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Away3D 2.3 packs lots of new features

Away3D 2.3 packs lots of new features

After the release of Flash Player 10, it's been rather silent among the Flash 3D engines but today the Away3D Team released a new version with a load of new features: Frustum / nearfield clipping, Object culling, camera lenses, advanced normalmap tools, billboard mesh objects as well as a new Bezierpatch tool for modeling smooth surfaces.

It's been some months since the last release but those that use the Subversion repository have seen a flurry of new files lately. Version 2.3 is full of new features and this release solidifies the impression that Away3D is distancing itself from the other 3D engines. By adding more advanced realtime modeling features, complex mapping, generators and workflow enhancements, the engine is moving far away from it's PaperVision roots.

One great example of how advanced Away3D has become is the new BezierPatch tools. Away3D team member Greg Caldwell has put together a demo where he starts off by building a low resolution patch that is used to construct a 3D mesh. By mirroring the patches, Greg constructs a fully shaded, resolution independent version the classic Utah Teapot. Since the result is always a triangulated mesh, this isn't Nurbs modeling but it's ideal for creating advanced organic shapes. These can of course be saved out as models using the Away3D export features.

AwayBuilder is a workflow enhancement by Andreas Engstrom that currently supports Autodesks Maya, but other software will follow later. Using this tool, people that are good at 3D and modeling can export directly to Flash/Away3D without much knowledge of Actionscript. Just set up your project with objects, materials, cameras and their properties, then play it back online without the need for extensive programming or recompilation.

Make sure you also check out the impressive feature demos for culling and normal mapping! If you want to get started with Away3D, check out our extensive list of Away3D tutorials. If you want to see what is possible to create, check out this list of recent Away3D projects.



Exporting from Maya with AwayBuilder


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