Director Tutorials


shockwave 3D Lingo

Director supports real-time 3D, allowing you to create sophisticated interactive 3D environments. Complex models are usually built in a program like 3DS Max. In the last tutorial, we saw how we could create 3D text with Director's text extrusion tool. In this tutorial, we will create 3D in Director using Lingo alone. We'll create a primitive sphere to represent the earth, we'll apply texture mapping and we'll create 3D animation.

Shockwave 3D is unlike other media types in terms of the makeup of the cast member as well as the way 3D sprites behave and are controlled. You can find more about the make-up of shockwave 3D casts here. This technote defines all the objects that form part of a 3D world and how they relate to each other. Many of these objects and relationships will be mentioned in this tutorial. One of the major differences of Shockwave 3D to other media types is that they cannot be controlled by the Score. Lingo is an essential requirement to make the 3D world interactive. Lingo can also be used to animate the 3D world and create new 3D objects.

In this tutorial, you'll be introduced to 3D Lingo. With 3D, there are often lots of parameters associated with each command with their own unique names and syntax. It can get a little overwhelming. So be prepared. Don't worry about remembering every parameter and every command. This will come with practice (and there's always the Lingo dictionary to refer to).

Creating and Controlling 3D with Lingo

1. We will start with an existing file, shock3D.dir, which has 2 images we will use later. Download the file and open it in Director.

2. Create a 3D cast member by choosing Insert > Media Element > Shockwave 3D. The Shockwave 3D Window opens. Name this member Scene.

The cast member you just created is a 3D world. At the moment, it includes 1 camera and 2 lights as by Director's default settings, but no 3D model.

3. Place the 3D cast member into channel 1 of the Score.

4. Create a new sprite behavior for the 3D sprite as follows:

property p3Dmember -- reference to the 3D member
property pSphere-- reference to the sphere model

on beginSprite me
-- define the 3D cast member
p3Dmember = sprite(me.spriteNum).member

-- reset the 3D world

We start by defining 2 properties for this behavior (each named with a p prefix to identify them as properties). One references the 3D cast member (p3Dmember), and the other is a reference to the sphere we'll create later. We're using a beginSprite handler so that the behavior will only activate the first time the sprite appears in the Score.

p3Dmember = sprite(me.spriteNum).member
We define p3Dmember as above instead of directly referring to the cast member as member("Scene"). The generic reference makes the script reuseable and generally more flexible.

resetWord() is a 3D Lingo command, which 'cleans out' the 3D member. It tells the 3D world to start from scratch (revert to its original state), removing any objects that may have been inserted through Lingo.

5. Before creating our 3D object (the sphere), we'll create a backdrop to go behind it. A backdrop is a property that allows us to place a static image in the background of our 3D world. This image will be a texture map assigned to a camera.

Insert the following lines before the end statement of your behavior you created earlier:
-- create the backdrop of sky
Texture("backdrop", #fromCastmember, \
Backdrop(1, \
texture("backdrop"), point(0,0), 0)

newTexture is a 3D Lingo command that creates a new texture. All textures must have a unique name. We gave our texture the name backdrop . The #fromCastmember is the value of the #typeIndicator parameter. #fromCastmember simply means the texture is referenced to an image cast member. The texture could also be referenced to another 3D object using #fromImageObject.
insertBackdrop is a 3D camera command. A camera can have multiple backdrops so we have to define the position of this new texture. In our case, we define the position (called index parameter) as 1. The parameters specified are:
1. Index parameter, 2. backdrop texture, 3. the locWithinSprite parameter, 4. 2D location measured from the upper left corner of the sprite, 5. the rotation of the texture

6. Now we'll actually create the 3D model. Before creating the model, we need to create a model resource. We'll call our model resource SphereResource. We will use a variable also called sphereResource to reference the model resource in the scene,

Continue adding the following lines to the script (after the last one and before end):
-- create the model resource for the sphere
sphereResource = \
newModelResource("SphereResource", #sphere)

newModelResource is a 3D command that creates a new model resource of a particular #type. The #type parameter can be one of the following primitives #plane, #box, #sphere, #cylinder, #particle. An additional parameter can be added called #facing. This defines if the mesh is generated for front or back only, or both. If you have mesh for front and back, you can have separate shaders for each.

7. A model resource has its own unique properties depending on the type of resource it is. A sphere has a radius property. Add:
sphereResource.radius = 50

8. Next we create a model using the variable pSphere to refer to it.
-- create the model
pSphere = p3Dmember.newModel("sphere", sphereResource)

newModel is a 3D command that creates a new model with a unique name, based on a model resource.

9. Now we'll create a texture for the sphere. If no texture is created and applied, the sphere will appear with the default settings of a red and white checkerboard. We create a new texture in the same way as we did for the backdrop, giving it a unique name, called sphereTexture.
-- create texture for sphere
p3Dmember.newTexture("sphereTexture", #fromCastmember,\

10. Unlike the backdrop, the texture for the sphere cannot be applied directly to the model. First a shader must be created. The shader defines what the side or face of a model looks like. We will call our shader sphereShader.
-- create shader for sphere
p3Dmember.newShader("sphereShader", #standard)
p3Dmember.shader("sphereShader").texture = \

newShader is a 3D command to create the look of a model surface. Parameters include the shader name and the #shaderType. The #shaderType could be #standard, #painter, #engrave, #newsprint, each having their own properties and appearance.

11. To apply the shader to the model, we have to place it in the model's shaderList. This is a linear list of shaders applied to a model. The number of items in the list relates to the number of meshes in the model resource. Each mesh has only one shader. Spheres have only one mesh so one shader covering the entire surface.
pSphere.shaderList[1] = p3Dmember.shader("sphereShader")

shaderList is a 3D model property; a linear list of shaders applied to the model

12. The last thing we will do is rotate the sphere. Add the following lines after the end statement of the beginSprite handler.

on exitFrame me
-- rotate 1 degree per frame

rotate is a 3D command that applies a rotation to a model at angles related to the x, y and z axis.

13. Insert a pause script in frame 2 of the Score (as below). Then rewind and play the movie.
on exitFrame me
go the frame

Changing 3D properties from the Property Inspector

As you saw above, we can set properties of 3D members by Lingo. However, there are some settings we can apply using the Property Inspector.

1. Click on the 3D cast member and open the Property Inspector.
2. Under Director Light, experiment with changing the direction of the light and playing the movie.
3. Experiment with changing the Directional and Ambient colour.

The finished movie can be downloaded from here.