Fun With Flex 3, Actionscipt 3 and Whirled

For a while I was a regular on Whirled, a social community where environments and avatars are all made in Flash. To play with it I downloaded the 30 day trial of Flex 3 and the 3D Actionscript library Papervision3D. Using these technologies I created some custom avatars which are presented here. These objects are not movies, but are programmatically controlled 3D sprites and their behaviour is not scripted but driven by velocities, forces, timers and random numbers. If you start them over you will not see the same actions, except for the timed events naturally.

The following 5 objects are the results of my labor, click on an image to see the Flash object

The RingThingThe RingThing This was actually a conversion of a JavaScript object I had created for Adobe Atmosphere, a now defunct 3D social MMO with it's own API. I used this to introduce myself to ActionScript 3 and the Whirled and Papervision3D APIs. Later I used it to test Papervision3D material types, which is why it will change through various styles as you watch. People on Whirled were pretty happy with it, not the least of which because the company making Whirled is called Three Rings, which I hadn't even considered when I chose to convert it, I just like the way it looks.

The Companion CubeThe Companion Cube Just like slmost every nerd on the planet I loved Portal, so when it came time to try and import a more complex textured 3D object I naturally picked the Companion Cube. While I was playing with environment mapping I came up with a version I'd like to think the Franklin Mint would call "A bold, unique and stirring tribute to a cherished icon." And it begs the question, can something be too shiny? Wait for it.

WhirldiumWhirldium What's a 3D system without particles? Here I built a particle system in the guise of building a particle avatar.

Celestial SphereThe Celestial Sphere I love orrerys, so I built myself a big one. I had a whole bunch of other things I wanted to try and do with it, but it was already starting to push the limits of Papervision3D at this point. This object is a little different than the others on this page because it was used as my rooms background, so it's rather bigger.

Whirled BallThe Whirled Ball I was so happy with one of the effects I created for the nucleus of the Whirldium avatar that I decided to make it an avatar in it's own right. Unfortunately this one was never finished and released into the wild, and thus it's a little rough around the edges

What? Why?

I'm a creative guy, and code is my medium. I'm always wanting to create worlds, games, stories... stuff. To this end I also always want to know how things work and how things can be done better; How does bump mapping work? Is query or object caching better? How do you simulate physics? Is MVC really much better than CGI style page serving? What is Cloud Computing? What's up with iOS?

On these pages are presented a selection of projects seeking to answer these questions that progressed far enough to have demonstrable results. Or, against all odds, were actually completed!

(it's worth noting that these pages are, in themselves, one of those projects)