Molehill (Stage3D) on Mobile

I recently had the opportunity to start playing around with Molehill for mobile (hardware accelerated 3D graphics), and I think it is something that many of you will be very excited about (see video below). Everyone thinks that 3D is just for games, but it’s not… 3D graphics can be used for complex data visualizations, scientific modeling, or a whole host of other subject areas.

I started down the path of creating 3D charts that are capable of rendering on mobile, using the Away3D engine. This is really just exploratory work, and I have it rendering multiple axes with 250 spheres (individual data points), which is about 70K-90K polygons drawn onscreen at any given time. Check out the preview below:

Molehill (Stage3D) on Mobile

This preview is running on a Motorola Atrix, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with a prerelease AIR runtime… more devices will coming soon. Source code will be available once molehill for mobile has been released.

Molehill (Stage3D) on Mobile recorded via iPhone

You can see another preview of molehill for mobile here:


  • Peter Strømberg

    Jumping Jehosaphat Batman!
    Any idea if this will be launched in time for MAX?

    It’s a shame the video itself is so choppy, especially at the start. Kinda disguises the true fps. How many frames do you get per second?

  • pete shand

    great to see another mobile Stage3D example!…. but why oh why is the video so jumpy.. it means its impossible to see how well the demo is running…

  • Andrew

    I am not certain of the exact launch date, but I know the team is making great progress. I’ll post back here once a date is actually available.

    Regarding the FPS, I can assure you that the lag you see in the video is completely my camera setup. I’m working on getting a better configuration for recording these types of videos. It is too early in the development cycle to post any actual performance specs, as this will be changing as the product matures, but I’ll say that it is quite impressive. I’ll try to record another video that better reflects actual performance and post it here.

  • Andrew

    Update: I just posted a second video recorded via iPhone… it is a bit shakier, but the framerate is better.

  • pete shand

    perfect! looks like its running really smoothly… awesome!!!

  • Aristophrenia

    Thanks man, code would be great.

    You posted by iPhone – the irony.

    • Andrew

      Hi Samuel, the code will be available once the runtime is available on Adobe labs. And yes, ironic that I posted the video via iPhone, but it is a great camera. 🙂

  • William Grand

    Hi Andrew,

    How did make this app run? Right now, Away3D returns this error:

    Error: Too many Stage3D instances used!

    It seems to happen on both iOS (which I’m attempting) and Android. Here is the thread on the topic:

    I traced it down to the face that that no stage3Ds are being instantiated:

    stage.stage3Ds.length = 0

    Did you run into this issue?

    • Andrew

      Stage3D is not enabled on the latest builds available via Adobe labs. The latest build of Away3D is compatible, however you will not be able to target any mobile devices until the 3D capabilities have been released publicly.

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  • Vamsi

    Awesome stuff.

    I’m trying to make small demo targeting mobile devices using Flex 4.5. Can you tell me which AIR (pre-release) version has the stage3D enabled?

    If possible, can you explain what tools you used to make this demo?

    • Andrew

      This was built using Flash Builder, with the Away3D framework. Ping me via email to discuss prerelease information at atrice [at]

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  • Vamsi

    Thank you for response. I sent a mail to the address provided.

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  • Emibap

    Hi Andrew. It would be great to have that prerelease runtime. I already sent you a request by mail.


  • kalin

    Hi Andrew, I’m interested too. Can you please share more details about this prerelease version or tell me how to run stage3d on mobile? I’m sending you a request on your email.


  • Przemek W

    Hi, Andrew
    I found this post after hour of googling, I am just trying to make some game experiments/developments for mobile using Away3D/Air3.1 for mobile, but as It has been discussed above
    “Error: Too many Stage3D instances used!”

    • Andrew

      Hi Przemek, Stage3D is not yet available for mobile devices. It will be coming at a later date. Syntactically, the code between desktop and mobile Stage3D will be more-or-less identical.
      Andrew Trice

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  • Andrew

    I have posted the source code for a desktop port of my mobile Stage3D examples on this blog at:
    The only changes were to the Flex SDK targeting the Flash player, instead of targeting the mobile SDK. All Stage3D code is exactly the same.

  • Andrew

    After much anticipation, Stage3D is now available for mobile devices using AIR 3.2. Have fun, and be sure to share your creations!