A few days ago Twitter exploded when someone noticed in the Adobe Max 2010 schedule a session called “Flash Player 3D Future”. Today Thibault Imbert (Product Manager for Adobe Flash Player) put up this blog post, teasing more on the subject:
“Now you may wonder, what does this means, what kind of 3D are we talking about ?
What kind of API ? True textured z-buffered triangles ? GPU acceleration ? Even better ? What I can say is forget what you have seen before, it is going to be big 🙂
When this will be available ?
We will share plans with you at Max during this session, I tell you, some serious stuff is coming for 3D developers.”
The key part of his post is “GPU acceleration”. The software renderer inside of Flash has long been its bottleneck. It is what stops Flash being a serious contender in the desktop gaming market. It is what makes Unity developers look at AS3 3D libraries and roll their eyes. It is what makes the limit on the amount of pixels we can push around so incredibly tiny, in comparison to what even low-end GPUs can do these days. Equally screen resolutions are constantly increasing, but still we have to cram our games into small areas because performance just isn’t good enough.
Most old-time Flash developers (hey Squize) don’t expect Adobe to announce anything useful. “It’ll be some half arsed gpu acceleration, only available if you set the wmode in the html, or something equally useless”, “does anyone remember the physics demo they showed last year? that never made it either”.
Adobe have a lot to live up to from previous Max hyperbole.
I’m slightly more optimistic, but I can appreciate their scepticism. Having been playing with Chrome’s HTML5/WebGL support a lot these past few weeks, I truly believe this is Adobe’s only shot at succeeding in the 3D web space. Because time is running out for them. GPU acceleration is going to have to work across the board, and accelerate all graphical elements: bitmap, vector, 3D. A cherry on the cake? Allow PixelBender shaders to run on the GPU too.
It’s about time they truly supported Flash game developers. This would be a significant step forward. It would open the desktop games market to us, it would allow proper 3D games to be made in Flash, and it has the opportunity to give an incredible speed boost to all of graphics operations in Flash.
Don’t drop the ball on this one Adobe. I beg of you.
Read the full blog entry here: http://www.bytearray.org/?p=1836
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