6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 23, 2008 12:35 AM by SimonTindemans

    Pixel Bender authoring tools

    SimonTindemans Level 1
      I have a few questions about the Pixel Bender authoring tools when Pixel Bender is officially released. I hope someone can answer these for me or point me towards the answers.

      1) Will the Pixel Bender Toolkit be freely available? If not, will it become a part of Flash CS4, After Effects CS4 and Flex Builder 3.2?
      2) Will the command line compiler be freely available, along with a language specification?
      3) Is the Pixel Bender format open, so that we can expect third-party development tools? [The answer seems at least partially yes, since Conduit for Pixel Bender has made its appearance]

      To clarify where I'm coming from: I own Photoshop CS4 and Flex Builder 3 and I'm looking forward to create Photoshop plug-ins using Pixel Bender. It would make for some nice speed gains, cross-platform compatibility and a lot less hassle than the PS SDK, for those plug-ins that don't require the SDK functionality. I have no need for Flash, so it would be a shame if I had to buy it to generate Pixel Bender bytecode.

        • 1. Re: Pixel Bender authoring tools
          Kevin Goldsmith Level 3
          1) Yes and yes. It is part of the installs of Flash Authoring CS4 and After Effects CS4. We will also continue to post builds of the Pixel Bender Toolkit on Adobe Labs for free download.
          2) The language spec is part of the toolkit download and has always been freely available. The command-line compiler will also be freely available.
          3) "open" is a pretty loaded word and has a lot of connotations to a lot of people. The language is public, we encourage 3rd party authoring tools, but you may not write your own Pixel Bender run-time right now. I'm speaking of Pixel Bender Kernel and Graph files. Pixel Bender Bytecode is part of Flash and has different licensing.

          We're pretty firm on 1 & 2, but the situation on 3 will change over time. If you have something specific in mind that you aren't sure about, contact me privately.
          • 2. Re: Pixel Bender authoring tools
            SimonTindemans Level 1
            Kevin, thank you for answering. My major concern was that in order to write pieces of code for one of the Adobe programs, people would need to buy another (expensive) program, such as Flash. I'm happy that's not the case.

            As to my point (3), I understand the decision to keep the run-time Adobe-only (for now) and by 'open' I was indeed referring mostly to authoring tools.

            Thanks again!

            Oh, I'm not sure whether this is the correct place, but let me sneak in a feature request in relation to Photoshop: it would be really great if the Pixel Bender plug-ins for Photoshop would get the option to be supplied with color data in a standard color space, such as RIMM RGB (used in ACR/Lightroom). That way, the plug-ins would effectively be color managed, without the hassle of performing color transformations inside the kernel.
            • 3. Re: Pixel Bender authoring tools
              SimonTindemans Level 1
              Just a quick update: I had not realized that the version of Pixel Bender that is up for download on Adobe Labs was already final (1.0), because the referring page still mentions 'technology preview release 4'. That would have answered my first question right away. I had not bothered to actually download a recent release of the toolkit because I was waiting for the Photoshop plug-in to appear.

              • 4. Re: Pixel Bender authoring tools
                Kevin Goldsmith Level 3
                Technically it is preview release 4. It is pretty close to the final CS4 release that gets included with After Effects and Flash Authoring. There will be an official 1.0 release on labs soon that will actually include more stuff than is on the CS4 DVDs. That will be the last 1.0.x release.
                • 5. Re: Pixel Bender authoring tools
                  Kevin Goldsmith Level 3
                  your suggestion on the color spaces is something that we'd already been considering for a future Pixel Bender release. Glad to know that someone besides us wants it!
                  • 6. Re: Pixel Bender authoring tools
                    SimonTindemans Level 1
                    Ok, the version thing starts to dawn on me now. I'm curious to see 1.0 proper.

                    Good to know that the team is looking into color management as well. I can't wait to retire some hard-to-maintain PS plugin code in favor of Pixel Bender. :)