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Papervision3d 2.0 (Great White) in Flex 3 (Part I)

I’m developing a prototype that loads GPS coordinates/time of flights from an external file into Flash player in a browser and renders them at runtime using PV3D over an interactive Yahoo Maps API.

papervision3d 2.0 flight data prototype screenshot

This prototype is in part being used to test performance of Flash Player running the excellent PV3D. So far it holds pretty good.

PV3D has amazing capabilities. That said, it’s also a work in progress so the API is not super clear, but it’s well worth the hassle. It’s open source so you can always look at the source code to figure out something troublesome. It doesn’t take long to get started either because of the well documented common steps.

Of particular help was http://papervision2.com/ where you can find all the necessary first steps to take like:

- Getting the PV3D 2.0 source

- Extremely helpful base template that sets up all the basic elements that you can easily build on

- And the priceless tutorial that sets you off on 3d interaction path (i.e. the fun part).

On this prototype I was primarily working with LineMaterial and MovieMaterial (for interaction), then Line3D / Lines3D which proved very easy to build but not so easy to manipulate.

For such purpose it is a good idea to get to see DisplayObject3D class and understand how containers work in PV3D. More about that in Part II.

Performance can be fine tuned but it’s necessary to keep in mind at every line of code that there is a ton of processing going on all the time and you want to build and manipulate your objects sparingly because otherwise you will see your browser locking in a millisecond.

Part III will cover collisions between Yahoo Maps AS3 API and PV3D. In one sentence, there is nothing you can not solve through a well arranged series of Events and this is applicable to any AS3 situation.

Part II next week.

  1. Javier Reply

    The institute I’m working at developed a similar tool with Google Maps:

    http://radar.zhaw.ch

    …shows realtime airtraffic over Switzerland using data taken from the airplane transmitter (using a DIY antenna on the institute’s roof).

  2. Sasha Dzeletovic Reply

    Hi Javier,
    Thanks for the link, it’s great! I would love to see more work like that where data feed is coming from other places than today’s standard ones.

    Reading a live radio signal from an airplane and rendering it at runtime in flash sounds like an obercool system.

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