Flash Player Incubator “Molehill” 3D APIs for Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR

So this has been quite a Sunday  full of Adobe surprises and news, this morning Lee Brimelow and Thibault Imbert gave a keynote at Flash Gaming Summit and one of the big news was the announcement of the new Flash Player 11 “Molehill”  APIs is now available at Adobe Labs.

So what is “Molehill”?
Molehill is the code name for a new set of low-level, GPU-accelerated 3D APIs that will enable advanced 3D experiences across screens through the Adobe® Flash® Platform runtimes. These new low-level APIs will provide advanced 3D and 3D engine developers the flexibility to leverage GPU hardware acceleration for significant performance gains.

How to target the “Molehill” player and start building some cool 3D stuff?
First of all You’ll need to download the Adobe AIR and Adobe Flash Player Incubator from Adobe Labs page in order to see and play with “Molehill” demos like the “Zombie Tycoon” by Frima Studios:

If You want to author and target Molehill here is an excerpt from Adobe’s Authoring for Flash Player 11,0,0,58 Incubator :

Download the documentation for Flash Player 11,0,0,58 by clicking here.

Download the playerglobal.swc for Flash Player 11,0,0,58 by clicking here.

To use the new Flash Player 11,0,0,58, you will need to target SWF version 13 by passing in an extra compiler argument to the Flex compiler: -swf-version=13. Directions are below.

If you are using the Adobe Flex SDK:

  1. Download build 19786 from the Hero Stable Builds table. (Note: This is an in-development build of Flex SDK “Hero” and may contains bugs and incomplete features).
  2. Install the build in your development environment
    1. In Flash Builder, create a new ActionScript project: File -> New -> ActionScript project.
    2. Open the project Properties panel (right-click and chose ‘Properties’). Select ‘ActionScript Compiler’ from the list on the left.
    3. Use the ‘Configure Flex SDK’s’ option in the upper right hand corner to point the project to Flex build 19786. Click ok.
  3. Configure your project to target SWF version 13
    1. Open the project Properties panel (right-click and chose ‘Properties’). Select ‘ActionScript Compiler’ from the list on the left.
    2. Add to the ‘Additional compiler arguments’ input: -swf-version=13. This ensures the outputted SWF targets SWF version 13. If you compile on the command-line and not in Flash Builder, you need to add the same compiler argument.
    3. Ensure you have installed the Flash Player 11,0,0,58 Incubator nuild in your browser.

If you are using Adobe Flash Professional:

You can create your own profile to publish to a specific SWF version in Adobe Flash CS5. See this package, it contains a sample FlashPlayer11.xml file file you need to copy into the right place.

  1. FlashPlayer11.xml goes into: Adobe Flash CS5\Common\Configuration\Players
  2. Place the playerglobal.swc related to the Incubator build you are working with into: Adobe Flash CS5\Common\Configuration\ActionScript 3.0\FP11
  3. Restart Flash Professional after that and then select ’Flash Player 11’ in the publish settings. It will publish to a SWF13 file.

Important: Always remember to set wmode=direct in your HTML parameters. Software fallback will be used if you do not use wmode=direct.

Can I still use my Flash 3D Framework?

As announced in Adobe MAX 2010 all the mayor Flash 3D  frameworks (Alternativa3D, Away3d, CopperCube, Flare3D, Minko, Sophie3D or Yogurt3D.) have been working alongside with Adobe to bring support for Flash Player’s new 3D APIs being Away3D  the first one to release a “Molehill” supported version.

Away3D 4.0 Alpha (codename “Broomstick”).

Shortly after Adobe announcement Away3D’s team was released a new version(4.0 Alpha) of their framework codenamed “Broomstick” and let me say it runs great I’m really looking to have some free time to test and post about the new features in Away3D but for the time being You can check some of the examples and tests made by the team here.

To start playing with “Broomstick” You need  to download this version from their googlecode repository or their downloads page.

Adobe Flash and Unity3D


Unity3D’s team has a blog post about Flash Player plugin support here is an excerpt:

“In the past few months, our engineers have been investigating the possibility of adding a Flash Player exporting option to Unity. That investigation has gone very well, and we’re moving into full production.” read the full article here.

So this are some of the things announced at the Flash Gaming Summit if hurry up You can still catch the live stream.

Later 😀

Author: Dave Gamez

Digital Craftsman from México and have more than 14 years of experience both in design and development in the digital field. I currently work in web, desktop, mobile and illustration projects alike and spend my time between being Technology Director at Team-O a Digital Studio I co-founded with Cecy Meade and doing consultancy work, when time allows it I like to experiment and tinker with code, animation and illustration.