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Adobe's Latest Flash Now Includes 3D Video

Just days after Microsoft shipped Silverlight 2.0, the latest version of its Flash competitor, Adobe Systems hit back with an update to Flash that adds 3D and the ability for developers to add their own special effects.

Adobe Flash Player 10 offers built-in support for 3D natively, instead of the third-party 3D support in previous versions. Developers can work in 2D and transform 2D objects into the 3D space as well as build their own 3D libraries..

Helping its cause, Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) also shipped Creative Suite 4 today, which provides tools like Photoshop and Illustrator for creating Flash content.

"Designers and developers know if they deliver video, online games, rich Internet applications (RIAs) and other interactive experiences using Adobe Flash Player, they can reliably reach the entire Web," said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe in a statement.

Adobe Flash Player 10 features new support for custom filters and effects, native 3D transformation and animation, advanced audio processing, and GPU hardware acceleration, as well as a highly flexible new text engine designed to provide more text layout options than prior versions.

Designers and developers can create custom filters and effects with Adobe Pixel Bender, which was previously available as part of Adobe After Effects. Developers can also create custom filters to animate effects or change the effects on rich media context at runtime.

The new player improves audio processing, allowing for playback from MP3 files and capturing audio from things like music sequences.

And along come the tools to make such content

CS4, announced last month, includes the latest versions of products the company gained from its acquisition of Macromedia in 2005 all in one box. It addresses content creation and editing for print, the Web, interactive, film, video and mobile and comes in six versions. CS4 continues the integration between Adobe and Macromedia products and for the first time, uses the discrete graphics chips in GPUs to accelerate the 2D and 3D content while people are working on it.

Estimated street price for the Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium is $1,799, Adobe Creative Suite 4 Web Premium is $1,699, Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium is $1,699, and Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection costs $2,499.