousands of new and exciting visual effects possibilities. We feel as though we have only scratched the surface on what this system can do, and look forward to posting more tutorials and demos showing off the variety of effects that can be achieved with this new feature. The above example also exists as source files in the examples repository on github and serves as a good primer to this incredibly powerful addition to Away3D. Or you can check out our new Introduction to Particles tutorial.


With many of the features above focusing on visual quality, we don't want to forget about another important aspect to this new update - performance. Aside from the introduced ATF texture options, there have been several updates to the core internals of the engine that are less immediately apparent but nevertheless focus specifically on getting more out of your GPU. One of the most significant is in the way we handle our vertex data uploads which now use a single, ultra-fast compressed stream for all geometry info. We have also introduced a new experimental feature for the dynamic culling of large-scale 3D scenes, which we will be revealing more on very soon.

Support Material

Recognising that features are nothing without good support, we have set about completely revamping our tutorials section, creating a new wiki-style approach to tutorial authoring, and posting a bunch of new content. Browsing to http://www.away3d.com/tutorials, you will now be presented with an overview of the tutorials on offer, as well as standard wiki features such as catagorisation, recently changed pages and search function. If you are already a member of our forums, you can even request edit access on the wiki for submitting your own tutorial content - something we will be encouraging as our community grows. For more information on writing tutorials, please visit http://away3d.com/tutorials/Authoring_Tutorials_on_Away3D.com

As this is an Alpha release, you'll find the main update in github inside the dev branch of away3d-core-fp11 rather than the more usual master branch. Of course, there are also the obligtory zip downloads for the source and examples files, available from our downloads section in case you prefer not to do battle with git, and a version will also be uploaded very soon to our legacy googlecode repo for all you diehard svn fans out there. As well as the downloads, each one of the examples above can have ther source directly viewed and downloaded, simply by clicking on the view with the right-mouse button and selecting "View Source" from the menu.

If you experience any problems with the new codebase, please submit an issue report to our GitHub issues tracker.

Enjoy the new release!

05 Oct 2012

Away3D 4.1 Alpha roadmap

by Rob Bateman

We are happy to reveal that the next major revision of Away3D will reach Alpha on  the 15th November 2012. This version will contain many new features that are targetted at two fundamental improvements to the engine - performance and visual quality. The following post goes into detail around some of the features that are in the process of being added.

Much of the time, Away3D is being deployed on a wide range of devices with differing hardware configurations. It is our intention to allow developers a choice between speed and quality, that can be adjusted on the fly to allow higher-end systems greater graphical depth while keeping the experience smooh on medium and low-end systems.

Right now, materials in Away3D are built using dynamically compiled forward-rendered single pass shaders. This is great for minimising overdraw for graphics cards that have lower fillrates, but the approach restricts the amount of shading effects that can be performed on a single material, and doesn't take advantage of those systems with much higher fillrates and polygons-per-second benchmarks. In order to cater for this in future, we are adding a new set of materials that use forward-rendered multipass shading. This allows more complex lighting effects, as well as quality improvements on standard shading techniques such as shadow mapping. In other areas, we are adding some new material methods that have been requested by many of our users, such as real time planer and cubic reflections.

Another area of development sits around optimising the geometry pipeline in Away3D. A new compact geometry system allows the option of combining vertex buffers into a single stream where size will allow, reducing the number of GL calls required to render a single mesh object. Grid-based occlusion culling is being introduced as an experimental feature to allow the manual definition of visible areas in a scene depending on camera position - something we hope to enhance with a pre-processing step in a future release to automatically produce visible sets for individual occlusion cells. In terms of realtime optimisation, we are refactoring the tools package in 4.1 to provide more options for on-the-fly reduction of geometry data - a useful weapon for dealing with slower gpus such as those on mobile devices.

Finally one the most popular independent extensions of Away3D, the GPU particles system created by Away3D contributor Liao Cheng, will be officially merged into the main Away3D codebase. We have looked forward to this addition for a while, as GPU particles provide many solutions to performance issues when dealing with complex 3D effects, and particles are an invaluable visual addition to any graphics engine.

If you are interested in keeping up to date with new code being prepared for the 4.1 release, you can check out an up to the minute version from the Away3D dev branch at https://github.com/away3d/away3d-core-fp11/tree/dev. As usual, we are keeping a close eye on the issues tracker and will be addressing those issues relevant to this update, so if you have any feedback on the commits being made, please feel free to comment through the github interface here. Also, please let us know if you are building any experiments of your own using the dev branch that you'd be interested in sharing. We are adding to the Away3D code examples and tutorials all the time, but appreciate any assistance in this area.


16 Aug 2012

Away3D at Reasons to be Creative

by Rob Bateman Away3D at Reasons to be Creative

As one of the best european creative events of the year, Flash on the Beach was a suitable opportunity for many Away3D community and core members to get together. This year, the conference has been renamed Reasons to be Creative, and promises the same mix of technical gymnastists and creative epiphanies, located slap in the middle of everyone's favourite British seaside town Brighton.

If your interested in catching up on the latest Away3D developments at RTBC, there will be two opportunities to do so - Rob Bateman will be speaking about Away3D's new position with Adobe and The Away Foundation in Forward the Foundation on Monday, while David Lenaerts will reveal some of the more interesting research projects he's been busy with in A Trick of Light on Wednesday. We also highly recommend you check out  Russian superfreak and friend of Away3D Eugene Zatepyakin on Wednesday with his session Actionscript Computer Vision, which delves into some of the more interesting things you can do with shaders and motion tracking. hope to see you there!

The Away3D Team

26 Jul 2012

Training in London

by Rob Bateman Training in London

In the wake of our updates to the Away3D engine, we are please to announce another opportunity to attend an Away3D 4.0 training course, this time in (temporarily) sunny London town.

The event is hosted by the London Flash Platform User Group, and comprises an intensive two-day course over the 23rd and 24th August, all for the unbeatable price of £230 + VAT (£276).

Full details, including info on how to register can be found on the LFPUG website: http://www.lfpug.com/stepping-into-the-3rd-dimension-with-away3d-4-0/. Some highlights of the course include:

  • Library and examples step-by-step setup
  • Animation systems walkthrough
  • Prefab3D installation and use
  • Publishing on mobile devices

With a maximum class size of 14, seating is limited so be sure to register on the LFPUG page above asap to guarantee yourself a place, or send a mail direct to the organisers at training AT lfpug.com.


17 Jul 2012

Away3D & Adobe

by Rob Bateman Away3D & Adobe

We are pleased to announce Adobe Systems as our first official funding partner of Away3D, and an Away Foundation Strategic Member! Read an in depth interview article about the precise nature and setup of The Away Foundation over at http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmedia/?p=4904, or continue reading here for a description of what this development will mean for Away3D users.

Over the past few months, the work of the Away3D core team and community has generated significant interest from the Flash Product Team at Adobe. As Adobe's gaming focus for Flash gathers pace, the proliferation of free and open source libraries designed to enable content developers in this new era of Flash development becomes an important catalyst for the establishment of workflows and growth of communities that use Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR platforms for professional work.

Away3D, then and now

Away3D has long been about free software resources with a strong open source philosophy, and long-term survival has been achieved by independent production contracts that leverage the Away3D APIs. These days, the software managed by the core team is split across multiple frameworks, languages and platforms, and our user base has exploded to proportions that no longer realistically bear the tag 'side project'.

While we are overwhelmed by the support and encouragement given by other developers, we are now in a position where stable, continued growth requires an established funding scheme to allow team members the opportunity to focus their efforts entirely on Away3D matters, without having the distraction of external (and potentially unrelated) contract work.

The role of The Away Foundation

As a result, a new non-profit organisation has been formed called The Away Foundation. The primary role of this company is the continued management, funding and development of the free and open source software resources under its control, with focus on improving production workflows and end-user experience for graphics-based games and applications, on the web and mobile devices.

The Away3D engine is currently the most significant software resource managed by The Away Foundation, and many other related resources such as the AWD format, Away Physics and Prefab3D will be included in The Away Foundation's resources remit. These supporting libraries carry their own communities and development teams, and we hope to be able to make significant improvements to these resource areas as well as Away3D itself in the coming months.

Adobe involvement

Adobe play a pivotal part in the setup of The Away Foundation, as they have agreed to a Strategic Membership role with a funding commitment that will enable a level of development and support for continuing work on Away3D, allowing core members to focus their commitment to library development and the community support of those industry professionals who rely on our reosources. Furthermore, Adobe have announced that they are committed to a supporting role in the Away3D community itself, citing Away3D as their 3D framework of choice for the creation and publishing of 3D content via Adobe Flash on the web and Adobe AIR on mobile devices, and dedicating time and resources to Away3D concerns.

What happens now?

The Away Foundation is now in the process of setting up a membership program that is open to other organisations interested in providing funding for existing or future free software resources, with several levels of membership and funding commitment on offer. The aim is to provide a stable financial footing for the work involved, that rewards member companies with established software communities and cutting-edge software platforms, all available to the content developer free of charge and without licensing restrictions. More information about the various membership tiers can be found in the membership section of The Away Foundation website

As always, we will be continuing to encourage community involvement in the ongoing development work around Away3D and associated libraries, something that gives us an unparalleled edge when it comes to feature updates, integration opportunities with other resources and support material both official and third-party driven. Our core team and committer tier will remain unchanged in its approach to code contributions, and we hope that with the added focus brought by The Away Foundation, we can pay more attention to collaborative efforts that come out of the community, and involve ourselves in potential new avenues of exploration and collaboration for future API enhancements.

You can find out more on the goals and principals of The Away Foundation by visiting http://www.theawayfoundation.org and clicking on "About".

17 Jul 2012

Away3D 4.0 GOLD

by Rob Bateman Away3D 4.0 GOLD

The Away3D Team is pleased to announce the final production ready version of the Away3D 4.0 engine!

This Gold release marks a revision of Away3D that offers major improvements in both flexibility and reliability. A high level view of updates are presented here, and an update of the features pages will follow along with a more detailed breakdown of API changes as release notes accompanying the source code. Wherever possible, functionality has been maintained in a consistent manner and updates have concentrated on bolstering the existing APIs while cleaning and commenting others for a much improved coding experience.

Starling Integration APIs

As a frequently made feature request, a Stage3D manager API is integrated into the 4.0 Gold release allowing interoperation between Away3D and other Stage3D-based libraries. Now it is a straightforward matter to integrate both Away3D and Starling frameworks into your Stage3D projects for a seamless, optimised experience. For more information, check out our Away3D & Starling interoperation tutorial which demonstrates how you can manage multiple API render layers in a single context, reducing GPU overheads and allowing multi-framework content to be easily published to mobile platforms. More framework integration code examples can be downloaded from the away3d github repository at integration-examples-fp11.

Mouse Interaction and picking APIs

Another significant area of improvement, 4.0 gold comes with an upgraded object picking system that allows you to tailor mouse interaction methods for your precise requirements. Straightforward shader-based picking is available for systems that allow a reasonable rate of GPU readback, or you can choose between pure AS3-based picking for single core systems and mobile, and Pixel Bender-based picking for multi-core systems. The accuracy of picking data has also had some work, allowing you to adjust for as much or as little data as you need from 3D picking results or 3D mouse events. We are currently working on a set of tutorials that demonstrates the flexibility of the system, and the various pros and cons of each option on offer.

Frame-based animation APIs

For a long time, Away3D 4.0 has had some great functionality in its animation packages that has been largely overlooked due to implementation restrictions and an under-commented API. With 4.0 Gold, Away3D animation is back in the spotlight with a revamped set of animator controllers, as well as independent state management that allows multiple animator instances to feed from the same animation dataset. There have also been significant improvements to the node-based API for the creation of more complex additive and difference animation blendtrees. You can see some examples of the implementation in our updated code examples available on github at away3d-examples-fp11, or as a downloadable zip file in our download section.

Established content workflows for designers

As we move closer to fully immersive 3D applications & gaming in Flash and on mobile, the production process for Away3D assets becomes an important part of the framework's featureset. With Away3D 4.0 Gold, we have created a workflow for Autodesk 3DS Max and Maya designers that allows seamless content publishing using our own AWD file format. Plugins for Max 2012 and Maya 2012 are available from the AWD downloads pages, and we are please to announce the first in a series of step-by-step guides on workflow that will be published to our tutorials section, that provides an example of an Autodesk 3DS Max to Away3D workflow.

Bugfixes, examples and documentation

Our Away3D github issues tracker has been white hot with activity in recent weeks, and for 4.0 Gold we have cleared over 200 bugs and pull requests submitted by the community, while dealing with countless other known issues and updates. As a result, this release is our most stable to date and includes a completely revamped set of documentation pages and inline comments in source files. There are also many new examples and demos available, for which full source code is supplied. Check out the examples repository on github at away3d-examples-fp11, as well as the integration-examples-fp11 repository for code that demonstrates how to integrate Away3D with other APIs such as Starling.

Download packages and sources

The download section of  away3d.com has been updated to contain the latest binaries for framework and example files, as well as a pre-compiled library swc for easily dropping the framework into new Away3D projects. For a bleeding-edge build, you can download the latest stable release from the master branch of our away3d-core-fp11 github repository, or live on the edge by downloading the regular updates from our dev branch. Github is also the place to keep track of new development branches for the upcoming 4.1 Alpha version of Away3D, and we still welcome bug reports, feature suggestions and pull requests on any of the repositories managed on the Away3D Github homepage.

