Building the Flash Player 10 Demos

We were recently approached by Adobe to build a simple set of demos for the Flash Player 10 beta. The concept was to deliver a set of very simple, feature specific demos and descriptions tied together by a consistent theme. We thought it would be fun to key the demos off of the Astro code name, and develop a fake product box with a retro-space feel.

The end result was released on Adobe labs today. You can check it out here:

Building demos for a beta player and against a changing API is definitely a challenge, and occasionally frustrating, but we had a great time working on this project. The player team was very supportive and fun to work with. We’re currently ironing out an issue with crossdomain security that is causing the navigation to lock up on a couple of demos (*blush*), but otherwise things went pretty smoothly.

I was also honoured to be quoted in the official press releases for the player 10 beta, which you can see on MarketWire and BusinessWire, as well as a couple of articles at eWeek and InfoWorld (last paragraph).

I’m very excited about the features of the new player. The great new graphical features like 3D and Pixel Bender are going to lead to some really stunning content, and hopefully enable the development of some incredibly powerful libraries. Likewise, the new text engine opens the doors for developers to create new custom features, and will also make localization much simpler. Lastly, who can forget the GPU rendering and compositing (we’ll need those free CPU cycles for 3D and PixelBender), and the potential new language features (see the ECMAScript specs for ideas on this one, or Colin Moock’s great FitC session notes on the topic).

Grant Skinner

The "g" in gskinner. Also the "skinner".



  1. Sorry, but the demo is not good at all. Talked too many people and everybody was the same opinion.

    The most good coders are terrible designerns. 🙁

  2. Mat,

    Sorry you feel that way. We didn’t design it, but I personally like the work that the designers did. The aesthetic was meant to be fun and campy, not sleek and flashy.

    Any specific reason that you don’t like it, other than that it is “not good at all”? Constructive criticism welcome.

  3. Me jealous 🙂

    I can hardly wait to play with flash 10, i wish i had access to those early alphas. Oh well, us mortals will have to wait for the first betas.

    Congratulations on the demo!

  4. Congrats on building the demo, I’m really getting excited about the 3d and pixel stuff. To think 3 years ago I was tearing my hair out trying to learn the math needed to get Flash to do decent 3d and now it will finally be native. Can’t wait to lean the new stuff.

  5. Does it fix any memory leak issues, or provide workarounds…ie in AIR or loading external swfs?

  6. Hi.

    I can’t seem to get this to work. The demo tells me to downloads the newest beta, but I’ve allready done that. I have verified that my installed version is 10,0,1,218. Any suggestions?

  7. Not my style, but I don’t think it’s that bad. A couple of things though. The font in the navigation isn’t embedded so I get some lovely “_serif” text on all the buttons. None of the source files are downloadable, but that may be by design for now, until an update for CS3 is available to run fp10??? .. I’m not sure. If I do try and download, it freezes the player.

    This may all be on Adobe’s side, but I just wanted to point it out in case you can fix it.

    I’m really excited about these new features though. I wish I could tinker now!!

  8. I’m sure it’s a bug in the player, but the 3D video rotation makes the video display all wrong.

    I’d rather they’d waited and done a public alpha so we can all play with this, rather than only Adobe’s Chosen People. We’re developers not fanboys.

  9. hosey – I can’t comment on that at this time.

    Jesper – I’m not sure. We’ll take a look at that.

    Noel – thanks for the feedback. It’s a bit of challenge separating beta player issues, deployment problems, and actual coding bugs. We’ll take a look at all of the issues you mentioned.

  10. Awesome stuff Grant, congrats! I have to confess I’m a little bit jealous that you get to play with it already. Reading over the release notes and seeing the demos is making me very excited, and it seems like Adobe has really made an effort to try and listen to the community and try to address many of the large items people were wanting. Impressive.

  11. @Jesper, I had the same issue. You must be sure to heed the ‘important’ warning on the Flash 10 download page. You have to make sure you uninstall all instances of the previous Flash players.

