Chances are that when you were a child, you were given a box of building blocks that contained cubes, rectangles, half spheres, cylinders, and cones. And then you spent hours in play building fantastic structures. The experiences you gained from your many hours of play will now come in handy. The shapes you built with are called primitives and many drawing packages such as Bryce, Blender, and 3DSMax rely heavily on primitives to build with.
Second Life is an entire virtual world built with nothing but primitives: just like your world of blocks. A natural extension to Papervision3D would be to have such a primitive building set for constructing buildings, furniture, vehicles, and so on. In this chapter you focus on Papervision3D's basic primitive set and then learn how to create your own custom primitives in both Papervision3D and CS4.
Primitives form the structure of your world. Materials placed on your primitives give primitives meaning and interactivity. You've probably already seen some pretty cool websites using interactive planes or cubes. In this chapter, you find out the basics required to create such sites.
Primitives are constructed by extruding basic two dimensional shapes. For example, a cube can be created by extruding a 2D square along a linear path. And similarly, a cylinder can be created by extruding a circle along the same linear path. Modifying the cylinder extrusion by narrowing the extrusion to a point creates ...