The Away3D Team & The Away Foundation are pleased to announce the release of Away3D 4.1.4 Gold. This is a significant milestone in Away3D development with the 4.1 branch becoming the official production ready release of Away3D, merging with the master branch on GitHub and marking the completion of the first completed software development cycle of The Away Foundation!
The 4.1 release is a culmination of a year’s development by the Away3D team and its countless supports and contributors. To all, we’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you. As well as updating our own resources on away3d.com, Adobe have released the Adobe Gaming SDK 1.2 update which comes bundled with the new version of Away3D.
We have a bunch of updates in the new release, the vast majority being bugfix and stability related. Of those that aren’t, we are pleased to say that we have added 3D Touch Event support as well as a few new API features in particles, tools and geometry packages. For a full list of updates, you can check out our new Away3D releases section on GitHub, where you can view our release notes for 4.1 and download the sources, or grab a binary to drop into a project if you just require a pre-compiled swc.
Away Builder 1.0
As well as the engine updates, we have one more goodie to give you – the first production version of the Away Foundation tool Away Builder!
This is a workflow tool written in Flash and AIR to be used alongside Away3D, providing a visual approach to the tricky business of asset preparation. The tool is aimed at designers wanting to preview and tweak all manner of Away3D features without having to write code, and is available as both an AIR binary download and live in-browser application.
Because the Away Builder tool is a completely new development stream for The Away Foundation, we felt that such a responsibility deserves a completely new site. So we’d like to annouce the brand new Away Tools website which can be viewed at http://www.awaytools.com. This our new home for all information around Away3D-related workflow tools and resources, and we plan to be adding plenty of content in the coming weeks.
To get you started with Away Builder, we have prepared two brand new video tutorials that can be accessed from the Away Tools website.
- Introduction to Away Builder gives you a quick tour around some of the more common capabilities of the application. Models can be imported from a variety of formats, have materials and effects such and lighting and shadows applied, and then be exported to a compact binary file that is used directly by your Away3D project.
- Geometry Primitives Creation and Manipulation takes a first look at how you can create simple geometry primitives such as planes and spheres, manipulate them to your requirements in Away Builder, and then apply materials with a variety of useful lighting options and effects.
In addition, we are preparing several updated AWDs using the new 2.1 format spec which you will be able to download and test in the project. The first of these (and the one seen in the screeshot above) is available right now as a recreation of the sponza scene from the 4.1 Alpha release, arranged entirely from data within the file. We hope this illustrates just some of the solutions Away Builder offers existing 3D workflows, and the release of more examples and tutorial demontrations will follow.
As the underlying backbone of our project workflow, the 2.1 update to the existing AWD format brings workflow possibilites to a whole new level. We are looking to finalise the new featureset in the coming weeks, as well as bringing some of the other Away3D tools that use AWD up to date. You can follow this and other annoucements at http://www.awaytools.com/awdformat where you will also find useful information about the current specifications of the format. AWD 2.1 is the perfect companion for Away3D due to its familiar data structure, and we hope to consolidate this into a formal release very soon.
As this is a Gold release, the required Away3D 4.1 branch for git users has switched to the current master on Github, and you can also download a zip and swc binary via the handy new Away3D releases page. The releases page is also where you’ll find legacy downloads for Away3D 4.0.x. We are of course still maintaining our usual Away3D downloads page, and our Away Builder download page has also been updated for those who want to download the AIR application or source files in a zip. Of course, for up to the minute Away Builder info, we recommend you check out the new Away Tools site over at http://www.awaytools.com new tutorials, updates and planned releases will be annouced in future.
We are currently in discussions with Adobe over the next phase of Away3D development and will hopefully have more to say on the subject very soon. For now, enjoy the new release!