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Director's Third Dimension:  Fundamentals of 3D Programming in Director 8.5

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Director's Third Dimension: Fundamentals of 3D Programming in Director 8.5


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  • Copyright 2002
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 944
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-672-32228-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-672-32228-0

Director's Third Dimension has been designed with the Director developer with little or no 3D experience in mind. The purpose is threefold: To explain the fundamental concepts necessary to begin working with 3D; To demonstrate how these concepts manifest themselves in Director; To demonstrate strategies for the application of these concepts in terms of specific projects, including building charts, creating interfaces, and controlling characters in a 3D environment.

The book has and abundance of demos (more than 140). At the end of every chapter, there is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions and supplemental resources that will help the reader expand their learning.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Building a Simple API for Model Creation in Director

Table of Contents



1. Shockwave 3D Castmember.

What Is the 3D Castmember? The 3D Environment. The Renderer. Persistence of the Environment. Summary.

2. Creating Models from Scratch via Lingo.

Inserting an Empty 3D World. Modelresources and Models. Primitives. Non-Primitives. Generic Units. Creating Models. Shader Basics. Model Creation Demo. Summary.

3. Building a Simple API for Model Creation.

World Cleanup Utilities. Primitive Creation. Basic Shader Manipulation. Using Our API to Quickly Create Content. Future Considerations. Summary.

4. Transformations.

Two-dimensional Cartesian Coordinates. Points and Vectors. 3D Cartesian Coordinates. The Vector() Function and Vector Data Type. World Coordinates Versus Local Coordinates. Transform() and Transformations. Transforming the Transform() Object. Models, Transform(), and Transformations. Transformation Demos. Summary.

5. Understanding Lighting.

Basic Scene Lighting. Design Priorities. Types of Lights. A Method for Designing with Light. Lighting Laboratory Demo. Creating and Modifying Lights. Summary.

6. Understanding Cameras.

How Are 3D Cameras Different from Lens-Based Cameras? What Is a Projection? Modifying Cameras. Future Considerations. Summary.

7. Text and Extrusion Capabilities.

Creating 3D Text with Text Castmembers. Using extrude3d() for 3D Text and Beyond. Creating Custom Fonts for Director. The Hidden Power of Extrusion. Summary.

8. Parents, Children, and Cloning.

Scenegraph Hierarchy. Parents and Children. Cloning. Groups. Summary.

9. Working with Prebuilt Scenes and Behaviors.

Importing Objects from Modeling Software. Shockwave 3D Viewer. 3D Behavior Basics. Summary.


10. Histograms.

Custom Data Types. Brainstorming. Designing the Data Type. Building the Handlers. Creating Bar Charts. Future Considerations. Summary.

11. Pie Charts.

Brainstorming. Building the Handlers. Creating Pie Charts. Future Considerations. Summary.


12. Basic Control of Surfaces.

Models, Shaders, and Textures. Shaders. Standard Shader Properties. Seven Steps for Creating a Basic Surface (Demo). Surface Techniques. Summary.

13. A 2D Mouse in a 3D World.

3D Interface Design Challenges. 3D Interface Design Solutions. Intuitive Solutions. Introduction to Picking Lingo. Picking Demonstrations. Summary.

14. Multitexturing.

Advanced Texture Properties. Texture Layers of the Standard Shader. Shader.Texture Transformations. Summary.

15. Non-Photorealistic Rendering.

What Is NPR Rendering? NPR with Nonstandard Shaders. NPR with Modifiers. Abstract Techniques. Summary.

16. Camera Tricks.

Backdrops and Overlays. Fog. Trails. Summary.

17. Special Effects.

Animated Textures. Particle Systems. Summary.

18. 3D Interface Design.

Charting an Application Interface. 3D Menu System Interface. Incorporating a Sound Interface. Additional Enhancements for Localizing Sound. Interface, Interaction, and Information. Summary.


19. Performance Optimization.

Renderer Optimization. Texture Optimization. 3D Sprite and Desktop Size. Geometry Optimization. Lighting Optimization. Performance Optimizations for Cameras. Frames Per Second Utility. Additional Performance Tips Quick List. Summary.

20. Download Optimization.

Textures. Geometry. Streaming Options. General Download Tips. Summary.


21. Keyframe Animation.

Motions and the Keyframeplayer Modifier. Exporting Motions from 3D Studio MAX. Basic Keyframeplayer Control. Motion Playlists and Multiple Motions. Motion Blending. Cumulative Motions. Summary.

22. Bonesplayer Modifier.

What Is Bones Animation? Exporting Bones Motions from 3D Studio MAX. Using the Bonesplayer Modifier. Bones Animation Demonstration. Motion Mapping. Nonbipedal Bones. Summary.

23. Controlling Time.

Registration Basics. Building a Custom Scheduler. Summary.

24. Interactive Animation.

What Is Interactive Animation? Character Control Demonstration. Summary.


25. Advanced Camera Control.

Camera Animation. Camera Zoom. Basic Camera Navigation. Camera Following. Camera Examination. Multiple Viewports. Summary.

26. Advanced Transforms and Vector Math.

Who Should Read This Chapter? Vectors. Scalars. Vector Math. Flexing Our Vector Math Muscles. Advanced Transforms. Gimbal Lock. Summary.

27. Creating Meshes from Code.

What Is a Mesh? Vertices and Faces. Mesh Modelresource. Creating Grids. Building Terrain. Terrain Following. Where to Go from Here? Summary.

28. Mesh Deformation and Detailed Picking.

Mesh Deformation. Meshdeform Modifier. Detailed Picking. Summary.

29. Collision Detection.

Collision Modifier. Collision Modifier Demonstration. Boundary Management. Boundary Management Demonstration. Summary.


Appendix A. 3D Studio MAX W3D Exporter.

How to Export Models from 3D Studio MAX. Critical Issues with W3D Export. Supplemental Resources.

Appendix B. OBJ Converter.

The OBJ File Format. Issues. Strategy. Advanced

Appendix C. Imaging Lingo.

What Is Imaging Lingo? What Can You Do with Imaging Lingo? Imaging Basics. Image, Image(), and Duplicate(). The Rect() Code Object. Quads. Copypixels(). Where to Go from Here.

Appendix D. 2D Mathematics and Utilities.

Modulus Operator. Radians and Degrees. Sin() and Cos() Look-up Tables. ATAN(), COTAN(), ACOS(), and ASIN(). Square Root and Coding. Right Triangle Theorems. Summary.

Appendix E. Optimization Cheat Sheet.
Appendix F. Colorlut Custom Color Management System.

Benefits of Colorlut. Creating a New Custom Palette. Palette Data Structure. Custom Handlers for Palette Control. ColorTool. Palette Strategies.

Appendix G. Havok Xtra.

What Is the Havok Xtra? What Do I Need to Work with Havok? Behaviors. HKE Export. Havok Online.

Appendix H. Online Resources.

Director 3D Work Online. General Director Resources. Listserv. 3D Modeling and Animation Software. Support Software. 3D, AI, and Game Programming. General 3D Information. 3D Models.



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