Flash 3D physics with Minko and jiglibflash

Drawing (a lot of) triangles is nice. But making them move is another problem… even harder: making them move like objects would move in real life! This is what a “physics engine” is about:

“A physics engine is computer software that provides an approximate simulation of certain simple physical systems, such as rigid body dynamics (including collision detection), soft body dynamics, and fluid dynamics, of use in the domains of computer graphics, video games and film. Their main uses are in video games (typically as middleware), in which case the simulations are in real-time. The term is sometimes used more generally to describe any software system for simulating physical phenomena, such as high-performance scientific simulation.”

Source: Wikipedia, Physics engine

Flash is no exception and has a few physics engine libraries available. Nothing like a “high-performance scientific simulation” though…

Still, jiglibflash is one of those libraries. It is free and open-source. It provides a 3D-capable physics engine and exposes a rather simple API to make it work with any 3D graphics engine. Which brings me to the good news: Minko now supports jiglibflash!

Demo application right after the jump…

Pixel shader demo using Flash 10, Pixel Bender and Minko

I’m really excited to announce Minko (which is, by the way, the final name for my 3D library) has reached a new level: pixel shader integration! Pixel shaders are little programs that run on each pixel and can modify their final color. They are often written in C-like languages and in this precise case we use Pixel Bender, the shader language introduced with Flash 10.

In this post I will:

  • Explain how any 3D scene is built when using Minko
  • Explain how pixel shaders are integrated in the 3D scene
  • Explain how pixel shaders are built using Pixel Bender
  • Show you a very simple demo of the kind of effects pixel shaders will provide
  • Explain how the demo was built

Here are a two screenshots to show the results:

Phong shading + spheric environment mapping on a 2700+ polygons Lamborghini
Phong shading + spheric environment mapping demo

Technical details and a live demo right after the jump!

Video of the Minko presentation at the TTFX barcamp

Here is a link to my first official presentation of Minko, the 3D library I am working on (and which was previously called “DirectFlex”):

This video was shot the 23rd of March by the people from BAAO. A very big thank you to Yann Chevalier, who’s leading the TTFX effort, Michael Chaize, our awesome french Flash platform evangelist and Olivier from BAAO who gave me the link to the video.

You can find the slides here.