The Max conference in LA was a memorable high point this year – not only was Adobe’s hardware-accelerated intentions for the next Flash Player made clear, but the Away3D Team got their first chance to air some demos of the forthcoming Away3D 4.0 release that will be supporting these new capabilities.
If you haven’t heard the news, the next major Flash Player upgrade from Adobe will include an extensive 3D API that will support direct paths to OpenGL and DirectX-based 3D rendering on the GPU, as well as a new software 3D renderer fallback that will aim to provide the vast majority of computers with fast, reliable, 3D rendering in Flash. Armed with “Molehill” (the codename for these new 3D APIs) performance is set to increase to around 1000 times what can be squeezed out of the current Flash Player. Flash game makers, designers, and developers will finally have the option to use console-quality 3D graphics in their 3D Flash creations.
A large number of the Away3D Team have been working closely with Adobe to create an easy upgrade path for the Away3D engine, providing the same easy to use Away3D framework at a high level, but plugging directly into the exposed hardware APIs at a low level. A recording of our Max session New 3D features for Flash (which was jointly shared by myself & Richard Olsson, alongside fellow 3D coder Anton Volkov from Alternativa) can be found at http://tv.adobe.com/watch/max-2010-develop/new-3d-features-for-flash/ or by clicking the link below.
The presentation shows some amazing demos running realtime accelerated 3D from inside the Flash Player, with the help of our 4.0 prerelease build. The public beta of the new Flash Player is planned for release in the first half of 2011, and will be complemented by a public release of the Away3D 4.0 engine, enabling the Away3D community to start developing faster, smoother and less processor-hungry 3D Flash content as soon as the capabilities are available.
I’m also pleased to announce that we have been offered an opportunity to present content from our Away3D Max session at the upcoming AUG XL conference in Amsterdam on November 17th. This time I will be joined on stage by another key Away3D developer in the new engine upgrade – the extremely hardworking & talented David Lenaerts.
If you can’t wait for the pres (or the public beta) to get a glimpse of the 3D possibilities unfolding, be sure to check out the high-quality videos below of two current Away3D 4.0 demos.