What do we know about hardware acceleration for drawing operations in Flash? I know that since 10.1 it's there for video playback (and mobile graphics) but that doesn't really help with rendering desktop game graphics.

So, is there any information about it, or maybe talk or rumours going around? Do you think it's something we'll get at all within a reasonable period?

I personally really keep hitting the ceiling with Flash' software renderer. A game scene that, were it hardware accelerated, my PC from 2003 could render while sleeping, runs at a low 20 fps on my quad core laptop. It's a shame because the Flash VM is otherwise rather fast.

Or maybe I am wrong and Flash is already using the GPU, and my games are slow for other reasons?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you using the Flash display stack and vector objects, or are you bitmap blitting? What sort of scenes are we talking about that are running slowly? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2010 at 3:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm using various scaled Bitmap objects and a few vector gradient overlays, no blitting. I'll see if I can post a screenshot later. Either way, I know my scene isn't really complex and that a GPU would use 1% of its power for it. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2010 at 11:47

2 Answers 2


This is what you're after:


Seems like all will be revealed at MAX on October 27 2010. From what I've heard there will be GPU accelerated 3D, which of course can also be used for 2D. If they are sensible though they will also provide 2D APIs, but we'll see. Someone can always write a framework on top of it to 2D-ize it. Personally I can't wait til October to find out!

  • \$\begingroup\$ cool, they would be crazy not to be working on GPU acceleration :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Allan
    Sep 26, 2010 at 3:50

I'm using various scaled Bitmap objects and a few vector gradient overlays

You can use really inefficient methods with any other programing languages too.

Scaled Bitmap objects = really bad performance.

Vector Gradient overlays = really really bad performance.

If you want to use the flash native render, use non scaled bitmap objects, and any vector stuff, make sure you use a low amount of curves, with no gradients other than on a small amount of objects.

If you want performance with better looking graphics look into Blitting, it is less flexable than the native render, but if you are looking for performance, you are going to have to use this.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I know about these optimisations and it's not what I'm talking about. What I mean is that these things, in this day and age, are trivial to render on a GPU. A scaled bitmap can be displayed as 1 polygon with 1 texture, no lighting and no shaders or effects. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 6, 2010 at 7:36

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