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 Buttons (with reflection and 3D animated)

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

Tags: , , ,


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

Tags: , , ,


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.

Tags: , , ,


Reader 3ds v2.0 available

by abenedik 26. December 2005 15:16

Reader3ds is a class that can be used to import 3d objects from 3ds files into WPF.

The current v2.0 features:
- Multiple objects
- All Positions
- All TriangleIndices
- All TextureCoordinates
- All Cameras
- All Lights (as DirectionalLigth)
- All Materials (name, ambient color, opacity and texture)
- For Texture reads Image file name, u and v offset and u and v scale
- Assign material to TriangleIndices
- Default material is used for objects that does not have any material information set.

Tags: , , ,


Published Viewer 3D and 3ds reader

by abenedik 13. November 2005 00:16

I have written an WPF application that can be used to preview 3D objects from 3ds files. It is also possible to export the objects to xaml. The application uses some of the "cookies" of WPF like styles, transpancies, animation and triggers.

Tags: , , , ,