As always, we hope you enjoy the release and find some of the improvements to your liking. Feedback, feature suggestions, bug reports (although hopefully precious few of those) etc are always welcomed and appreciated.

The Away3D Team

04 Jun 2012

Away3D 4.0 Gold release schedule

by Rob Bateman Away3D 4.0 Gold release schedule

Today we are pleased to announce the roadmap for the Away3D 4.0 gold release. This has been a long time coming, but we are now in the final stages of preparation and are excited to be clearing our issues in the buglist, submitting a few last-minute tweaks to the API and preparing both code and workflow demos for public release once the final version hits.

Away3D 4.0 gold is scheduled for launch the week beginning 16th July, and will include all support material (docs, tutorials, articles), source code and release notes. This release will not be adding any new features, and is primarily for stability and API issue resolving.

Towards the end of June, work will also begin on Away3D 4.1 Alpha. This version is intended to showcase a few of the newer areas of development we've been alluding to at recent conference appearances, with the emphasis being on high-end graphic abilities such as particle effects, post-processing techniques and advanced shading options. A full list of intended features will be released via blog post in the near future.

In the meantime, we have published our recent 2012 showreel video on both YouTube and Vimeo, which we hope will give some encouragement and inspiration for using Away3D 4.0 in your future projects. If you are currently working on a project using Away3D that you'd like us to feature in the showcase section, please get in touch via email, forum or the showcase submissions form.

In order to follow the preparation of the 4.0 gold release candidate on Github, simply point your git client to the 'release' branch in the away3d-core-fp11 repository and you should have access to all reported fixes and updates as commits are made. As always, we appreciate your feedback and the reporting of any new bugs you may be aware of. Issues deemed out of 4.0 scope will be assigned the 4.1 Alpha milestone tag in the issues tracker and will be dealt with in a separate sweep once the 4.0 release is complete. Thanks for your support!

The Away3D Team

20 Mar 2012

Training at BTPlay

by Rob Bateman Training at BTPlay

For those looking for a head start with Away3D 4.0, look no further than the upcoming 1-day workshop hosted at the Beyond Tellerrand - Play! conference in Cologne, Germany. The conference spans 4 days from April 24th - 27th, and has a great variety of speakers talking about code, creativity and inspiration.

Stepping into the 3rd Dimension is one of the post-conference workshops taking place on the 27th April, and will be presented by Away3D co-founder Rob Bateman. Ticket prices are 350 euros per person, and numbers are limited to ensure a good level of teaching.

The class will cover setup and build of a basic 3D interface, how to import assets and add interaction and animation, and the pitfalls to watch for when optimising for Stage3D. You will also learn about the exciting possibilities brought by other open source libraries that integrate with Away3D, adding such abilities as Physics and Augmented Reality

For full details and registration info, check out the Beyond Tellerrand - Play! workshops page.

17 Feb 2012

Away3D 4.0 Beta released

by Rob Bateman Away3D 4.0 Beta released

We are pleased to announce that the release build of Away3D 4.0 Beta has finally arrived! What with all the action and reaction of the last few weeks and months, its been a tough time for everyone at Away3D and we appreciate the patience and resilience of everyone involved, none more so than all you users out there.

The purpose of the beta release has been to solidify the APIs written while Flash 11 was still in incubator phase, introduce some others after feedback from users and our own internal team members on features and easy of use, and generally stabilise the library codebase. The overall intention has been to produce an update that improves your daily workflow - here are some of the following improvements that have been implemented:

New Texture classes

In order to streamline our GPU implementation in Away3D 4.0, we have to consider data optimisation in a way that keeps GPU upload bandwidth to a minimum. Textures comprise much of the data used in 3D, and as such we have introduced some new classes to assist with optimisation in this area. Instead of automating the creation of texture objects inside materials, Away3D 4.0 introduces the new BitmapTexture class that acts as the data instance of a texture. This can be shared by any number of material classes and is not bound to any single material, allowing the user to easily manage and optimise texture use in a project.

New Geometry handling

The concept of a mesh as a container for geometry data is something that has always been present in Away3D, but the new version puts more emphasis on it than ever. Primitive classes now inherit from geometry to encourage their reuse in mesh instances, and the Mesh class itself has the addition of a geometry property in the first argument of its constructor. By doing this we hope to encourage more efficient re-use of geometry in Away3D 4.0 projects, something that also has significant benefits for GPU use.

Improved mouse interaction

Mouse interaction with 3D objects inside the view have previously relied on data from the GPU for detecting 3D mouse events. This has been a reliable way of resolving interactions, but it comes at a high cost as the GPU in general is only designed to have data travel one way - to the screen. In order to avoid the processing overhead that comes with GPU readback, we have completely re-written mouse interactions for the CPU, using the fast maths operations of Pixel Bender to ensure efficiency. For the rare cases where this is not enough, we have also introduced a super-optimised option to detect mouse events on just the bounding geometry of a 3D object.

Handling new / deprecated classes

Due to the API changes to Away3D 4.0 Beta mentioned above and elsewhere, some degree of code refactoring will be required to upgrade an existing project. While we hope these will appear as minor, please bear that in mind if you are considering switching mid-project. To help with some of the changes, we have retained the old class structures but using them will throw a deprecation error with details of how to re-factor using the latest classes.

The new release is intended as a consolidation of various loose ends and unoptimised areas and as such has no outright new features, but it is out recommendation to upgrade whenever possible in order to take advantage of the streamlined APIs and optimised operation.

An update to the livedocs will be arriving shortly, in the meantime you can grab the latest 4.0 beta build by going to the away3d-core-fp11 repository on github, and download all the existing Away3D source examples updated for the beta changes at away3d-examples-fp11. Alternatively, head over to our downloads page for zipped sources of both repositories.

We hope you like the new release and welcome any feedback.

The Away3D Team

********* update *********

Our googlecode svn has now had its source repository updated for any of you who prefer using svn over git - sadly, due to git's terrible svn integration we won't be able to issue regular code updates here, but we will continue to post all major releases:

library is located at http://away3d.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/fp11/Away3D/
examples can be found here http://away3d.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/fp11/Examples/Away3D/as/

Finally, we also have a selection of update compiled demos that now run in 4.0.0 beta, links are pasted below. For each demo, you can view and download the source by right clicking anywhere in the view and selecting "View Source". You will also notice a version indicator in the right-click menu for debugging purposes - we will be updating revisions regularly so if you like to live on the bleeding edge, you should always be able to identify which version you are currently working with.



21 Dec 2011

Updated roadmap for Away3D 4.0

by Richard Olsson

As the roadmap for Away3D 4.0 is somewhat behind schedule, we wanted to publish an update on recent progress. Our original plans to release a beta version in November, and to then release a final 4.0 version in December was described in this blog post. We have not been able to reach these milestones yet, but that of course does not mean that work has stopped or that Away3D is going away.

The delay is largely as a result of our desire to create a high-quality, professional-grade library with Away3D 4.0. We are committed to providing a stable, flexible and well-documented API for the final release, and with some refactor work still in the pipeline, we have found it simply unrealistic to keep to our original timescales unless we were willing to compromise the scope of delivery in some way.

At present, API changes are being worked through and we would encourage anyone interested in these changes to take a look at "dev" branch on GitHub for the latest test builds. Much progress has been made here already, and there are even a few new features sneaking in which we'll be talking more about in a separate blog post. The revised roadmap plan expects completion of these refactors to fall around mid to late January, at which point Away3D 4.0 will officially reach beta. At this point we will switch to concentrating on bugfixing and minor refinements, adding the polish necessary to finalise our official Away3D 4.0 release version.

As a side note, we are aware of the current concern surrounding the future of one of our newer libraries Away Physics that uses Adobe Alchemy. Some of you may have heard that Alchemy is due an upgrade, although the precise nature of this upgrade is yet to be revealed. We are actively involved in discussions with Adobe over their direction with Alchemy, and hope to be able to bring you information in the near future on what this will mean for Away Physics. The prospect of technical improvements in this area is certainly one of great excitement for us, and the precise nature of the licensing model (which for many is the source of concern) is something Adobe are keen to make work for open source communities such as ours. Watch this space for updates on the discussion.

It is important to note that although Away3D 4.0 is technically still in alpha, a lot of people have already used it to create seriously stunning content. Take a look at our showcase gallery for some of the recent projects around the web that have been using Away3D 4.0 to achieve visuals of a quality and speed never before seen in Flash. If anyone is planning to publish an Away3D project, we encourage you to fill out a showcase form for future inclusion in our showcase section.

Thank you for all contributions, discussions, demos and sites submitted by the community in the last few months, and happy holidays to all Away3D users around the world!

The Away3D Team

12 Oct 2011

Back from Max: Away3D platform roadmap

by Richard Olsson Back from Max: Away3D platform roadmap

Max felt like a very complete conference this year - plenty of sessions about future directions for creative and development tooling, some amazing announcements around collaborations (see this epic games article to find out more on the Flash 11 publishing options coming to UDK) and, of course, the official release of Flash Player 11, all of which you can watch on Adobe TV's recording of the day 2 keynote.

Away3D platfom roadmap

Having fully recovered from the festivities, there are a few announcements to be made concerning our own release roadmap. The first concerns our release plans for Away3D 4.0 and Away Physics. Above is a slide that we ran out of time to show in our MAX presentation, announcing december this year as the release date of Away3D 4.0, with a beta release in November. The work leading up to the beta release will finalise library features and front facing code structures. API changes will be kept to an absolute minimum during the beta cycle the following month leading up to our final production release of 4.0 at the end of the year.

This means that the next few weeks will see some much needed library updates, while the time after November will be used to focus on tidying up our documentation, making final API tweaks and fixing all the bugs that our community has so graciously been filing in our GitHub issue tracker. Please keep doing so if you find any issues with the current alpha version!

The result of all this means that over the next two months, you should expect to see a feature complete, stable API version of Away3D 4.0 emerging. At the same time, will be aiming to match these milestones with those of our open specification, compact binary file format AWD. By the end of this year we're likely to see AWD2 ready for general release, with feature complete exporters for Maya 2010, 2011 and 2012, as well as Blender 2.59 and above.

After these releases and into early next year, we will be continuing development for Away3D 4.1, for which we will announce a release schedule at a later time. In parallel, we will be working on finalising the AwayPhysics 1.0 library release that offers integrated 3D physics interactions with Away3D. We are also beginning development on a brand new library that was announced at Max called Away Game Tools, more of which will be detailed in a forthcoming blog post.

We hope you are as excited as we are to be nearing a stable Away3D 4.0 release. Please help us by continuing to file issue reports on Github that keep us aware of the existing problems and bugs being encountered. Also, if you are requiring urgent assistance regarding bugs or features in a project that you or your company are planning to release in the interim, don't forget that our production and consultancy group Away Media offers services for projects working to tight deadlines. And if you didn't make it to Max this year, you can watch the recording of our shared Flare3D / Away3D session on Adobe TV: Flash and 3D: Start your engines!

The Away3D Team

21 Sep 2011

Away Sky Racer

by Rob Bateman Away Sky Racer

As the start of a new series of library demos coming your way, we'd like to share with you one of the new Away3D demos unveiled at the recent Flash on the Beach conference in Brighton. Away Sky Racer was created by the French-based Away3D contributor Lo Chamans, using Away3D 4.0 and Away Physics. Controls are WASD or cursor keys, mouse to look around, O to swap control between character and car and C to open controler panel. We'd be especially interested in any feedback on performance as this will continue to be tweaked and optimised as the library code matures.

21 Sep 2011

Away Physics: brand new 3D physics engine for Away3D

by Rob Bateman Away Physics: brand new 3D physics engine for Away3D

Something we have been heavily hinting at over the last few weeks (and a topic we are insanely excited about) is the recent addition to the Away3D fold of a brand new codebase - the aptly titled Away Physics engine. This is a new 3D physics library - the result of a joining of forces between the Away3D team and the former JiglibFlash team, with the idea being the creation of a much more closely coupled engine specifically for Away3D use. You can try out Away Physics right now by checking out the new repository at http://www.github.com/away3d/awayphysics-core-fp11, and there is a new area in the forums specifically for any Away Physics-related questions. The library is firmly in alpha phase, but the code is already very useable for testing - the core of the engine is a conversion of the popular and solidly built Bullet physics engine and the results of our early tests have demonstrated its potential for use with Away3D - both in terms of speed and features. We'd love to hear any feedback you have for the Away Physics library, so if you're interested in taking it for a spin be sure to check out the example files - you can find them here: https://github.com/away3d/awayphysics-examples-fp11

20 Sep 2011

Away3D 4.0 showreel

by Rob Bateman Away3D 4.0 showreel

Fresh from our recent Flash on the Beach sessions, we'd like to announce the release of our beautiful new showreel video (below) created by the always talented Joseph Rufián, showing off a selection of games and techdemos created over the last 8 months using the new Away3D 4.0 codebase. Because there are many projects we know of that are still in development, we will most likely be producing a brand new, longer showreel in a few months time so if you or your company is planning anything big with the Away3D 4.0 library and you'd like to be included, please get in touch.

For those of you of a vimeo persuasion, the same demo can be viewed on vimeo here

Thanx go out to the FOTB organisers for once again putting on a cracking event!

