Prefab3D 2: return of the turtle

Application, Flash, News

I’ve promissed a while ago that I would release Prefab3D for Flash 11/Away3D 4.0 once a minimum set of features would be up&running.
This morning, I was about to break it to add an extra functionality but then realized:
The day I can release Prefab3D version 2 has finally arrived!

Just before hit the link (top right button on the page) and try it, let me explain a bit why it took so long since the last Prefab3D 1 update and what kind of beast you will actually discover…

It’s been a lot of work. simply because building a 3D app is, well, lots and lots of work!
At first, when the great Molehill project was still a secret prerelease program,
I thought: we have gpu now, we’ll have soon a new API, then I’ll port the v1 code and voila.

Yeah, right.

At that time, it was not possible to work on the app, as we first needed to rewrite from the ground up the early draft of what is now Away3D 4.0. Each new player drop releases were breaking or asking for new stuffs. I couldn’t get started properly on the AIR side either, because there was no AIR with Stage3D. The first beta SDK+runtime came 6 months later…

To be honest, it’s not about the player or the runtime: I had no idea of what having gpu access really means. Everything you do, needs to be able to handle loads of data. Prefab’s v1 internals were simply not built with this in mind. Oh sure, I tried hard to save the most code I could. Eventually, I got tired never see anything else but errors, (lots of ) code commented out or white screens. Short story: I decided to rewrite the entire app from scratch.
As the team focus was to get a robust Away3D up&running. I’ve restarted the work on Prefab 2 seriously only 4 or 5 months ago.

The Baby
So what do you get exactly for this kind of effort? Not that much actually. At least on the exposed side. Most work done was on the AIR side, app logic, exporters api and a few exporters, an extended selection api, material edits, lights edits, animation managers etc… If the app is relatively limited feature wise atm, It can already do lots and learning to work with it should keep you of the streets for a while!

Many features are “almost” done on my disk, waiting for small problems to be solved before I can implement them. Such as awd 2 (the format 2.0 was locked just 2 weeks ago) with materials and animation exports or Prefab’s own project files. You will notice for instance an md2 export option. This doesn’t make much sense without a vertex animator/generator…

There are probably issues here and there. (some are even known). Also with new things such as export to ThreeJS or the new behaviors “guys” api that is in very early stage. So please use the report panel so I can fix/improve or simply to give me feedback. If you are one of the 30k+ user of the first version. You know you can expect a lot of automatic updates in the upcoming months.
You do not have to uninstall the previous one, as both can work together. I would keep both, at least until older features such as path edits and uv edits are restored. V2 will no longer export to AS3 for Flash 9 and 10.

I hope you will enjoy this new version even in its “LE” state and that It will find a little place into your workflow.

Last but not least: I would like to thank a LOT the Adobe player & AIR teams for the work they did in the past 2 years.


18 responses to “Prefab3D 2: return of the turtle”

  1. ringo says:

    Awesome great work! 😉

  2. rackdoll says:

    Awesome work Fabrice!

  3. Ken says:

    This is excellent new! But it is crashing on start up on my machine ;_; . My machine is MacBook Pro (Intel), OSX v10.6.8, with 8GB ram, and I have Adobe AIR version installed.

  4. skyrick says:

    Thaaaaaaank youuuuuu so muuuuchhhhh =)

  5. […] 4.0的免费模型编辑工具Prefab正式发布2.0 按照作者在博客上说所,本次更新主要是为了支持Stage3D,由于Molehill的出现使Prefab […]

  6. heweitykc says:

    but, where’s the link for download?

  7. Fabrice says:

    @ken I have no idea what is causing this. We have here a series of mac books and imacs, and all runs ok. running OSX 10.6 or 10.7. When is it exactly crashing? do you see some kind of init? the splash screen? nothing at all??

    As said in post: top right on this page –> a big bad btn with a turtle on it 😉

  8. heweitykc says:

    thanks!!!! really excited!!!!!!!!!

  9. Ken says:

    @Fabrice I got the program working now! I did a fresh reinstall of adobe air. I remember installing the beta version of AIR 3.2 (I think) with stage3D support, and was having problems with it.

  10. Fathah Noor says:

    a long awaited Prefab3D finally released, great! 🙂

  11. This is really great news!
    Thanks for sharing it!

  12. Ivan Moreno says:

    Really nice job Fabrice! Thank you very much for sharing all this! 🙂

  13. mika says:

    This has got to be one the stunningest news of the Year ! Props to Fab ! Hip Hip Houra !

  14. Scott Castle says:

    Great stuff! Glad to hear that you’ve been successful using AIR for this, and that S3D is stable enough now for you to use performantly.

  15. Mang Hartono says:

    Thank you for your hard work and for sharing this! 😀

  16. Hank says:


    By the way, looks like an awesome app.

    I tried loading a model into Prefab3D and I get an error: Error #3671

    Is there anywhere I could look up what the errors mean? Docs of some kind?

  17. Fabrice says:

    @Hank, look in app menu/windows/process log. It might give you hints about the possible errors encountered during the parsing. This error ref is often coupled to zero length buffers. If it persists please send me your file over so I can test it.

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