Sunday, October 12, 2008

Papervision 3d Project: What went wrong, What could be improved

I spent some time this summer working on a new homepage for the basement using Papervision. It was mainly a learning experience and the project never saw the light of day... partly due to the fact that it hogged cpu and partly due to the face it didn't turn out quite like we had hoped. You can see for yourself here.

The only objects in the screen are 3D planes and custom 3D geometry. The oscillating billboard accepts animated movieclips as materials. All movement is either with the Camera or Tweener.

After taking Grden's class I think I could have improved performance in a few different ways:

1. Instead of using animated movieclips as the material, I should have used bitmap materials. I could have maintained the animation by using blitting techniques and storing each frame as a bitmap.

2. I should have made all bitmap dimensions to be a power of 2 to take advantage of Flash's native mipmap capabilities. For example: 16x32, 64x64, 128x256... etc.

3. I should have set the Stage's quality to Low. With papervision, Low will look the same as Medium and High and will only require one render pass.

4. I should have used separate viewports for the foreground and the background. In the sites current stage, the entire page is constantly being rendered even when the camera is not moving. The foreground needs to be constantly updated since the "billboard" continuously rotates. The background, however, only needs to be rendered on camera movement. By separating the two viewports I could have saved some cpu when the camera is not moving.

I don't have the time to implement these techniques on the project mentioned above. But I will definitely take them into consideration for future papervision projects.


Anonymous said...

nice, i'm planning to attend Grden's class too although i've known all these methods.


Ickydime said...

I definitely recommend it. I only took his 4hr online course, but I feel I got a lot out of it. And even if you have a better foundation than I did, you can always ask questions throughout the presentation to get into the more advanced stuff.