by Kevin Goldsmith


October 27, 2010

Tonight in the sneak peaks at MAX, I announced a project my team has been working on: Pixel Bender 3D for the new Flash player Molehill APIs.

This new version of Pixel Bender includes an Actionscript API which will let you combine Pixel Bender Material and Vertex kernels at runtime and includes a lot of optimization tricks plus helper APIs that simplify using the Molehill shader APIs.

I’ll be posting more info about this new language, APIs and tools soon.


  • By Kevin Newman - 4:41 AM on October 27, 2010  

    Mobile support? (BB OS, iOS, Android, etc.)

    • By Kevin Goldsmith - 6:27 AM on October 27, 2010  

      Everywhere Molehill is supported.

  • By Ringo - 7:05 AM on October 27, 2010  

    Sweet, when will this be released ?

    • By Kevin Goldsmith - 3:21 PM on October 27, 2010  

      Hoping to have a public beta at the same time as Molehill. (but you never know 🙂

  • By makc - 9:13 AM on October 27, 2010  

    But what about good old pixel bender? Will existing work reap the benefits too, or is it supposed to be dumped?

    • By Kevin Goldsmith - 9:50 PM on December 10, 2010  

      We’re still working on doing more cool stuff with Pixel Bender for image processing and such. Keep tuned to this channel…

  • By benji - 1:43 PM on October 27, 2010  

    sounds like fun,

    will if differ greatly from the existing pixel bender or be pretty much the same but with a few additional capabilities?


    • By Kevin Goldsmith - 3:24 PM on October 27, 2010  

      A lot will be the same, certainly when it comes to things like intrinsics and general structure. We want it to be easy for some with Pixel Bender to do Pixel Bender 3D, but we’ve added a lot stuff that makes sense for doing 3D shaders that doesn’t make sense for 2D. There are a lot of new capabilities. We’re also targeting support for some pretty low-end GPUs and so that means that we had to make some trade offs as well. I start getting into more of the details after MAX.

      • By benji - 2:24 PM on October 28, 2010  

        cheers for reply, where will be the best place to look at the details when they are released, on here or on pixelbender’s page on I often find it hard to get good detailed information in one place.

        • By Kevin Goldsmith - 7:40 AM on November 5, 2010  

          I can post things here quickly, so I usually post them here first.

  • By Jocelyn Tremblay - 3:28 PM on October 27, 2010  


    Anything that will be valuable for the After Effects plugins ?

    • By Kevin Goldsmith - 3:31 PM on October 27, 2010  

      Pixel Bender 3D as announced last night is targeted for Flash developers, but we’ll definitely be bringing some of the work back to the other Adobe products we work with. I can’t say anything more than that officially.

  • By Phillip Kerman - 4:51 AM on October 29, 2010  

    Hey… I always joke around when I see you and say “how do you justify pixel bender to pencil pushers” –and it’s actually half-serious. But, after seeing that sneak, I’m very impressed.

    One thing wasn’t clear to me… did I see some AS version of the code to write pixel bender shaders? Do you have any links explaining that further?

    • By Kevin Goldsmith - 6:15 AM on October 30, 2010  

      Unlike Pixel Bender 2D, Pixel Bender 3D has a pretty major Actionscript API that we are also releasing. The AS API let’s you combine multiple kernel programs together so that you can get much more dynamic behavior than you could from a traditional shader language. There are also a lot of APIs that we include that drastically simplify using the Molehill shader APIs because we know a lot about your shaders at runtime.

      I’m going to be posting more info soon, the slides from Bob Archer and Chuck Rose’s talk have a lot more detail and I’ll be posting those next week. The recording of that session should be really useful when it is available.