in Actionscript 3

Fully Interactive 3D Browser with AIR and Papervision3D

Today I put together a cool demo that features some of the best features of both AIR and Papervision3D. When you download and launch the application you will have a fully interactive 3D browser on your desktop. The browser doesn’t have any chrome and it slowly rotates on its Y axis. You will notice that the Ajax items on work nice and smooth when you roll over them.

When you launch the application you will need to wait until it loads the first page before you see anything. Once it displays you can click on links, type in form fields, and even select and copy text to the clipboard. These things will also work on the back of the browser as it rotates. All this was put together in Flash CS3 and extended an interactive example that John Grden put together. Now of course this application taxes your system’s resources as it is doing a ton of stuff. But this type of thing would be impossible with any other technology and it runs amazingly smooth on my machine. I’ll get the source up in the next couple of days.

Lee :-)

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  1. Pretty cool… So how does importing/rendering the url work? The 3D part is fairly simple. I’m curious how everything else works. Is this the handywork of AIR?

  2. This is awesome, Lee. I even pulled up Google maps.
    Nice job.
    My question:
    1. How to go to a new site by entering URL just as in FireFox?
    2. Can I control the spinning in any way? It is making me dizzy a bit…

  3. This is so cool … and so weird. It runs quite nice on my Macbook Pro, and searching the web, clicking menus was a pleasant experience :-)

    I had a small contest (with my self) clicking the web search link at the smallest possible angle. I won, but cheated a bit by pressing enter.

    One thing i miss is the scrollbars. Without that, I will have a harder time using it (beside the non controlling rotation) :-)

    What are the steps for giving it a chrome? Can it be done.

    Thanks for showing me this – I think it’s cool


  4. Yes I’m going to expand this example to include some chrome and the ability to control the rotation. Maybe tomorrow on the train :)

  5. hmmm. Can’t stop the rotation, can’t enter a URL, dosen’t correctly display flash sites…
    But other than that pretty impressive?

  6. Amazing! Realy cool 😀
    Lee I have a problem with you’re “Papervision3D onAIR Bus Example”
    If I want to modify it I get errors:
    “1119: Access of possibly undefined property NONE through a reference with static type Class.”
    “1067: Implicit coercion of a value of type org.papervision3d.materials:MaterialsList to an unrelated type org.papervision3d.core.proto:MaterialObject3D.”
    “1137: Incorrect number of arguments. Expected no more than 8.”
    How can I fix this?

  7. “But this type of thing would be impossible with any other technology”

    Could you accomplish the same thing with Java or C?

  8. Jay, no way you could do that in Java. I’m sure you could in C because you can basically do anything in C. I guess I meant any typical desktop development framework like .NET, Java, etc. It is technically possible in WPF but it would run at around 1 fps due to performance.

  9. Fine demo. This is going to make is soooo easy to make desktop widgets to web content. Ironically the browser in AIR dosn’t yet support Flash(!)
    Any idea if they intend to address this little “faux pas” before it ships?
    Keep up with the ultra-useful demos. Jakob Nielsen eat your heart out.

  10. This is simly awesome!

    Altough I am 100% sure that it is not… Would this be possible with Flash Player 9? or 10? (as Adobe AIR is not a standard yet)

    Thanks for your help.

  11. For anyone who missed it, Beta 3 includes Flash support in the HTML browser window. Amongst other things this allows you to have you’re old AS1/AS2 apps running inside your new AS3 super apps, aswell as using them as textures in you ever so cool PV3D models.

    Now what other features can we think of? How about support for plugins in the browser, so we can include unity3D in there aswell?


  12. Any chance for the source?

    Or can I have some clue as to how you bridged the gap to get PV3D into AIR? I have a small example working in Flex 3 beta 3 but cant get anything into AIR. My error is:

    “TypeError: Error #1009: Cannot access a property or method of a null object reference.
    at next2/init()[C:\Users\topcat\Documents\Flex Builder 3\next2\src\next2.mxml:71]”

    What is the situation with accessing the stage in AIR?

    I might have to bug you at FITC in Feb :)

  13. awesome example lee. I’ve recreated it myself but can’t get any interaction with the HTML content? I’m using a Plane with a MovieAssetMaterial ( interactive set to true). Any ideas?


  14. I can’t install it:

    Sorry, an error has occurred
    This application requirs a version of Adobe AIR which is no longer supported. Please contact the application author for an updated version.

    So.. could you please upload a new version? tnx!

  15. I?download it but …”This application requires a version of Adobe AIR which is no longer supported. Please contact the application author for an updated version.”
    could you please upload a new version?thanks!

  16. hi,
    i downloaded this appilication and install
    but i got this message
    “This application requires a version of Adobe AIR which is no longer supported. Please contact the application author for an updated version.”

  17. I have been looking for an example of loading a HTML page in AIR for ages. If you could put those files up, it would be wonderful.

    I will make a tutorial for everyone after I get to see the code you have. Also if you know an easy way to just display a HTML page in Air using AS3 and Flash CS3 I would love to learn how to do that.


    Glen Charles Rowell

  18. When you “download and launch the application” IT gives you an error message saying the version of air is no longer supported. Do you have one that is

  19. Hi Lee,

    Plenty of good things for the new year 2012 !

    Do-you have the old or one new version of “sources”
    of your Demo App of a 3D Browser made with AIR and PV3D (3DBrowser.air)
    which was already impressive and very interesting
    in this pre-historic age !