Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flash Player Update 3 Beta 1

Flash Player Update 3 Beta 1 (build 9.0.60.120) is now ready for download here. This is probably the first time we have done a dot release as big as this one. We've been extremely busy over the past few months since Flash Player Update 2 (build 9.0.r45), so now it is finally time to talk about the improvements we have made. There are tons of them, so I'll use this post to summarize those I know something about and I have been working on. Stay tuned for more detailed posts of mine explaining the technical details behind these and how you will be able to leverage them:

  • Mip map support for all bitmaps for Flash 9 or newer content. This improves the quality and rendering performance of downscaled bitmaps. Perfect for thumbnails and such. Even better, Papervision 3D content now automatically looks better and should be slightly faster when large textures are used.

  • Multi-threaded vector renderer. Now we take advantage of up to 4 Cores/CPUs for vector rendering.

  • Multi-threaded bitmap filters. Same as above but this applies to bitmap functionality specifically instead of the core vector rasterizer only.

  • Multi-threaded video decoding. The VP6 video codec will now run in a separate thread if a multi-core system is detected which leaves the main thread to do rendering and post processing of the video. With this true 1080p video is now possible on most modern dual core machines. Also, the responsiveness is improved with this change. The Sorenson codec on the other hand did not get this change for technical reasons.

  • Full-screen mode with hardware scaling. Probably the biggest new feature in the Flash Player Update 3. This leverages DirectX on Windows and OpenGL on OSX. There is an new API to control the behavior which was required since we could not change current behavior and we wanted to give the maximum flexibility possible. I know you are probably eager to use this feature, we will post more information on this on labs.adobe.com soon (Update: Link to labs page is active). I'll also will give you much more technical details in an upcoming blog post.

  • Less tearing in the new full screen mode. We now have some code which will try to do VBL syncing. It's still a work in progress but we hope we can fix the remaining issues.

  • Going into full screen mode has a zoom transition effect. The beta does not work perfectly right now, but we want to get feedback if this is acceptable to end users. We will not expose an API to access/control this, either we'll leave it in and fix the remaining bugs or it is out. Also you might notice that this even affects the current full screen mode, something we will remove in the final release.

  • The Linux plugin now uses the XEmbed protocol. This is work in progress. The downside is that konqueror and Opera do not support this right now, so the Flash plugin will not work until these vendors update their plugin support. Also we are seeing decreased performance because GTK lacks somewhat in the the basic graphics API department. I'll explain in a later post.

  • Tons of performance tweaks and bug fixes. Looking the the current bug database statistic we fixed 371 bugs since 9.0.r45. Fixed really means fixed, it does not include duplicates, unreproducible bugs etc.

  • Much more.
A word of warning, this is a beta version! Do not use this version in a production environment. There are several known issues with the new features and while they might work on your machine they will not on others. We are obviously interested in the others and are looking for any issues you might encounter.

33 Comments:

Anonymous Ryan Christensen [draw.logic] said...

"Full-screen mode with hardware scaling. Probably the biggest new feature in the Flash Player Update 3. This leverages DirectX on Windows and OpenGL on OSX."

Sounds excellent!

Sunday, June 10, 2007 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ugur said...

i´ll test this longer (way longer :D ) in the coming days and give propper feedback then but just to give my first quick impression: awesome!
The first thing i tested was a physics driven game i´m working on right now and its running way(!) faster with the new plugin (achieves the target framerate easily in firefox whereas it was up to 15 fps below that goal in ff before).
runs out to test fullscreen mode stuff..
comes back..
wow, also over 15 fps gain in fullscreen playback of papervision stuff,fab!
keep it up, great great work :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger Sascha said...

HARDWARE ACCELERATION! YAY!

But... I'd prefer to use a standalone flash player of this beta rather than browser plugins! Is it possible that a standalone player version could be made available for download?

Sunday, June 10, 2007 11:24:00 PM  
Anonymous NiLS said...

Well, Ugur pointed me on the update ... and i must say, WOW !

Ran quite some tests, and verdict: awe-some !

With the older version of the plug-in, most of our games projects, designed at 60 fps, are running around 37-40fps, no matter what "high end" machine we have.
and ... With the update 3 beta 1, all run at full fps and even more !

A gain of over 20 fps, its huge - 33% more !

