Welcome!

Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex: Article

Using Electric Rain's Swift 3D 4.5 With Macromedia Flash. It Rocks!

What you'll find with this new release is a tight focus on the rendering options in Swift 3D

It may only be a point release but that doesn't mean that Electric Rain, makers of the #1 3D modeling software tool for Flash animators hasn't come out swinging. What you'll find with this new release is a tight focus on the rendering options in Swift 3D.

Quick Run Down on Swift 3D
First I have to admit I'm partial to Electric Rain's Swift 3D. To me, it has always been the small product that stood shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Soft Image, Max and the other big 3D boys. Swift 3D isn't the only Flash 4D design product on the market. It's simple the one outselling its competition. According to erain.com over 40,000 developers have bought Swift 3D.

So what makes it special? The answer is lies with its focus; it's designed for Flash animation by Flash animators. You see the Flash animation group isn't like other groups. We have special wants and needs, a real desire to deliver solutions over the Internet and deliver high-impact solutions. When companies launch discreet release products such as plasma that die on the vine they miss that point. Flash developers don't want a huge animation suite that costs thousands of dollars. They want a tight tool focused on 3D animation that can be effectively delivered on the Web.

How Easy Is It To Use Swift 3D? This easy
The easy-to-use Swift 3D layout lets you jump in and begin modeling. Imagine that you've never designed or modeled in 3D in your life. Heck, you wouldn't know a 3D model if it hit you in the face. But, the boss said you have to have 3D on your Web and you open up Swift 3D. What do you do?

First, ask yourself the question, do you have an EPS version of the company logo? A spinning logo would be cool. Enter Swift 3D. You can create a new file in Swift 3D, select File - Import and directly import an EPS file.

The EPS file opens into Swift 3D. The colors and design have been retained. You'll also see that the file has been extruded to give it some depth.

If you want to choose the different elements that make up the logo, you select the Hierarchy Tools. Here you can expand the groups to gain deeper control over the objects.

OK, you now have a 3D logo. So what? This stuff is supposed to spin and dance. No problem there. You can leverage a powerful tool called the Gallery Tool, which is make up of six different tool sets:

  • Materials
  • Animations
  • Lighting
  • Environments
  • Models
  • Bevels
Each of these solutions helps build a more stunning model. For instance, we can replace the Materials used to build the Electric Rain model with reflective surfaces.

Next, add one of the many instant animation sequences.

Add some funky lighting to show off your model's shadows and effects.

You can keep adding all sorts of effects. The next step is to go to the preview and export screen. Here you can choose to export as either a vector animation or a bitmap animation. Here is the logo as a vector animation:

It's as the export stage, however, that the new upgrade really shines.

Exporting with Swift 3D
Most of the new features in Swift 3D 4.5 are hosted in the rendering part of the product. The first feature that will delight you is the new choice of export options. Check out this list:

  • Windows AVI
  • QuickTime MOV
  • Macromedia Flash Video (FLV)
  • Flash Player (SWF)
  • Swift 3D Flash Importer (SWFT)
  • Encapsulated Postscript (EPS)
  • Adobe Illustrator (AI)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
Yeah, you saw it right; now there's support for SVG. To get to these lovely choices you'll need to select the Preview And Export Editor tab and click on the Vector button. This brings up the updated Ravix 4 encoding engine. Cool stuff.

The EPS export has been enhanced to support level 3, which includes area shading.

You'll also find greater control over shadows in your export under the Fill Options. Here you can choose shadow color, density, reflections, and specula lighting.

For me, the best feature to finally make it into Swift 3D is support for Pen Outlines. Now you can really make cartoon animations look like classic cartoon animations.

What's Missing?
As with any product, I always come away wishing there was more. Two features that could have a huge impact on the application and audience using it are missing from Swift 3D. The first is support for ActionScript. It would be great to be able to build applications and interfaces directly in Swift 3D without having to crack open Flash. The other feature that I long to see is the support for plug-ins or a way to extend the feature set in Swift 3D beyond what you get from eRain. Think of PhotoShop plug-ins for Swift 3D.

The Bottom Line
Currently Swift 3D sells for $350 but can be upgraded for as little as $138.

If you're seriously into Flash animation you seriously have to consider adding Swift 3D to your toolset. I don't rave about many products, but the price and value Swift 3D brings to your design make it easy to rave about.

More Stories By Matthew David

Matthew has written books for Friends of Ed, Pearson Press, New Riders, Wiley, Focal Press and Peach Pit. He is also experience at leading teams top deliver bestselling titles books that come with accompanying video training and media. An example is Flash MX Magic, a book written by 7 authors, with an accompanying web site and CD. The book sold over 45,000 copies in 12 languages. Matthew is also the author of 400+ articles.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
SYS-CON Canada News Desk 08/03/05 01:39:07 PM EDT

Using Electric Rain's Swift 3D 4.5 With Macromedia Flash. It Rocks! It may only be a point release but that doesn't mean that Electric Rain, makers of the #1 3D modeling software tool for Flash animators hasn't come out swinging. What you'll find with this new release is a tight focus on the rendering options in Swift 3D.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.