19 Aug 2011

Away3D at Flash on The Beach 2011

by Jens Chr Brynildsen Away3D at Flash on The Beach 2011

It's that time of the year again. Flash developers migrate in droves to sunny Brighton to catch the annual Flash on The Beach (FOTB) conference. This year, two Away3D team members will attend as speakers: Rob Bateman and David Lenaerts. Rob's talk will focus on Away3D v4 and the gaming features that the upcoming Flash Player 11 release will enable, whereas David will talk about what he does in his leisure time (and yes - you do want to know about that grin )

There will also be others talking about 3D at the event such as Eugene Zatepyakin, Frank Reitberger, Carlos Ulloa and Brighton homeboy Seb Lee-Delisle. FOTB is also known for it's inspirational sessions so anyone with an interest for 3D will enjoy this event. The early bird pricing and workshops are long gone, but the conference is still very much worth the ticket price flashonthebeach.com/tickets/

01 Jun 2011

New Book: Away3D 3.6 Cookbook

by Rob Bateman New Book: Away3D 3.6 Cookbook

As part of their support to Open Source community projects, Packt is offering all members of the Away3D community 25% off the book and a percentage of all book sales goes back to the Away3D project. Some details on the book content can be found below, provided by the people at Packt:

The book, available in print and eBook format, features over 80 practical recipes for creating stunning graphics and effects with the fascinating Away3D engine. Overview of Away3D 3.6 Essential
  • Invaluable tips and techniques to take your Away 3D applications to the top
  • Reveals the secrets of cleaning your scene from z-sorting artifacts without killing your CPU
  • Get 2D objects into the 3D world by learning to work with TextField3D and extracting graphics from vector graphics
  • Learn essential topics like collision detection, elevation reading, terrain generation, skyboxes, and much more
  • Gain an exclusive and practical introduction to Molehill, the next generation of 3D APIs for the Flash platform - by creating a rotating sphere from scratch.
  • Part of Packt's Cookbook series: each recipe is a carefully organized sequence of instructions to complete the task as efficiently as possible
Is this book for you? The book is written for experienced Flash developers who want to work with the Away3D engine as well as for those who are already acquainted with the engine but wish to take their skills to the next level. Basic knowledge of Away3D and familiarity with ActionScript 3.0 and OOP concepts is assumed.
To claim your exclusive 25% discount when you buy through PacktPub.com, just enter the discount code Away3DCBK25 (case sensitive), to the shopping cart. Click here to read more about the Away3D 3.6 Cookbook. (NB: customers must be logged in to PacktPub.com for discount code to be applied) Thanks must go to Michael for his efforts on the book, and Packt for their continued support! The Away3D Team

27 May 2011

Away3D at FATC 2011 in New York

by Richard Olsson Away3D at FATC 2011 in New York

In two weeks from now Rob Bateman and Richard Olsson, both core members of  the Away3D team and authors of The Essential Guide to 3D in Flash will be in New York to give separate presentations at the FATC conference. Rob's talk will be a general showcase of what Away3D 4.0 brings to the table when it's officially released later this year. Richard, on the other hand, will focus on Away3D workflows with tools such as Maya and Blender in his talk, as well as share the latest updates on the AWD2 file format. The FATC conference is an exciting event in NYC, the capital of the world, and you really should go if you get the opportunity. If you see any of us at the event, don't hesitate to come up and tell us what you think of Away3D and how you're using it. See you in New York, New York! In the meantime, follow the development of Away3D 4.0 "Broomstick" on GitHub.

26 Feb 2011

Away3D 4.0 Alpha release - Broomstick

by Rob Bateman Away3D 4.0 Alpha release - Broomstick

Following the recent Adobe announcement at the Flash Gaming Summit keynote, we are pleased to announce the first public build of the Away3D 4.0 engine for Flash 11. This release leverages the GPU support of the Molehill APIs, which are included in a version of the Flash Player now available as a new form of public release on Adobe Labs known as an Incubator build. The Incubator build of Flash 11 was announced at FGS alongside an accompanying Air 3 Incubator build, allowing GPU-accelerated Flash content to be viewed both in the browser and on the desktop. These builds are part of Adobe's new program for bringing in-development features of upcoming features of the Flash Player to a public release ahead of a fully stable beta release, and so are not intended for commercial use at this time. However, we think this approach is a vast improvement over previous strategies for Flash Player releases - offering anyone interested the opportunity to test and give feedback on new features as they are developed.This should lead to a final build that is focused on compatibility and stability - something that is crucial with a release that relies on the compatibility of GPU hardware. Of course, this release also means that we can finally let out of the bag some of the features we've been developing for Molehill. The following screenshots link to a selection of demos whose source code is now available for download from our googlecode repository or the downloads page. In order to run these demos, you'll need to follow the instructions for installing the Flash 11 Incubator build on Adobe Labs. In order to compile the source, you'll also need to follow the instructions for installing and compiling files for Flash Player 11 & AIR 3. ShallowWaterDemo With GPU rendering, all visual ouput of Away3D is handled by the GPU, freeing up all CPU cycles for other tasks. This now allows much more detailed simulations to be rendered, as the above demo shows. The water effect uses Shallow Water Simulation equations with a mesh plane constructed from 80,000 triangles that are updated by the CPU in realtime. The rendering on the GPU uses an Environment map to create a reflective surface effect with a realism never before seen in Flash. LoaderOBJTest However, the shading capabilities of Molehill can create far more complex shading effects. In the demo here, the imported model (a 3D Head Scan by Lee Perry-Smith, based on a work at www.triplegangers.com, licensed under Creative Commons) uses a sub-surface scattering shader to create an ultra-realistic skin texture effect. Away3D 4.0 has a completely revamped materials package that allows easy use of complex shader techniques such as specular maps, normal maps and shadow mapping. AS3SkinExporterStressTest Another area given a complete overhaul in the new Away3D engine is animation. The GPU offers us the possibility of accelerated animation calculations which again frees up CPU cycles for other work - the only restriction being the amount of animation data which must be small enough to be upload to the GPU's memory. The example above uses a new AS3 exporter for bones animation written by Jerome Birembaut, which converts 3ds MAX skins and animations to AS3 classes that can be compiled direct into your Away3D project for any animation sequence or animation rig. MD5 files are also supported, allowing any model built using the Doom 3 format to be used in Away3D 4.0. These also use a bones animation format but are saved as external files (in a similar way to the Quake 2 MD2 format) that can be loaded and processed at runtime. The demo below loads several MD5 animations that can be applied to the same model - use the cursor keys to walk around and spacebar to attack! LoaderMD5Test At present, Away3D 4.0 is alpha software and so, like the Incubator build of Flash 11, should only be used for the purposes of testing and prototyping. To identify this release we have used the codename Broomstick, both on the downloads page and in the svn directories. We are also pleased to announce that as from today, Away3D is now available on github! Please register on our google group at http://groups.google.com/group/away3d-dev for updates on Broomstick, new demos, upcoming conference appearances and training! The Away3D Team

21 Feb 2011

Away3D at FITC Amsterdam 2011

by Rob Bateman Away3D at FITC Amsterdam 2011

The upcoming FITC conference in Amsterdam is now only a fortnight away, which is particularly good news for us as aside from the awesome speaker lineup, it is one of the first opportunities of 2011 for meeting other members of the Away3D community. Several of the Away3D Team will be present, including both Rob Bateman and Richard Olsson, authors of The Essential Guide to 3D in Flash, who will be giving separate presentations at the event. Rob's brand new talk entitled Simulating the Real is an analysis on the varied approaches taken with real-world simulations in programming, while Richard's is a selection of practical techniques for producing 3D Flash content with the popular open source 3D modelling package Blender, entitled Flash, Will It Blend?. Both will include information on the upcoming release of the molehill-enabled Away3D engine, Away3D 4.0. The FITC organisers have kindly created a special discount code for any members of the Away3D community - simply type "Away3D" into the discount code box on the registration page to receive a 10% discount. Big thanx go to all at FITC for their continued support!

10 Feb 2011

New Book: Away3D 3.6 Essentials

by Rob Bateman New Book: Away3D 3.6 Essentials

This week, our good friends at Packt published a new book on Away3D called Away3D 3.6 Essentials by Matthew Casperson. As part of their support to open source community projects, Packt is offering all members of the Away3D community 20% off the book. The following is a little more detail on the book contents, from the people at Packt:

The book covers many Away3D features, and offers the reader an opportunity to take Flash to the next dimension by creating detailed, animated, and interactive 3D worlds with Away3D. You'll be able to create basic 3D objects, display lifelike animated characters, construct complex 3D scenes in stunning detail, and much more with this practical hands-on guide. Overview of Away3D 3.6 Essential
  • Create stunning 3D environments with highly detailed textures
  • Animate and transform all types of 3D objects, including 3D Text
  • Get the best performance from the Flash Player with proven Away3D optimization techniques, without compromising on visual appeal
  • Follow step-by-step examples in a practical and illustrative style
Is this book for you? Away3D 3.6 Essentials is written for beginners as well as experienced Flash developers who are looking to create 3D applications in Flash using the Away3D engine. Whether you are using Away3D for the first time or are a seasoned developer, this book will provide you with a solid foundation in taking Flash to the next dimension. It can also be used as a reference guide by Flash developers who are already familiar with Away3D.
To claim your exclusive 20% discount when you buy through PacktPub.com, just enter the discount code Away3D20 (case sensitive), to the shopping cart. Click here to read more about the Away3D 3.6 Essentials book. (NB: customers must be logged in to PacktPub.com for discount code to be applied) The Away3D Team would like to thank both Packt for their support, and Matthew for his efforts on the book - looks like a great job! A full review should be forthcoming at away3d.com in the next week or so.

05 Nov 2010

Away3D: Adobe’s new 3D API “Molehill”

by Peter Kapelyan

If you haven't heard the news, the next major Flash Player upgrade from Adobe will include a extensive 3D API that will support direct paths to OpenGL and DirectX-based 3D rendering on the GPU, as well as a new software 3D renderer fallback that will aim to provide the vast majority of computers with fast, reliable, 3D rendering in Flash. But how is all this achieved, and what does it mean for Away3D? Armed with "Molehill" (the codename for these new 3D APIs) performance is set to increase to around 1000 times what  can be squeezed out of the current Flash Player. Flash game makers, designers, and developers will finally have the option to use console-quality 3D graphics in their 3D Flash creations. The Away3D Team have been working closely with Adobe to create an easy upgrade path for the Away3D engine, providing the same easy to use framework at a high level, but plugging directly into the exposed hardware APIs at a low level. Rob Bateman and Richard Olsson presented some of the new capabilities being worked on at the recent Adobe Max conference in LA, at their session New 3D features for Flash. A recording of the presentation can be found at http://tv.adobe.com/watch/max-2010-develop/new-3d-features-for-flash/ or by clicking the link below. The presentation shows some amazing demos running realtime accelerated 3D from inside the Flash Player, with the help of our 4.0 prerelease build. The public beta of this player is planned for release in the first half of 2011, and will be complemented by a public release of the Away3D 4.0 engine, enabling the Away3D community to start developing faster, smoother and less processor-hungry 3D Flash content as soon as the capabilities are available. Because Molehill runs on the GPU (graphics processing unit) of desktop machines, CPU usage is minimal, allowing faster, smoother and less power-hungry Away3D Flash movies. If you can't wait for the public beta to get a glimpse of the possibilities, be sure to check out the high-quality videos below of two Away3D 4.0 demos. For up to-the-minute information on the progress of Away3D 4.0 and Molehill, please sign up to our mailing list. We will also be presenting an update to the progress of hardware accelerated Away3D at the upcoming AUG XL conference in Amsterdam on November 17th. Hope you can make it! The Away3D Team

18 Oct 2010

Away3D at Max 2010

by Rob Bateman Away3D at Max 2010

The Away3D team are currently beavering away on the final preparations for our presentation at Max - this will be without a doubt one of the biggest events of the year and we feel extremely privileged to be a part of it. If you are interested in what the future holds for Away3D and are lucky enough to be attending the Adobe Max conference yourself, then be sure to sign up for our session: New 3D features for Flash. The talk will not exclusively pertain to the Away3D engine - we will be sharing our slot with 3D Flash veterans and general all round smashing chaps from Alternativa, so there will certainly be a lot to pack in! Seats for the session sold out early last week, but we're told that room capacity has since been increased so more seats are now available. Our advice would be to get them while you still can - you will not want to miss this show... A little too vague? Maybe. But seriously, you won't want to miss it. Trust us. wink **********Update********** I've also been told that we will have an opportunity to showcase some of the more esoteric uses of Away3D at this year's FITC Unconference. This is a collection of exclusive sessions from the FITC crowd, bundled into a special room at Adobe Max. Each slot is a 30 minute mini-session that can be a little more relaxed and participatory than the usual Max circus, aided by free beer supplied by the generous peeps at Litl.com. My session is titled The evolving Away3D platform – hope you can make it!

