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)

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactu...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Apptio fuels digital business transformation. Technology leaders use Apptio's machine learning to analyze and plan their technology spend so they can invest in products that increase the speed of business and deliver innovation. With Apptio, they translate raw costs, utilization, and billing data into business-centric views that help their organization optimize spending, plan strategically, and drive digital strategy that funds growth of the business. Technology leaders can gather instant recomm...
OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and Bi...
The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get tailored market studies; and more.
Tapping into blockchain revolution early enough translates into a substantial business competitiveness advantage. Codete comprehensively develops custom, blockchain-based business solutions, founded on the most advanced cryptographic innovations, and striking a balance point between complexity of the technologies used in quickly-changing stack building, business impact, and cost-effectiveness. Codete researches and provides business consultancy in the field of single most thrilling innovative te...