The effect goes up to games published with flash 6 (mx)... Way less people might be into switching to as3 now though ;)

Also, the mip mapping really enhance the display, as seen in carlos' shark demo at papervision3d.org. Smoother, better !

Just a little test for you and us, a simple flash mx fps counter ...
See by yourself and compare.

http://www.ventoline.com/fps.html

Result with "old plug in":
- 63 fps out of 80 planned.

Result in "new plug in":
- 82 fps out of 80 planned ...

No comment, Tinic, for the job is done with style :) You made our day. Regards from France.

Monday, June 11, 2007 1:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Savvas Malamas said...

1st comment: i love the zoom fx..

Monday, June 11, 2007 1:13:00 AM  
Blogger mike said...

Sascha, you said you'd prefer it as a standalone player. if that doesn't happen you'll find the "Flash Switcher" firefox plugin pretty useful. You can select which flash version to use, and you can add new ones. Pretty handy.


Download the plugin

Monday, June 11, 2007 6:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Zeh said...

Villagers demand clarification on this hardware acceleration business!

All in all, this is awesome. Thanks for the post!

Monday, June 11, 2007 7:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Jerry said...

I have read through several of the blogs on new features and I am very excited. I have not seen any coverage on a less glamourous topic: htmlText tag support. Any plans to extend support here? I have a bias toward <sub> and <super> for scientific data but have heard several other requests with merit. Thanks.

Monday, June 11, 2007 7:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Stan Vassilev said...

Heh, I told you we'll have mip-mapping sooner or later in there ;). Great additions. I totally didn't expect the multithreaded engine. Hardware scaling in full-screen puts the rendering speed on par with Silverlight's betas. Amazing work, thanks!

I'd like to ask something OT that could possibly be covered in a separate post: I'm really experiencing weird pixel offsets with textfields with content created in flash 8 and running in flash 9 or vice versa.

I saw recently Flash 9 was updated for "CS3", and had a textfield offset issue mentioned. Does that mean pre-CS3 content is not compatible with the latest Flash 9, or that Flash CS3 compiled content will not work properly in earlier players... It's really looking weird.

Monday, June 11, 2007 8:04:00 AM  
Anonymous arpit said...

I have a question: Does the hardware acceleration only kick in when the player is in fullscreen?

Monday, June 11, 2007 8:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Stan Vassilev said...

feedback on the fullscreen transtition: it looks slightly heavy to be honest (though cool at first). Having this mandatory on doesn't seem like the best idea, but as a simple rectangle outline zooming in instead could do the trick.

arpit: this is about using hardware scaling of a stage area which is still rendered on software. That said, it's perfect for video (if you can ignore the scaled up nav problem). Let's hope to get some real acceleration into the bitmap/vector engines too later on (for v.10?).

Monday, June 11, 2007 9:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Jensa said...

Jerry: Improved text has been confirmed for Flash player 10 by Mike & Mike at WebDU in Sydney. Not 100% certain, but they are working on it.

Monday, June 11, 2007 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Tsiolkovsky said...

Any news about when 64-bit versions for Linux will be available?

Monday, June 11, 2007 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Loïc said...

Is the fullscreen hardware acceleration available for linux systems. ->Opengl...
This is cool that fullscreen work for linux right now. Good job. Thank you so much.

Monday, June 11, 2007 6:22:00 PM  
Blogger cartman said...

Tested on Linux, looks like infamous pthread_join problem is gone. But its a little bit crashy.

- Right click->Settings on youtube videos, crash
- Try to zoom in, crash

Also full screen doesn't work anymore in youtube.com

Anyway thanks for the new beta.

İsmail Dönmez,
Pardus Linux developer

Monday, June 11, 2007 6:55:00 PM  
Blogger Avi Muchnick said...

Great update! I was wondering now that there's a whole new generation of RIA's out there supporting bitmap editing, when are we going to allow Flashplayer to access the desktop's clipboard for binary data? I know for one that I'm developing this would be invaluable.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 6:26:00 AM  
Blogger Jalava said...

Hey mate, I'll just add something I found out with fullscreen mode:

Blending alpha layers on top of graphics in fullscreen is currently superslow.

Example:
Running 800x400 particle effect and faded in with 800x400 black rectangle by changing colortransform alpha: locked 31fps

Running same effect fullscreen (1280x1024) with fullScreenSource rect to the same 800x400 rect:
2fps

Usually you don't see this kind of stuff much but for demoscene it's quite usefull (whiteout, blackout fades)

I'll bet this is something that is problem with beta and will be solved before final.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous iiley said...