27 Sep 2010

Away3D 3.6.0: Flash 10 upgrades and the Influxis Battlecell API

by Rob Bateman

The latest update to Away3D gives a much needed boost to both speed and memory optimisation in the FP10 branch, and marks our first release after the switch to full time Flash 10 development of the engine. However, for anyone still using Flash 9, you will not be forgotten! We will still be posting maintenance updates, but our main focus of development is now firmly in the Flash 10 camp. In order to celebrate the release, we are launching an online demo born out of a recent collaboration with Influxis, who have been assisting with an experiment that uses both the extra power of the new engine and the peer-to-peer capabilities of Flash 10.1 to produce a realtime 3D multiplayer prototype. We'd like to thank Influxis dev Sean McCracken, as well as Away3D coders David Lenaerts and Fabrice Closier, and 3D designer Federico Selmi for their hard work producing the latest and greatest Away3D / Influxis experiment. battlecell_01 The demo uses a newly developed API for multiplayer games over RTMFP (the new P2P protocol available to Flash 10.1 users). What it allows is live data connections between clients with little to no lag, creating the perfect environment for some serious fragging fun! BattleCell is the name given to both the demo and the underlying AS3 API, the latter written by Sean in order to easily connect multiple users and pass data between clients. battlecell_02 The BattleCell demo is a typical FPS Deathmatch-style game, complete with room allocation, choice of weapons and a large play area for you to roam. Obstacles in the game include lifts, teleport windows, acid baths and secret tunnels to assist your attacks... but be careful who is lurking round the corner! battlecell_03 The new 3.6.0 version of Away3D has a completely remodeled core to take full advantage of all native 3D APIs in Flash 10, which results in more stable and less memory-hungry apps. Performance has improved also, and we expect framerates to increase still further as we continue to optimise the new framework. There have been some older class replacements that you need to be aware of when upgrading: both custom classes MatrixAway3D and Number3D have been replaced by the native Matrix3D and Vector3D classes respectively for added speed and stability. battlecell_04 The Battlecell demo is kindly hosted by Influxis and can be accessed online at http://www.influxis.com/battlecell. Type in a room name for your friends to join, and a user name so that others can identify you in-game. The game URL can easily be copy-pasted for fast access to a room, and any user leaving the game automatically frees-up their slot for a new user to join. As the APIs are still being tested, a maximum of 4 users can join a single room at once, but we hope to increase this limit in future versions. The new version of Away3D can be downloaded from the fp10 branch of the googlecode svn, or from the downloads section of away3d.com. A 3.6.0 tag will be added to the svn in the next few days, along with a 2.5.2 tag for the latest fixes to the fp9 version of the engine. We will also be tagging a 3.5.2 dot version of the fp10 branch that will take advantage of some of the recent updates without any external class changes, for Away3D applications already in production. For now, enjoy the game and enjoy the new Away3D release! The Away3D Team *******Update******* New versions for Flash 9 (2.5.2) and Flash 10 (3.5.2) have been tagged in the svn - these are legacy versions that include all bugfixes and optimisations from the last round of development, minus the API changes. Developers should use these if they want to upgrade an ongoing project, as neither will affect code already written. You can also download the 2.5.2 version from the downloads page. Any further bugs encountered can be reported on the issues list or the Away3D mailing list. Cheers!

19 Aug 2010

Showcase section

by Jens Chr Brynildsen

Please check out the new Showcase section for the most recent showcases for Away3D.

01 Jun 2010

First Away3D book: The Essential guide to 3D in Flash

by Rob Bateman First Away3D book: The Essential guide to 3D in Flash

The very first Away3D book was finally published last month by Friends of Ed. Thanx go our to the main authors Rob Bateman and Richard Olsson, as well as Away3D Team members Greg Caldwell, Jens Brynildsen, Peter Kapelyan, David Lenaerts and Alejandro Santander who all made contributions. This has been a lot of work for everyone involved, and is a testament to the dedication of the core team and support of our community. The book serves as an ideal primer for anyone looking to get into 3D in Flash, or anyone who has used Away3D for a short while but is interested in cementing their knowledge. It covers a wide range of topics from basic primitive creation and interaction through to advanced features such as bones animation and 3D text manipulation, using the latest 2.5 & 3.5 double release as its code base. Each chapter is packed full of examples that teach underlying 3D concepts as well as the application of Away3D in a standard AS3 project, and the text provides initial setup assistance for whichever ActionScript editor you favour. A web page at http://flash3dbook.com has been created to document where you can buy the book online, and is also the place we are hosting the errata doc which is keeping track of any minor corrections. Alternatively, go to Amazon or the publisher's own page at www.friendsofed.com, the latter of which offers an eBook option, as well as all the necessary source files for the contained code examples. Feel free to comment your thoughts below if you have purchased the book recently and would like to submit a review - all opinions welcome!

22 Apr 2010

Away3D 3.5.0 & 2.5.0 released

by Rob Bateman

Away3D's latest update brings some FPS love to Flash... in the form of a brand new render engine and data format for large play areas. 2.5.0 and 3.5.0 represent the latest full engine releases of Away3D for Flash Player 9 and 10. You can grab the code either from the svn repository or the downloads page, where you will also find a bunch of updated examples. Accompanying the Away3D update is the latest version of Prefab3D a 3D preparation tool created by Fabrice Closier using Adobe AIR. You can download the runtime from the official Prefab3D installation page, or from the AIR Marketplace where you can also submit feedback (and we encourage you to do so!). Prefab3D is still very much a work in progress, but its newest feature allows the export of specially formatted .awd files optimised for FPS rendering (otherwise known as BSP files). As an example of what is possible with this new feature, the following Hacienda demo was created using the latest Prefab3D runtime and Away3D sources: hacienda_01 A number of rooms can be navigated using the mouse and keyboard, with collision detection enabled by processing the BSP format in Away3D. The beautifully shaded textures were created using Prefab3D's texture baking feature. hacienda_02 Be careful where you tread, as this is still an experimental demo! Further optimizing work is being carried out on collision and rendering loops in Away3D, but even at this stage, the speed benefits are evident. hacienda_03 Alongside the new FPS features, the Away3D codebase has undergone a fairly major rehaul and anyone wishing to upgrade their project to use 2.5 / 3.5 needs to be prepared for a little re-formatting here and there. We apologies in advance, but most of the updates have been in preparation of the long awaited Away3D 4.0 release which will be the next major version release for Flash Player 10 only. A full set of changes will be published later today on our mailing list. For your own Hacienda demo, we have prepared a simpler setup creating the interior of a bunker, for which source code is available. Click the image below for the demo, or go straight to the source. The version shown here uses Flash Player 10, but code for both 9 and 10 can be found in the respective 2.5.0 and 3.5.0 examples downloads. bunker_demo Using Prefab 1.3, the following video takes you through the creation process for the Bunker demo, step by step. The only starting requirement is a simple textured model, ready for processing. The final output is the demo you see above! Livedocs will be updated to the new codebase within the next few days. As usual, please direct any bug reports to our googlecode issues list, and any questions about functionality to our mailing list. Enjoy the new release! The Away3D Team


15 Apr 2010

International training events

by Rob Bateman International training events

As part of Away3D's commitment to it's international members, a smattering of training events will be occuring over the coming weeks in various parts of the world - go to Rob's blog over at http://www.infiniteturtles.co.uk or read the snippet below for more details...

First stop will be Sao Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday 27th April for a single day - there is no training planned for this particular stop but there will be an evening event arranged for any Away3D community members who would like to meet up. The more the merrier! Next location will be Buenos Aries, Argentina where i will be arriving on Wednesday 28th April to give a full two day training course over the 28th and 29th. The course is being arranged by the ARFUG group, and full details of the event plus venue and prices can be found here. Huge thanx to Max and the ARFUG team for helping to arrange this, should be a lot of fun! After Argentina, i will be enduring a grueling 17hr flight to Sydney, Australia, arriving in time to give a special one-day condensed training course at the WebDU conference on Wednesday 5th May, details of which can be found here. I'll then be hanging around for the conference itself and presenting my new session: the many faces of Away3D on the Thursday afternoon. Its currently looking quite sunny here in London, so i'll be looking forward to some of that Sydney autumn fog... Finally, after many more hours of dvt inducing hardship I will be back in London, UK to give the headline event of the Away3D training calendar - a two day intensive course over the 20th and 21st May at the LFPUG. This will be limited to a maximum of 14 people, so please book early if you are planning on going! Full details can be found here, and thanx go to Tink for arranging the venue and free pub lunches.
Apologies if your town is not one of those listed above - please let us know if you would like to host a training event for your country in the future and we'll see what we can do! The Away3D Team

29 Mar 2010

Away3D: showcase video for 2010

by Rob Bateman

A lot has been going on behind the scenes with Away3D recently, which we apologise for as it doesn't make for very interesting reading... More will be revealed shortly, but for now, here is a release that should get everyone in an Away3D mood again - our first Away3D showcase video! Featuring content created by many different companies and individuals over the past 3 years, the vid offers an overall feel for the number and variety of projects being produced with the help of the Away3D engine. Our admiration and appreciation goes out to all the people who were involved in producing the content (a full list is available in the end credits), and the motion graphics skills of the video itself must also be acknowledged as the most excellent work of Joseph Rufian.

26 Oct 2009

Away3D: Latest from the Internet!

by Peter Kapelyan

It's time for more great sites that use Away3D! Chances are, you might have seen some of these projects, as bigger names and bigger audiences are introduced to 3D in Flash. Now, without further delay, we present the latest showcase of top-class Away3D content to be released online. 23 Million people a month (and growing) are playing "Café World" on Facebook, which utilizes Away3D for its speed and flexibility. This must be one of the most visible Away3D games on the web! Café World is still in beta, but still very playable. If you have a Facebook account, you can check it out. Thanks to Timon for notifying us of this great use of Away3D! away3d-cafe-world Bandit3 is possibly the most awe-inspiringly slick use of Away3D we have seen yet! Fly around a 3D virtual city and enter buildings to discover more about this cutting edge kiteboarding company. away3d-bandit3 Syerit is an agency that went all out with this project. What other company has a site where you feel like you are playing Quake, solving puzzles, listening to Heavy metal, and fighting a Boss? We give this site an A++ for Away3D Awesomeness! Syerit The zen-like Sony Vaio X series site uses Away3D page flip to switch between the sections of the website. The idea behind this is that the Vaio X is as light as a regular paper notebook. Also, keep an eye on the nice ripple effect when the leaves fall in the water! away3d-sony-viao Metroid.com uses Away3D for navigation in different sections to mimic a games console user interface. It's a simple but effective use of 3D, that compliments Nintendo's famous 3D Metroid games. away3d-metroid Freedent renders a realtime juicy-looking Freedent package for a retro feel at the same time. Congratulations for winning the FWA award! away3d-freedent Adidas uses a 3d skybox in Away3D to create an immersive navigation system. Click around, and see the near perfect transition from Away3D to video! A truly amazing effect Adidas Terminator Skynet Research DCP is an AIR application that uses Away3d to render assorted Flash 3D visualizations. Will our application interfaces really look like this in the future? Resist or be Terminated! away3d-terminator Doritos' ID3 has a few minigames that use Away3D to complement the cinematic feel of this interactive role-playing adventure. The east-end gangster style is entertaining, and almost as cheesy as Nacho flavored chips! away3d-doritos Tetrapak uses a realtime Away3D animated rabbit to be your website host. How can you get a 3D rabbit to move in flash without pre-rendered movie clips and splitting hares? It is possible thanks to the many tools Away3D has for making complex 3D animations and models a stroll in the park. away3d-tetrapak Whaboo - “what about you?” is a social, cultural and emotional entertainment place. It uses Away3D to create a multi-dimensional browser enabled place where people can play games to find others and discover new things. Whaboo uses Away3D, what about you? away3d-whaboo If you can't wait for that jolly time of year, check out this neat 3D Flash Holiday Calendar that a emulates a cardboard toy calendar. Simple and lighthearted, it is a great use of 3D to reproduce real world interactivity in Flash. away3d-calendar Congratulations to all the creators of these web sites and games! We are happy to see Away3D being used in so many original ways. If you haven't yet tried the 3rd dimension, download the library and join the Away3D group to get yourself started and open up a whole new world of possibilities. The Away3D Team

18 Sep 2009

Away3D 3.4.2: Pixel Bender to the max!

by Rob Bateman Away3D 3.4.2: Pixel Bender to the max!

Away3D has got a shiny new suit thanks to Flash Player 10 and Pixel Bender, with a completely new set of material shaders and filters that offer more detail than ever before. Written by recent new recruit and pixel-maestro David Lenaerts, the shaders offer a vast array of new options and shading techniques, all at the pixel level. For more detailed information on the various shader types, you can read David's post over at www.derschmale.com. shadedHead Point source lights can now be used with these type of shader thanks to the parallel processing nature of Pixel Bender, giving an extra level of realism to specular maps, environment shading and even the standard phong shader. Each image in this post links to a demo that showcases the possibilities on offer - from multi-pass shaders that allow more than one lightsource, to normal mapping with specular maps for highly textured surfaces. envMapSpitfire All demos come with source files that can be viewed and downloaded from the right-click menu in the Flash movie. These sources need to be compiled with the latest 3.4.2 release in the fp10 branch of the SVN trunk. It is worth noting that this is officially a dot release, meaning that the code is still experimental and may change before the next major release of 3.5. We are keen to get feedback on the new materials and their use before we commit to a final source structure, and would be very interested to hear what the community opinion is, either in the comments or on our mailing list. Speaking of which, if you're not already a member, what are you waiting for?! Sign up and join the discussion. Enjoy the new (dot) release! The Away3D Team

15 Sep 2009

Prefab3D 1.0: From Scene to Scenic

by Rob Bateman Prefab3D 1.0: From Scene to Scenic

For a long time, Away3D has been about the pursuit of rendering high-quality, realtime 3D in Flash. However, for the same amount of time, there has been a completely different set of skills emerging around the creation of the 3D content itself, to get the best out of the engine. In the pursuit of 3D FOR Flash, very little has been done towards producing a common set of tools that can be reused and applied to any project. Awaybuilder allows a certain amount of extra control to the designer, but for someone with little or no programming skills, how best do you deliver to a Flash developer the content he/she needs to get a good result in Away3D? Away3D PreFab v1. Prefab3D v1.0 Fabrice Closier, core member of the Away3D team, has today released a tool that should help answer that question. It is built on over two years experience creating top quality 3D content in Away3D. If you are a Flash designer or an experienced Flash developer working on Flash 3D projects, this application might become your best friend! Away3D PreFab v1. Release 1 Prefab3D can be downloaded for free as an AIR application. Many features still under development haven't made the 1.0 release, but as you will notice, there is a little button in the main menu that says: "check update"... At present, the tool can import all model formats supported by Away3D, and allows you to export as an AS3 class or OBJ file, ready for insertion into your Away3D project. Away3D PreFab v1. Quick start For a full list of features and some information on how to get started with the tool, head over to the Prefab3D homepage. More documentation and tutorials should be coming your way soon! Away3D PreFab v1. Away3D PreFab v1.

