Adobe Flash 3D world

Flash is primarily a two dimensional environment so typically a library is used to display and manage the three dimensional graphics. Basically Adobe’s Flash player simulated three dimensional environments using 2D computer graphics.

2.5D (Isometric) Engines


The FFilmation Engine is an AS3 isometric programming engine, focused mainly on game development. The aim of the project is providing a robust development platform, where game designers can work on the game’s details and forget about the render engine. It is intended to be really usable from a “real production scenario” point of view.

The engine is open-source, and released under the MIT license.

Owner of the FFilmation Engine: Jordi Ministral

Alternativa Platform

Alternativa3D — browser 3D-engine based on Adobe Flash. A commercial library (free for non-commercial use)

Owner of the Alternativa3D Engine: Anton Volkov

3D Engines


Papervision3D is the 3D engine transforms MovieClips to achieve the 3D illusion. By changing their position, size, rotation and skew you could almost forgive the lack of perspective. But the latest version, fully optimized for Flash Drawing API, uses triangle tessellation to distort textures. Render complex objects in “real 3D”! Constant benchmarking and understanding the player’s strengths and limitations are essential to getting the best performance.

The engine is open-source, and released under the MIT license.

Papervision3D is written and maintained by a small core team, and contributed to by its      ever-growing community.

Core Team: Carlos Ulloa, John Grden, Tim Knip and Andy Zupko

Sandy 3D

Open source 3D API for Flash build on Actionscript 2 & 3. Available in 3 versions: AS2, AS3 and haXe.

The engine is open-source, and released under the MIT license.

Owner of the Sandy 3D Engine: Thomas Pfeiffer started this project in Oct 2005


Away3D, real-time 3D engine for Adobe Flash.

For a long time, Away3D has been about the pursuit of rendering high-quality, real-time 3D in Flash. However, for the same amount of time, there has been a completely different set of skills emerging around the creation of the 3D content itself, to get the best out of the engine. In the pursuit of 3D for Flash, very little has been done towards producing a common set of tools that can be reused and applied to any project. Awaybuilder allows a certain amount of extra control to the designer, but for someone with little or no programming skills, how best do you deliver to a Flash developer the content he/she needs to get a good result in Away3D?

Away3D Lite v1.0: fastest and smallest 3d engine in Flash.

File size and frame rate are generally two of the biggest concerns when using a 3d framework in Flash. Many a mail, comment and blog have written the relative merits of one engine over another in these terms. Everyone wants more for less, faster for smaller, better for cheaper. In fact, we would go as far as saying you’re quite a demanding lot! Well, there is lite (sic) at the end of the tunnel. And thankfully it isn’t an oncoming train, but a brand new Away3D engine that will change the way you use 3D in Flash 10.

The engine is open-source, and released under the MIT license.

Owners of the Away3D Engine: Rob Bateman and Alexander Zadorozhny

WireEngine3D (we3d)

WireEngine3D is a lightweight and fast 3D Engine for Flash 8/9. WireEngine3D is licensed under the GPL.

Electric 3D

Electric 3D engine utilizes and abuses Flash in unique and extreme ways to achieve an awesome frame rate, even when filling the whole screen and without the use of a 3D card.


Sophie 3D Engine is a Flash Component that enables you to publish interactive 3D content online with Adobe Flash CS4.

3D Game Engines

PaperWorld 3D

Real-time Multi-User Multi-Platform Application Framework

The aim of the Paperworld project is to provide developers and designers with the tools to create real-time Multiplayer Games using Flash, Unity3D or the iPhone…. or all 3!

Code license: GNU Lesser General Public License.

SWFZ engine

The SWFZ engine is one Flash 3D engine that took a different approach. It is a bit early in its technique used but the author at custom:media Jono has decided to float the source code out there in ghost mode (no active development but not dead). It is just ready to branch and others to run with it.

3D Vector Engine


Flash Interactive Vector-based 3D

The FIVe3D initiative is an open source code for the conception of interactive vector-based 3D animations. The classes originally written in AS 2.0 and based on the AS 3.0 structure are now ported in AS 3.0. The FIVe3D system conserves the display list organization and provides extra 3D functionalities.

Experiments in the Third Dimension: FIVe3D

“Here’s why I’m excited about this engine. Everybody in the community knows about Papervision3D, Away3D, or Sandy. There’s nothing new there. But all the development in those arenas seems to be in the direction of textured polygons, an area which holds limited appeal to me because of the limited power of the Flash Player. In general, I’ve found that nice smooth 3D vector effects that I want; I’ve had to bend Papervision to my will. Or, in some cases (such as text), I’ve never gotten a result I’m happy with.”

By Zack Jordan

Mathieu Badimon Created FIVe3D in 2006.

The engine is open-source, and released under the MIT license.

3D Physics Engine

WOW Engine

WOW-Engine is a free AS3 open source physics engine written by Seraf (Jérôme Birembaut) capable to handle positions in a 3D environment.

WOW-Engine use Sandy library for all the 3D mathematical computations (matrix, 3D vector, and plane). The inner architecture of the engine is also inspired by Sandy’s one.

Collisions and physical reactions are possible thanks to the AS3 physic engine made by Alec Cove, named APE (version 0.2.). Even if APE is a 2D physic engine, it is possible to extend the constraints on volumes, and that’s the purpose of WOW-Engine. WOW-Engine extends APE, and allows simulating physics on 3D volumes.

WOW-Engine is capable to handle positions and rotations of abstract objects, which need to be linked to some visual objects (2D or 3D). The visual objects can be drawn thanks to another library (Sandy3D, Papervision3D, and Away3D for 3D).

WOW-Engine use and depend of the Data Structures classes written by polygonal labs.


APE (Actionscript Physics Engine) is a free AS3 open source 2D physics engine for use in Flash and Flex, released under the MIT License. APE is written and maintained by Alec Cove.


JiglibFlash is a open source Actionscript 3D Physics Engine. It’s ported from the C++ open source physics engine jiglib.

3D Flash Components


FreeSpin3D™ Extension for Adobe® Flash® and Flex® allows rich media designers and developers to easily create advanced interactive 3D content for Adobe Flash in minutes. FreeSpin3D is the only real-time 3D technology that utilizes the Adobe Flash animation timeline and provides live visual feedback of the 3D model position and rotation on the Flash stage. By utilizing the Adobe Flash designer toolset and providing built-in interactive 3D behaviors that can be applied with a single mouse click, FreeSpin3D is simple enough for beginning designers, while the FreeSpin3D advanced API allows Flash and Flex ActionScript developers to push the limits of 3D delivery over the web.

Papervision3D CS3 Component

3D Animation Framework


Cast3D is 3D animation framework library for Adobe Flash in ActionScript3. The foundation is a multi key-framed geometrical animation. Cast3D supports geometry and texture morphing, skin animation, 3D sound, animated movie and video. A number of animation interpolation splines are implemented to provide smooth and natural motion, like Bezier, TCB, Hemite (cubic), Cosine and Linear.

The engine is open-source, and released under the MIT license.


I'm a highly experienced and mature creative professional from Colombo, Sri Lanka. My passion for strong, unique design and creative expression drive me to do what I do. I strive to push the boundaries of design across all mediums to create new and immersive users experiences. My creative inspiration comes from the worlds of design, film, photography and the time spent with colleagues, friends and family. My flexible and dynamic approach allows me to provide my professional service, responsive and effective solutions to their business needs.

Posted in ActionScript 3, FIVe3D, Game Development, News, Papervision3D
One comment on “Adobe Flash 3D world
  1. Martin Bowman says:

    Opensource Flash 3D is near impossible (for a mortal like me)

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