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
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
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...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, 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.
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 B...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. 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 ov...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
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 ...
"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.
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 ...
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 ...