Dec
16
2009

Papervision3D Essentials – Review

Few months back I have received a copy of Papervision3D Essentials from PACKT Publishing . I didn’t have time to read it until now, so here are my thoughts on this wonderful book (for those of you who don’t know what Pv3D is visit their google code site).

First of all I have to say I was surprised how great this book is, I had some experience with Papervision3D few months earlier. I just wanted to check out what this buzz is all about. I created some simple 3D objects and animated them in 3D space, nothing fancy. With Papervision3D Essentials everything is so much easier, this book guide you step by step how to create awesome Pv3D projects . It consists of 13 Chapters, below I post the list of chapters with short description for each one of them:

  • Chapter 1 – Setting Up
    The first chapter shows the reader where to begin the journey with Pv3D: where to download the source code, how to configure the authoring tools (Flash or Flex Builder) and finally where to find Papervision3D documentation.
  • Chapter 2 – Building Your First Application
    In this chapter reader learns the basics of object-oriented programing, working with the Document Class, basics of a 3D scene in Pv3D and finally how to create the base class for each of the future Pv3D projects.
  • Chapter 3 – Primitives
    Third Chapter describes the basic elements of 3D objects, how to create and add primitives to 3D scene and also how to nest them.
  • Chapter 4 – Materials
    Fourth Chapter guides the reader through the material types available in Pv3D like: wireframe, color or videostream materials (those are only examples).
  • Chapter 5 – Cameras
    In fifth chapter the reader discovers how to setup a basic camera, use other more advanced types of cameras and learns what Culling and Clipping is all about.
  • Chapter 6 – Moving Things Around
    This chapter is really fun, because for the first time the reader is allowed to move (rotate, and interact) objects in 3D space. The Pv3D Essentials uses Tweener as an Tweening Engine for their examples, but you can use almost any Tweening engine out there.
  • Chapter 7 – Shading
    Form this Chapter the reader steps in to more advanced techniques like Shading, this chapter describes different types of shading available in Pv3D like: flat, gouraud or cell shading.
  • Chapter 8 – External Models
    If there is a need to use Models from 3D programs like Maya or 3D Max this chapter is a must read, it shows how to create and import external 3D models.
  • Chapter 9 – Z-Sorting
    Ninth Chapter is devoted to Z-Sorting: what is z-sorting, how to layer your renders and finally all about quadtree rendering.
  • Chapter 10 – Particles
    The next chapter describes what are particles in Pv3D, why to use them and how to use them. At the end of this chapter reader learns that particles don’t have to be tiny, they can be a size of a billboard.
  • Chapter 11 – Filters and Effects
    This is also one of the fun chapters because there is allot of cool visual effect going on. Basically this chapter covers all of the elementary knowledge about filters and effects in Pv3D.
  • Chapter 12 – Vector Drawing and Text
    Chapter twelve is a very interesting one, it expounds how to draw in 3D space using the methods from Pv3D like for example: Lines3D for drawing 3D lines.
  • Chapter 13 – Optimizing Performance
    The last chapter covers the optimization process, describes different types of optimization techniques and also shows how to optimize: materials, objects, shading and rendering.

The book is very well written, each chapter ends with a Summary section which is very helpful, also it’s very easy to find answers to almost any question regarding Pv3D. The great thing about this book is that the reader doesn’t have to be an expert in AS3.0 to benefit from it. I could recommend this book to any one who wants to learn Papervision3D. I could think of only one think that I would like to change in this book, it should be printed in color with code highlighting, other then that it’s great.

You can buy this book at PACKT publishing, it costs 44.99$ US and 27.99 £ UK. It’s totally worth it!

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About the Author: Kuba Gaj

Hi, my name is Kuba and I am the founder of massiveProCreation. I am interested in almost everything that is connected to technology (specially Adobe Flash). If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me :)

7 Comments + Add Comment

  • Looks really good, in fact I have just ordered it based on your review! I’ve been thinking about learning Papervision for a while, but keep putting it off. Seb Lee Delisle is doing a 2 day workshop in February though which looks really good, so figure I’ll see how I get on with the book and then maybe book on the course! He’s also doing a generic Flash games course around the same time (details on his blog!)

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