Information on GPU acceleration in Flash Player 10

By • Jun 10th, 2008 • Category: Developer diaries

One of the new cool features added by Flash is GPU acceleration, that is, offloading some of the rendering process to the video card and, as such, making the performance better.

GPU acceleration isn’t exactly a feature that will magically make everything faster inside Flash, however; it can even make matters worse. It doesn’t use hardware-accelerated 3d rendering, either. Tinic Uro – Adobe Flash Player engineer extraordinaire – discusses this in What does GPU acceleration mean?, an article that tries to demystify this new feature and goes deep into the crazy world of the different wmodes used by the Flash Player.

One big downside to the new GPU features is that, differently from what was previously semi-announced via some developer blogs in the past, the new pixel shader features on Flash 10 will not be using hardware acceleration, as stated by Tinic in his Adobe Pixel Bender in Flash Player 10 Beta article. This will be somewhat limiting for the prospects of real-time image processing in Fnk, but I guess it’s a first step.

Still, some of the new GPU features are pretty positive and something Fnk may make use of in the future. I’ll have to test it out and see what perform best both during editing mode – when a patch is being edited, with results displayed on the nodes themselves – and during fullscreen mode, when just one of the nodes is used as the solo visual output for presentations (with no editing interface).

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