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Flash Heads into a New Frontier: 3D

Adobe product manager Imbert Thibault said in a recent blog that the company plans to demo a version of its Flash Player capable of rendering 3D. Dubbing the session as "Flash Player 3D Future," the live demonstration will take place at Adobe's MAX 2010 conference in Los Angeles this October, and promises to take a "deep dive into the next-generation 3D API."

The blog doesn't go into any specific detail about Flash's future 3D capabilities, setting aside notions of true textured z-buffered triangles and GPU acceleration. Instead, Thibault simply said that users will have to forget what they've seen before, and that the new player is going to be BIG.

"I tell you, some serious stuff is coming for 3D developers," he said. "If you are into 3D development for games, augmented reality, or just interactive stuff like Web sites, you just can't miss the session."

Talk about hype.

The blog also said that attendees will finally get to learn about the inner details of the Flash Player renderer. "Lee Thomason (Flash Player architect) will delve into the details of the Flash Player renderer, and show how to optimize the rendering performance of your applications," he said. "Lee will cover mechanisms like the display list, text rendering, shaders, GPU hardware acceleration, and exclusive features coming in a future version of Flash Player."

Will 3D be a good thing for Flash? The platform is already laggy as it is for many users even after the latest update. But with Steve Jobs dismissing Flash and the Internet moving towards HTML5 solutions, adding 3D to Flash seems like a likely course for an aging platform.