11 Sep 2009

Away3D Lite v1.0: fastest and smallest 3d engine in Flash.

by Rob Bateman Away3D Lite v1.0: fastest and smallest 3d engine in Flash.

Filesize and framerate are generally two of the biggest concerns when using a 3d framework in Flash. Many a mail,  comment and blog has written the relative merits of one engine over another in these terms. Everyone wants more for less, faster for smaller, better for cheaper. In fact, we would go as far as saying you're quite a demanding lot! Well, there is lite (sic) at the end of the tunnel. And thankfully it isn't an oncoming train, but a brand new Away3D engine that will change the way you use 3d in Flash 10. What Away3D Lite is is the fastest and smallest fully featured 3d engine in Flash to date. Currently weighing in at under 25K, Away3D Lite can be used in projects with the most stringent bandwidth restrictions. No problem for use in banners, widgets, thumbnails... anything where filesize is a priority. But the biggest single feature offered by the new engine is it's speed. Current tests clock framerates up to 4 times faster than the standard Away3D library. And with more frames-per-second comes the potential for more polygons, more accessible content on slower machines, and more processing power left for other areas of a Flash application. Away3D Lite is not meant as a replacement for the standard Away3D libraries. Because of it's use of the native 3D features in the Flash 10 Player, Away3D Lite is Flash 10 only, so the development of Away3D 2.5 & 3.5 will continue as usual. These engines are more of a workhorse for many different purposes and with many different features, while Away3D Lite offers the choice to be fast and small at the sacrifice of features. This is not to say that you can't do anything with Away3D Lite! The list of main supported features in 1.0 includes:

  • 3DS, MD2, Collada & Metasequoia loaders
  • Bones animation
  • Viewport clipping
  • 3d mouse events
  • All standard primitive types
  • All standard camera types
  • All standard material types
  • Template classes for quick and easy setup
Plus, you will already know how to use Away3D Lite if you've used Away3D! Everything is where you'd expect, and there have only been very minor changes made to some property names, which in time will most likely percolate back through the various engines. The following demos are all available as source files from the Away3DLite examples folder in the svn, or on the downloads page, in both flex/fdt/flashdevelop and cs4 formats. MD2Cubic ExSphereSpeedTest ExMQO There is also a complete set of documentation files available from a new livedocs folder here. Finally, this release has been thoroughly checked for bugs and errors, but as always, we cannot perform miracles! If you do happen to stumble across something that shouldn't be, please let us know so that we can fix the problem. Make sure you JOIN OUR GROUP for updates! Enjoy the new release! The Away3d Team

06 Sep 2009

Warping 3D Text

by Alejandro Santander Warping 3D Text

Now that Away3D supports the creation of 3d vector text fields, aligning and animating text fields along 3D curves has been one of the big todos on our list. You can now experiment with our first attempts on a solution for achieving this, using latest sources from the 3.4.1 FP10 version of Away3D. Two demos have been created to showcase this new feature and you can see them in action by clicking on the images. sources are available in the right click menu of the demos, or directly here and here. interactive1 A core element like Segment or Face can be used to define a 3D bezier path, and this information is used by a new class AlignToPath (from the geom package), to perform the transformation on any mesh object. The class works by transforming an axis on the mesh's local coordinate system to the space defined by the path, resulting in a pretty cool 'warping' effect. This is convenient especially for text, since the deformation is done globally to the transformed mesh, and hence info like kerning, leading, etc. is preserved. Take a look and feel free to provide us feedback on this experimental feature! The Away3d Team

07 Aug 2009

Away3d: 2.4 & 3.4 released!

by Rob Bateman

The Away3d 2.4 & 3.4 update has been released, with a completely revamped examples section, for both Flash 9 (2.4) & Flash 10 (3.4) versions. To grab your copy, head over to the svn or go straight to the downloads section for a zip of sources and examples. fish1 many new features have been added to this release, including:

  • Vector graphics and fonts support.
  • Typed-checked loader support.
  • Geometry modifiers for exploding, welding, mirroring...
  • Depth material for creating depth masks.
  • Normalmap and Bumpmap generators from geometry.
  • Light pre-baking on textures.
plus the usual stability improvements and a ton of bugfixes. Documentation will soon be updated at away3d.com/livedocs text1 Special thanx must go to Guojian Wu of wu-media.com for his excellent new as3 library swfvector, which allows you to convert any shape outline or textfield in a swf into as3 data. This is used to great effect in the new release, easily enabling the drawing of textfields and shapes in 3d. materials11 The examples interspersing this post can be accessed by clicking on their images - each comes with it's own source which can be downloaded by selecting "View Source" in the right-click menu. Or you can download these and a ton of other examples (both .as files and .fla files) by going to away3d.com/downloads. The Basic_Swf example also uses the excellent as3dmod library (which you can download from here) for producing the bend effect. Now you can twist and deform vector graphics in 3d, thanx to as3dmod, swfvector and Away3d 2.4 / 3.4 :D Enjoy the new release! The Away3d Team

08 Jul 2009

Away3D: FWA Winners and More!

by Peter Kapelyan

As more developers embrace Away3D as their Flash 3D engine of choice, the amount of quality 3D content in Flash is on the increase! Several recent websites using the Away3D engine have won FWAs (Favorite Website Awards). With now over 1,000 members in our support group, make sure you are signed up to receive the latest information on upcoming releases, as well as top notch developer support from our dedicated team. FWA WINNER: http://www.therelapse.com/ (June 5, 2009) Eminem's new album has broken records, and this amazing interactive adventure website lets you discover and immerse yourself in Eminem's sick musical world: FWA WINNER: Intel meintru3D (March 31, 2009) Intel's meintru3D site let's you create your own animated avatar, mess around with it, and send to friends. Developed by the Rokkan  agency. Fun! FWA WINNER: http://coke.pl/lato/ (May 24, 2009) Take a light-hearted 3D stroll in the country in this comic Coca-Cola website: FWA WINNER: http://www.bananacafe.com.br/ (June 17, 2009) Check out the slick physics and novel ideas on this virtual newspaper site: FWA WINNER: http://www.coketeens.com.br/promocao (April 25, 2009) We've mentioned this Coca-Cola site in a previous post, and happy to see it win a FWA finally: FWA WINNER:  Toyota IQ Virtual Test Drive (February 5, 2009) Also mentioned in a previous post, and a fully deserved win: While the following sites haven't won an FWA (yet?), they continue to highlight the great visual quality that can be accomplished using Away3D: Morgan Stanley Matrix uses slick 3D Fonts with Away3D to produce a professional visual experience. Some superb 3D User Interface ideas can be seen at AIRFORCE.com's Supercar site: Darc Matter is an experimental site that showcases features found in Away3D, and an interesting approach to interactive website creation: Powerflasher's "PDF Book 3D" tool uses Away3D to breathe fresh air into your run-of-the-mill 2D page flip book viewer: The 951 site uses Away3D to create a cool photo gallery on a  disco ball. If you own the legendary glasses, you can even post your own profile: Congratulations go out to all FWA winners, and thanks to all creators of Flash 3D content above for choosing Away3D! The Away3D Team

04 Jun 2009

Training for 3d in Flash - novice to intermediate

by Rob Bateman Training for 3d in Flash - novice to intermediate

A new training program has been setup by the LFPUG for people wanting to learn the best techniques for creating 3d flash content. Suitable for developers or designers with basic knowledge of AS3, this comprehensive two-day course covers many practical aspects of building 3d content for both Flash 9 and Flash 10 players. When/Where Date: 16th-17th July 2009 ( 16/07/2009 - 17/07/2009 ) Times: Day 1 10:00 - 18:00 (doors open at 09:30) / Day 2 09:00 - 16:30 (doors open 08:30) Venue: Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, N1 3QP (click for map) Tube: Highbury / Angel To try and keep the class accessible for students and professionals alike, the cost per person has been fixed at only £200 + VAT. The size of classes are also restricted to a maximum of 15 atendees to allow a more informal approach to teaching, but does mean places fill up quickly! for a complete breakdown of course material and requirements, please visit the LFPUG website.

28 May 2009

Flash 10 speed tests

by Rob Bateman Flash 10 speed tests

Sometimes coming from only one side of a problem restricts your view on the best way to evolve. In recent experiments with the latest Flash10 player, we have been testing how starting from a native cs4 approach fares when constructing a 3d framework, and have discovered a few interesting facts about Flash 10's renderer. Some of these nuggets include the following:

  1. DisplayObject sorting is a much faster option than triangle sorting.
  2. Fixed length Vector data stores are faster than linked lists when it comes to manipulating large data sets.
  3. Sorting using index references is much faster (and easier) than ordering screenvertex vectors
  4. ...
The above demo is one such test, and nicely illustrates where we feel Away3d is going after the textfields/shapes merge that will be version 2.4. Click to add more globes - speeds vary between machines but it seems most that have tried the test can manage up to 20,000 unsorted triangles, still running at 30fps. Moving you mouse to the right or left side of the screen will switch the current z-sort algorithm on or off, and you can see with higher numbers of triangles there is a significant performance drop when sorting is activated. This uses a brute-force method  - in more recent tests it seems a better approach is to sort in convex groups, and we will hopefully be able to post more on this soon. The Away3d Team

18 Apr 2009

Away3D: Industry Standard

by Peter Kapelyan

Recent site launches around the globe show Away3D is fast becoming the online 3D framework of choice for major international company content. Here are the highlights of what has been an inspiring first quarter of 2009. Project dragonfly is an experimental Autodesk tool for designing room interiors. The name on the site pretty much say it all in terms of quality, but don't take our word for it - take a look for yourself: Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly

Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
For those that don't know, Autodesk are the creators of world renowned 3D Sofware such as Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Soft Image. The high quality of the room interiors in dragonfly is possible thanks to a custom built server-rendering system that allows extremely detailed models to be rendered direct into the 3D scene. More information on the process behind this and other dragonfly features can be found by visiting a 'making of' youtube video playlist here. We are honored to have Autodesk pick Away3D as their online 3D visualization tool. The BBC celebrated their regain of F1's sports coverage this year with a plethora of new and innovative content, including their very own Away3D application in the form of the F1 Circuit Guides. This is an in-depth tour of all tracks on the 2009 calendar, combining 3D flythroughs, driver lap videos, race comments, images and more.
Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
The application was a BBC commission from Monterosa Productions, with Away Media providing Flash 3d production and consultancy services. The extensive extrusion and custom shape creation packages in Away3D gave a huge hand to the track creation process, and more tracks are being created over the course of the season so stay tuned! Read more about the project here and here. Brazilian agency Gringo have released a surreal 3D playland in the form of Happy Me, a kids site commisioned for Coca Cola. The game plays exactly to the strength Away3D offers, with a cartoon world to explore and customisations you can perform on your slightly ogrish character.
Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
To launch the new iQ car from Toyota, digital agency North Kingdom (with 3D assistance from Play With Motion) have created a beautiful minisite that can be seen here. Combining static video with 3D interaction in a captivating and seamless journey, you can put the iQ through various 'test drives' of it's features.
Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
Disney recently launched the American Idol Experience website as a precursor to their new attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park. The site uses a combination of pre-rendered 3D video sequences with interactive Away3D panels to create a virtual tour of the ride. The idea of a website that houses a virtual re-creation of a theme park attraction that allows participants the chance to pretend to be on a show intended for public participation is a little surreal, but the site's subtle use of interactive 3D is executed flawlessly.
Away3D Autodesk Project Dragonfly
Finally, Norway's largest online marketplace Finn.no have just launched a new Street-viewer service powered by Away3D. The application allows you to walk along the streets of the Norwegian cities Oslo and Trondheim, and consists of  more than 120.000 panorama locations. From the map interface, clicking on any one of the blue dots will open the viewer at that location.
Away3D Finn Viewer
We are grateful to everyone who sent in their links for inclusion in our showcase section! If you have a site that you would like us to showcase, please tell us more by getting in contact via our mailing list.

