“Abdelleya 3D” is a virtual exhibition software offering the opportunity to visit the "Abdelleya" palace, and watch a sample exhibition of a group of local photographers.
“Abdelleya 3D” a graduation project of software engineering at “ESPRIT” (High private school of engineering and technologies) for “ESPRIT Mobile” . The project has started December 2011 and lasted 6 months.
The application runs on multiple platform and devices such as Android, iOS and Samsung smart TV. It’s also compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac running over browsers or as a desktop application.
“Abdelleya 3D” virtual tour is made possible through Adobe Air runtime. A technology offering the 3D navigation and cross platform development. The application uses a combination of Adobe software and tools to offer a rich user interface and provide the desired functionalities.
To start with, we find it crucial to define the word exhibition. In fact an Exhibition is a usually temporary event in which artists display or reveal a selection of their artworks. Out of the womb of technological progress a new type of exhibitions was born, Virtual exhibitions. This technological progress child gives, in fact, the artworks higher opportunities to be viewed and known by displaying galleries over Internet and different type of applications.
Some of the exhibitions take place in historical monuments and palaces. In this case it’s important to report the architectural side of the exhibition in addition of the artist and artworks detailed info. The application provides the possibility to navigate through one of the main place where exhibitions take place in Tunisia which is Abdelleya palace. It presents a virtual exhibition of photographers at this palace.
The general definition provided abode on virtual exhibitions is to be applied on Abdelleya place in this project. And in order to understand the whole theory, we must know about the historical and geographical background of the place:
In fact Abdeleya palace is one of the last remains of the Hafsi Sultan in Tunisia, built in the XVI century by the sultan “Abu abdallah Mohammed”. Nowadays, it’s converted into a place hosting art exhibitions, concerts and special events.
We faced serious challenges to satisfy simultaneously the 3D tour and art exhibit needs. The architectural side of the historical monument should be effectively showed and revealed. The achievement of this goal is related with multiple details such as the quality of the 3D modeling and efficiency of 3D engine used for the navigation.
The impressive applications powered by Flash and the collection of Adobe tools are one of the sources of our motivation. We had a strong desire to combine these tools with the 3D world concepts in order to realize an innovative application. We were also impressed by Stage3D and the stunning showcases we saw in its different engines. The main tools used during this project are, Adobe Flex/Air (now Apache Flex ) and FLARE3D.
3D Engine: Why Flare3D ?
Flare3D is a powerful 3D engine. It’s an active project providing detailed documentation, updated forum, and level gradually organized tutorial through a wiki site: there’s no need to look elsewhere to master most of the functionalities.
Flare 3D offers an intuitive API making coding simpler and easier. Shaping, texturing, manipulating cameras and effects can be implemented in fewer and simpler coding scripts than the other API that we tested. Moreover Flare 3D offers advanced features graphically, so coding can be left for complex tasks as the navigation or for more personalization.
Hardware rendering using Stage 3D is clearly more focused on the performance criteria. The time response for loading a complex model is short and the model was too easy to manipulate comparing to other engines.
A plugin to 3DSMax is offered to facilitate the model integration to Flash/Flex. Then users have the choice to preview and modify the model (make it animated for example), or load the model directly using a simple command. This plugin is one of the main reasons we chosen FLARE3D for.
The only inconvenient of FLARE3D is that it’s not totally free to use. It’s free to use and publish applications for educational purpose only. It’s still on beta version, and in need of a lot of features like shaders. But the creators are remarkably active on the forum and there’s a huge effort to improve these features and respond to the developers requirments.