8bitrocket.com
19May/080

Flash Player Beta 10…looks like it will kick some ASTRO!

I've been digging through the release notes and other various sources on the new Flash Player 10 Beta (code name Astro), and here are some of my initial thoughts.

1. Using the Adobe Pixel Blender to create custom filters has some great possibilities.

2. 3D effects and transitions sound very very interesting. Especially since they name-drop it as an alternative to some Papervision effects. I wonder how far this will go? This, combined with the new 3D abilities in the Drawing API seem to indicate something BIG! There doesn't seem to be a way to load in models (ala Papervision). It looks like they wanted to be able to show the 3D Postcard Demos native and not have to use a 3rd party set of class libraries. Cool, but not yet a great way to make 3D Games (yet).

3. The new text and layout capabilities, combined with the upgrade in color management, seem to indicate that PDF and Flash Player are getting to closer to being a unified platform. I may be wrong, but it seems that way.

4. FREAKING GPU Compositing and GPU Bltting with Open GL! These alone seem to have the greatest impact on Flash Games for sure. I wonder how it will be implemented and if the developer will need to change any code to take advantage of it. It looks like the compositing will speed up operations that combine layers of clips, FLVs, effects (like the Pixel Blender effects above). The Blitting directly effects the SWF being painted on the screen and it will make Full-screen games easy to accomplish! It looks like these will be handled with the wmode parameter. I already can' t get this to work in some browsers w/o killing the keyboard of other necessary features. I hope this all works fine by then.

5. Programming nerds like me will appreciate the new typed Array (vector). This will greatly speed up array operations that use a single data type.

6. The dynamic video streaming, RTMFP protocol, and Speex Audio Codec are all very encouraging as Flash solidifies itself as the medium of choice for video playback on the web.

7. Users can load and save files??? Does this mean we can write apps for the browser plug-in that give the user upload and save capabilities? KICK ASS!

8. Dynamic Sound Generation? Huh? Is this what we asked for years ago? I want to see this in action? Will it by a synthesizer? What is this? I want to play with it NOW! (I guess I can, if I take the time...and I will).

9. LARGE BITMAP SUPPORT! 4096x4096 game levels on a single BLIT canvas for smooth scrolling and no side line flicker? Combined with the GPU enhancements, this could be very useful.

More stuff to look at:
Read the Adobe Release Notes, installation instructions, and more.
TheFlashBlog.com has some great tutorials on how to make use of the Beta.

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