Getting Your Head Around Papervision3D

I recently got a question on “how to get your head around papervision3D”. This was a really good question since going to the next level in Papervison does require some digging. Since there isn’t much out there yet!

Here is what I did;

1. I read all the blog links of course – many of which you can find under mylinks on by book site at

2. I read every 3D book I could get off of Amazon – many of them are less than a dollar if you buy used.

3. I used the video tutorial service which actually does two tutorial series on particles (one by Seb) and extensive Flex, 3DSmax, AS3, and Flash. I’ve used lynda for years.

4. I dug really hard on Blender – not much out there – but some tutorials on Youtube, a book on Amazon, and a tutorials series on Wikipedia at

5. I started digging into the Papervision code and modifying the classes and comparing that to what I was reading in the books I bought off of Amazon. This really helped a bunch. Flex is the best environment to do this in. You can ctrl link to other classes which helps tremendously in tracking things down.

6. I took John Grden’s Papervision Optimization class which was relatively cheap from the rich media institute.

7. I used Sothink to look at what others were doing. If you want to write good code you need to look at good code. But use the old rule – look but don’t touch. No reason to take other people’s code. (This sounds a little pedantic – decompiling is a very sensitive area and I answer a reader’s concern in the comments) You can write your own more rapidly, but it does no harm to look at good ideas. SWF is an open format.

8. I dug through the code of other open source projects such as Sandy, Away3D, WOW, vectorvision , panosalado , Flint Particle System , and Mr. Doobs Previewer.

9. Finally, I prayed a lot.

Hope this helps!


3 Responses to Getting Your Head Around Papervision3D

  1. Dimitris says:

    First of all I really appreciate your tutorials and I really have learned a lot, until now.
    I have some questions:
    a. 3d studio Max or Blender?
    b. what do you mean by writing:”No reason to take other people’s code.” – You think is not a good practise to start bulding on other people’s code? Like make additions to existing code? Fx. like what you did with Seb’s Code(putting stars etc… tutorial)
    And when you become good enough to buld you own? :)

  2. Mike Lively says:

    Thanks for your question – in the 90’s there was a very popular site that sold flash websites – it got decompiled and sold over and over by people who did not create the content. This is an extreme to what I mean. Decompiling is a sensitive area – as you can see from your own email about it – by the way Seb openly distributed his code – I did not decompile it.

    Interestingly, just the opposite to yours, I recently got an angry email about code I had released that was my own decompiled code. I had lost some code and had to decompile it from my own website – truly the best use of sothink. Someone saw the _loc2 command and thought I had taken it from someone else’s program – it was from my own – hah! Got yelled at for stealing my own code.

    But ultimately what I want everyone to understand is that the SWF format is an open format and decompiling can be useful for getting your own lost code back or seeing how a great idea was created. Where the line gets drawn is when you cause someone else to lose a profit by decompiling there code (and using it) and I am sorry that I did not make that clear.

    I don’t worry about it very much since everything I do is open source and I am in education.

    But as I said in the post, look at good code if you want to write good code – and try out – I love them.

    Concerning 3DSMax or Blender – I would use 3DSMax exclusively if I could, but since I am an educator and Blender is free – I use Blender as well. Blender is not as intuitive as 3DSMax. But I have actually learned to love it. But when teaching my design students I teach them 3DSMax since that is the industry standard – and it means jobs for them.

    Finally, good coding comes with much hard work, experience, reading , training, planning, working with experts, and study. It doesn’t happen overnight, but since technology is changing so rapidly you have the opportunity to become an expert very quickly by pursuing new technology.

    Hope this helps,

  3. Dimitris says:

    Ok, I can see your point of view about decompiling.
    Thanks for your suggestions. And please keep on posting new interesting tutorials!
    I am very thankful to this!:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: