Chapter 3. Stage3D: High Performance Visuals

The single most written about feature of AIR 3 would definitely be the new accelerated graphics rendering engine available through Stage3D (previously known by the codename “Molehill”). This advanced rendering architecture can be used in rendering both 2D and 3D visual objects within AIR through direct use of these APIs or by implementation of one of the many engines and frameworks that have been built on top of these APIs.


To use Stage3D in AIR, we must set <renderMode>direct</renderMode> within the application descriptor file.

The main benefit of using the Stage3D APIs is that everything rendered using Stage3D on supported system configurations will be rendered directly through the system GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). This allows the GPU to assume total responsibility for these complex visual rendering tasks, while the CPU (Central Processing Unit) remains available for other functions.


In the case that rendering Stage3D using hardware is not available on a particular system, the Stage3D view will be rendered using software as a fallback.

Stage3D Accelerated Graphics Rendering

The new flash.display.Stage3D class works very similar to in how it behaves as a display object within AIR. Just like StageVideo, Stage3D is never added to the AIR DisplayList but rather exists separately from that stack of objects. As in the case of StageVideo usage, the DisplayList appears above Stage3D in the visual stacking ...

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