Optimal performance and considerations

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savagelook

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Jun 8, 2010, 9:55:58 AM6/8/10
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like I mentioned in another post, I'm getting ready to start on a
large project and I'm trying to start down the right path. There's a
few things I'd like to be clear about. Feel free for any of these
points to tell me to RTFM and point me to a link if there is
documentation to reference.

- For max performance in away3d, should I be using AS3 classes or AWDs
for representing models?
- If so, what are the limitations of these formats? Do they have
animation?
- Is there a prefab tutorial somewhere, or someone who wants to be an
angel and help me get started? No offense to fabrice because the
feature set is incredible and I really look forward to prefab speeding
my workflow, but right now I don't find it very intuitive and have a
hard time getting anything done in it. I would love to reciprocate by
making tutorials as I learn.
- What are the major features I take for granted that might be missing
if I switched to away3dLite? What were the things that caught you off
guard when you switched to lite?

I'm sure I'll come up with more, but this is a good place to start.
Thanks for any feedback.

Fabrice3D

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Jun 8, 2010, 10:28:18 AM6/8/10
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> - For max performance in away3d, should I be using AS3 classes or AWDs
> for representing models?
its not about performance, except both are parsed the fastest.
awd supports Away data only. so no crap you don't need.
as3 of course is super easy to use and prevents the loading blues.

> - If so, what are the limitations of these formats? Do they have animation?

I feel like an old LP:... No, not yet.

> s there a prefab tutorial somewhere, or someone who wants to be an
> angel and help me get started? No offense to fabrice because the
> feature set is incredible and I really look forward to prefab speeding
> my workflow, but right now I don't find it very intuitive and have a
> hard time getting anything done in it. I would love to reciprocate by
> making tutorials as I learn.

Prefab will help you more or less, depending on the way you work and the tools you use.
Otherwize it will become just an exporter to Away.

tutorials... mmm, guilty!
I do try make vids sometimes, but when I finally get a window to work on Prefab, what should I do?
work on the app or use that time to build a vid, a better site, tuts, articles...
From my point of view, and fire at me if not true, I have not the feeling the app is hard to understand or to be used.

Away to AwayLite
It all depends on what you're using Away for.
but its not called Lite for nothing...

Fabrice

savagelook

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Jun 8, 2010, 10:49:24 AM6/8/10
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I thought I read one time that certain model formats perform better
than others? Is that not true? Would an AWD not perform better than
a 3DS model? I'm concerned because I loaded a 3DS model with about
2800 faces (~1800 rendered at any given time) and when I try to move
it at all (rotate in the render event) the frame rate drops into the
single digits. I was hoping a different format would help.

I guess I have been looking at prefab as an away3d exporter rather
than a full modeling tool. Again, I don't want to come down on a
great piece of software, but I can barely figure out how to use it,
much less do all my texture baking/mapping and such in it. I would
love to be able to use it as I am focusing my efforts solely on away3d
and there's no better fit than prefab, I just can't seem to get my
head wrapped around the interface. Maybe I just need more tinkering,
but I think a video or 2 walking you through the basics would do a lot
to increase its user base, and in turn increase feedback and real life
applications using it.

Fabrice3D

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Jun 8, 2010, 11:03:45 AM6/8/10
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well, point is that I choose to add/fix and release instead of waiting months.
this ensures an evolution of the app sync with the away engine.
Even if a Prefab running 3.5 is not fully done yet simply because Prefab = my free time.
So basically the app evolves, sometimes with loads of new features sometimes more internals
as the last version. Its an ungoing process.

> I thought I read one time that certain model formats perform better
> than others? Is that not true?

well, yes and no, Prefab doesn't load and play only, its eliminating unwanted stuff
and simplifiying your data, depending on your editor and how you have exported.
so in some cases you indeed get a speed boost next to the garantied speed boost during parsing
and the lack of extra code required to visualise the data.
The speed boost you would get is simply because if you use the tool properly, the generated data
is optimized for Away and would require less Ram. (excepted for Lite, where weld as no influence as Lite doesn't support yet shared vertices)
But Prefab is no IPad, its not magical. What comes in can be enhanced, but it will not generate new 3D content for you.

> I think a video or 2 walking you through the basics would do a lot to increase its user base,

http://www.youtube.com/fabrice3d

another problem with vids or tuts, if you look at oldest one, the interface has changed quite a lot...

