Westimages is a French company with a vast 3D experience (self called ‘L’agence 3D interactive’) they have a portfolio with a lot of works that involves interactive 3D catalogs, augmented reality and video games. The company works with big companies like Airbus and Omega and is continuously looking to get the best 3D experience over any kind of devices.
We have been talking with Benoit Vandageon, (Westimages’s founder and manager) about his company, Flash, 3D Technology, customers, mobile development and of course his experience using Flare3D.
- Please give me a brief description about you and your company.
I’ve always been passionated by 3D. I start to learn 3d with 3d studio 3.0 (DOS !) and Softimage (Irix). At the end of the 90s I was very impressed by 3D technologies : VRML of course, but Metastream/Viewpoint was even more impressive. I remember “playing” with a Audi TT 3D model right in browser with a 56K bandwidth. It was very innovative and creative. It inspire me !
I founded Westimages in 2000. The first 5 years, I was alone and mainly offering consulting services in the field of 3D technologies. At this time there were a lot of 3D technologies : Java 3D, Shockwave, Virtools, Viewpoint, Cult3D… I really enjoy taking part of a big project in the field of serious gaming for Airbus. Since 2005, I start to build a team and we now work for industrial companies. We create marketing presentations and serious games in 3D. In the meanwhile, I also launch 3d-test.com a webzine about 3d technologies.
- Could you enumerate the reasons that brought you to choose Flare3D as your main 3D engine? In your experience, how long does it take to recover Flare3D’s license costs?
We believe that Flash is a brilliant technology for creating interactive presentations. We start to use flash Papervision 3D engine in 2007. At this time, the performances were very poor ! It was a nightmare (or a challenge!) to build 3d models with this engine : no z-buffer, no texture perspective correction, very slow… We take part of Adobe beta program for Stage3d (“molehill”). We try almost every Flash 3D engine. And we finally choose Flare3D. Our first project within Flare3D was a boat configurator. Flare3D offer very good performances and Flare3D studio is very useful to prepare 3D contents. We also use Ogre3D and Unity, but Flare3D is the best choice when you want to quickly develop and create nice user interface (HUD).We thought at the beginning that Flare3D would be slower than Unity 3D engine, but our benchmarks show that Flare3D raw performances are very high. We can display smoothly 1 Million triangles 3D model on an iPad ! We believe that Flare3D value for money is great compares to other solutions. It’s simply to use and it takes advantage of Flash (penetration, graphics capabilities…).
- Usually, In what kind of projects are you working on and which kind of costumer is your target?
We are working mainly for aeronautic and medical customers. Typically we are creating marketing presentations, 3d configurators, serious games.
- Which is your experience using Flare3D on mobile devices (Android and iOS)?
Nowadays, 80% of our products are designed for tablets (iPad). Flare3D within AIR publishing capabilities is great for iPad publishing. Performances are very high, even with Retina displays. Retina display is a nice addition, because antialiasing is no longer necessary thanks to the high pixel density.
- What do you think about Flare3D’s workflow and new features added in Flare3D 2.5?
Flare3D Studio is a great addition : 3D artists can adjust their 3D model. I think that Flare 3D materials layers are intuitive for 3D artists.
Unfortunately we are working with Softimage, and we have no dedicated exporter. We use Collada standard instead. I started to use Flare3D 2.5, it’s very nice (shadows, shaders, zf3d…). We would love (as a non 3ds max agency) that Flare3D add the support of Collada animations (even simple transform animations) and 2nd UVs (so that we can import Softimage texture backing textures). It would greatly improve our 3D content quality (and we would definitively do not have to use any other 3D engines).
We are also very interested in Flare3D webGL experimentations. WebGL could be a great standard if Safari Mobile and Internet Explorer would be compatible.
Aren’t you bored that your published content looks always the same?
Flare3D brings to you the solution!
Official NyanFlare3D Template is available to download NOW! But be fast, there are only limited units available.
Download the original NyanFlare3D template for FREE!! And If you click twice on download link in the next five minutes, you will get an extra copy of Nyan Flare3D Template to share it with friends absolutely FREE!!
Don’t miss this incredible offer! Download now “NyanFlare3D Publish Template” and bring your work to life!
Follow these instructions to install and use this template in 6 easy steps:
1 – Download the template from here.
2 – Unzip the file and copy the folder “Nyancatizate!” into the Flare3D IDE’s “Templates” folder (To locate it Open Flare3D IDE and go to File->Application Files…)
3 – Load your 3D asset into Flare3D IDE (or create some object from “Create” menu)
4 – Select the 3D object that you want tu publish and change it name to “cat”
5 – Select “Niancatizate!” option at “Publish Template” combo into “Publish” panel.
6 – File->Publish (or Ctrl+ENTER)
… and that’s all! Enjoy it!
PS: Creating a custom publish template is an easy and funny task! Take Niancatizate! as reference and create your own template!
UPDATE: TinyKeep reached the needed funds at kickstarter.com!! 802 bakers brought £25,675 covering the pledged of £22,162 goal and leaving a rest of money for others stretch behaviours (game pad support, original soundtrack and 5 extra monsters)
Phi Dinh is a developer; he is using Flare3D to develop “TinyKeep”. TinyKeep will be an Action RPG game with a dungeons and dragons style, originally inspired by classic roguelikes and RPGs such as Rogue, NetHack, Ultima IV, and boardgames like Hero Quest. At the moment, Phi Dinh has a cute prototype that gives an idea of how it will be. As usually, in every Indie project, the team involved in the project is looking for money to finish the game and make it a real thing.
Check out the campaign and discover a lot of cool features thought for the game. Of course, if you like the game you can donate and support it!
