I’ve been waiting desperately to get my hands on the new Molehill API. Adobe made a public release with their flash player 11 incubator build.
I’ve been trying to keep up with the news and get my hands dirty. This post is just a summary of what all I’ve found out and tried so far 🙂
First things first!
What is Molehill ?
“Molehill” is the code name for a new set of low-level, GPU-accelerated 3D APIs that will enable advanced 3D experiences across screens through the Adobe® Flash® Platform runtimes. These new low-level APIs will provide advanced 3D and 3D engine developers the flexibility to leverage GPU hardware acceleration for significant performance gains. Today, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, renders thousands of non z-buffered triangles at approximately 30 Hz. With the new 3D APIs, developers can expect hundreds of thousands of z-buffered triangles to be rendered at HD resolution in full screen at around 60 Hz. Using the new 3D APIs in Flash Player and AIR will make it possible to deliver sophisticated 3D experiences across almost every computer and device connected to the Internet.
The 3D capabilities enabled by the new APIs will also be available to the broader developer community through popular ActionScript® 3D frameworks, such as Alternativa3D, Away3d, CopperCube, Flare3D, Minko, Sophie3D or Yogurt3D
How Can You Use Molehill ?
You need the following:
1) Flash Player 11 Incubator Build – This is a beta release by Adobe of the new Flash Player which has support for the Molehill API calls.
2) A 3D Framework/Engine/API – Well, you dont really need this if you can do really low level coding (Check out the link to Understanding Molehill below). But, in case you’d like to create a demo soon, I highly recommend using a 3D framework, like Away3D, Alternativa3D etc.
3) A 3D Artist – Yeah!!! You’d need 3D models to load up and have fun! If you’re like me and don’t know 3D modelling, you’d probably have to find a friend who can help you.
4) An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) – I use FDT, but you could try the free FlashDevelop OR IntelliJ (looks promising! I think its free!). John Lindquist has some really nice discussions about IDE to use for Actionscript3 development. He’s got video tutorials for IntelliJ too 🙂
5) Enthusiasm! 🙂
Setup Everything To Start Using Molehill.
I started out by trying to use AlternativaPlatform. They released v8.5 of their API which has wrappers for Molehill.
Note: The links below would help you to setup Molehill (Flash Player Incubator) with your IDE (FDT4.3 for me). The 2nd link will help you setup Alternativa8 too.
In case you decide to use another 3D engine like Away3D or Sophie3D, their installation support / documentation would probably be the best place to get help to get setup.
To set Alternativa8 & Molehill up in FDT4.3, I followed instructions on the links below and then I could get their examples to compile!
– http://www.allforthecode.co.uk/aftc/forum/user/modules/forum (Away3D – Setting Up BroomStick examples.)
Since I haven’t used Alternativa earlier, I wasn’t too familiar with their API. So I started hunting for more news on
Molehill and got to know that Away3D’s come up with an API wrapper for Molehill too. It’s called “BroomStick”
The examples look brilliant!!
I am in the process of downloading the API right now and hopefully I can play around with it to get a demo up and running too!
My resources on Molehill are scattered as of now.
But here are a few that I thought were really helpful.
The Flash Player
Adobe Labs Molehill Page
Setup Flash Player 11 Incubator and FDT4
Alternativa 8 Setup
Understanding Molehill – Digging Deeper Into Molehill
Understanding Molehill – Alternativa 3D 8 Migration (Talks about a few underlying concepts of the flash player).
Away3D – BroomStick
Away3D – Setting Up BroomStick examples.
Gotta get back to work!!