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Author: Tim Murray | Website: http://www.gmg.com.au

Object VR In Flash MX


QuickTime. What a cool idea for internet media delivery. Movies and Object VR are two of the best features of this great package from Apple. Great, that is, until you need to download QuickTime to view media. For the PC this means 5.8 to 11Mb for QuickTime version 6.4. And the codecs (the actual movie compression and decompression programs) can vary from PC to Mac. What about AVI format for Windows Media Player? No – same problem, and no Object VR. What is a developer to do?

Thankfully, Flash MX can cover us for movie and Object VR playback. All it takes is a little coding. And if your site visitor doesn't have Flash, version is only 466kb to download it. That's only a minute with a 56K modem!

This tutorial will cover how to create a QuickTime VR player in Flash MX, allowing your visitors to easily rotate objects. Specifically, we will:

  • Import a movie of a rotating object so that it can be played forwards and backwards without video keyframe issues.
  • Build a set of Flash MX movie clips that will handle the rotation.
  • Code the Object VR player to handle imported movies of any length of objects that rotate clockwise or anticlockwise.
  • Provide a visual method to control the rotation characteristics.
  • Have a look at the uber-useful trace ActionScript command.

We will be developing this Flash MX file: spin-me.fla (382kb). Sorry about the file size, but we have embedded some video in it so you can see what's going on. It also makes use of loader.fla (35kb).

What we will not discuss is how to create an Object VR movie with QuickTime (or any other video or 3D tool). And if you are still wondering what Object VR is, a quick search on Google for "QuickTime Object VR" should get you to Apple's site so you can see what the fuss is all about!

Before we go any further, I would like to point out that some of the screen shots are from the Western Australian Museum's "Western Australia: Land and People" exhibition. Included in that project were twelve 3D studies using the Object VR player that we are going to develop here. Their great content and our stylish Flash MX work produced an inspiring virtual exhibition.

I am assuming that you have had a glance through the Using Flash help file, and that you have completed the online Flash tutorials "Introduction to Flash MX Tutorial" and "Introduction to ActionScript Tutorial" that come with your copy of Flash MX. You should also be familiar with creating QuickTime VR movies and you may find our other tutorial "Yet Another Flash MX Loader" useful because we will be using it to provide a bit of download polish to what will be a largish file (due to the video we will embed).

» Level Advanced

Added: 2003-12-16
Rating: 7.91 Votes: 77
» Author
Tim is a co-director of the Glasson Murray Group, providing quality graphic design, illustration, 3D visualisation, interactive environments, virtual reality, multimedia and website services.
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Download the files used in this tutorial.
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