DirectFlex and Flash 10 : what's next ?

My first post was about the 3D Flash library I’m currently working on : DirectFlex. As I said, it is not a simple 3D engine but a full 3D API like DirectX or OpenGL. As Flash 10 is likely to be available when the first public version of DirectFlex will be released, I decided to rewrite the API’s core to take advantage of the new 3D mathematics classes and the hardware acceleration features. This is actually the third time that DirectFlex is entirely rewritten from scratch… but time after time the quality of the work and the performances have improved a lot.

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Flash Player Version Penetration

Adobe has published some interesting stats about the Flash Player penetration rate.

  • 99% of internet users do have Flash Player on their machine (98,8% from Google study)
  • 80% of internet users do have Flash Player version 9.0.115 on their machines
  • 99% of PC internet users do have Flash Player on their machine

More detailed stats can be found here :

Work with Flash 10 in Flex Builder 3

UPDATE: you can also read the new “Build Flash 10.1 applications with Flex Builder 3 or Flash Builder 4” tutorial.

Flash 10 Beta is a good occasion to test some of the new features that the next version of this incredible piece of software will provide. This short step-by-step “how to” tutorial will teach you how to install the new Flex SDK and configure Flex Builder 3 in order to use it.

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DirectFlex : a new Flash 10 3D API

The next version of the Flash player will introduce a lot of new cool/useful features. One of them is the brand new 3D API. Of course, a lot of people are talking about the cool new “3D effects” that use this 3D API, but in the end those do not allow “real” and “complex” 3D such as real-time 3D games. So basically, yeah, drawing 3D spinning planes is “cool”, but that’s not how you’re gonna create some “ass-kicking” RIA…

In order to render complex 3D geometry, you’ll have to use the underneath 3D API itself. This 3D API is mainly about three classes : Matrix3D, Vector3D and Utils3D. Those implements data types and methods to transform vertices data from a space to another in order to render actual 3D geometry on our very 2d flat screens. And… that’s it. We also have the new “Graphics.drawTriangles” method and hardware acceleration, but all of this does not provide what we could call a user-friendly 3D API. But here comes…

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