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Thread: 3d to flash, too late?

  1. #1
    formerly hooligan2001 :) .hooligan's Avatar
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    3d to flash, too late?

    I've been reading articles about Adobe to soon bring 3d capabilities to flash

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/20078...bes_flash.html
    http://www.bytearray.org/?p=1836

    I was wondering what everyone is thinking. Is it a case of little too late. I'm assuming anyone interested in true 3d have jumped to the unity band wagon.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Sietjp's Avatar
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    Interesting, thanks.
    As far as I'm concerned, I don't think it's too late. Flash has still a huge user base. Unity has attracted a lot of users for multi-platform game developement (and many are using it for iPhone developement), but for web games/apps, Flash is still far far ahead.

  3. #3
    formerly hooligan2001 :) .hooligan's Avatar
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    Not a prob.

    I was wondering why people weren't commenting on the topic seeing as people on these boards and in the flash community have been asking for 3d for a decade

    I'd use it, just depends on its capabilities. Hopefully it comes with a proper boost to the players performance too. That's true about flash's penetration will be a big factor in it becoming popular.
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  4. #4
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    'd use it, just depends on its capabilities. Hopefully it comes with a proper boost to the players performance too.
    --completely agree... i wish we knew some of the specifics.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bluemagica's Avatar
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    Well, if I can make 3d games in a language I am comfortable with, then why not? I will be real glad if flash can pull it off. But I doubt flash will make a big leap like that without improving the player first....the current player can easily crash with even 2d content, and modern 3d is way out of it's league. And with the huge number of 3d games with quality graphics these days, if we have to stick to graphics like dos games, even though it will be 3d, it will be rated worse than 2d. So I won't get my hopes up till flash brings up something solid to show.
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    Not at all, but they better make the performance at least comparable to Unity to make it worthwhile.

    I don't even think it needs to have a level editor etc like Unity, most experienced game devs are going to want to use Max anyway.

    They should also integrate it with the existing plug in, rather than make people download the standard plugin and a 3D Flash Player.

    I really hope as part of this new package they just allow direct GPU access via DX/OpenGL, so I can easily just integrate GPU support to my 3D engine, rather than have to use theirs.

  7. #7
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    Unfortunately we won't know anything about this until October, so all we can do now is speculate.

    But I don't think it will be too late. Flash Player performance has always lagged behind other technologies, yet consistently dominates. Why? Apparently there's something else besides good performance or 3D that keeps it going. Why do all of us keep using it?

    I'm just glad that Adobe is taking all the terrible press they've had seriously. I just hope they have their game together enough to launch a seriously cutting-edge competitive product.

  8. #8
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    I thought about posting that news here to talk about it but then hesitated =)
    I don´t always want to be negative nancy when its about flash but well, to sum it up:
    With Adobe it can totally go both ways: They still have the market dominance on the web for interactive media so if they´d deliver something good this time it would own big time, on the other side the last few years with Adobe regarding flash have largely been a lot of overhyping things and then underdelivering heavily.

    I´ll hold final judgement on the thing until i can try it for a while myself, i wouldn´t trust any presentation video or similar by them anymore.

    Regarding the side whether its too late for them delivering something propper:
    I feel like its definatly their last big shot with whatever they do with flash for the next release, if they mess up with that they would have a really tough time with flash in the future.
    So yeah, will be really interesting to see what they come out with, obviously they do feel the pressure seeing how they start pimping what they might show in October in early July.

  9. #9
    formerly hooligan2001 :) .hooligan's Avatar
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    Well, if I can make 3d games in a language I am comfortable with, then why not? I will be real glad if flash can pull it off.
    I hope they pull it off too. Will be a shame if they don't do it right.

    I don't even think it needs to have a level editor etc like Unity,
    Yeah I'm just expecting an extended code library. Level editor will be useful for beginners but I don't expect to see one.

    Your 3d api runs fine without GPU support

    I'm just glad that Adobe is taking all the terrible press they've had seriously.
    I was worried that the press was going to kill flash off. But if this works it could be another thing besides video streaming to boost flash's profile a little.

