Form and Space

creating CG 3D since 2001

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Real-time 3D in Flash

Matthew | May 10, 2010

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Courtesy of the David Laser Scanner project there’s a way to do real-time 3d in Flash.  It’s called Mesh2Flash.  This tool was originally designed to showcase polygon meshes generated using the David Laser Scanner software, but I think this is great way to show off models made in any software.  All you need is the .obj or .dae format, and the Mesh2Flash.swf takes care of the rest.  You can find more information about Mesh2Flash here.

My biggest problem with this is that the .obj file must sit on the server with the Mesh2Flash.swf.  I’ve very little means to protect these objects from being stolen.  I tried password protecting the directory, but this only protected the directory.  With a direct link to the .obj file a person could read the file with a simple text editor, and take the object.  I think this is a dead end until I can find a means to secure my objects.  My objects are far too valuable to have hanging out on the server for someone to take and use or sell.  My understanding of the web is, “If you don’t want it stolen, then don’t put it on the web.”

Regardless of my fears, just imagine the possibilities of being able to pre-vis the 3d models a vendor might sell online.  What a fantastic way to “see” the mesh before purchasing it.   The Unity game engine would also be a viable way of showcasing real-time work in the browser, perhaps even more secure.

This model is not a scan, but is a primitive from XSI.  It’s was then triangulated, and exported as an “.obj” format for use with Mesh2Flash.

Click the image to launch the Mesh2Flash.

Example of Real-time 3d in Flash

Click and drag in the view to rotate it.
Arrow keys: Rotate view
+/-: Zoom in/out
Z/z: Zoom in/out
f/F: Decrease/increase camera focal length
s: Start/stop continuous rotation
a,r: Reset camera
q,e: Roll camera

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