About Grant Skinner

Grant Skinner is CEO and chief architect of gskinner.com, a Flash development and consulting company. He works with leading new media agencies and progressive corporate clients to create cutting-edge applications, games, and multimedia pieces. Skinner's expertise in fusing coding with interface design, usability, marketing, and business logic has garnered international acclaim and resulted in a number of prestigious industry awards.
High-Performance Graphics in Flash 8

Early this year, I was inspired to create an experimental piece called varicose-g. Varicose-g uses a simple branching algorithm paired with the drawing API to draw an organic vein network. In Flash Player 7, the experiment ran slowly, and I was forced to dynamically clear older veins to reduce the graphic compositing overhead. This limited the generative quality of the experiment and reduced the complexity of the veins I could draw.

With the release of Flash Player 8, I was able to make a number of updates that significantly increased the performance, complexity, and visual interest of the piece. Check it out (requires Flash Player 8):
This article focuses on those changes, including the use of a custom bitmap caching routine, blurring remnant veins, and applying color adjustments. You can download the source code for this experiment in the Requirements section.