3D Physics in Flash

Published 6 Comments on 3D Physics in Flash


The challenge is to find places in your application or website, where you can add a touch of this kind of magic.  It’s can’t be gratuitous.  It has to be fun and natural.  I found a place where it will work in the enterprise app I am designing.  I am excited to see it in action.

UPDATE:  Yes, these are 2D physics.  But they feel so REAL!  It was a psychological slip to think of them as three dimensional.


  1. Ha, gotcha! Did you ever notice that 3D sound is actually just 2D? If would be 3D if you could actually hear the difference between sound coming from below or above you. So stereo is actually just 1D. Probably the same slip someone made a long time ago 🙂

  2. 3D is synonymous with REALISTIC in most people’s minds. So a photo is 2D, but people visualize it as 3D. A balsamiq mockup doesn’t have shadows, so people think of it as 2D. In sound, people basically are making the analogy. 2D is 2 speakers. More speakers (surround sound) is meant to be more realistic and therefore 3D. Funny how people (including me) mix up the feel of the language for the specifics of it.

  3. Maybe it’s due to where in the world you live, or what ‘generation’ you were born in, but I’ve never heard the term 3D used to describe some arbitrary thing that felt ‘real’. I’ve only ever heard 3D used when the actual object being described was in 3 dimensions.
    I think your title ‘3D Physics in Flash’ is quite misleading seeing as this is entirely 2D.
    I think it’s interesting though how it felt so natural for you to use 3D to describe it, even though it feels so wrong and alien to me.

  4. It could be cultural for sure. However, think of how you might describe Solitaire on the computer, with and without shadows to make the cards seem like they are more realistic. It’s still 2D. It’s just some pixels on a screen. But to a person, they would absolutely describe it as if they could touch it.

    People mix the real world and the computer world all the time.

Whatya think?