    For folks that know MXMLC and want to generate Flash 10 content you might try:

  12. Êàê êîìïèëüíóòü ïðèëîæåíèå äëÿ Flash Player 10 ñ ïîìîùüþ Flex SDK 3

    Áðóëüÿíò: Targeting Flash Player 10 Beta with Flex SDK 3.0.x Íàì ïèøåò Ãðàíò Ñêèííåð, ñîçäàòåëü òåõ ñàìûõ äåìîê ïîä Flash Player 10: “Êàê ÿ äåëàë äåìêè äëÿ 10 ïðîèãðûâàòåëÿ õîëîäíûì ìàåì 2008 ãîäà”. Èòàê, åñëè âàì äàæå RSS ëåíü ÷èòàòü…

  13. Great work Grant! Kudos to you and your team.

    Favor to ask, can you tell me the speed differences between F10 and F9? For example, for loop comparison?


  14. Sorry, but not good at all. Not embedded fonts, and the last four links don´t seem to work. Design isn´t nice, and it´s exciting to know that flash has nativa 3d capabilities… but all things shown in the demo are allready working on the internet…

    Anyway i imagine it took a lot of hard work to do it with diferent betas, but i think it´s no good for demo, demos should be stuning !!!

    sorry for my english!

    Greetings, Nico!

  15. Cool new features and cool demo. But has the failure to unload dirty secret been fixed?

  16. Looks like the secondary resources for the demo are failing to load. Firebug is saying they are all 404 — these are the box faces, etc etc…

    Demo is broken 🙁

  17. Very nice design of fake product box =). Demos are good too. Good work. Thanxs.

  18. For those who say the demo is not working: I get the same “download beta player” message, but only on FireFox Beta 5 (OS X).

    I think it’s kinda cute, but one problem I had was it takes a few moments to load the 3D and IK demos, but there was nothing telling me that they were being loaded — I reloaded the page once ’cause I thought it wasn’t working.


  19. This makes me smile. I can only imagine what the PV3D, hobnox, etc. people will be able to do with this player. Sure, some of it has been done in 9, but the starting point was so much lower- it took tons of development to get to this point. Now that this stuff is native, the starting point has been raised.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one excited to get cracking with this stuff.

  20. Jeez, whattabuncha haters!

    Great work, Grant. Yet…I must mention that I could not get the ‘download source’ links to work.

    On the up side I will say that you showcased in a concise manner many of the features in a fun way. Those 3d primitives transform so smooth!

  21. Nice work. I bet it’s cool to be on a first name basis with Adobe. 😀

    What’re your thoughts on the divide between the artists who express themselves with Flash and the programmers who develop with it? Do you think the Flash authoring environment will effectively expose these goodies to animators? And frankly, is it about time to stop thinking of Flash as primarily an animation tool?

  22. Oh yeah, and I experience a bug with the “Invert RGB” filter, regardless of what it’s filtering.

  23. Sorry, I should state what the bug with that filter is. The area that’s being filtered is completely clear, except for the left and right edges, which flicker. Not a big deal, I’m sure there are more pressing matters than this little thing.

  24. Evgeny Tihomirov May 16, 2008 at 12:22am

    Oh my… What about FOV? Can i change it for 3D rotation?

  25. Erwin Verdonk May 16, 2008 at 1:20am

    Exciting stuff Grant! Question however; Why is there no source for the KI demo?

  26. Works like a charm!

    I had to un- and reinstall several times to get the player working.

    Nice demo, congratulation on a supercool assignment. I can’t wait to start working with FP10. The greatest update on the Internet for the last five years?

  27. Excellent stuff, well done!

    (I could see it just after installing and re-launching my browser – ff on ubuntu 8.04)

    Can’t wait to try it

  28. Just as a follow-up…

    I now see the correct fonts, and the downloads work now. Great work, thanks!

