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Category Archives: Books

Away3D 3.6 Cookbook I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of Michael Ivanov’s book on Away3D 3.6 Cookbook graciously provided to me from Packt publishing. So I thought I would have a go at it to give a sneak peak on what’s covered.

Just a heads up, it is recommended to first go through the basics of using Away3D. A good introduction would be Packt’s Essential Away3D 3.6. Flash magazine’s tutorial series on Away3D is another good reference online to get things started.

Michael goes through several techniques in Away3D development. What is great about his recipes are that he addresses topics that you are not likely to see from basic courses, but the cool stuff, or the things that might be potentially requested by a client. It is a great reference to pick things up right away.

Some of the interesting things that are covered in this book:

  • Away3D materials to view video on demand (VOD) streaming, and usage of the Pixel Bender toolkit.
  • 3D interactivity
  • Special effects (using the Camera, bitmap manipulation)
  • Solutions to depth-sorting, and optimization
  • Tips in using software to improve your workflow (Prefab3D, and importing/loading 3D assets of major 3D software tools [3DsMax, Maya, Blender])
  • Away3D Lite development. This optimized version quadruples the performance compared to the standard engine (with the trade-off of a limited feature set, but ideal for simple projects)

There is much more. But I also like to mention about the appendix on FlashPlayer 11 and the Stage3D API (aka Molehill). Adobe labs just released the beta of Air 3 and for FlashPlayer 11. This would be a good opportunity to test it out.

Now, the question is that should I wait for the next Flash player to come out before tinkering with Away3D? I asked Richard Olsson, the co-developer on the Away3D team at the Flash and the City conference last June and he says that there would be no problem to migrate over to Away3D 4 once you grasp the concepts of 3D development with Away 3D 3.6. So it is a good time to start learning 3D development.

I hope this review was useful. These are exciting times in Flash development, particularly in the area of 3D.

LordAlex co-authored the Friends of Ed book: “Flex for Designers” and is reviewed on two sites:

On our Montreal Adobe usergroup (click here) and I recently found a posting on the DMXZone (A tutorial site administered in Europe). They are giving away 5 books and you can download chapter 5 from this link. Click here. I talked to Lee Sutton who works for Adobe the other day, and he read it in one sitting when flying back from the West coast. He was surprised that you can also skin Flex components using Fireworks CS3.

BTW, the chapter that is freely downloadable from DMXZone involves Illustrator and Photoshop CS3. This is pretty cool considering that Flex is geared towards developers.

For more info on the book, check it out here.

DJ

Actually, I was surprised that I got a copy of Colin Mook’s book “Essential Actionscript 3.0“. I was expecting it in September. Anyway, it’s in my hands now. I am looking to go through the 800 plus pages.

However, I am reading “Advanced Actionscript components” by Antonio De Donatis, and “Making things Move” by Keith Peters. (Friends of Ed) I am looking into component development, and am in the midst of creating a game with 3D Objects.

DJ

I believe that the Essential ActionScript series is THE book in regards to learning ActionScript Programming. Now Mike Downey interviews Colin Moock on AS3 Essentials. As of now, it is in rough cuts at O’Reilly.com. Colin takes a new approach to writing this book by describing what code is and what a programmer is and moves on to Object Oriented Programming. It’s launch date is June 1st.

For the video click here.

For AS3 Essentials rough cuts click here.

DJ