Technology Comparison Cult3d Vs Shockwave3d


Technology Comparison Cult3d Vs Shockwave3d
Technology Comparison Cult3d Vs Shockwave3d

This Motorola presentation has been created twice, using two different technolgies. This may sound like overkill, but it’s an ideal way to understand the differences between these two software packages.

Motorola Presentation - Cult3D

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Motorola - Cult3D

Motorola Presentation - Shockwave3D

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Motorola - Shockwave3D



The first thing I discovered about Shockwave 3D is how much more sensitive it is about it’s geometry. Many of the original materials had to be renamed or re-mapped and a lot of the geometry had to be re-grouped. I also had problems getting the reflection maps to work correctly, Shockwave doesn’t like exporting a reflection texture on a simple coloured material.

I definitely prefer the way Cult3D doesn’t require any special modifications to the original model. There are limitations to what Cult3D can export, but the content doesn’t need any special setup.


Cult3D has a very easy to use drag and drop interface, making simple interactions extremely quick to implement. however, for a project this complicated, the drag and drop interface tends to be more of a hindrance than a help. Logical flow is difficult to manage and repetitive tasks need to be built from scratch every time.

Shockwave clearly shines in the programming department. I initially found that the drag and drop behaviours were less than satisfactory. I had to drag, drop and configure 6–8 behaviours to create the simple arcball interactivity available with two clicks in Cult3D. Instead of using these pre-defined behaviours I did something not currently possible in Cult3D, I built my own.

I was able to create my own custom arcball behaviour, tuned to my own preferences. I also created functions to control model animations, material changes and visual effects. This kind of customizeable toolset makes it very easy to streamline multiple projects. Once these effects were set up all I had to do was sequence them in the correct order.

Dynamic Content:

One of the nicest features of Shockwave is that I was able to split up the scene content into different ‘casts’ that load on demand. As a result the initial Shockwave download is much smaller than that of the Cult3D version. Although Cult3D does allow for dynamic loading of content, it requires Java to perform the nescessary error-checking.

Another thing that Shockwave allowed me to do was to detect what kind of renderer the end-user has and scale back the complexity of my effects to suit . In defense of Cult3D, the C3D render engine is so much more powerful than the Shockwave3D renderer that this kind of end-user optimization is seldom nescessary.


The Flash content for this project was developed to replace a set of animated DHTML layers used in the original Motorola presentation. Reconfiguring the Cult3D project to communicate to the Flash file was quick and easy with the help of a small javascript function.

The Flash file was modified to work with Shockwave with a minimum of effort. I was also able to work on the entire presentation within the Shockwave environment, which really helped; with Cult3D I had to publish content to work out the interactions between Cult3D and Flash.

Final comments:

There is no clear winner in this project from a process point of view. Both application shine in certain areas and are limiting in others.

If I had to choose a winner it would be Cult3D, in the end the model just looks better. I was able to reliably use more geometry and higher resolution textures in Cult3D without a significant performance lag; I would be much more confident about putting the Cult3D version in front of a client than the Shockwave3D version.

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