Hi, that's impressive of this update.

I found one of the player bug i encountered before, the description here:
http://www.rgenerat.org/iileyblog/?p=62

But the other two similar bug related to cacheAsBitmap are not solved still, see here:

http://www.rgenerat.org/iileyblog/?p=64
and
http://www.rgenerat.org/iileyblog/?p=60

Maybe this is not the right place to report these bugs, but i'v reported to adobe official web forum and bug report pages. I'v never got a reply.

Hope this will not disturb...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 3:49:00 AM  
Blogger josepfebrer said...

Finally, in the Linux flash plugin the ugly gray right click menu has gone!
Thanks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Seb Lee-Delisle said...

Hi Tinic!

This is great news, but I thought I'd let you know I've found a bug (with the help of Peter Elst)... it's with the banner we made at the top of the FlashForward home page.

It seems to be the blood dripping effect that's causing the crash. I'm just drawing several sprites into a bitmap, which I'm then using as a texture for the 3D plane. The texture is drawn using beginBitmapFill with a transformation matrix. We're using our own Plug-in Media 3D system.

I've taken off the blend mode and the alpha and it still crashes.

However if I draw it on to the bitmap without the transformation matrix, it doesn't crash!

I've made a new fla and just tried the same bitmap drawing methods, but I can't get this to crash. Hmmm

Perhaps you could help me to pin this one down? Email is seb at pluginmedia dot net.

kindest

Seb Lee-Delisle

pluginmedia.net
sebleedelisle.com

Thursday, June 14, 2007 3:48:00 AM  
Blogger Tinic Uro said...

Seb, I fixed this internally after we saw the URL on the papervision3d mailing list.

It is related to the mip map feature which is right now buggy when use on BitmapData objects. In some cases you will crash, in some cases the mip map will be not updated correctly. So this should go away in an upcoming update, hopefully soon.

Thursday, June 14, 2007 3:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Seb Lee-Delisle said...

ah that's cool, although I've just spent a few hours trying to work out when it crashes and when it doesn't...

But I guess that's all over now, although that may be useful information to you?

kindest

Seb Lee-Delisle
sebleedelisle.com
pluginmedia.net

Thursday, June 14, 2007 4:37:00 PM  
Anonymous mr.doob said...

Impressive performance Tinic!

However, this demo does weird things when rendering now. Any idea why?

http://mrdoob.com/lab/pv3d/acid_cubes.html

Friday, June 15, 2007 5:29:00 AM  
Blogger Onur said...

Hi Tinic,

We are building a Turkish portal here with
Flex, and we realized there is no IME support for Turkish on Linux even with the latest player.

Any future plans to implment Turkish IME on linux player ?

Monday, June 18, 2007 6:07:00 AM  
Blogger Herschel said...

Tinic,

Thanks for your continued effort with Flash. These latest updates are really bringing the player to a new level.

Would keyboard input ever be allowed in fullscreen mode? There may be security and usability concerns when allowing keyboard ActionScript, but I think disallowing it restricts the usefulness of the feature. For example, if a Flash games site wants to add a fullscreen button to its games a la YouTube, it's out of luck due to the lack of keyboard input. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Many thanks,
M Welsh

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 1:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Ady said...

Jalava, I too am seeing a slowdown when using alpha layers on fullscreen mode.

I also agree with Herschel, not keyboard shortcuts in full screen reduces it's appeal.

Ta,
Ady

Tuesday, July 03, 2007 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger mattmuller said...

I have updated my .swc file for flash cs3 as intructed on this page... http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Flash_Player:9:Update:Full-Screen_Mode_HW#Using_the_feature_for_video_playback
When I drop the FLVPlayback component into the libraty and publish I get this compiler error '1046: Type was not found or was not a compile-time constant: FullScreenEvent.' This is for an AS3 project.

Cheers - MaTT

Friday, July 20, 2007 2:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the anticipated release date for Flash Player 10?

It would be helpful to have some idea (at least).

Sunday, August 12, 2007 4:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Best Management Practices said...

I heard September for the new Flash player.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger http://www.usome.com said...

It would be helpful to have some idea

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 1:17:00 AM  
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