05 Mar 2009

Away3d 3.3: Flash 10 version update

by Rob Bateman Away3d 3.3: Flash 10 version update

The Flash10 branch has recently received the first of it's optimising updates that deals with some of the problems shading presented to us in the past. Flash 9 is restricted by blendmodes and layers that mean a huge overhead on extra drawing operations and filters to create shading effects. With Flash 10 however,  Pixel Bender allows us to solve the problem very neatly and with a significant speed boost! The above demo shows some of what is possible with the update: normalmapping with ambient, diffuse and correctly normalised specular shading, without the need for layers. As if that's not enough, a further Pixel Bender shader is applied to the view to create a HDR (High Dynamic Range) effect on the highlights, something usually seen in much more 3d-rich console games. Special thanx go to Eddie Carbin for donating an excellent normalmapped mustang model, and David Lenaerts for writing the HDR filter. The demo is available for download (along with the latest flash10 version of Away3d) in the zip files on the downloads page, or direct from the flash10 branch of the svn.  You can also access the demo source via the right-click menu in the flash movie, or go straight to the code here. Enjoy the new release!

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

02 Feb 2009

Away3D on Adobe.com

by Peter Kapelyan

The Green Planet Demo has made it to Adobe's Flash Player Showcase! Away3D is the only open source 3D engine present, which is a great honor for us. Away3D Adobe Flash 3D Engine Go there to see the other amazing things made with Flash and check out the Green Planet Demo if you haven't already!

20 Jan 2009

Away3D = Amazing Games, Websites and Applications

by Peter Kapelyan

In 2008, "3D" was the new buzzword for Flash. We saw an increased use of Away3D as an engine for 3D flash games, as well as the use of Away3D for 3D graphics in applications. Huge improvements and additions were made to our API, and the size of the Away3D mailing list increased over threefold. Make sure you join our group to become a part of it all - it is the best place to ask questions, get tech support, keep up to date with API developments, showcase your Away3D work, and communicate directly with the Away3D team. Last year, 3D in Flash took off, with the main 3D engines working hard to make commercially viable libraries, and even Flash itself taking a step into 3D land with the new native capabilities of Flash 10. Here are some recent publications of Away3D content that really stood out: Fisherman's Day has got to be one of the most polished Flash demos for a 3D game seen yet. You won't see anything comparable made with any other Flash 3D Engine. If you've played or seen Animal Crossing for the Nintendo DS or Wii, you may recognize the way the scenery and terrain scroll. It's purely ingenious, and this demo has higher resolution than a DS screen, making the effect even more impressive. Using your mouse to walk around, you'll notice the precise collision detection, smooth movement, and highly detailed graphics in this Flash 3D mini-world. Congratulations to dangerous-rabbits.com on a superb use of Flash and Away3D! Intel IT MANAGER is an isometric Sims-style game with up to 100,000 triangles, interactive and animated elements per screen in certain rooms! Do you have what it takes to manage the IT department in your own virtual company? How does a Flash 3D game handle 100,000 triangles at once? It uses Away3D's caching system, which makes these large scenes a piece of cake. The game also takes advantage of the Away3D scene exporter, which allows you to save hundreds of objects as one compressed ActionScript file. This saves download times and costly pre-processing, ensuring the loading of 3d assets does not slow down the gameplay. Munchiegames.com has launched three new Flash games made with the Away3D engine. How quickly can you make a BLT sandwich, serve up spicy fries, or stuff a box of Valentine's Day treats? The games all have some kind of food theme, with a healthy injection of flavorful graphics and oddball humour. Munchiegames.com is serving up fresh 3D Flash games just for you! Conflict is a RTS (Real Time Strategy) Tower Defense-type game that uses Away3D and the WOW 3D Physics Engine. As an added bonus, level maps can be created by users! Registered users of Conflict can build maps, save their score, rate other peoples creations and so on. If you don't want to register use the following word as the login/password : shirotokoro. Now go get 'em soldier! The CBBC's Escape from Scorpion Island is an immersive game where you interact with a wild 3D world around you. With video clues to find and puzzles to solve, you'll feel like you are the star of the show! Play it now - but don't forget to put on your insect repellent! Shortcut links to the minigames will be available soon where you'll find more games made with Away3D, such as Escape from the Ship. Hotels and Events.com is a website that plots upcoming arts & theatre, music, and sport events onto a 3D globe. With their innovative 3D Interface fueled by Away3D they are giving users a new navigation experience for search-based apps. Real Aquarium is a Facebook app where you can tend to your own 3D fish in a virtual aquarium. The first 3D virtual pet on Facebook is a big step for 3D Flash apps, it shows how people can develop and create simple applications with more graphical 'depth' wink. Christmas Tree is a 3D (or should that be Tree-D?) Facebook app that lets you customize your own christmas tree and then adorn it with decorations. Pick different shapes, backgrounds and coloured ornaments to make your tree as jolly as you like! Fukhaos.com is a showcase site that takes a peek into the future of 3D Flash websites. The simple, clean graphical style and navigation give you a feeling of space, while being immersed in a 3D environment. Why would you want your Flash site to be a crowded 2D mess, when you can aim for something like this? Last but certainly not least is the awe-inspiring AUDI VDT website by ArtificialDuck that uses Away3D to plot 3D representations of various machined parts in Flash. This has to be the one of the best Away3D websites we've seen so far. It's informative and technical with slick, clean visuals. As an addition some really great interactive mouse effects add to the 3D look and feel. Experience it for yourself here. If you've not yet tried it, we hope you get your 3D Flash groove on this year! The Away3D Flash Engine is becoming bigger and better with more capabilities, features and possibilities than any other 3D Flash engine available. We are looking forward to 2009 being another great year with yet more excellent Flash 3D creations! The Away3D Team

24 Dec 2008

Merry Christmas 2008!

by Rob Bateman Merry Christmas 2008!

Inspired by the fantastic new Audi VDT site produced by ArtificialDuck using Away3d, I decided to go on a little exploratory tour of the current Away3d codebase to see what could be done about fast(er) rendered 3d particles. My results use a new set of classes soon to be uploaded to the trunk in the 2.2.6 dot release of Away3d - basically with this update it will be possible to create single 3d objects containing many particles, greatly reducing the number of matrix calculations required for rendering a collection of particle objects (or billboards as they're more commonly known). The above test is a bit of an extreme case so may run slow on older machines - 4096 stars are being rendered independently per frame, with a bit of mouse-influenced movement nicked from the Audi site wink The classes have yet to be properly optimised, but I hope to be able to provide full source soon along with an update to the Away3d trunk once things are complete. In the meantime the demo had a bit of a festive look to it so seemed fitting to release over the winter break. Hope you like and merry christmas! *****Update***** Source is now available for the demo above via the usual right-click menu or this direct link. You will require the latest trunk version of Away3d from the svn, version 2.2.6. On a side note, the default demo now renders 1024 stars to get a smoother framerate. With this number of billboards, things fly!

03 Nov 2008

3D Vector Text

by Alejandro Santander 3D Vector Text

The Away3D Team is happy to announce a powerful new feature: vector shape primitives. It allows the engine to represent complex vector graphics in 3D as a series of transformed linear and bezier instructions. The most immediate appliance of this is, of course, 100% sharp text despite the scale. Usage is extremely simple: the engine will be able to dynamically parse True Type Font (ttf) files, so you can just point it to an external or embedded font file and Away3D will do the rest! Furthermore, a Scalable Vector Graphics (svg) parser should also be included in the package, clearing the way not only for 3D text, but for any kind of vector graphics such as logos and even art developed in Adobe Illustrator. These primitives will behave just as any other 3D object, and become particularly interesting when extrusions are applied to them. The new feature produces some really impressive graphics, so dont hesitate to play around with it when it is out. Implementations are endless... Click on the image above to see it in action! The Away3D also introduces Li from http://www.lidev.com.ar/ as the newest Away3D Team member with his great addition of Vector Shapes to the engine. [Right click to view source. If you want to experiment with this feature while its not on an official release use http://away3d.googlecode.com/svn/branches/textfields/src/away3d/]

03 Oct 2008

Training sessions in London

by Rob Bateman Training sessions in London

***Update*** Unfortunately due to a schedule clash, the training classes have been moved to the 26th and 27th of November. For those of you already signed up, please send another mail to confirm a place at the revised time. Apologies to those who had already made plans, the above date is now final and will not change. The first Away3d training sessions kick off in London on the 22nd and 23rd of October. These are intensive workshop days organised by the LFPUG, full details of which can be found here. a brief synopsis follows:

Essential Away3d Techniques

Two days of practical tips and tricks for producing Flash 3D content using the Away3d engine. Learn how to maximise the potential of Away3D with the co-founder and chief architect Rob Bateman. Old and new features will be covered in detail, including the latest updates available in the recently announced 2.2 release. Topics range from generic 3d concepts to detailed walkthroughs of real-world techniques designed to aid 3D design and development in Flash. Full source code is provided for all explanatory demos. This course is aimed at developers and code-oriented designers interested in using real-time 3D in their flash work with the Away3D engine. Minimum requirements: Introductory or Intermediate level knowledge of Actionscript 3.0 and Flex Builder/FDT/CS3.
The course still uses the smaller class sizes found to work well in previous training sessions, and at £200+VAT should be within everyone's budget wink. To book a place, please contact training AT lfpug.com.

27 Sep 2008

Away3D 2.2: RailAway Express

by Fabrice Closier Away3D 2.2: RailAway Express

At the risk of starting something of a tradition, it's time once again to take you for a little ride. RailAway Express is a ticket for a unique travel into the realm of Away3D 2.2 and it's new runtime model generation and animation features. Its probably our last Flash 9 demo too. Almost everything you see along your journey in this 780 kb all in demo is code generated. A special thanks goes to Andre Michelle and Joa Ebert for their help on the sound dynamics. railaway2 Some of the new features in 2.2 include:

  • Collada bones support and improved features
  • Triangle caching
  • Bounding box and bounding sphere calculations
  • PathExtrude, PathAnimator and PathDuplicator
  • Simple shadows
  • Object based renderers
  • Obj Exporter
  • ElevationModifier
  • Elevation2AS3
  • Full update details have been posted on the AWAY3D mailing list. You can get the source files by accessing our svn repository or going to our downloads page.
  • Syntax highlight component for Flash CS3/CS4 added.
  • Documentation will be updated within the next few days railaway3 So turn up your speakers and enjoy a wild ride into the realm of Away3D 2.2! The Away3D Team. More info on our group here... railaway4 railaway5 railaway6

    10 Aug 2008

    Evoflash drops a nuke using Away3d!

    by Alejandro Santander Evoflash drops a nuke using Away3d!

    At this year's recent Assembly Summer 2008 Digital Computer Multimedia Festival, Away3d core member Jalava with his group Evoflash submitted their third entry for the browser demo competition, chasing a hat trick from their previous wins in 2006 and 2007. This year the browser demo categories were unified with flash competing directly with the other platforms such as mobile based Open GL ES, Microsoft plugin Silverlight and handheld consoles! Evoflash won by clear margin with their demo 99er created from 10 hard days of production. In other news, Silverlight entries were last two positions raspberry. The demo uses Away 2.1 source base with few improvements, including a DrawScaledBitmap fix to render particles properly with bitmap renderer without flicker that will be in v2.2. The Away3D engine was used in most of the parts of demo together with Evoflash's own custom effect synchronization & post processing engine to create one of most visually exploding flash demos ever seen! Click the image to view the production: Evoflash - 99er preview image We hope this inspires more Away3d demos from other development teams - why not challenge yourself? It's always great to see Flash being used in new areas, being pushed to it's absolute limits, especially when the results are so visually stunning. The Away3D Team

    22 Jul 2008

    Away3D : FlashForward Finalists!

    by Peter Kapelyan

    Away3D has the honor of being nominated as a FLASHFORWARD Film Festival 2008 Finalist!

    FlashForward Finalist

    Show your support by voting for us in the People's Choice Award by clicking here: http://www.flashforwardconference.com/peoples_choice A huge round of applause for those of you who have made this possible! The Away3D Team

    11 Jul 2008

    Away3D goes to Hollywood

    by Peter Kapelyan

    The brand-new Hellboy movie site employs Away3D for some fancy cinematic effects in this wonderfully crafted website. The folks at Crew Creative did a great job with Away3D and Flash, and deserve a round of applause from the Away3D Team! Check out the site at http://www.hellboymovie.com/ Hellboy Away3D site Hellboy Away3D site

    03 Jul 2008

    Focus on Away3D!

    by Peter Kapelyan

    As more and more people discover the potential of 3d in Flash, the versatility of the Away3D framework is beginning to show. Agencies and individuals alike are using it as their engine of choice, and producing some very cool content as illustrated by the following selection of projects! Discovery Channel uses Away3D on a Flash Video Game "Solar Symphony", where you interact with the Planets and sounds. Discovery Game Away3D can be seen in use on the Square Enix (of Final Fantasy fame) members website. Now you can choose your avatar when you login in, and modify it realtime in 3D. Square Enix The Strangers Movie site uses a good dose of Away3D and video materials. Try the experience, it's pretty spooky! The Strangers Cadbury's "A Glass and a Half Full" website uses Away3D and 3D video renderings to drop you into a surreal world. A great concept for a 3D website, and the experience is pretty realistic! Cadbury Glass and a Half Full As well as this, you can do some cool Truck modding in the Tricked Out Trucks section. Brahma Mobile While we are on the subject of trucks, check out the revamped Brahmamobile. A fantastic Away3D upgrade! Brahma Mobile We'd like to thank Flashkit for the mention last month of the new Away3D 2.0 release on their homepage, and flashmagazine for running a great tutorial on their site for getting started with Away3D code. And of course, all of the people involved in the projects above for creating such cool showcase material! The Away3D Team

    28 May 2008

    JSAway - 3D Graphics through JavaScript

    by Greg Caldwell (Greg209) JSAway - 3D Graphics through JavaScript

    JSAway is a spin-off of Away3D which provides web developers access to the high performance graphics capabilities of the engine, through JavaScript. Currently based of V2.0, JSAway exposes implementations of the API and provides other supporting functionality to allow complex scenes to be created and animated providing full interaction between the web page and the 3D scene. JSAway is still in early development but from the examples, you can easily see it's potential in opening up 3D on the web to different community. All the examples use the same single SWF file, while the underlying web page's JavaScript code controls what is going on. Some of the features of JSAway.

