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Away3d logo.png
AwayBuilder IDE 1Gold.png
The Away Builder interface with a sample polar bear 3D model (center), and object hierarchy (left).
Original author(s) Rob Bateman, Alexander Zadorozhny, Fabrice Closier, Peter Kapelyan, Greg Caldwell, Andreas Engstrom, Stephen White, David Lenaerts, Richard Olsson, Cauê Waneck[1]
Developer(s) Away Foundation
Initial release 2007; 8 years ago (2007)[2][3]
Stable release 4.1.4[4] / 17 July 2013; 21 months ago (2013-07-17)
Development status Active
Written in ActionScript 3
Operating system Web, Windows, iOS, Android, BlackBerry
Type Game engine
License Apache License 2.0

Away3D is an open source framework for developing interactive 3D graphics within Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR, written in ActionScript 3. Away3D runs on current web browsers utilizing the Adobe Flash Player, and uses Stage3D for GPU-accelerated rendering.

The Away3D platform consists of a 3D world editor (Away Builder),[5][6] a 3D graphics engine (Away3D), a 3D physics engine (Away Physics)[7] and a compressed 3D model file format (AWD).[8][9]

The Away Builder IDE can import 3D models from various 3D applications such as Autodesk 3ds Max, and can bake lighting into texture maps.[5] The primary purpose of Away Builder is exporting 3D model packages for the Away3D engine.[5]

The Away3D engine can render 3D models and perform various other 3D computations. It supports hierarchical object transformation with features such as position, rotation and scaling, rendering of bitmap textures, and real-time lighting using Phong shading or Gouraud shading.[10] Away Physics is a physics engine based on the Bullet physics library, for collision detection, soft and rigid body dynamics.[7] The engine is built jointly by the Away3D team and the JiglibFlash team, and is tightly integrated with the Away3D render pipeline.[7]

Away3D 4 and onwards fully supports GPU-accelerated graphics using the Stage3D API introduced in Flash Player 11, freeing up the CPU for other computational tasks.[11] Since GPUs are capable of rendering many more textured triangles per second, it allows for much more detail and quality, and up to 100,000 triangles per frame instead of the typical 1,000 ceiling with CPU-based Flash rendering.[12]


The Away3D project maintains alternate editions of the engine for Flash Player 10 with limited 3D GPU acceleration, for Flash Player 9 and below, and Away3DLite, a compacted version of the engine.

Away3D has also been ported to the Haxe multiplatform language, enabling it to be cross-compiled to JavaScript and other languages that support 3D graphics.

Away3D has been ported to HTML5, using WebGL for GPU-accelerated 3D content rendering. The Away3D codebase was ported to Microsoft TypeScript, a strongly-typed version of JavaScript, that allows Away3D to run within web browsers.[13][14][15]


Away3D was started in 2007 by Alexander Zadorozhny and Rob Bateman[2] as a fork of Papervision3D.[3]

Away3D saw active community involvement since its introduction in 2007, and superseded Papervision3D after it was updated to support GPU-accelerated rendering using Stage3D. 3 guide books have been published on 3D content development with Away3D.[16][16][17][18]

In 2011, a Flash book noted in the section on "3D with Flash" that "Away3D and Alternativa3D are currently the preferred solution for performance and features because they have a more active development community".[3]

In 2013, Adobe chose Away3D as the sole 3D engine included within the Adobe Gaming SDK.[19][20] Since then, Adobe has funded further development in Away3D and Away Builder,[21] and has updated the Adobe Gaming SDK with new releases of Away3D.[22][22]


  1. ^ Away3D Team, at the Official Website
  2. ^ a b Away3D project page, Google code
  3. ^ a b c Remi Arnaud (2011). "3D in a Web Browser". In Eric Lengyel. Game Engine Gems 2. CRC Press. pp. 207–208. ISBN 978-1-56881-437-7. 
  4. ^ Away3D 4.1.4 Gold, Away3D website
  5. ^ a b c Away Builder, Away Tools
  6. ^ Away Builder, GitHub repository
  7. ^ a b c Away Physics, Away Foundation
  8. ^ AWD Format Website
  9. ^ AWD Format, Away Tools
  10. ^ Away3D, FlashMagazine
  11. ^ Stage3D vs WebGL Performance, Airtight Interactive
  12. ^ Away3D 4.0 Alpha release - Broomstick,
  13. ^ Away3D makes its way to Typescript!, Adobe AIR and Adobe Flash Player Team Blog
  14. ^ Away3D Typescript 4.1 Alpha, Away3D Blog
  15. ^ Away3D Typescript Website
  16. ^ a b Away3d 3.6 Cookbook,
  17. ^ Away3D 3.6 Essentials (Community Experience Distilled),
  18. ^ The Essential Guide to 3D in Flash,
  19. ^ Introducing Game Development Tools,
  20. ^ Gaming SDK, Adobe Systems
  21. ^ 2013: Full Speed Ahead for Adobe Gaming!, Adobe AIR and Adobe Flash Player Team Blog, Adobe
  22. ^ a b Adobe Gaming SDK Updated, Adobe AIR and Adobe Flash Player Team Blog, Adobe

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