Fabrice

savagelook

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Jun 8, 2010, 3:42:39 PM6/8/10
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"I loaded a 3DS model with about
2800 faces (~1800 rendered at any given time) and when I try to move
it at all (rotate in the render event) the frame rate drops into the
single digits. I was hoping a different format would help. "

I was hoping someone could comment on this. I was under the
impression that away3d should be able to reasonably handle up to about
10K faces. I would think 2800, and only 1800 rendered, should be no
problem and not drive my FPS below 10. I can post my full code later,
but for reference now, it is a very basic example with stage quality
set to low, no lighting, no background, and the only motion/object in
the scene is the model being rotated in the render loop.

Would a different model format other than 3DS potentially operate
faster? Are there other things I can do to increase performance?
Please don't say "decrease polycount" because I thought that this
polycount should be easy for away3d.

Peter Kapelyan

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Jun 8, 2010, 9:25:03 PM6/8/10
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Depends on your stage size also, not all slow performance is directly related to away3d, but it can be simple flash limitations itself.

Also lots of code may be slowing it down. Sorry if it seems like I am shooting in the dark, but without any examples, assets and code it's hard to tell what's going on.

-Pete
--
___________________

Actionscript 3.0 Flash 3D Graphics Engine

HTTP://AWAY3D.COM

savagelook

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Jun 8, 2010, 11:12:11 PM6/8/10
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http://www.savagelook.com/3ds_test/sandbox.html

thats a link to the exact code I'm using with a right click "view
source" available. Interestingly enough, I seemed to get a good
performance increase just loading it outside of Flex. I wasn't
running it in debug mode or anything, but when I ran it through Flex I
got about 15 FPS, now I'm getting 22 FPS loaded on my site. In any
case, is 22-23 FPS on average about what I could expect from code and
a model that simple? just want to know if there's something I could
be doing to make it faster.

On Jun 8, 9:25 pm, Peter Kapelyan <flashn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Depends on your stage size also, not all slow performance is directly
> related to away3d, but it can be simple flash limitations itself.
>
> Also lots of code may be slowing it down. Sorry if it seems like I am
> shooting in the dark, but without any examples, assets and code it's hard to
> tell what's going on.
>
> -Pete
>
> HTTP://AWAY3D.COM- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Bob Warfield

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Jun 8, 2010, 11:29:31 PM6/8/10
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When you talk about "running it through Flex", you mean via Flash Builder?  And that versus "Export Release Build"?
 
The latter is usually a non-debug release.  I have found performance is wildly different on all kinds of Away3D things that don't necessarily make a lot of sense to me.
 
Things that seem like optimizations are slower under a debug build and faster under production.
 
For example, my app uses a small palette of materials.  In debug, it runs faster if I allocate a new material for every Segment I create versus sharing materials from a palette.  In production, the palette is faster.
 
I have read in a lot of places that if you are performance tuning Flex, you have to be real sure you're looking at the production build numbers or you can wind up tuning the wrong stuff.
 
Cheers,
 
BW

Peter Kapelyan

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Jun 8, 2010, 11:43:47 PM6/8/10
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If you get rid of that wireframe and use just a regular bitmap it will be faster :)

Other than that for Away3D that seems like you are pushing the limit polycount-wise (what you didn't want to hear). One option is use Away3Dlite if all you need to show higher polycounts.

However it runs 20fps on my shabby laptop, not too shabby for me.

-Pete

savagelook

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Jun 9, 2010, 8:33:58 AM6/9/10
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Peter,

OK cool. I just want to get a sense of how many polys I have to work
with and still maintain a high enough frame rate to have smooth
animations. I tried a few more machines of varying horsepower around
the office and got anything from 17 to 45 average FPS. I'm just
trying to stay cognizant of the low end so I don't ruin game
experience for a portion of the audience.

The wireframe was there just to emphasize the number of polys. When I
change it to a simpler material I get about 1 extra frame per second
on average. I feel like this thread is going to prompt me to do some
more in depth performance testing.

Bob,

Thanks for the tip, wish I knew it a few days ago. I'm definitely
also finding that the production version performs differently than the
debug or even IDE driven version.

On Jun 8, 11:43 pm, Peter Kapelyan <flashn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> If you get rid of that wireframe and use just a regular bitmap it will be
> faster :)
>
> Other than that for Away3D that seems like you are pushing the limit
> polycount-wise (what you didn't want to hear). One option is use Away3Dlite
> if all you need to show higher polycounts.
>
> However it runs 20fps on my shabby laptop, not too shabby for me.
>
> -Pete
>

elguapoloco

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Jun 10, 2010, 4:01:58 AM6/10/10
to Away3D.dev
When optimizing performance, the max polygon count Away3D can render
smoothly is unknown. It depends on the computing power available. Much
like the frame rate of your Flash movie. It is really the maximum
frame rate not the minimum.

