Adobe AIR requires applications to be packaged, digitally signed, and installed on the user’s local file system. This provides access to local storage and file systems, while browser-deployed applications are more limited in where and how data can be accessed and stored. Adobe AIR internally uses Adobe Flash Player as the runtime environment, and ActionScript 3 as the sole programming language. Flash applications must specifically be built for the Adobe AIR runtime in order to utilize the additional features provided.
Adobe AIR 1.0 was released on February 25, 2008, after a public pre-release in 2007. Adobe Air 3.2 was released on March 28 2012, it’s the first version supporting Stage3D on iOS devives.
Adobe Flash Player 11 introduced a new architecture for hardware-accelerated graphics (processed by GPU = graphics processing unit) rendering called Stage3D (codename Molehill). This set of 3D APIs brings 3D to the Adobe Flash Platform. The book Adobe Flash Player 11 Stage3D (Molehill) Game Programming Beginner’s Guide, written by Christer Kaitila, shows you how to make your very own next-generation 3D games in Flash. Christer Kaitila is the curator of a popular news website called www.videogamecoder.com which syndicates news from hundreds of other game developer blogs.
The following frameworks and libraries are available for Stage3D :
- Flare3D Studio, by Flare3D
- Alternativa3D, by AlternativaPlatform, a Russian based company
- Away3D, by the Away3D team (open source project)
- EasyAGAL, by David Barlia
- Minko, by Aerys, a french company creating 3D and network solutions for next-gen applications
- Mixamo, an innovative online 3D character animation service for 3D professionals
- ND2D, by Lars Gerckens
- Proscenium, by Adobe
- Starling, by Gamua (Open Source Game Engine for Flash)
- Axel Game Library, by arkeus (Lee Miller)
- Yogurt3D, by Yogurt Technologies
Flare3D Studio and Mixamo’s online animation service have been integrated into a smooth workflow, allowing Flash developers to easily leverage the Stage 3D API and its capabilities. Stage3D content can be embedded in AIR 3.2 to deploy applications on mobiles, including iOS devices.
The Stage3D API includes a low level shading language, called AGAL (Adobe Graphics Assembly Language). Shaders are programs that run on the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).
Tutorials and additional informations about Stage3D and related frameworks are listed below :
DAVID Laserscanner Software
DAVID-laserscanner is a very low-cost system for contact-free scanning of 3d objects. The only hardware requirements are a simple commercial hand-held laser and a standard camera.
A free edition of the David Laserscanner (current version 184.108.40.20630 released on March 2, 2012), with limited saving, including a trial version of the David Shapefusion software, is available at the website. The unlimited pro-version costs 329 EUR. DAVID-Shapefusion is more than just an ordinary stitching tool, it allows a convenient alignment and combination of 3D scans from different viewing directions.
The David-Laserscanner website provides a download, gallery, forum, wiki, FAQ, references an user guide section. The lasershop offers cameras, lasers, software and accessories, from a starterkit (499 EUR) up to a structured light kit (1773,10 EUR).
A comparison of the David – Laserscanner with the worlds most popular 3D scanner, the NextEngine priced at 2.995 US $, was done in 2009 in the David – Laserscanner forum. In the meantime the speed of the David – Laserscanner has been increased with the structured light solution.
Last update : May 29, 2012
Youworld by Mark Florquin ; rendered 3D scans of family and friends ; 18 May 2012
ReconstructMe is an intuitive 3D realtime reconstruction system offering unique features :
- Multiple 3D sensor support (Microsoft Kinect, ASUS Xtion Pro Live
- Offline reconstruction from existing file streams
- Resuming reconstructions at any point in time
- Surface export to common 3D file formats such as .stl or .obj
ReconstructMe is free for non-commercial use and is being developed and maintained by enthusiastic software engineers at PROFACTOR GmbH. The initiator of ReconstructMe and one of its main contributors is Christoph Heindl who owns the personal blog cheind.wordpress.com.
There are countless applications of the ReconstructMe technology, such as scanning objects to duplicate with a 3D printer, importing yourself into a video game, …
The official ReconstructMe Homepage launched in january 2012 has a blog, download, help, media, purchase and legal section to provide all necessary informations to start using this outstanding technology. The current version of the software is 0.6.0-405 released end May 2012. The commercial version was launched on May 29, 2012; the price for a single seat license is 360 EUR.
Mark Florquin, a photographer from Belgium, is the first artist to use the Kinect & ReconstructMe technology to scan his family and friends and to render photos of these 3D models. He created an own world (Youworld) to publish the results on his website.
