Working 3D imagery into Flash can be a challenge. Traditional 3D art is usually heavy and requires a ton of information to redraw ”bad for file size and tough on CPUs. hillmancurtis.com art director Ian Kovalik has come up with a great solution that, believe it or not, is also super easy for the novice. I'm not a huge 3D guy; in fact, until Ian showed me his technique, I really never utilized 3D. Now it's another valuable tool I can call on to design with. That said, I will turn this chapter over to our gifted art director, Ian Kovalik
In our experience, adding a 3D element to a Flash movie can be entirely rewarding or it can end up wasting a lot of time. Like any production process, it's good to consider whether it's worth devoting time to. Playing my own devil 's advocate, I might dare ask, "Why use 3D?" One could presumably accomplish any goal in Flash without ever 88needing to think in more than two dimensions. Indeed, this book is full of great examples that don't use 3D. So why use it? The answer falls back on our favorite theme of communication: Everything we put into a movie should communicate something ”a brand, an idea, or an emotion. And so it goes with 3D.
Looking over our portfolio, I've noticed that almost all the 3D elements we've used relate directly to our movies'focus. In a recent spot for a reputable computer company, the client wanted to give its viewers a sense of the company's history and longevity. To represent this idea, it chose to feature the garage out of which the company was founded. Up to this point, all we had of the famous garage were a couple of static photos. We saw this as the perfect opportunity for 3D, and created a simple 3D version of it (see figure 05:01). With the element in our arsenal, we were able to isolate the garage and move it through space ”and at the same time, give it an almost mythic quality. Right from the start, the ad was a big hit ”with the client and with the client's viewers ”and this was due in part to a judicious use of 3D.
Another industry giant (computers, of course) posed us with a particularly exciting challenge: to build an ad that would demonstrate just how much its processor could expand a user 's Internet experience. The client asked if we could add depth to the ad ”literally ”and we immediately started sketching out ideas in 3D. In the final product, the main element is a three-dimensional computer. Later on in the chapter, I'll take a version of the element and demonstrate exactly how it was created and brought to life. But first, a word or two about laying down the foundations of the production process .