Playing a little bit with APE…part I

Lately I’ve been digging a little bit into the world of data visualization and have found some amazing examples and applications on how you can represent different kinds of information using some very fancy and advanced techniques in order to display your data in a more interactive and less boring way.

I have to say that I rather look at a cute graphic displaying a bunch of bubbles with some little tag in it,that you can drag around, they can bump into each other, play a little bit with, waste some time while in it , than just going through some boring lines of text and numbers. One of the samples I ran into was a really cool constellation visualization application that really caught my attention, as well as a bunch of others mentioned here. I have to say ( and unfortunately accept) that they were way over my head hehe; what IĀ  actually needed to do was something rather simpler and something alike the constellation approach was more appealing to me ( and my technical skills heh ), so I thought I should try some physic engine outhereĀ  to handle the nodes and springs the way I wanted to do it.

After going through the existing ( or at least the ones I found ) physic engines for AS3, I found APE to be the most easy to start with and implement (and intuitive), and yet still a very cool and powerful engine; actually I just took a glance at an example and see what was needed to start playing with it; with APE it is just a piece of cake to make a billiards game for crying out loud! man, I remember all the hurdles I ran into when I did one, with a lot of glitches I have to say, a few years ago (with Flash 5), and I don’t recall an existing physics engine back then.

Anyway, FWIW (less), here I just want to present a little example on how to simple use some particles with spring constraints connecting each other, for all the ones that wants to see how easy is to use this fantastic engine, or wants to know how to start. I use a similar approach for my visualization application. That said, this is very BASIC, but other more complex examples will come, as well as an example of implementing APE with games and that sort of sh!t. I’m also preparing one example using WOW (which is based in APE) and PV3D. I know a few weeks ago I said I was going to give it a try and build my own collision detection for 3D objects, but the hell with, this french guy is already doing some amazing stuff.

Just press down over one of the balls and move the mouse. SWF Main Class Ball Class (nothing fancy, you can come up with something much better)

Cheers :D

3 Responses to “Playing a little bit with APE…part I”

  • mIKE Says:

    Love your example. I am trying to get APE going but I keep getting the error “1046: Type was not found or was not a compile-time constant: IForce.”. I have a fla+document class in c:\flash and the ape code in c:\flash\org\cove\ape – what the heck am I doing wrong?

  • Daniel McLaren Says:

    Hi Mario,

    That’s a great start on the graph visualization physics. I hope you had fun with the physics. (-:

    If you’re interested in graph data structures, you might want to check out Bruce Hoppe’s page on network math:

    It’s a pretty long article but I certainly learned a lot!

  • mario Says:

    Hey Daniel, thanks for stopping by! :D I will definitely look into that article, thanks…and by the way, amazing work with the constellation framework!


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