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Author: Keran McKenzie | Website:

3D Formats

One thing to remember - Flash is NOT a 3D application. Any 3D item in Flash is simply a flat object with shading to create the 3D illusion. Technically a good artist could recreate this using gradient fills in Freehand or other such applications.

When a file is exported from Swift 3D as an SWF the RAViX Processor (or renderer) breaks the object down into triangle based "vectors" and colours each of these panels with either a gradient fill or a flat fill.

The developers of Swift in their wisdom decided that 3DS was a good format for importing as many people use 3D Studio Max for creation of 3D Animation. This is of great benefit for those who are familiar with 3D Studio Max and those who can afford the package ($7 000 for a single user license). However for many designers 3D Studio Max is very difficult to learn, let alone create complex models in. (Note:- There are other applications that will export as 3DS, e.g. Poser.)

For those who are new to 3D there is help out there. There are many databases of 3D models in the 3DS format. This means you can search for just about anything you want and import that into Swift 3D, and export as SwF (Try or

BUT be warned, there is a drawback to this, some of these models are created of high end resolution dependent TV or Movie animation's, and they can have far too many panels for serious use in Flash. This creates SwF files that can be rather large in file size. One hint: When exporting files you have created in 3D Studio Max, apply OPTIMIZE to the objects to drop out uneeded panels.

» Level Advanced

Added: 2000-12-11
Rating: 6.97 Votes: 228
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» Author
A crazy Kiwi who in the last few years had too much time on his hands. Now creates rich media e-mail 8 hours a day.
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