Manual Papervision3D Essentials

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Learning how to use 3D in Flash and Flex can be daunting. The open source Papervision3D offers the potential of accomplishing some great things, quickly and easily, but the learning curve is steep, involving a lot of trials and, usually, far more errors.


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As with many such things, Papervision3D is a marvel from a development community whose technical strengths are not matched by clear writing ability. The first such work in lucid English, its pages are organized in thirteen well organized chapters, starting with the basics and progressively broadening the foundations in related aspects, such as shading and modeling.

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Chapter One has to be particularly commended, which plainly, clearly and simply details the steps to setup the Papervision3D environments for Flash, Flash Builder and Flex Builder, and includes a test program that helps validate the setup. Each chapter has detailed example project code, again for both Flash and Flex Builder. The examples are written in Action Script 3; those still using AS2 may have some problems in getting up to speed.

This is an excellent starter book for learning how to use Papervision3D, with the examples and discussions left to expand into more complex and interactive development by the reader. This book was the answer. It provided me all the info I needed to develop my first basic 3d applications: You only needs to have ActionScript 3. So, if you are a PV3D beginner and want to understand something more about this world I can suggest to buy it. Advanced topics are not covered so well and after few days I already needed more info to accomplish my tasks.

Naturally it depends from your targets and needs. One person found this helpful. Book was clear with clear examples. Great to get you going on papervision fast. I think much of the info should be available online but pv3d info seems too scattered, so save yourself some time and get this book. If you're looking for really advanced answers they are probably not in here though. This is an excellent manual for Papervision3D. You may start having no idea of this Flash technology and end being an intermediate developer, on the way to be an expert.

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Jeff Winder and Paul Tondeur, two skilled Flash developers, are the authors of this book. They have a deep knowledge of all these technologies and make easy to get deep into Papervision3D. I think the best way to help you choose to buy this book is to tell you what's inside, so here it goes: Don't wanna spend a penny? There is an open source alternative, though. It is called FlashDevelop.

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Chapter 2 is an intro to object oriented programming in Papervision3D, and how to create the basic structure of a P3D file, and a template for future quick creation of P3D documents. Chapter 3 introduces you to Papervision3D primitives, and everything that is related to them, followed by explanations on how to parent objects to other objects or group them together, so all the transformations applied to the parent affect the associated children objects. In chapter 4 the authors tell you about P3D materials, how to assign them, including how to make materials that are double-sided, flip them or use a movie or a streamed video as a texture.

Papervision3D has a number of different camera types, and all them are described in chapter 5. You will learn these camera types, and what are they for, their differences and everything related to them.

You will also learn how to add basic navigation to an object so the user can move it. The chapter ends with the explanation of concepts like culling and clipping applied to Papervision3D. After this, chapter 6 is centered in animation, showing how to move the camera inside the 3D worlds, but also other objects. Mouse and keyboard will be used to move them, and we will also learn how to create animations and guided tours.

The third person view and first person view, so useful when we deal with virtual worlds, games, and any immersive application, will also be covered. In the following chapter, you will see how Papervision3D has different shading modes, and also the possibility of using bump maps and reflection, even mirror effects. Building 3D scenes with only primitives may be challenging, so Papervision3D can also import an external model. On chapter 8 you will learn how to model for P3D, and import your models.

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The authors explain the basic steps for applications like 3D Studio Max, Google Sketchup, and Blender want a good book for blender? Chapter 9 is about Z-sorting, a common problem in P3D, and how to solve it using viewport layers. This may not sound very exciting, but it's of great help for the developer. Particle effects have basic support in Papervision3D, but the book explains how to use an external open source library called Flint to achieve exciting effects.

The book also tells you about billboards and their advantages and disadvantages compared to particles, in chapter As you may know, Flash has many visual effects, and they can also be applied to 3D, as chapter 11 explains. Things like fog, reflection, blur, glow, manipulate transparency of objects, change all this dynamically, create vapor, a comet trail, fire, smoke, apply this all to a viewport, layer effects, illusion of depth With this chapter, and the following chapter 12 , you can see that you can use the best of both worlds of Flash, 2D and 3D.

Include 3D text, using fonts, adding interactivity to text, drawing lines, vectors, and 2D shapes to your 3D scene. The last chapter 13 is about optimization. Anyone that makes worlds for use in Internet knows that optimization is essential. Optimizing allows you to do more with less resources. The book tells you different techniques for this, ranging from basic optimization tips to optimizing the different aspects of a scene: So that is what you'll find.

Even if you have no idea of ActionScript, but some notions of OOP, you will get results from this book. This is one of the most neat and useful computer books that I have faced in years. It is full of pure knowledge explained in an easy way. So don't hesitate and get it, it may make a perfect gift too. This book may be the best way to get you started in Papervision3D, one of the most innovative Flash technologies of our days for interactive 3D in the Web.

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