Flash coming with real 3D support

Posted on:October 26 2010

Adobe just announced that their next official Flash Player will support real, hardware accelerated 3D graphics. Basically, you will have access to 3D drawing functions with the ActionScript API, which is a great step forward: You will be able to create real 3D games with Flash then as well. Current 3D engines for Flash, like PaperVision, or the Flash 3D renderer included in CopperCube were basically only using the 2D drawing features of Flash and transforming all polygons from 3D into 2D manually. Altough with Flash Player 10, Adobe introduced some transformation functionality in their API, this was slow and lacked all the needed real 3D features, mainly for example a z-buffer, resulting in a lot of artifacts and limitations.

A scene created in CopperCube, rendered with the Flash 'Molehill' Player

'Molehill', now introduces real, GPU-accelerated 3D. Maybe it's because they fear Canvas and WebGL will make Flash irrelevant, but who cares. It's a great step forward.

Duing the last weeks, I also had access to the pre-beta version of Molehill and started porting the 3D engine in CopperCube over to it, and it works nicely. I'm really looking forward to the release of the new Flash player, it will mean that the flash version of CopperCube no longer sucks compared against the other release targets. And because CopperCube still supports also WebGL (and .exe and .app programs) as output besides flash, you will be on the safe side, should either WebGL or the new Flash become abandoned by the web community because of the other. :)


Cool!!! :)
2010-10-26 09:07:00

A lot of change coming soon.
2010-10-26 14:28:00

This is great. If I just had enough time to develop something with Flash...
2010-10-27 08:11:00

Lookin forward to this. I wonder what the learning curve is gonna be like. Hopefully easier than working with shockwave3d.
2010-10-28 17:52:00

Very interesting! Though how did you get access tof the API? Did Adobe ask you to become part of the prerelease program, or the other way around?
Daniel Bunte
2010-10-29 02:29:00

Adobe asked me, yep.
2010-10-29 08:10:00

Do you have any performance data? Your Flash 3D Engine without Molehill vs. Your Flash 3D Engine with Molehill vs. CopperLicht
2010-11-09 13:44:00

I have, but I'm not sure if it makes sense to publish this already. Apart from the fact that Molehill is not even beta or public yet. But in short: Yes, molehill is faster as it looks like.
2010-11-09 17:02:00

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