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By Cynthia Scott | Friday, July 09, 2010

New interactive design course on Papervision3D

This 3D image of a skybox was created in Papervision3D.

As part of our ongoing training courses in Flash, we’ve just released a new course in Papervision3D. I had a chance to catch up with lynda.com author Seb Lee-Delisle to talk to him about his experience with this fascinating 3D software.

Q. What is Papervision3D and what does it do?

A. It’s just a whole bunch of ActionScript files that gets compiled into your swf in the same way as your custom ActionScript would, although the Papervision code is complicated and there are hundreds of class files.

Papervision3D calculates what the 3D objects should look like in 2D and then uses the Flash drawing API (moveTo, lineTo etc) draw the 3D objects in real time.

Q. What are some of the most surprising uses of Papervision3D you’ve seen?

A. I’ve seen Papervision3D used for 3D interfaces, racing games, and kids’ websites like our own Plug-in Media projects for the BBC, Big and Small, and ZingZillas. Even MLB.com use it for their 3D pitch simulations!

Q. What foundation skills would people need to get the most out of Papervision3D?

A. Ideally you would have a basic understanding of ActionScript programming, and a familiarity with Flash Builder (previously Flex Builder).

Q. In your opinion, what’s the most interesting feature in Papervision3D?

A. Just the fact that you can now render full 3D objects in Flash is brilliant. And the Collada file importer means that you can now create your 3D objects in apps like Maya and 3DStudio and watch them come to life in interactive projects.

Q. What are some of the main issues for developers?

A. Papervision3D is a software renderer, which means that you won’t get the sort of performance that you’re used to in full hardware rendered 3D like in modern console games. But in the course I show you the easiest way to get started along with all the insider tips and tricks to getting your projects optimised and running beautifully.

View Papervision3D 2 Essential Training in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

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