New version of Reader3ds and new RobotArm Sample 3D application available

by abenedik 11. May 2007 00:45

Version Reader3ds 4.1 is finally published.

The most important new feature is that the new Reader3ds is capable of reading objects hierarchy. That means that for example if in a 3D body objects we rotate the head, the eyes and nose will be rotated accordingly. This really enables great manipulations with 3D objects. To make this even simpler a Transformer3ds class has been added to the Ab3d namespace. This class contains methods that make transforming of 3D objects really very simple. For example the following line of code rotates of object named as "Joint2" in RobotArm 3D scene for 45 degrees:

robotArmTransformer.RotateObject("Joint2", new AxisAngleRotation3D(new Vector3D(0, 0, 1), 45));

To demonstrate all those new features a new sample 3D application is available - RobotArm shows how simple is to create complex 3D transformations and animations.

And this is not all. With Sandbox I managed to create an online and offline help (chm file). The online help can be seen here. The chm help file is included in the package. This way using features in Reader3ds and Transformer3ds should be easier.

I hope you find this interesting - you are invited to visit the www.ab4d.com - see Reader3ds section.

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Reader3ds

Design user interface of your WPF application in your favorite drawing application- with new ReaderSvg library

by abenedik 23. April 2007 22:12

Imagine the following:

1.) Draw the whole user interface or just some of its elements of your WPF application in your favorite vector drawing application like Adobe® Illustrator®, CorelDRAW®, Inkscape, etc.

2.) Save your drawing into svg file format.

3.) Import your svg file into your WPF application and use it just as any other WPF UIElement.

HOW?

Simply by importing all elements from svg file into WPF application with Ab2d.ReaderSvg library.

Ab2d.ReaderSvg is a class library that can be used to read svg file and import its elements as WPF UIElements - Canvases, Paths and other shapes. Elements Stroke and Fill data are also imported. Read more about Ab2d.ReaderSvg features and usage on www.ab4d.com. On the site there is also a ReaderSvg sample applications that shows how simple is to create great animated effects, scalable vector elements, triggers to some elements and more. The sample is available with full source code.

Push your applications to the next level - forget bitmaps - use vector elements. And use your favorite vector drawing application to achieve the best results.

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ReaderSvg

New version of MeshUtilities and new sample application published

by abenedik 13. January 2007 23:00

New version of MeshUtilities class library has been published. With the library it is possible to convert the existing 3D models into flat or gouraud shaded models. It can be also used to correct some anomalies on the 3D objects.

The following images show a model of a torus get from a 3D modeling application. The first image shows the original WPF rendering of the model read with Reader3ds library - the model does not look smooth (the reason for this is that some of the positions are duplicated - because of that WPF does not calculate the normals correctly). The second and the third images are showing the flat and gouraud shaded images that were get with using Ab3d.MeshUtilites after reading the 3ds file with Reader3ds.

To read more about how WPF shade the models read the following Charles Petzold's blog entry.

It is now possible to convert all the models in the Viewport3D or just some or them (one 3DModelGroups or one MeshGeometry3D). For example the whole Viewport3D is converted to flat shaded models with just one line:

Ab3d.MeshFactory.ConvertToFlatShading(Viewport1);

There is also a new sample application that on one hand demonstrates how to use the new MeshUtilities and on the other shows how simple it is to read different 3ds files with the Reader3ds library. The sample application is available with full source code.

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New version of Reader3ds support animation

by abenedik 29. December 2006 20:00

New version of Reader3ds is published. There are many new features and improvements. The new version more accurately reads complex 3ds files. The positions coordinates are now adjusted for the WPF coordinate system. Using the objects with their names that were defined in the modeling application is also simplified.

The biggest new feature is animation support. Now it is possible to get Model3DGroup for each frame. To demonstrate the new animation abilities there is also a sample Player3ds application with a sample animation.

To get more info and to download the new version see my wpf-graphics site.

Note: The Reader3ds version 3.9 will expire on 18th January 2006 so please update to new version.

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Reader3ds

New version of Viewer3ds with new animated 3d buttons published

by abenedik 2. November 2006 02:05

Viewer3ds is a free 3ds file viewer and xaml exporter.
It is also one of the first applications with animated 3D buttons and other WPF goodies like reflection, transparencies and work area zoom.


The 3ds reader engine has been updated significantly. There are also some new options to simplify integreation of the exported xaml with the MS Interactive designer.

The biggest change was made to the user's interface.
Semi-transparent panels are shown on the left side of the application. Their transparency is set to 69% (0xAA) so if the 3D objects are behind the panels they can still be visible. Also when you show or hide the panels they are automatically positioned one over another - a WPF's StackPanel is used to achieve that.
Workspace zoom can be used to make the panels and 3D buttons smaller (to get more workspace) or bigger (to see them better :). This can be practical when you are already very familiar with the panels and its options and would like to maximize the 3D object workspace. This will be also very handy in the future because there will be LCD monitors with huge resolution - with the default workspace zoom the buttons and panels will be simply too small and the user can than set their size to the scale he wants. And regardless of the zoom factor all the buttons, checkboxes and other controls are still working - great work Microsoft.
Animation is used to show and hide error and message panels. With WPF's Storyboard this was a simple job.
Animated real 3D buttons are something that really makes this application unique. When user moves the mouse over a button the button not only changes the background color, gets different border or changes from black and white to colored image but starts rotating in real 3D.
Why using 3d buttons? I believe it a natural step in a user interface evolution:
Windows 3.1
Windows 3.1
Windows Vista
Windows Vista
What is the main difference between these buttons? The buttons in Windows Vista are not just flat images like most of the buttons from Windows 3.1 but look more realistic - almost as real 3D objects that you could grab with your hand. But they are still just images.
So it is not hard to guess the next step in the buttons evolution - real 3D buttons.
And with WPF this is now possible:
Viewer3ds
Viewer3ds Buttons (with reflection and 3D animated)

More about Viewer3ds can be found on my wpf-graphics site. Viewer3ds is also freely available to download.

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Reader3ds

New June version of Viewer3D published (3d coffee model included)

by abenedik 13. June 2006 11:33

Viewer3D has been improved to work with June WPF. Also a great 3d model of a cup of coffee has been included in the package - a really good demonstration of what WPF's 3D engine and Reader3ds are capable of. As always the Viewer3D is available with full source.

Viewer3D with coffee model

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Reader3ds

Major update for February WPF with many new features added

by abenedik 2. March 2006 13:25

All the projects have been updated to work on February WPF.

Reader3ds has now advanced to the 3rd version. This means it has many new features. It is now possible to import almost all information from 3ds files. So if you get a nice looking 3d object from internet or have created your own 3d model in most cases the imported model in WPF will look just as expected. Some of the new features:
- import models with complex materials (multi-sub materials)
- optimized reading speed
- read SpotLight or PointLight with all properties
- read additional properties for Cameras
- added static Read method for simple use
- added some additional properties for advanced use
- Reader3ds in now in its own assembly.

XamlExport class in MeshUtilities can now export all additional data to xaml text.

Usability of Viewer3d has also been improved. The previewing of objects from 3ds files have been greatly simplified. It still has some of the €cookies?€ of WPF like styles, transparencies, animation and triggers. In the new version I have added possibility to drag and drop 3ds files from windows explorer into Viewer3ds. In the free camera mode it is now possible to rotate the camera with your mouse by holding down the right button. And as before the whole application is available with full source code which makes it a great piece of WPF code.

I have also added additional documentation and code samples.

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Reader3ds