    • JavaScript only - no ActionScript knowledge required.
    • simple command reference exposes huge range of features
    • all API basic primitives can be used
    • basic 3D event handling
    • filter based effects on objects
    • simple custom tweening operations
    • simple bitmap manipulation, get/set pixel and draw bitmap
    • getting/setting of object properties
    • material handling
    • content (materials and 3D models) loading - bitmaps, sketchup, dae.....
    • powerful features including lathe, extrudes, elevations, etc are supported
    • custom tweening of object properties
    • various automatic camera functions - object tracking, panning, etc
    • simple mouse navigation controls - rotation and twisting the scene based on mouse movement
    For further details and to check out the examples :- http://www.geepers.co.uk/jsaway/examples/index.html - The examples http://www.geepers.co.uk/jsaway/index.html - Full details and downloads http://away3d.com/jsaway - JSAway details on Away3D We hope you find it useful. The Away3d Team

    22 May 2008

    Away3d 2.1: demos & docs

    by Rob Bateman Away3d 2.1: demos & docs

    Away3d 2.1 bring some welcome assistance to getting starting with the engine - a revamped documentation section (now included in the svn) and a brand new demos download containing code examples which will continue to be updated as more are written. As well as this, there are some updates to the engine that should help with general use, including:

    • Simplified events model - listeners can be added using the supplied methods or with the standard addEventListener method of the EventDispatcher.
    • Event types listed as static classes.
    • Simplified BitmapRenderSession use.
    • Object primitives have dynamic property setters that can be adjusted after instantiation.
    • Merged AlphaBitmapMaterial class (all bitmapmaterials now support alpha and color properties).
    • Dot3 and Enviro materials take the bitmap for shading maps as a required argument.
    • Improved material access on individual sides of the cube primitive
    plus the usual bug fixes and housekeeping updates. As usual there is a new tag in the googlecode svn, and a new download zip in the downloads section. Something else that is probably worth drawing attention to is the issues section of the googlecode repository. Our mailing list has been very successful at being used for bug reports in the past, but to prevent any future reports from being accidentally overlooked, we would urge everyone to start logging their bugs in this list. Also, for those wanting to find a few more tutorials for Away3d, be sure to have a look at the External Site section of the tutorials page. Enjoy the new release! The Away3d Team

    15 Apr 2008

    Away3D 2.0: Green Planet

    by Fabrice Closier Away3D 2.0: Green Planet

    AWAY3D 2.0 IS HERE!

    Our new release may bring out the explorer in you, with features allowing a lot more expansive 3d possibilities. Here we present an atmospheric oddessey taking the reliable formula of a crash-landed spaceship and an alien world... Green Planet.

    Now you can realize your 3D world like never before in Flash.


    Some of the new features in 2.0 include:

    • Simulated phong shading (with blinn-phong specular highlights)
    • Environment-mapped materials
    • Normal-mapped materials (an open source first for Flash)
    • Z-depth filter for large outdoor scenes
    • Fog filter
    • Straight-to-bitmap rendering for fast scaled views
    • Surface caching for fast rendered lights
    • Package refactor for easier learning of basic classes

    Full update details have been posted on the AWAY3D mailing list. You can get the source files by accessing our svn repository or going to our downloads page


    Handling the rendering of over 13000 polygons, 16 animated and interactive models with surface tracking, and a cool soundtrack composed by Atom(bang), this is a demo unlike anything else... so turn up your speakers and enjoy a new kind of ride into the realm of Away3D 2.0!

    The Away3D Team.

    More info on our group here...

    05 Mar 2008

    Away3D - Bitmap Rendering w/ post processing effects

    by Alejandro Santander

    We've now completed the main part of the refactoring work on rendering pipeline for upcoming Away3d 1.9.5. Now user has possiblity to render either to a sprite (SpriteView3D) or select the BitmapView3D which renders to a Bitmap. This can then be used as a normal DisplayObject or you can request a direct access to the rendered output for post processing etc.

    Jalava, our new team member, quickly whipped together some post processing effects from using evoengine from Evoflash and slapped it together with Away3d.

    Here is the result.Bitmap Rendering Demo


    As you can see, it is pretty easy to add different post processing effects on the away3d engine when you can get everything rendered to a bitmap.

    In here we are doing about 20 fullscreen bitmapData#draw calls to render postprocessing plus we are rendering about 1200 polygons fully textured with precision bitmap material.

    the Away3d Team

    03 Mar 2008

    Away3D = Games, Infographics and Online Applications

    by Peter Kapelyan

    Away3D has recently seen a sudden increase in commercial use - now including areas such as Education, Gaming, and Online Applications. The following content shows a sample of what's currently being powered by the Away3d Engine.

    Discovery Channel

    EffectiveUI launchs an application for the Discovery Channel called "Discovery Earth Live" which lets you visualize different scientific data on an interactive 3D globe, as well as read about news stories around the world; the data is both images and video, and you can adjust layering and opacities of different layers in real-time as the globe spins.
    In otherwords: Really Awesome.


    3D Sugar Glider flash game

    Away3D game

    Newgrounds features 3D Sugar Glider on the front page and 3D Flash Games finally become a reality on the Web.
    Newgrounds is the largest and most popular Flash site on the web, and the future of Web Entertainment. Now Away3D is pushing the3D Flash Game envelope.

    Play 3D Sugar Glider !



    Fusebox launches Empressr, the first web-based application that lets you create, share and store presentations online.

    It uses Away3D for the 3D transitions, with many more features being made.
    It's nominated for a Webware 100 award for the Best Web 2.0 sites.


    Away3D has many new things coming up, please JOIN THE AWAY3D GROUP to stay updated.

    23 Feb 2008

    Away3D Temple: version 1.9.4 released!

    by Fabrice Closier

    If your looking for somewhere to relax (and I know we are!) after a hard day coding with Away3d, then why not try the latest online virtual-zen environment: The Away3d Temple

    The beautiful ambient music is composed by Atom(bang)


    This demo weights only 204 kb with fully code generated meshes, and combines Flash's power to reuse, alter, and mix sources with the latest Away3d tools.


    We are busy building tutorials and the source of this demo will be available soon across a series of posts in a new section of the away3d site.


    Many of the new features in the latest Away3d version are present in this demo, which is part of the reason it will be used as an extended tutorial. A full feature update will be announced on our mailing list, but the highlight additions include:

    • new AnimatedBitmapMaterial for processor-saving animations
    • new extrusions classes for creating many different shapes on the fly
    • new BitmapFileMaterial for automatic loading of a material
    • added autoloading textures functionality in collada and 3ds importers
    • new extended 3ds importer
    • added 2d rotation on Sprite2d and Sprite2DDir
    • new importer for google sketchup (kmz) files
    • improved md2 importer
    • added md2 animated to as3 exporter


    The 1.9.4 source has been tagged and can be downloaded from the svn repository, or as a zip file from the Away3d downloads section.

    If you would like to follow the progress of future Away3d updates, please feel free to join our mailing list

    Hope you enjoy!

    the Away3d Team

    12 Feb 2008

    Away3d enters into partnership with Strata

    by Fabrice Closier Away3d enters into partnership with Strata

    The Away3d Team are pleased to announce a new partnership with the community-driven software company Strata, involving their 3d application software Live 3D and 3d[in] Photoshop plugin.

    Live 3D is a powerful 3d exporter for the web, which provides an intuative workflow for converting content made in standard desktop 3d modeling software to web based 3d content in Java, PDF and Flash formats.

    3d[in] is a plugin extension for Photoshop that allows the import, manipulation and export of 3d content to a variety of web formats.

    Away3d will be providing an updated Flash export option for 3d content that displays in realtime, with navigation and animation options built in. The new export format will provide designers with an easy one-click solution for publishing 3d content, using the Flash Player to maintain a high level of compatibility with web browsers.

    The Away3d Team will also be developing further tools to allow content manipulation for 3d exported to Flash from the Strata product line.

    We are all really excited about the potential this offers 3d on the web, as currently the transition from high-end accelerated desktop 3d content to lower end, browser based web content is still somewhat tricky for 3d designers. Our partnership with Strata aims to address the balance by improving the workflow for Flash content.

    Further details will be announced as work progresses.

    04 Feb 2008

    New Away3D Sites

    by Peter Kapelyan

    Here are a few Websites that use Away3D as it gains power, speed, and popularity.
    Congratulations to everyone that made this possible.


    fifa street 3

    B-Reel launchs the new Flash/Away3D site for the EA Games title FIFA Street 3.

    Toyota game

    Away3D game

    North Kingdom releases a site for Toyota Europe with a game that use the Away3D engine.


    TODESIGN completed their newest Internet interior arrangement application called Dekort3D.
    Create any room and change walls colours, floor materials, furniture. It features object rotation, collision detection, snap to object, and save to local disk.

    3D NYC map

    Honey Agency creates a Flash/Away3D Interactive map of the local New York City area.

    29 Jan 2008

    Away3D: version 1.9.3 released

    by Rob Bateman Away3D: version 1.9.3 released

    Away3D version 1.9.3 is now available via the svn or downloads section of away3d.com. The above demo shows some of the new capabilites of the BitmapMaterialContainer class, along with a viewable source (right-click on the background of the swf) that can be used with the 1.9.3 codebase.

    The extrusion classes being worked on in the demos below are to be included in the forthcoming 1.9.4 release version

    25 Jan 2008

    Away3D Extrudes (2)

    by Fabrice Closier Away3D Extrudes (2)

    After straight segments extrusion it was time to play with the rounded stuff.
    This Lathe class allows you to rotate 2 or more 3D points arround the axis of your choice or using an offset if needed, you can add more rotations in order to generate springs, phonecords or screws... and like the segment extrude class it supports multiple textures and you can add thickness to the geometry as well. Very handy to show some exploded views of parts, educational stuff... or some melons!

    This little technical demo shows the most common use of the class. Press on the model to change the points randomly.

    lathe tech demo 1

    For this one: Lathe+tweek properties+md2 generator = 30 sec work!

    tech demo 2

    If you wonder why there are no forks or spoons in the situation demo, that's because I wanted to use exclusively the Lathe class to build it!

    All the objects you see here are just generated with one line of code and an array of Number3D's.

    Of course, the idea is to use other forms, models, primitives but.... I just couldn't resist!

    More extrudes classes are coming...

    PS: Jerome, it was too late to couple it with WoW, will try it in next one!

    Note: For some weird reasons, these demo's will play only with the latest player installed on your machine. (9,0,115,0). As soon as I've figured out why, I'll update them.

    18 Jan 2008

    Away3D Extrudes (1)

    by Fabrice Closier Away3D Extrudes (1)

    In order to build a complex scenery and keep it low poly, you need to have good 3D skills and a good modeller. For many that's just too much to ask. As a result, I read threads everyday, on lists and forums, on how to load those elephant xml files...

    I think it's just bad practice to build whole scenes that way, specially when it comes to Flash.
    And here comes the problem:
    What else?

    Personally I think that's one the biggest challenges, offering tools that helps to reduce loading problems and offer more flexibility to the way we work.

    So here's my first contribution in that direction, this demo shows one of the classes I'm working on.
    The class allows you to create extrudes from points, like a fence around a house, walls, a city block, charts elevation, some surrounding forest, sky trips or ... a maze! You can define elevation on 3 axis, thickness, add one or more materials per segments, be able to generate one mesh from one or more point definitions, subdivisions per segments so you can control the polygon count, be able to decide if texture(s) covers whole geometry or per segments, you can hide some sides...
    Last but not least, this option costed me almost a total rewrite of the class: it respects the thickness no matter the angle of the next segment.

    Here is a 2d representation of the algorithm.

    extrude_trigo<br />

    And here a little random generator.

    Of course one class is not enough... so more are coming!

    08 Jan 2008

    Away3D Livedocs, Examples and Wiki

    by Greg Caldwell (Greg209) Away3D Livedocs, Examples and Wiki

    To bring in 2008, it is time for an update to the documentation for Away3D.

    Other than a significant makeover, the documentation now :

    • has been updated to V1.9.2
    • provides a search function
    • documetation can be easily managed
    • links to the new wiki are included for each class
    • examples will be included with the classes to make life easier
    • anyone can add comments to the documentation

    At present, there is still a lot of content to be added to the documentation but this is now a simple process and can be done when required - rather than having to get comments put in the code and get it all regenerated. So more information will be being added all the time - if you need to know something in particular, contact us on the mailing list.

    In conjuntion with the new LIVEDOCS, Pete has done a great job and introduced an EXAMPLES page to allow anyone to post any useful Away3D snippets or complete solutions that others would benfit from. Note, these will be subject to approval by the team.

