21 May, 2004 reviewed by Lapo

Flash 3D Cheats Most Wanted
by Aral Balkan, Josh Dura, Anthony Eden, Brian Monnone, James Dean Palmer, Jared Tarbell, Todd Yard

(visit the publisher's site)

After a quick introduction about the authors you will be transported in the beautiful world of 3D using Flash. The first part of the book will cover many different techniques to achieve very convincing "3D cheats".

In the introduction and in the two subsequent chapters you will learn the basics of 3D visual trickery such as the use of light and shadow, gradients and perspective grids: the results are just incredible and even without writing a single line of code!

The next chapter is focused on "Isometric 3D" and it is one of my favourites: everything is really well explained and a lot of diagrams and images will help you grasping the basic concepts. The whole section is 35 pages long and it wil guide you in the creation of a fully functional isometric tiled engine.


Moving on the next 2 chapters we find two more interesting topics that deal with "focus" , "depth of field" and "parallax scrolling": all these techniques should be part of the "bag of tricks" of a good game developer. The "parallax" effect is furtherly developed into three subsections: you will learn how to create movie-like sequences using tweened animations, parallax scrolling for games and even for menu navigation systems.

Chapter 7 is entitled "Text Effects in 3D space" and it will demonstrate some great techniques based on simple transformations that will allow you to create unique 3D text effect.


The next section introduces the reader to the construction of a "real" 3D engine using the Flash MX drawing API.
You'll be learning the basic math involved in representing 3D geometries in a 2D space (the screen) and how to render them in Flash, then  the author will guide you step by step in the creation of a dynamic 3D engine.
There' also an interesting part teaching how to use 3D softwares such as
Blender and how to import in Flash the models created with it.

Chapter 9 is entitled "3D Slice Engine" and it will go through all the development stages in the creation of a 3D engine that displays objects made up of slices.

Finally the last section will quickly guide through the usage of third party 3D software like Erain Swift 3D and Discreet 3DStudio and Plasma and how
incorporate and interact with pre-rendered 3D graphics.


The book is really well done, it has a nice and clear layout and I found every chapter very well explained and clear. The promise of revealing all the 3D Flash tricks is widely fullfilled and I think every intermediate to advanced Flash developer will enjoy it.
Also the many color pictures and diagrams that you will find will greatly help you in better understanding the concepts being explained. 

The book does not come with a bundled CD-Rom but you will be able to download all the source codes from every chapter from the
Friendsofed website and you will also find an extra bonus chapter.

Highly reccomended to everyone interested in the subject.

» Flash 3D Cheats Most Wanted
by Aral Balkan, Josh Dura, Anthony Eden, Brian Monnone, James Dean Palmer, Jared Tarbell, Todd Yard

256 pages; no CD-Rom

Friendsofed, 39.99 USD

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