Flash Player 10 Beta: “Astro”

I recently stumbled onto an interesting site from Lee Brimelow called gotoandlearn.com. While it’s essentially a tutorial site, it also gives you some great new peeks into the upcoming Flash Player 10 release from Adobe.

Ever since Flash 6, when embeddable video was made possible, Flash has been on a collision course with broadcast quality motion graphics. I’ve written before (here and here) about the increasing overlap between After Effects and Flash and what this might mean for designers (and developers). It’s no secret that I’m excited about the sea change we’re experiencing.

But now I’d like to geek out and share some of the fun new technical bits about “Astro,” the codename for Flash Player 10. My favorite is the ability to dynamically generate sound, as seen in this tutorial. It’s something that Processing has been able to do pretty much since its inception, but no distributable web technology has the reach (both in terms of developer community and penetration) of Flash. I’m hoping this added ability will attract new experimenters to the happy land of dynamic audio/visuals.

Another interesting new addition is native support for 3D (another demo here), something people have been clamoring about for some time now. Papervision3D has done a great job filling that gap, but now with “official” support, I’m hoping we see even more craziness.

Lastly, though perhaps most importantly, increased efficiency in the runtime drawing engine and other general performance boosts mean more real-time manipulation of video elements. With more and more cutting edge sites already pushing Flash to full-screen extremes, I can only imagine what’s next. As always, I’ll keep my eye on The FWA.

By the way, I don’t recommend installing FP10 beta yet, unless you don’t mind some bugginess and/or you’re a hardcore Flash geek. I had to uninstall it after running into some issues with WordPress.

(In the interest of full-disclosure: Adobe is a sponsor of Motionographer, but this post was in no way initiated or endorsed by Adobe. I did it all by myself.)