How many polygons should you use? As Little as necessary. Quality low-
poly models are key. What can't be faked with materials and textures
should be modeled using geometry. But keep it to the bare minimum. On
a current project I modeled a Satellite using 92 triangles. I rendered
a nice shinny uv texture with reflections and shadows. It got the job
done. Remember: it's all fake. Fake reflections, fake shadows and fake
details. Away3D is more Quake than Crysis :)

You can also monitor performance and switch to low poly models if FPS
is too low. Or offer the user an option to switch. Also FP 10.1 is a
game changer. The performance boost is amazing in the new player.

ath.

savagelook

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Jun 10, 2010, 8:41:50 AM6/10/10
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Where did you hear about the performance boost in 10.1?! I just
tested my app on my work machine and got 27 FPS. Then I updated to
10.1 and reloaded and got 39 FPS!

Can't wait til that version gets widespread use.

On Jun 10, 4:01 am, elguapoloco <jerome.maureydelau...@googlemail.com>
wrote:

Peter Kapelyan

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Jun 10, 2010, 10:06:58 AM6/10/10
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You removed that test it seems, I wanted to try to see before and after with 10.1. Anyway you can put it back up?

BTW I was only able to get like 26fps or so a few days ago on this Quad core, I am wondering what kind of machine you used to get like 30+ fps without 10.1?

-Pete

savagelook

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Jun 10, 2010, 10:17:54 AM6/10/10
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Sorry Peter, I just shuffled my stuff onto a new blog. The link is
http://www.savagelook.com/away3d. You can find the demo there.
Shouldn't be hard to find since there's only 2 posts so far, both
pertaining to this thread :)

On Jun 10, 10:06 am, Peter Kapelyan <flashn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> You removed that test it seems, I wanted to try to see before and after with
> 10.1. Anyway you can put it back up?
>
> BTW I was only able to get like 26fps or so a few days ago on this Quad
> core, I am wondering what kind of machine you used to get like 30+ fps
> without 10.1?
>
> -Pete
>

Peter Kapelyan

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Jun 10, 2010, 10:20:01 AM6/10/10
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Super! Everyone loves blogs about Away3d :)

Peter Kapelyan

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Jun 10, 2010, 10:23:56 AM6/10/10
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Holy ship! 32 fps on a quad core PC, IE8 (which usually sucks)!

Installed 10.1, now

50 FPS !

Awesome! Seems like Flash is going to make a huge comeback.

-Pete

savagelook

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Jun 10, 2010, 10:28:15 AM6/10/10
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Oh, and the machine was a co-workers. He told me its a Core2duo 2.53
GHZ with 3gigs of ram. Does NOT have the new flash player 10.1. It's
not much more powerful than mine so I don't know where the big jump is
coming from (just tested it again). Has there been a lot of talk
about performance between browsers?


On Jun 10, 10:20 am, Peter Kapelyan <flashn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Super! Everyone loves blogs about Away3d :)
>
> On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 10:17 AM, savagelook
> <anthony.lukasav...@gmail.com>wrote:

Peter Kapelyan

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Jun 10, 2010, 10:31:47 AM6/10/10
to away3...@googlegroups.com
I haven't seem much difference myself with Away3d stuff, but with certain tasks maybe. Check out this article

http://www.flashgamer.com/2008/12/copypixels_and_browser_speed_l.html

-Pete

savagelook

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Jun 10, 2010, 10:39:20 AM6/10/10
to Away3D.dev
Here's some interesting info about the machines in my office: Firefox
consistently shows this at least 5 FPS faster than Chrome or IE8.

savagelook

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Jun 10, 2010, 4:36:52 PM6/10/10
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Peter, this just occurred to me. Do you have the debug flash player
installed? I know I do and I know my coworker does not. That might
be perhaps where the performance dip is coming from. It would be
interesting to know how big of a difference in performance comes
between the standard and debug versions of a given flash player. yet
another thing to research.

On Jun 10, 10:06 am, Peter Kapelyan <flashn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> You removed that test it seems, I wanted to try to see before and after with
> 10.1. Anyway you can put it back up?
>
> BTW I was only able to get like 26fps or so a few days ago on this Quad
> core, I am wondering what kind of machine you used to get like 30+ fps
> without 10.1?
>
> -Pete
>

Peter Kapelyan

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Jun 10, 2010, 5:01:40 PM6/10/10
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Most likely I do, but I can't check now since I left work, they were painting the walls and the fumes made me dizzy and nauseous. I will check when I get back tomorrow. However, I have installed CS3, CS4, and CS5 so it could be any one of those debug players.

-Pete
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