Welcome to flashsimulations.com!

Hello.

If you’ve been to this website before, you might be suprised, because it has changed significantly. I decided to run a blog under flashsimulations.com to archive my experiments involving various technologies.
If you’re looking for the car demo that used to be the landing page, read on. You’ll find it and even more.
This site’s name is flashsimulations.com, but it’s not going to cover only topics that have something to do with Adobe Flash Platform.

Let’s start blogging !

Long time ago, in April of 2008 while experimenting with 3d in flash, I created a car driving experiment that used to be under this address – you can find it here. In October 2008 my demo has been  selected as one of the 9 cool experiments on Papervision3D official blog, since then I got a lot of feedback and questions from enthusiasts of flash and 3d.

I decided to write this tutorial after I got many e-mails from people asking how that car demo was made. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to write everyone back, due to the complexity of this topic.

1981 FSO Polonez “Borewicz”, the car

Recently, I updated the original flash demo to work with the latest version of Papervision3D 2 and I slightly upgraded the car model itself. In this tutorial I will describe how you can export your model from Blender 2.49 to Flash and create a 3D car driving simulation using ActionScript 3 and Papervision3D engine.
I guess that most of you aren’t familliar with the car that I’ve modeled, it’s the  1981 FSO Polonez, nicknamed “Borewicz”.

Here’s the test drive of Polonez by Jeremy Clarkson.

Preparing the model in Blender

First of all, you need to export model from the 3d application of your choice – Papervision 2 accepts formats such as: .3ds, Collada, .MD2 and a few other.

I created Polonez model using Blender 2.49 and exported it to Collada 1.4 (.dae). I admit – the model isn’t pretty, but it was the first model I ever did. My priority was to keep the number of triangles as low as possible, to get better rendering speed in flash.
After many Papervision performance tests I managed to get a reasonable frame rate (at least 15) when the model had less than 2,000 triangles. Of course the performance of the application varies depending on the user’s processor  – I wanted this demo (in April 2008) to run smoothly even on low budget computers, so I tested it on Intel Core2Duo T 5250@1.50Ghz with 2GB RAM laptop. The performance is no longer such an issuse as it was back then, as Papervision has been improved and the performance increased.

Since we want to be able to control the car wheels to simulate steering and movement, we need to provide proper name to each element of the car. On the following picture you can see the names I gave to wheels and the ‘Transforn Properties’ window (‘N’ key shotcut), where you enter the name.

When the model is finished, it’s time to export it to Collada 1.4. Select File -> Export -> Collada 1.4(.dae) , set the plugin options like on the picture below; click ‘Export & Close’ and that’s it.