Last week, I was hunting around for a compelling speed comparison demo that I could use to show how much faster AS3 execution was than AS2 for the MacWorld Flash Forward keynote. I wanted something exciting and very visual that ran in both AS2 and AS3. Remembering that the awesome open source Paper vision 3D project by Carlos Ulloa and John Grden had recently been updated to AS3, I pinged John to see whether he could put together a cool demo in the meager 4 days I had before the session. Let me tell you… the man came through with gusto! Not only did he throw together an amazing demo contrasting AS2 rendering 900 faces at 5fps versus AS3 rendering almost 8000 faces at 25fps, but he did it in only two days, while doing normal work and accommodating all of my anal retentive requests (admit it John, those requests were the cilantro in your salsa *grin*).
The demo totally blew away the audience at MacWorld. Not only is it an amazing speed demo, but it’s the coolest piece of 3D I have seen to date in Flash. 7 x-wing fighters, 7 tie fighters, 1 death star, and Endor all flying around a star field with a chase-plane style camera.
If you want to see a stunning example of AS3’s speed gains, or just want to check out where 3d in Flash is headed, you should click over to John’s blog. Then, head over the OSFlash page for the Papervision3D project for more great demos and info.
(btw – the demo runs beautifully in full screen mode on a MacBook – as John says, Flash doesn’t look like Flash anymore)