    I thought about posting that news here to talk about it but then hesitated =)
    I was wondering why you hadn't. Made me double check my sources to make sure this wasn't really old news

    ´ll hold final judgement on the thing until i can try it for a while myself, i wouldn´t trust any presentation video or similar by them anymore.
    We have been burned a few times. I'm just going to wait until its out. I'm assuming they would have to improve the players performance a fair bit for this to work. So do you think that will get Adobe in Apples good books? for the iPhone exporter and having the player on their phones, or is that a done deal that's never going to happen now.
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    Hooligan, to be honest they wouldn't have to improve the players performance at all for it to work.

    Obviously here's hoping the performance is superb all round, but really just adding GPU support would be huge.

    That alone would see visuals better than Shockwave3D for example, because the 3D support would surely be better and more up to date, plus AS3 must be faster than whatever scripting language director uses.

    The thing is, even if they release GPU support, the performance would skyrocket without speeding up the code running at all, because all the cycles that are normally used for rendering (ie most of them, even in a 2D game) - would be free.

    With my 3D engine, if I turn off the rendering of a scene with a few thousand polygons that needs to max out the CPU to achieve 60fps, the CPU drops to about 3 or 4%.

    So with a GPU to take care of all the rendering, and the CPU being used how it should be, all the calculations/physics/processing etc, the performance skyrockets even if AS3 runs at the same speed.

    However, they might need to speed up parts of the general player performance too. Even with the CPU free to do nothing but calculate stuff, and not render it, a huge chunk of the CPU would be taken up by transforming vertices, checking polygons and marshalling polys to the GPU for a scene with a LOT of polygons (which of course most GPUs are capable of).

    Hopefully they speed up array access dramatically, offload some of the work to the GPU, or find a nice quick way of handling large numbers of polys in AS3

  11. #11
    formerly hooligan2001 :) .hooligan's Avatar
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    I was originally thinking that the 3d would be integrated into the flash display object system. Like new 3dCanvas(); and then add that to the display list. So you can place normal display objects over the top. That's why I thought they might have to improve the player. But what you said makes sense.

    I agree about the arrays. That's the one thing I've wanted for a while now, faster array access and maybe event system. I find its a little slow sometimes.
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  12. #12
    Funkalicious TOdorus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumblesushi View Post
    So with a GPU to take care of all the rendering, and the CPU being used how it should be, all the calculations/physics/processing etc, the performance skyrockets even if AS3 runs at the same speed.
    And another plus of that would be, that it speeds up 2D as well as 3D. I can imagine that Adobe will have a hard time pulling that off though. Flash is designed around the CPU for quite a while now, that's some pretty core stuff to change around, not to mention backward, GPU and platform compatibility.

    I think this all ties in with bluemagica's point:
    Quote Originally Posted by bluemagica View Post
    And with the huge number of 3d games with quality graphics these days, if we have to stick to graphics like dos games, even though it will be 3d, it will be rated worse than 2d. So I won't get my hopes up till flash brings up something solid to show.
    It's all rather pointless if the 3D looks terrible compared to good 2D art. I'd rather have a huge rendering performance boost with no 3D libraries than crappy native 3D support. There are libraries for that already.

    On a more personal note: I don't think there really have been that many good 3D gamedesigns. Most of the time 3D is just used to have some good eyecandy, but the gamedesign is 2D. If I would make a Diablo-clone for instance, I'd like to use a 3D engine for the shading/lighting effects to give some oomph to the atmosphere. This adds more to the production value than gamedesign though. Some genres use 3D in their core gameplay but fail to use it in a novel way (Consider games like Descent, Portal or Dead Space against the overwhelming amount of other titles). As I'm a designer/coder first and then an artist I find 3D a bit overrated.

    So in conclusion: just upgrade the rendering proces. Native 3D support is more of a gadget.

