Text is inherently difficult to render fast and accurately in a graphic environment; likewise, producing text in three-dimensional space is even more difficult and time consuming. However, all is not lostwe can use special techniques employing simple transformations to move text through an elegant and convincing third dimension. Accordingly, in this chapter we'll step through the construction and adaptation of three unique pseudo-3D text display systems:
Tornado text - A chaotic rotational system that throws words around like cows in Oklahoma
Spherical text magnification - An unusual method warping letters around an invisible spherical lens
Lost in text space - A navigation system in 3D space using words as waypoints
All three systems render typography on the screen in such a way as to produce the effect of three-dimensionality. Although seemingly complex and computationally heavy, each system uses a series of transformations native to Flash MX, creating a robust, elegant display of spatial mastery using very little processor power.