Archive for March, 2010

Crisp Rasterizations with Flash 10’s 3D

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

My last post was about guaranteeing beautiful vector graphics in Flash. Unfortunately, the project I’m working on that uses these graphics (which again I’ll talk about at length some other time) transforms them in 3D space. Unsurprisingly this leads to some complications.

Most people forget that Flash can do native 3D, and when they see it in use usually they think it’s “innovative”. Frankly it’s not; Flash has had a 3D API since late 2008, but there are reasons why most people don’t see much of it:

  • Most designers and developers aren’t taught much about 3D transformations, or even 3D aesthetics.
  • The tools Adobe’s released to design 3D Flash content are in their first lifecycle, and are only in one product (Flash CS4), which has a ton of other new features too, competing for user’s attention.
  • There are plenty of classic techniques for producing 3D media that does not require Flash’s 3D API
  • Perspective projection of objects means that a 3D object has to be redrawn each time it is moved in 2D space, unlike a 2D object

And the sneaky one which I’ll be talking about,

  • Flash’s beautiful vector graphics may become fuzzy or pixelated when you transform them in 3D.

Thus a skilled and determined designer-developer team who find themselves in the right scenario could end up producing 3D Flash content. But if they ignore the last issue, their output might have a lower visual quality than what they’d like. Let’s look at why that is. (more…)