Adobe Labs now have a prerelease of Flash Player 10 available for download. It packs a bunch of new features that are sure to progress the platform.
– 3D Effects
– Custom Filters and Effects
– Advanced Text Layout
– Enhanced Drawing API
– Visual Performance Improvements
Developers can now opt to distribute the task of displaying their flash content to the GPU, freeing up the CPU for additional scripting / dynamic tasks.
The addition of 3D, although only effects at this stage, makes me wonder about the longevity of Director. After flash added video support, it’s only real claim to now over flash is it’s ability to handle 3D. It seems just a matter of time before Director hits the end of the line.
Another interesting sample points to support for IK or Inverse Kinematics. This makes objects intelligently interact with each other, such as dragging a ragdoll’s foot would make it’s leg move, yet not it’s arm for example. I’m sure the possibilities are endless with this one.
However this will only become available in “a future version of Flash Professional”. This means we’ll probably be waiting for Adobe’s CS4 suite before we can really take advantage of a lot of this new functionality.
As a long time flash developer this is extremely exciting, each time adding great new functionality. The new features in version 10 are no doubt an attempt to fend off Microsoft’s competition with Silverlight.
More @ Adobe Labs