The most incredible news about Flash is its ability to import 3D models from programs like Blender and 3DSMax. With the advent of programs like Papervision3D, a world of ubiquitous 3D web content has appeared on the horizon. But with any new world, there are new challenges: ActionScript driven animation, 3D modeling, texture preparation, and more. Flash3D is a very broad area and your journey begins here with modeling.
In this chapter, you cover the basics of modeling and how to import those models into Papervision3D. You examine commonly used modeling packages such as Blender, 3DSMax, and SketchUp. You'll develop a technique for creating Quake 2 models, and create simple parsers for Blender and 3DSMax. Finally, you examine the powerful Collada format, and learn how to enhance your models by incorporating Pixel Bender.
Remember you're modeling for the web. You don't have the luxury of a large supportive game engine; everything bounces off the Flash player. Keeping your polygon (triangle) count low is essential to great performance. This is achieved in part by low polygon modeling. You might be asking at this point: how low? You'll be rendering entire scenes with less than 2,000 polygons.
Now, before that statement sends you packing, you're going to learn some tricks to enhance this number significantly; especially when you get to portal engines and Pixel Bender. If you're coming from a Flash background, you're probably cheering ...