    And if that wasn't enough, there is now a site WIKI to provide yet another mechanism for use contribution. There is a link from each class in the Livedocs to a class specific wiki page. If the page doesn't exist, create it and add to it. This again is to allow all of you to help others understand and use the API.

    If you come across any issues with the livedocs, examples or wiki, let me know via the mailing list and I'll get it seen to as soon as I can.

    NOTE: Please bear in mind that these items may need tweaking and will certainly have more information added and should be considered to be in a Work-In-Progress state. More notices will be posted when things of significance happen.


    20 Dec 2007

    Away3D Global Animation the easy way

    by Fabrice Closier Away3D Global Animation the easy way

    In order to animate in Flash3D you need to use pretty advanced 3D tools to generate and export animation data. For many it's just a bridge too far.
    And even for the professionals, it often cost too much development time. And because of this, many choose not to animate at all. I think that's a shame.

    During the last weeks I've worked on many new features for Away's native animation system, and together with other team mates have spend lots of time looking at ways to ensure easyness of use for the pro user as for the starter.

    I've tried here to build in a few of those handy features in this demo:

    - Path animation system. Both the camera are on a path in this case.
    - The animated hummingbird is animated automatically by Away's animation system, (as you will see bellow with the cube example, it's very easy to accomplish the same thing natively now).
    - Target following: The camera follows the bird according to its position.
    - AlignToPath: Both camera is automatically oriented as it moves on the path.
    - And of course the tiling feature in action.

    Note that this demo is not using Away's 1.9 but my good old workhorse dev version of the engine, so expect about 30-35% more speed with the 1.9.x and higher! Why? Simply because we haven't ported the tiling in the latest version yet!

    And of course i want to thank Peter Kapelyan for the HB model, Meowza for the bird texture and not to forget the beautifull music done by Atom(bang)

    Here a little demo that shows how the bird is being animated. In this case i use cubes, just to show you how easy this is. Just click the cube to see it.

    private function makeBoxeAnimation():void
    var mat:IMaterial = new BitmapMaterial(myBitmadata, {});

    var cube = new Cube({, , depth:350});
    var cube2 = new Cube({, , depth:250});
    var cube3 = new Cube({, , depth:50});
    var cube4 = new Cube({, , depth:550});

    _anim = new Animator(cube, [{vertices:cube2.vertices, prefix:"cube01"},
    {vertices:cube3.vertices, prefix:"cube02"},
    {vertices:cube4.vertices, prefix:"cube03"},
    {vertices:cube2.vertices, prefix:"cube04"}] ,
    {material:mat, y:0, x:0,z:0,bothsides:false});

    _anim.play({prefix:"cube", smooth:true, loop:true, fps:.5});

    //let the fun begin
    stage.addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, this.refreshScreen);

    private function refreshScreen(event:Event):void
    _anim.rotationX += .5;
    _anim.rotationY += 1.5;
    _anim.rotationZ += .5;


    19 Dec 2007

    Away3D POPPY! The fun demo

    by Peter Kapelyan


    I never knew coding can be fun! Of course I am interested in making games, so I needed some smoke and particles. I made my last demo ALOT better, but because I spent like 1 week staring at it (yes time wasted), instead of coding- just staring! I have concluded that making games in Away3d is not only fun, but addictive smile

    So here is a better example of Depth of Field, Filters, Blendmode (the smoke), a Constant Emitter (the smoke), and even some cool TIME-STOP feature so you get to catch all that goodness, and get to see the correct Z sorting between the particles. Ok now that I can breathe after that last sentence- click away! and have fun smile

    Please leave a comment, I will appreciate it!

    17 Dec 2007

    Away3D Tiling

    by Fabrice Closier Away3D Tiling

    One of the things I was missing the most in the API was the ability to tile the textures. This allows you to repeat an image on a model with no overlaps and no gaps. The best illusion can be of course achieved by using a seamless image.
    Sea surface, deserts, endless roads etc... As you will discover in this demo, it looks like infinite planes are coming to Flash.

    Making a material with tiling properties is pretty easy too:
    var mat:IMaterial = new BitmapMaterial(myBitmapdata,{ repeatH:2, repeatW:2});

    I'm already curious to see what will be done with this new feature!


    11 Dec 2007

    Away3D Filters, Depth of Field, and Particles

    by Peter Kapelyan

    This shows Away3D version 1.9 in action with REALTIME filters (blurring) on each object.
    Make sure you get the latest version, which has the ownCanvas property.

    This feature is pretty awesome, so check out what I made!

    Click to make an explosion!

    Depth Of Field + Particles

    BlendMode Version!


    01 Nov 2007

    Away3D Normal mapped bust

    by Rob Bateman Away3D Normal mapped bust

    This demo nicely illustrates the huge visual enhancement that normalmapping brings to Away3D. You can click on the bust to swap between the new Dot3BimapMaterial and the old WhiteShadingBitmapMaterial to compare. New materials that take advantage of normal maps will be included in the next release of Away3D. The normal map in this example was created from a high-poly mesh using a technique decribed here. The resulting model has significantly fewer triangles, but retains a high degree of detail in the displayed object. This is hugely beneficial to scenes where high render speeds require low poly-models. Rob

    01 Nov 2007

    Away3D Animated MD2 to AS3

    by Fabrice Closier Away3D Animated MD2 to AS3

    Broken link, file corrupted etc... we all have experienced those things... In Away3D there is a native export to AS3, you can export any model loaded in your project to the AS3 format: .as. This allows you to compile the final version of your work in Flash without using the original model(s). Not only making the loading procedures easier, it also provides a better way to protect the 3D models from being reused once published. Away3D supports MD2 natively too, and it was already possible to export MD2 like any other supported formats, but not yet possible to export the animation data to AS3. Until now ! The little demo shown here displays an .obj file (the flowers) and an animated MD2 model (the Hummingbird) converted to an AS3 class. The original models were needed just to set up the scale into scenery, then both files were exported as .as files and compiled with the rest of the code. This gives us a nice extra for free: colored declarations in our code eg. new Flower() or new Bird();. The concept "beauty of code" takes a new dimension! Soon some Flash code poetry contests? I've also extended the export option to a fixed decimal count. If you take a look at 3D data, especially when the original model is being rescaled on screen, you often get numbers with more than 10 decimals for all vertex definitions... so one little boolean set allows you to save more than 50% of the .as class filesize (this was the case on the models displayed here). Depending of course on the amount of polygons, the more polygons, the more the 'compression' becomes obvious. At max fixed 4 decimals I couldn't find any problems on renderings. If a particular case generates an ugly artifact, just don't set the boolean! Shown in this demo too, the latest version of the enviroMaterial code. Even smoother! This exporter will be release in Away3D 2.0. Fabrice

    26 Oct 2007

    Away3D DOT3 Normal Mapping

    by Rob Bateman Away3D DOT3 Normal Mapping

    First ever implementation of dot3 normal mapping in Flash There is a lot of possibility with importing normal maps into away3d. However, normal maps themselves can be complex to get right, so this demo combines the advantages of a normal map render pipe with the simplicity of a bumpmapped texture, allowing the model to have extra detail without all that fiddly high-poly/low-poly nonsense. Much easier to get right, plus you have the advantage of using a normal map if you would prefer. People with faster machines can set the default quality to high for a fantastic smoothed shading experience... - looks great but it's also heavy on the old processor. I cannot tell you how soon i want to try this with a proper normal map... Rob

    18 Oct 2007

    Away3D fast animated bitmap material

    by Alexander Zadorozhny Away3D fast animated bitmap material

    While working on the next demo for the new improved PhongMaterial, i wanted to add some animated texture on a model... but the MovieMaterial was just eating my cpu resources! So I've reused a concept I had in my bitmapdata engine. I think that the animators among us will love this one: the new Away3d AnimatedBitmap class... it's using no expensive draw(), no expensive copyPixels(), and it renders at the speed of regular texture like the BitmapMaterial! It supports also loops, and will support much more play options since it seams to be fast, but right now i've more than enough to play with, so I will first finish that PhongShading demo!

    05 Oct 2007

    Away3D Directional smooth shading & environement reflections

    by Fabrice Closier Away3D Directional smooth shading & environement reflections

    After days working on the code, it's finally there. A smooth shiny reflecting surface! I let you judge of the quality and the performance... i'am very happy with this result, that's all i can say! To get there and be able to make this demo, i got help from my friends Rob Bateman and Peter Kapelyan. Without them, i could have spend days on the code trying to find the bug i was looking for. And it was a nasty one... Peter shown us the way with his sharp eye and Rob killed the beast! I'm very proud of the Away3D team, thank you guys, real teamwork! Fabrice

    02 Oct 2007

    Away3D Directional smooth shading

    by Fabrice Closier Away3D Directional smooth shading

    I just couldn't accept having phong shading only facing you, this would simply be useless in most cases and you would probably choose to have textures with 'pre-baked' shading in order to get light coming from another direction just to better translate the scenery you want to build. The model displayed in this demo has around 650 faces, all being runtime shaded by the code. The code generates random color, camera position and light position. So some camera angles might look pretty weird but I think it adds some pretty cool drama on screen! Keep in mind that sometimes the light will quickly turn when it is very near the target center of the model...it's because the light is being calculated at object level, just to save thousands of calculations per sec. Fabrice

    17 Sep 2007

    Away3D diamond

    by Fabrice Closier Away3D diamond

    I've turned 40 this weekend, so i thought it would be nice to celebrate... First idea was: i do a cake! Nah... doesn't shine... Since Away3D is now able to create anything looking expensive like gold or silver, i thought, what's the most expensive material on earth? Diamonds of course! Everyone who has played with transparent objects knows you need alpha info, and then... well here it comes, what comes next? You need something to move light! So most go for double geometry, above each other. Did that too, but then you get a z-sorting artifact, all faces are swapping on and off. Useless. So i've updated the enviroMaterial again to render faces another way... Enjoy the Away3D diamond! The right amount of shinyness and face count! Fabrice

    13 Sep 2007

    Away3D Environement Normal Mapping

    by Fabrice Closier Away3D Environement Normal Mapping

    It's been a while since my last post on materials. I thought it might be good to let see we are VERY busy right now with Away3D. One of the latest feature, like this demo shows, is the normal mapping. Now natively implemented in the engine. Any mesh using this new Material will reflect the environement or a given reflection map. This is the first of this kind of materials and i have already a few more in the making. How would you find being able to add phong shading coming from a given light source to your model? Check this blog to see soon more of that shiny stuff! Away3D rocks people! k, Back to code now... too much fun! Fabrice PS: Rob is actually busy merging our codes for the next release. PS2: Right click on model, open the Flashplayer menu, and select Away stats if you want some fps details...
    Update Made some tests last nite. Code seams stabile and perform pretty well no matter model geometry being loaded... Tried a 4206 faces overkill head model. FPS dropped down to 2fps and on init of the mesh the head.obj needed arround 2 seconds to intialize due to enormous amount of precalculations. The hummingbird model however with a respectable 974 faces count was running at a steady 25 fps very smootly. I will try to improve the code on this...

    normal mapping2

    13 Sep 2007

    Standard project stats

    by Fabrice Closier Standard project stats

    Ok no pixels news for once... I was tired building in each project an FPS (frames per second) counter or add traces everywhere. So i thought it might be usefull to build once and for all an handy tool that would require no external swf or to be set in the library. This little device generates itself and is available at anytime in any Away3d projects. It will use a little calculation power only when on screen. Just right click or ctrl/press on the mac to display it on screen. HOW TO INSTALL IN YOUR PROJECT? Just compile and run the swf and call the player menu! Nothing! Check this destructive demo that demonstrate how the color indicator behaves.(Don't wait till your browser crashes!) stats When on screen, you'll be able to access some helpfull informations for any projects development like: fps swf framerate highest fps and lowest fps average fps ram usage faces count active camera information mesh count geometrie information face rendered count The stats window is also draggable, so it can stay on screen while testing. It also has a color information coupled to performance based on swf framerate and actual FPS. The more fps on that scale, the more the bar gets greenshish and that means your project's gonna be a killer! While going on the other side of the scale it will tint to red and that would probably mean: back to the drawingboard! If users are finding it handy, we will probably extend it with more features, like debugging options. Soon in the svn... Fabrice

    23 Aug 2007

    AWAY3D: Another Glimpse of Physics

    by Peter Kapelyan AWAY3D: Another Glimpse of Physics

    Click the image or here to play Away3D basketball! smile Just like my previous post of materials "ala" Pete, well here are physics "ala" Pete.  I decided to HACK some code together to get the effect I want (basically), and although I know the math may be flawed, it is something that I can use A LOT. It is a "custom" engine that works with both away3d and papervision3d. This demo is just a preview of what I would like to share, but I want correct the math before I release it. _pete

    16 Aug 2007

    Projects using Away3d

    by Stephen White

    People are starting to use Away3d for their projects! Paul Spitzer wrote a path finding demo for Flash in 3d: Path Finder http://www.actionscriptarchitect.com/lab/AStar3D2/ Shirotokoro has written a new AS3 Geom Class Exporter for 3ds Max to PV3D, Sandy and Away3D: Geom Class http://seraf.mediabox.fr/showcase/as3-geom-class-exporter-for-3ds-max-english/ and I, for one, welcome our yellow billed overlord (read the page to find out smile... Puppet Arena http://www.puppet-arena.com/ It's great that people are finding Away3d useful! We're continuing to work hard on adding new features!