Adobe Labs is a fantastic arena to collaborate in the development process of Adobe. Users find pre-release access to software, hosted applications and more. Resources such as code samples and forums allow visitors to interact with like-minded Adobe developers.
The most current technology on Adobe Labs is Pixel Bender. Previously under the code-name Hydra, it first was supported by After Effects CS3 as an engine for image transformations and effects. It’s a way to create extensive effects in real time using the graphics card, not the processor. The Pixel Bender just-in- time (JIT) compiler allows developers to create real-time cinematic effects within Flash 10 Player, but Pixel Bender filters running inside are rendered via software, and not accelerated which could be a detraction.
“Pixel Bender always works with 32-bit floating point channels. No matter what data type is used with Pixel Bender, it will be converted into a 32-bit floating point and on output will be scaled back to the appropriate data size. It only appears to be 8-bit because all current examples of passing data to Pixel Bender so far have been bitmaps which use 8-bit channels.” Said Justin Everett-Church, Senior Product Manager for Adobe Flash Player.
In addition, we have Pixel Bender shaders to allow users to bypass the image effects that come with Flash and manipulate pixels in real time. In addition to graphics, shaders can be used for other CPU intensive processes in Flash. This could be a great leap forward for Flash, Flex, AIR and Photoshop in the coming months!
Check the Adobe Labs site often for the latest and greatest Adobe has to offer.
Adobe and Facebook have proposed a marriage between Flash and Facebook to give developers a whole new set of tools with the Client Library, a free open source programming language. An announcement that comes after MySpace’s partnership with Microsoft’s Silverlight. Using Actionscript 3.0 Client Library, the new Facebook Connect will integrate the power of Facebook into individual websites using Flash, Flex and AIR. A good example is Red Bull that is engaging customers through Facebook Connect.
Adrian Ludwig of Adobe recently told MacWorld, ”We are seeing that it’s becoming quite easy for traditional developers to start using Flash,” said Ludwig. “That’s quite a change from where it was five to eight years ago when Flash was focused on animation.”
This marriage is a library that provides Flash developers a much easier process without the Facebook platform. Many developers have built their own libraries using Ruby on Rails that tie into Facebook, but now will have a much easier time plugging into the Facebook platform through Flash. On the Adobe Developer Connection, there are pages dedicated to tutorials and videos to help get developers started.
“Combining social functionality with the Adobe Flash Platform gives the millions of Flash developers the tools to create Web experiences that are truly differentiated,” said Bryant Macy, Director of Platform Product Marketing for Adobe.
While Facebook Connect is available for the iPhone, we are still unsure if Flash will come to the iPhone anytime soon. One can hope that the recent Adobe Open Screen Project, which is designed to partner with companies to use Flash as the RIA platform is the first step in enabling Flash on the iPhone.
Join Ascend Training and FITC for a free pre-event June 21st at Ascend Training. We will be showcasing technologies such as AIR, AS3, Flash Design, Flex and ColdFusion. This event is open to the public, not only to conference attendees, and is held at the Ascend Chicago facility at 410 S. Michigan Ave