Away3D has a new double-release in the now familiar 2.X / 3.X format for Flash Player 9 and 10 branches of the main engine.
The biggest new addition is the fantastic work done by both Fabrice and David to get BSP sorting working in a usable form. For those of you scratching your heads over what BSP sorting is, take a quick look at this excellent explanation of the principles from David, who has been the main coding force behind the feature.
Implementing BSP sorting is only half the issue – the other half is getting your model into a format that is readable by a BSP renderer. For this, Fabrice has upgraded his extremely useful pre-processingÂ tool Prefab3D – the new 1.3 version includes an option to export any model in a format that can be processed by the BSP algorithms in the Away3D library.
The practical upshot of all this is that Away3D now has the capacity for creating large FPS-style games that allow many different rooms in a scene, while suffering no loss of render speed. A case in point being the David-Fab collaboration for the recent FITC keynote in Amsterdam, the Hacienda Experiment:
A number of rooms can be navigated using the mouse and keyboard, with collision detection enabled by processing the BSP format in Away3D. The beautifully shaded textures were created using Prefab3D’s texture baking feature.
Be careful where you tread, as this is still an experimental demo! Further optimizing work is being carried out on collision and rendering loops in Away3D, but even at this stage, the speed benefits are evident.
You can grab the Away3D update either from the svn repository or the downloads page of away3d.com, where you will also find a bunch of updated examples. As usual, please direct any bug reports to the googlecode issues list, and any questions about functionality to the Away3D mailing list.
Enjoy the new release!