Category Archives: Flash

SmartAA – reconstruct anti aliasing with Pixel Bender

SmartAA - reconstruct anti aliasing with Pixel Bender

About three decades ago, pixels where as big as toasters – and mostly green.

Today we have millions of them to deal with, and the terms anti-/aliasing have become part of our daily live. Every time an image is scaled, it gets interpolated to eliminate those bad “stairs”.

But what if the source image is aliased in the first place?

Checkout the demo of SmartAA!

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The Steve Jobs IPad Adobe Flashplayer HTML5 Video rant

The Steve Jobs IPad Adobe Flashplayer HTML5 Video rant

The flame wars are on!

CEOs, CTOs, platform evangelists and users are fighting the war of the worlds out there.
It´s HTML5 vs. Flash, open vs. closed, H264 vs. OGG, desktop vs. mobile, truth vs. lie.

Lets first calm down with this nice audio visualization before we dive in…

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Realtime SSAO with After Effects and Pixel Bender

Realtime SSAO with After Effects and Pixel Bender

Screen Space Ambient Occlusion or SSAO is a method to compute an approximated AO pass in real-time!

This is done by using the depth information of a 3D object or scene that has been stored from the Z-(depth) buffer of the renderer.

Go ahead and try the interactive demo or see a video example!

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Strange Attractor Finder and C4D/PY4D Particle Bench

Strange Attractor Finder and C4D/PY4D Particle Bench

Strange attractors are fractals that emerge at certain, sensitive parameters within the three-or more dimensional phase space.

They are are researched since the early 70s and strongly related to the chaos theory as they allow to watch the transition from chaos to order/geometry.

Good things first: see the result and try the chaotic attractor finder!

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Pyramidial multiscale – 86400px gigapixel image

Pyramidial multiscale - 86400px gigapixel image

Gigapixel images – it´s all about resolution and detail – one gigapixel equals a billion pixels so we are talking about tons of data.
To be able to view such a picture, it hast to be sliced into tiny little bites – otherwise it would kill any present personal computer.
That technique is called pyramidial imaging, multiscale or deep scale and works quite fluid with Flash.

Click here to view a 86400*43200px image of our “Blue Marble“.

The uncompressed sourcefile was over 10GB big and took nearly a day to interpolate and cut it into 9 zoomlevels existing of 80.000 tiles.
The viewer uses the fantastic OpenZoom-API.



This little 3D experiment is called Metabubbles as it´s behavior and look are quite similar to those of real metaballs.

In fact it is just PV3D ViewportLayers with the blend-mode “add” that produce those gooey effects when balls with a similar z-depth pass each other – “old school”.

The cpu-load is quite high but the result is as psychedelic and relaxing as watching a lava-lamp…

Sit back and take a time out …

Smart Stats – realtime server monitoring with flash

Smart Stats - realtime server monitoring with flash

Ever wanted to keep an eye on your server without having to use the ssh terminal?

With Smart Stats you can – in realtime. It shows a live display of the most critical stats to monitor: cpu-load, memory consumption, top-processes, storage, network-traffic and active apache connections.

It exists of a very simple php-socketserver that executes tools like mpstat, top, iostat or netstat and wraps the output to something readable.

Have a look at the flashclient here or go ahead and download the package containing the sources and a readme.

Smart Normal goes Pixel Bender

Smart Normal goes Pixel Bender

With CS4 Adobe introduced Pixel Bender to Flash, After FX and Photoshop. Pixel Bender allows to easily write and test filters witch are finally compiled to bytecode (Flash) or machine code (AFX).

For the new version of Smart Normal, its sobel-edge shader got portet to PB – making it blazing fast. Its even possible to use it for realtime shading.

Want to use Smart Normal directly within After Effects or Photoshop (CS4) ? Just grab it from Adobe Exchange and drag it into your plugin-directory.
(Photoshop needs the Pixel Bender Plugin).

Update: Sadly, PixelBender support has been removed from Photoshop and After Effects with release CS6.

Update II: SmartNormal has been superseded by SmartNormal 2.0

Asteroids 3D

Asteroids 3D

Once more a classic game gets revived with Papervision – Asteroids 3D.
Asteroids was one of the the first arcade shooters, developed 1979.

This version features dynamically generated asteroids (noise-displacement), “real” momentum and of course the famous hyperwarp.

As a decent 3D collision-detection drew to much performance, the game now uses dummy-objects and the simple and quick AABB-solution.

Try Asteroids 3D and blast some Asteroids!

Hint: Don´t forget your momentum when hyperwarping!

Imperial Safari

Imperial Safari

Again these two experiments were made do test the limits of Papervision and to explore the possibilities of flash 3D-games.

The first demo – Imperial already looks a lot like LucasArts “Dark Forces” from 1995.
It loads MD2 models that include a small vertex-animation witch gets randomized.

Safari shows a possible race-game.
The terrain works like the displacement experiment shown here earlyer.