  13. #13
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .hooligan View Post
    I was wondering why you hadn't. Made me double check my sources to make sure this wasn't really old news
    sorry =)
    Well, on one side its new news because they announce an announcment in october, on the other side its old news because Adobe several times before claimed they now had hardware acceleration of some sort going for flash.
    Which sadly always turned out not to be noticable at all performancewise or just a straight lie in other cases or only noticable in edge cases like fullscreen video playback (useful for many, not any improvement for games).
    I talked with Adobe guys about this before, the problem is they want to keep the player as hardware independent as possible but to really get propper gpu acceleration in the way people expect it when you say you got 3d and gpu support going now, well, more of the flash player can´t be totally hardware independent anymore.
    See their last attempt at "gpu acceleration" in their iphone exporter which still let most graphical work be done by the cpu and only used the gpu to plot over the final image. So performance was not good. At all.
    Yeah, this upcoming time they have to deliver something better

    Quote Originally Posted by .hooligan View Post
    We have been burned a few times. I'm just going to wait until its out. I'm assuming they would have to improve the players performance a fair bit for this to work. So do you think that will get Adobe in Apples good books? for the iPhone exporter and having the player on their phones, or is that a done deal that's never going to happen now.

    I find it very unlikely that there would ever be an officially endorsed flash player for the browser for iDevices like iPhone and iPad.
    Even if Adobe would get the performance up considerably and would get friends with Apple again, there´s the side that Apple has a big business with iTunes and the App Store. Which is not supported by a flash player in the browser which allows to experience interactive content for free instead of paying for it.

    Whether Apple would allow the flash native iphone app exporter again if it lead to good performing apps, well, hard to tell, maybe if Adobe hadn´t tried releasing the previous bleh one in semi sneaky surprise announcment way. Now i feel like there´s such a gap between the two companies that there would be some movement needed to get some >friendship< going again.
    Such things are generally hard to predict if at all though, so
    Let´s see

  14. #14
    Senior Member realMakc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumblesushi View Post
    Hooligan, to be honest they wouldn't have to improve the players performance at all for it to work.

    Obviously here's hoping the performance is superb all round, but really just adding GPU support would be huge.
    disagree; unless you are going to do all your 3d in shaders, you will be stuck with glWhatever() calls that take time on as3 side and arguments conversion as a bonus.
    who is this? a word of friendly advice: FFS stop using AS2

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by realMakc View Post
    disagree; unless you are going to do all your 3d in shaders, you will be stuck with glWhatever() calls that take time on as3 side and arguments conversion as a bonus.
    Of course, but with AS3 doing no rendering at all, it would still be FAR quicker than the current 100% software rendering.

    However, judging from the dire performance of webGL, it's certainly no guarantee that it'll be anywhere near as quick as Unity for example.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they shouldn't or don't need to boost AS3 as much as possible, all I'm saying is even if they did a quick and dirty job, just the GPU support alone would expand AS3's capabillities by a huge amount.
    Last edited by rumblesushi; 07-16-2010 at 02:02 PM.

  16. #16
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    Yes, too late, adobe only makes nonsense and dumb crap, unless they fire everyone theres no reason to belive they will do something right this time
    Look at the latest 'improvement', vectors<> with fixed length, then why they gave it a push() method? They like to see errors on the screem? Idiots.

  17. #17
    Senior Member realMakc's Avatar
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    fixed length was optional last time I checked
    who is this? a word of friendly advice: FFS stop using AS2

  18. #18
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    Still a dumb design.It means making a car that have one option that will break other things.

  19. #19
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    The vector class isn't great no, the most absurd thing about it is the access speed is slower than an array for objects.

    Still, AS3 is magnitudes superior to AS2, and they've modelled it on Java anyway no? I guess people aren't going to be satisfied unless AS3 becomes C# or C++.

  20. #20
    Senior Member realMakc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Incrue View Post
    It means making a car that have one option that will break other things.
    I don't mind having a car that can fly even if that means reverse gear doesnt work.
    Quote Originally Posted by rumblesushi View Post
    the most absurd thing about it is the access speed is slower than an array for objects.
    I would sure like to see test code demonstrating that.
    who is this? a word of friendly advice: FFS stop using AS2

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