  29. hi mate

    was great to see the beta at last. really looking forward to getting some real info on whats in there.

    nice one

  30. Nice. I think the design is cute. Flash 10 is going to be fun! finally some new visual tools / toys to play with.

  31. Just one thing: I just noticed that the source for the IK Sample doesn’t have an .as file, just the .swf. Any chance you could post that? I’m very interested in playing with this feature. (Also – are these new API’s documented anywhere? )

  32. I was just looking at the source of your “New Text Engine” sample but was a bit dissapointed that not all source files where included. There is only one AS file in the zip: ‘’, which doesn’t give away anything about the workings of the new text engine. This seem to be handled in the class vellum_flash which isn’t included as source.

    It would be great if you could provide the complete source if possible.

  33. Grant,

    Does this mean that existing 3D engines will be gpu-accelerated? I mean, will Papervision finally stop taking up so much processor?

    Also, a quick question. We’re looking for a AS3 developer of your caliber, (also Keith Peters, Lee Brimelow, John Grden, Andy Zupko, etc.) to work on a cutting-edge project set to revolutionize the web. Do you know anyone that may or may not be interested in filling this position for us? We’re looking for a tough-as-nails AS3 developer, and an AS3-speaking designer. If you know of anyone, could you send us their contact info at

    Thanks Grant, hope to hear from you soon!

    – TK

  34. The only missing files for the demos are the flas, which do not open with any public release of Flash.


    The IK demo is entirely fla-based, created using new tools available in the IDE.


    vellum_text is a component instance on the stage.

    This was a really fun project that presented some unique challenges. Many thanks to the Adobe team for their support along the way.


  35. I thought it was a decent enough tech demo, that acts a nice taster for when we can get out hands on flash cs4, one thing that is interesting though is that now we have flash player 10 many flash detection scripts dont work properly as they only look for the first number (so they see player 10 as player 1) unfortunately Grant this is the case on your homepage 😉 don’t worry though you are in good company, the bbc site amongst others has the same problem 🙂

  36. sorry my bad, your detection does work fine, it was my flash blocker (to stop mac browser crashes) that was causing the problem, however the bbc site still doesnt detect properly 🙂

  37. Hi,

    Nice to see the demo – good work..

    Has anyone had a chance to test FP10 against the known issues around memory management? It would be cool if Fp10 fixes these and takes the platform back to the position it used to be in before AVM2 with respect to the handling of external assets. In my opinion FP9 and AS3 are still a less functional platform because of this.

  38. I tried the Flash Player 10 Beta on one of the projects I am working on now and it seems that it really does the memory management much better. I think that it fixes some of the issues of Flash Player 9. I am looking forward for it to come out 🙂

  39. I have the new flex_sdk_3.0.1.1739 installed. The vector class compiles but when I try to import vellum_flash I get an error: Definition vellum_flash could not be found. how do i get this to work?

  40. What is happenning inside vellum_flash ???

  41. The way the bottom 3 features move are much different from the top 5 and if you change between the bottom 3 it moves in an unnatural manner, as if it’s “powering up”.

    The bottom 3 clickables stand out once again, by being the only parts that have actual demos.

    I feel your thunder was completely stolen by PaperVision3D and non-Flash Player 10 code. In fact, there are many people who created the same 3D rotation effect back in Flash Player 6 using ActionScript 1, with math.

    Aside from the demo, I don’t understand the hype behind Flash Player 10. Hardware access? If we want to use it, I bet it will crash quite a few users and will increase QA time behind applications. I would’ve rather seen optimizations for software 3D rendering instead, specifically catered to the software 3D frameworks available (Papervision, Away3D, Sandy, etc..).

    The biggest news to me, concerning Player 10, is the usage of a UDP protocol and Peer 2 Peer communication. But, guess what? RTMFP is a proprietary Adobe protocol with next to no documentation, and I can only guess it’ll start working the same day Adobe releases a matching server for it, which costs a lot of $.

  42. Tutorial on how to author Flash Player 10 content directly from Flash CS3 IDE without 3rd party extensions or applications is available at as of November 4th 2008. Tutorials include a 5 part series of an introduction to Flash Player 10 3D, how to build a 3D menu in for FP 10 and, how to make 3D cubes in space (an advancement of Lee Brimelows tutorial on random 3D Sprite generation) and finally ending with a tutorial on creating a 3D asteroids game.

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