Kickstarter campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/phidinh/tinykeep
Kraken GameStudio presents ‘Escape Fast’, in this game you are a bankrobber that has been betrayed by your henchman. Your goals:
1 – Run away avoiding cops
2 – Recover the stolen money
3 – Get revenge to the bad guy
The game is simple, fun, addictive and has a beautiful 8 bits’s retro style. Drive across the levels and re-experiment the pleasure that you got playing those 80′s classic games.
It’s a real 3D game but the camera was placed to get an isometric view.
Victor Corvalan from Kraken Studio talked with us about ‘Escape fast’ and other things:
- ‘Escape Fast’ presents a lovely retro design, polished details and a very nice cartoon music style.
How many days did you spend working to get ready this beautiful game?
The development of this game took 40 days approx.… the graphics were ready in less than a week and the engine in 2.5 weeks… the tedious part of the development was the design of the levels. The 2 animations of the game only took one week to make. The rest of the time was for testing and for final adjustments.
-How many extra people were involved in this project (3D artists, musicians, etc..)?
There were 2 graphics designers, Jose Bordon and Julio Peralta; 1 3D modeler, Ariel Baez; the musicians Ronny Antares and Camilo Stager from PowerUpMusic and me (programming & levels).
- Why pixel art? Which were the inspirations for this game?
I personally love the mix of 3D and 8bits/retro look. I remember that years ago someone posted in a forum the work of Kenneth Fejer and since that I started to appreciate that style.
- ‘Escape Fast’ isn’t your first project using Flare3D. So, which were the reasons to choose Flare3D as your engine for these games?
When I was moving to 3D development I made a lot of research… I was looking for one easy tool with good performance to get married with … when I finally found Flare3D and compare it with other engines I knew that I finally found the tool that I was looking for. Flare3D really reduces the developing time and let us focus on the development of the gameplay without get distracted in other things.
- There are a lot of people working in their first videogame, do you have some advice for them about things they should never to do when developing a video game?
If possible, start with smalls projects, you will gain experience with them and will keep you motivated. Don’t forget to develop the games that you will enjoy to play.
Play Escape Fast here !
In a HD world don’t miss this refreshing breeze!
Tip: Controlling the car could be difficult, using the virtual gamepad could be easier than using the keyboard.
About Kraken GameStudio
We are the first game development studio located in Asuncion, Paraguay.
We develop videogames out of reality with the objective to improve your entertainment. We think that games should be something out of reality!.
The members of the team are Victor Corvalan, Ariel Baez, Eladio Delgado, Jose Bordon, Julio Peralta and Raul Porro.
We work together with the PowerUpMusic team, our friends & partners from Chile and with “Creadores” whose owner is Paulino Rolon
About Victor Corvalan
I’m a developer from Paraguay and I am 26 years old. I develop videogames and also some boring stuff. Before starting with Kraken GameStudio, I made & developed interactive floors/walls’ installations, interactive bars, augmented reality, virtual presence, holomotion and other cool stuff… you can see my work in my blog (in spanish) http://pes-cado.blogspot.com
The last April 12, Sergey Gonchar from ‘Stage3D group‘ organized ‘Stage3D Workshop Meeting’. On which, Ariel Nehmad explained how to create a water effect using FLSL. The rendering includes reflection, refraction, dynamic waves , particles, etc..
Check out the following video to see how the pirates sail over a beautiful FLSL’s shader.
If you missed the event you can watch the recorded meeting here (you’ll find Flare3D talk at the end).
Ariel published source code and the live demo in his blog here.
In the past few weeks, Jason has been working hard to create a real time light baking system, taking advantage of Stage3D and fully GPU processing.
This new feature will allows in few seconds add baked shadows and enhance the ambient illumination in your scene. This is great to get beautiful scenes without the cost to use dynamics lights and because a picture is worth a thousand words, please check the screenshots below..
On the left you can see a 3D Scene composed by cubes over a plane. This scene only contains the default directional light.
On the right, you have the same scene, but now with baked illumination with multiple lights(point, directional), diffuse baking, soft shadow baking and fixed UV edge feature. To make it, the scene’s illumination was pre-calculated with more than 100 lights and this took only some seconds!
The result? You can obtain a complex illumination without expensive resources.
The advantages of this feature In Jason’s words:
The point of doing this is because:
1) the name of baking dose not mean it is fully static, to bake it into texture in the real-time makes it has the possibility to change if needed, for example there is a scene with sun light at beginning, but may change to a night view later on.
2) the cost of baking is very cheap, may faster than uploading regular bitmap data in some cases,
Just assume we upload 101 light maps for this demo, that would be much slower,wouldn’t it?
3) precision of texture is no longer need as large as it could be, instead 128×128 is enough for a object, that is because we generate the texture by shader, instead of unpacking any bitmap format.
4) it is easier than having a external light maps, since for artist they just need to create an extra UV coordinates, all the rest of work just leave it to the program:)
5) the file size would be reduced a lot, as you can see the whole file is only 135kb, it is a pretty much a light map size, isn’t it?
The light baking feature is in Labs and will be available in a future release. Meanwhile, you can test this demo downloading it from our forum here.
Keep in touch for more news!
We are very glad when an user shares his development experience with the community!!
At wandah.com you can find a couple of interesting posts explaining some techniques used in Froyo Taxi development. The First post is called “3D Modeling on Froyo Taxi” and explains the approach used by Wandaw to make the game’s 3D assets (cars, characters and buildings), This is a very important topic and rarely you’ll find information about it. Things like amount of polys for model and textures size are treated here.
The second post is called “Handling 3D movement on Froyo Taxi” is about ‘movement’ and explains how collisions, paths definition and some AI for cars and characters were implemented in the game. Wandah chose to use a custom implementation to solve it and explains how to get it using a simple approach.
Have you read the articles? Now click here to play FROYO TAXI!