in 3D

Video of 3D Features in Flash Player 10 (Updated)

Below you can watch the video of the new 3D features coming in Flash Player 10. I was genuinely surprised at this announcement and it immediately got me asking questions about it. I have been able to find out the following information:

  • - Adobe did not buy Papervision3D. It is a new engine that is being built by Adobe. It’s unclear if the Papervision3D team is involved in its development. Update: Papervision3D is not involved in this work.
  • - The 3D capabilities are essentially the same as Papervision3D. This type of 3D is commonly known as “Postcards in Space.” As of now there is no support for the collada or shader support though. I’ll need to check into this more to get more details. Update: There are no plans to add these types of features to Astro and PV3D will remain the optimal solution for this.
  • - The new 3D support is hardware-accelerated (see note below) unlike Papervision3D which has no such support. Update: The public demo at MAX was not HW accelerated but the player team is experimenting with ways of making all areas of the player faster. That’s all I can say publicly :).

I will continue to ask around about this and will report anything new that I find out.

Update: I heard from a reliable source that the 3D will be hardware accelerated. Let me dig some more to see if that is correct or not.


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  1. wowzers! So whenever I do something in pv3d, and attempt to incorporate that into an existing app, with other animations occuring, performance goes out the window.

    I wonder if hardware-acceleration will solve this, or maybe I’ll just have to get more intentionally clever with adding 3d to larger-scaled apps.

    Thanks for the conference footage lee!

  2. …this was ONLY software render, NOT HARDWARE :( AIF is hardware but is very cut for flash use :( simple eement like if, for, while … not in flash , array not in flash … all documentations for AIF is cut for flash developers :(

  3. “- The new 3D support is hardware-accelerated unlike Papervision3D which has no such support.”

    Are you REALLY sure of that? They said it was software-accelerated. Still faster than PV3D, and more precise (even if just for planes), but still VERY different from hardware accelerated 3d.

  4. That looks pretty remarkable. Do you know when Flash player 10 (and perhaps Flash CS4) hits the shelves?

    It does look cool and I’m going to get into 3d and AIR as soon as my new PC arrives.

  5. So are you saying that Flash 10 will have as rich an API as Papervision, including shader support and the like? Because the demo just showed rotating Sprite/movieclips using a z coordinate property. Perhaps they intend to just “help” P3D along by making as much of it hardware-rendered as possible? But then why not take advantage of OpenGL/Direct3D hardware support for shaders, etc? This demo just brought up more questions than answers!

  6. Just to clarify, none of the Papervision 3D guys were in on it. They may have been consulted, but theres nothing on the mailing list that would suggest anyone on the team consulted with them on it.

  7. I thought it wouldn’t take long befor Adobe started working at there own 3D engine after the popularity of papervision3D. tipical:p but I still like it, it looks more powerfull as papervision ;). unfortunate for the Papervision 3D guys, I think there project is no match for a build in 3d engine. I am looking forward to the release.

  8. Adobe calls it 2.5D – it’s gives you x/y/z on sprites/movieclips – that’s all ;)

    it’s focus is purely for design purposes in giving simple perspective to the 2 above mentioned container types.

    It has nothing to do with hardware at all.

    It will not load/parse/render Collada or any other type of 3D file. Papervision isn’t going anywhere, and yes, its safe to say we communicate with adobe on various things.

    Hope that clears up this confusion.

  9. Sorry for sounding like a troll, but 80% of this post is complete BS and confuses people…
    3D capabilities in Astro are just a perspective distortion for DisplayObjects, which is far far away from the capabilities of a *3D engine* like PV3D, Sandy or Away3D. However, this new feature in Astro should very likely accelerate rendering and calculation in PV3D and the sort.
    Plus, at the moment, there is absolutely no hardware acceleration for Flash, actually, hydra features that make use of hardware acc. are explicitely marked as non-flash features.


  10. IMHO, hardware acceleration is going to be a touchy subject…

    For example, I cannot currently play hd264 QT files within a browser on my PC. Why?..

    Well, because Apple and Nvidia have not come up with a current solution yet.

    Are we going to see similar issues with Flash player in the future?

  11. … hardware acceleration is important, but more so is retaining the smooth playback that we’ve enjoyed in XP – the Vista implementation of Flash is very jerky / choppy when moving around bitmaps, way poorer than the XP version, and this needs fixing before any other fancy stuff is considered. This is critical!

  12. Hi Lee, Sorry to use your blog in this way but can’t find your email address anywhere.

    I’m a major fan of what you do and need to find the best way to get this bug to the attention of Adobe – couldn’t think of a better way than via yourself.

    As you can see from my site, we’re trying to get the property market going with interactive flash Tours and have been doing well under XP (reasonably smooth playback) but to my HORROR when I upgraded to the Business version of Vista our movies are incredibly jerky – under IE7 and Firefox, even using the Moviestar version of Flash. Audio frames are also being skipped.

    What we need is Vista Flash to perform at least as well as XP Flash … if not better.

    We run at 60 fps (but CPU is generally very low) and I can’t believe that Flash in Vista would have a problem with this when Flash 7 in Windows ME was fine with it!

    Worse still clients have seen it and it could jeoprdise all the work we’ve done unless we can roll out a fix quick! Clients have even mentioned Silverlight as an alternative!

    I’m a major fan of Flash and just want the experience to get better and better and not to drop the ball like this.

    Can you please get this info into the hands of the right people and if poss give me a contact to liaise with so I know when things wil be fixed?

    Many thanks, and please keep doing what you’re doing. You probably don’t realise how important you are to a number of us.

    All the best,


  13. I imagine that Papervision3D could easily incorporate basic hardware accelerated polygon drawing into their api to harness the speed in their own engine. (So we won’t have to re-write all our code.) Hardware acceleration in flash is a revolution we have all been waiting for. The possibilities will go up hugely.

  14. Hi,

    I wonder, and can’t find a lot of answers: Will or won’t it be HW accelerated?

    Some confirme it will, some it won’t.
    Well, ok, maybe adobe themeself don’t know for sure.

    But what is meant by HW acceleration?
    Is it just for the 3D rendering, or would the simple drawing of a 2D curve be boosted too?

    Also, is the video from the MAX conference a true astro movie?
    Cause when I look at it, even thow the transparansy hide it well, in the 3D animation it looks like the blue panel is always on top of the green one who seems on top of the red one…
    Is there no z depth gestion here? will we still be stuck with the layers?

    Conferences are great to make us dream, but they could at least tel us what is for sure and what isn’t.
    They must very well know we are dying to know…

    PS: excuse my english…

  15. Well, 2.5D would be correct in some sense.
    This is the old skew and rotate, only ordered to simplify for the programmer.

    It is nothing like a complete 3D engine like Sandy, PV3D or Away3D, where the objects are true 3D bodies, and manipulated as that within a 3D space. Some of the new properties built into FP10 may be used in the true engines.

    No hardware acceleration of course, as the Flash Player doesn’t use it.


  16. Doesent even work…only gives errors in IE7 on many sites…cant see the video on top here either. seems to have compability probs.