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Flash 8 Cookbook by Joey Lott

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5.11. Adding 3D Graphics Without Leaving Flash

Problem

You want an easy-to-use solution for adding simple models and animations to Flash without leaving the authoring environment.

Solution

Use the Swift 3D Xpress extension for Flash MX 2004/Flash 8.

Discussion

Not everyone or every project requires the full modeling and animation capabilities that Swift 3D has to offer. If your 3D needs are rather modest and all you need to do is extrude paths and apply prepackaged animations, Swift 3D Xpress provides an extremely simple solution. Because Xpress is an extension for Flash MX 2004/Flash 8, it has an excellent workflow advantage, in that you never have to leave the Flash authoring environment.

A quick glance at the interface (Figure 5-41) and you will see many of the same elements that are in Swift 3D, albeit laid out in a different manner. Upon closer inspection, you will probably notice how much functionality has been omitted. Swift 3D Xpress includes only a Scene Editor and a version of the Preview and Export Editor, renamed “Render and Export to Flash.” The Animation Timeline, Hierarchy Menu, Primitive Objects, Free Cameras, Free Lights, and Secondary Viewport are all missing from the Scene Editor, while the Extrusion Editor, Lathe Editor, and Advanced Modeler have been removed altogether. Swift 3D Xpress is basically an extrusion tool with materials and preset lighting and animation features.

Figure 5-41. The Swift 3D Xpress interface

There are two methods by which you can extrude objects. ...

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