I designed this animation sequence for my first Flash project. If you are a serious Flash
developer, you probably already knew that Flash is not a 3D (three-dimensional) application. It should not
be since Flash is designed for web animation. Flash has a facility to perform geometric matrix transformation.
This is simply a very basic and crude technique to map a 3D point onto a 2D viewing plane.
Realistic 3D scenes require a lot more: perspective, camera angles, light sources and shadows, transparency,
reflection, to name a few simple requirements to bring any 4-GHz dual core to its knees... I just want to find
out if true 3D animation is still possible with Flash. The result on this page speaks for itself.
I cheated a little by creating the 3D scene outside Flash and just gluing these frames on the Flash stage.
The spinning 3D model is a Lego toy truck. The ceramic floor is textured with strong reflectivity so you can see the
refelection of the model toy truck. The truck has a cyan windshield which is transparent to a light source on
the far right. You can guess that the image is ray-traced with its realistic cast shadow on the floor.
Each scene is rendered with the open-source Pov-ray
raytracer at 480 by 180 resolution, HDTV aspect ratio.
I rendered only 18 scenes to complete a 360-degree rotation at 20-degree increment. At fast frame rate, you probably
do not need finer angle increment since this would increase the rendering time and file size (bandwidth). The frames
look realistic enough without using radiosity computation.
The final Flash file is generated including appropriate HTML codes with just one click. You do not need to
know Flash or program its scripting language. You do not have to use any traditional desktop Flash tools to
create this effect.
The parameters are self-explanatory hopefully to most of us. If you do not understand its meaning, change its value
and see how it affects the text animation.