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Preparing 3D content for Shockwave 3D
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Macromedia Shockwave 3D 1.0 gives you the power to showcase beautifully detailed 3D graphics over the Web. Combined with the rest of the Macromedia Director feature set, 3D content can include interactivity, multiuser functionality, and high frame rates approaching those of many game-console systems.

Since 3D graphics have historically involved compromises between detail and rendering speed, 3D artists are accustomed to settling for "lightweight" artwork—that is, art lacking the high mesh resolutions of its counterparts in film and broadcast. 3D artists know their favorite tool set can deliver models, textures, and animations of greater artistry than can be rendered by real-time engines in games or Web-based delivery platforms.

Shockwave 3D represents a major leap forward, because it can accommodate more detailed meshes, textures, and animations. It does so by dividing the creation tasks between the 3D artist and the Lingo programmer. 3D artists can now realize more than 80% of a high-resolution vision online, as long as they adhere to specific authoring guidelines and allocate much of the 3D world creation to the Lingo programmer.

This article explores the characteristics of good 3D artistry, points out modifications required by Shockwave 3D, and offers tips, tricks, and examples to help you optimize your work for Shockwave 3D. Although these examples were developed with Discreet's 3D Studio Max 3.1 and Character Studio 2.2, the principles demonstrated are software and platform independent. Many ideas from this chapter can also be found in the 3D Studio Max Exporter User Guide, included with Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio.

Workflow overview
Modeling
Texturing and mapping
Cameras
Lights
Animation and model setup
About exporters
Using the exporter for 3D Studio Max
Using the 3D SpeedPort Xtra

Jeffrey Abouaf

3 April 2001

authoring, 3D, export, import, 3D Studio Max, OBJ,

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