MikuMikuDance (MMD) is a freeware animation program that lets users animate and create 3D animation movies for Vocaloid models. MikuMikuDance was programmed by Yu Higuchi and has gone through significant upgrades since its creation. Its production was made as part of the Vocaloid Promotion Video Project (VPVP).
The software allows users to import 3D models into a virtual space that can be moved and animated accordingly. The following features are available :
- import of .wav files to create music videos
- import and export of motion data
- integrated physics engine
- use of Microsoft’s Kinect
- map shadowing
Miku Miku Dance screen snap
The software comes with a number of 3D models based on the mascots of Crypton Future Media Vocaloids. The default models Miku, Meiko, Kaito, Kagamine Rin/Len, Akita Neru and Haku Yowane were created by Animasa, the default Sakine Meiko model was created by Kio. All content, including the 3D models, is distributed freely by the users and most of its additional content is produced by fans using 3D modeling software. As recognition and popularity of Vocaloids grew, the japanese video hosting platform Nico Nico Douga became a place for collaborate content creation.
The first version of Miku Miku Dance was released on February, 24, 2008. An english version was released one month later. On May 26, 2011, Yu Higuchi announced he would retire from developing MMD. The last stable release of the program is version 7.30.
Additional useful informations about Miku Miku Dance are available at the following links :
Last update : May 15, 2013
3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by laying down successive layers of material. 3D printing is considered as e-manufacturing. A list of available industrial and home 3D printers is given below :
Home 3D printers :
ReplicatorG is a software that will drive your home 3D printer or generic CNC machine. You can give it a GCode or STL file to process, and it takes it from there. It’s cross platform, easily installed, and is based on the familiar Arduino / Processing environments.
Industrial 3D printers :
The following 3D printing providers offer web based services for private customers :
WebGL brings plugin-free 3D to the web, implemented right into the browser. Major browser developpers Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), Mozilla (Firefox), and Opera (Opera) are members of the WebGL Working Group.
WebGL is developped by the Khronos Group, a not for profit, member-funded consortium focused on the creation of royalty-free open standards for parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. The Khronos Group was founded in January 2000 by a number of leading media-centric companies, including 3Dlabs, ATI, Discreet, Evans & Sutherland, Intel, NVIDIA, SGI and Sun Microsystems.
A guide how to get a WebGL implementation is available at the Khronos wiki website.
The current stable version of the Google Chrome 8 browser can be WebGL enabled by entering about:flags in the address bar and enabling the feature. A better (default) support of WebGL is provided with the Google Chrome Canari browser (the development version 10.0.614.0).
The following links point to websites with useful informations, tutorials, tools and ressources about WebGL :
COLLADA is a COLLAborative Design Activity for establishing an open standard digital asset schema for interactive 3D applications. It involves designers, developers, and interested parties from within Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) as well as key third-party companies in the 3-D industry. With its 1.4.0 release, COLLADA became a standard of The Khronos Group Inc., where consortium members continue to promote COLLADA to be the centerpiece of digital-asset toolchains used by the 3-D interactive industry.
COLLADA defines an XML database schema that enables 3-D authoring applications to freely exchange digital assets without loss of information, enabling multiple software packages to be combined into extremely powerful tool chains.
Q-BLOCK screen snap
A voxel (volumetric pixel) is a volume element, representing a value on a regular grid in three dimensional space. This is analogous to a pixel, which represents 2D image data in a bitmap (which is sometimes referred to as a pixmap).
Q-BLOCK, created by Okuyama Kazuya, is a Flash-based application that can be used to create and share 3D models made out of coloured square blocks. Wallpapers and icons are easily generated at the press of a button, and models can be shared using permalinks or through a Twitter account.
The drawing tool is extremely simple to use, yet offers enough diversity for pixel art veterans to quickly design something in just a couple of minutes. You can even draw a model layer by layer with the handy canvas feature, which comes with editing options like copy, paste, and an extrude button to automatically apply one layout to every other layer of the block.
Cube Kingdom is a free Japanese desktop application, created in 2009 by Ramza3D, that can be used to create 3D models out of blocks with the same size and dimension. Squares can be placed, erased or coloured over with just a click or two, and there are sixteen different colours that you can choose from to apply to your building blocks.
Hold the middle mouse button to move your construction around the window. The scroll wheel can be used to zoom in or out, and models can be saved or retrieved by selecting the first menu bar option. You can also edit Cube Kingdom’s text configuration file to change background colour and other settings.