A user interface in Borderlands, rendered using Scaleform GFx
|Original author(s)||Scaleform Corporation|
|Written in||C++. C++ API provided, C# API available in Unity Plugin; ActionScript virtual machine included|
|Platform||Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, as well as Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, 3DS, Wii, Wii U, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android|
Game development tool
Scaleform GFx is a discontinued game development middleware package, a vector graphics rendering engine used to display Adobe Flash-based user interfaces and HUDs for video games. In March 2011, Autodesk acquired Scaleform Corporation and Scaleform GFx became part of the Autodesk Gameware line of middleware. On July 12th 2018, Autodesk discontinued Scaleform GFx and is no longer available for purchase.
Authors created user interfaces using Adobe Flash authoring tools, such as Adobe Animate (formerly Adobe Flash Professional); the resulting SWF files were used directly by the GFx libraries, providing similar functionality to the Adobe Flash Player but optimized for use within game engines.
Scaleform GFx supported all major platforms, including game consoles, mobile and PC operating systems. Scaleform provides APIs for direct communication between Flash content and the game engine, and pre-built integrations for popular engines such as Unity, Unreal Engine, and CryENGINE. Scaleform GFx could also be licensed for use as a standalone Flash runtime system on mobile platforms, competing with Adobe AIR.
Scaleform GFx contains several core systems, including:
- a GPU-accelerated rendering engine for display objects, featuring a vector-to-triangle tessellation engine with an edge anti-aliasing algorithm that uses subpixel triangles to smooth the edges
- mesh rendering backends for DirectX and OpenGL APIs
- a mesh cache to manage tessellated triangle data
- a vector-graphic based font system that uses a single texture to dynamically cache glyphs on demand
- support for all major Flash display classes including Sprite, MovieClip, TextField and Filters (Glow, Bevel, DropShadow, etc.)
- optimized ActionScript 3 and ActionScript 2 virtual machines with garbage collector, as well as GFx-specific ActionScript extensions
- audio support via a licensee-implementable C++ interface, with a default implementation supporting FMOD
In addition to the engine, documentation, and samples, the Scaleform GFx SDK includes several additional components:
- Scaleform 3Di
- ActionScript 2 extensions allowing for three-dimensional location and rotation of Flash elements. Scaleform 4 includes support for ActionScript 3's built-in 3D capabilities, making 3Di unnecessary.
- Scaleform CLIK
- Common Lightweight Interface Kit - easily customizable Flash UI component framework, including buttons, list boxes, drop down menus, sliders, trees and windows, created in collaboration with gskinner.com. These components are intended to be lightweight, while providing for bi-directional communication with the engine and other considerations for game development.
- Scaleform UI Kits
- Prebuilt customizable examples including sample C++ engine and ActionScript code, as well as corresponding Flash content. These currently include an MMO UI, FPS HUD, and frontend menu kit.
- Scaleform AMP
- Analyzer for Memory and Performance - profiler tool used to analyze memory and performance of Flash content inside a game or 3D application while running on PC, console or mobiles. AMP is similar in purpose and design to Adobe Scout. AMP gives detailed stats for CPU usage, rendering, and memory, and includes a complete ActionScript profiler with function and per-line timing.
Scaleform also provided two optional add-ons for GFx:
- Scaleform Video
- Fully integrated video codec for Flash Video workflow support (currently powered by CRI Movie.)
- Scaleform 3Di
- Fully integrated Input Method Editor (IME) for Asian chat support.
Games using Scaleform technology
- Source Engine (Scaleform was used as the former UI backend for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, prior to the game switching to Valve's in-house Panorama UI.)
- Unreal Engine 3 and UDK
- Crytek CryEngine 2 and CryEngine 3
- Emergent Gamebryo and LightSpeed
- Sony PhyreEngine
- Infernal Engine
- Trinigy Vision Engine
- Instinct Technology
- RAGE (In game Grand Theft Auto V used for almost everything, including map)
- "Scaleform - Usage - Platforms". Autodesk. Retrieved 2014-09-07.
- Brandon Boyer (2007-04-19). "Scaleform GFx Comes to PSP, PS3". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- "Games Central: "Masthead Licenses Scaleform for Earthrise"". Archived from the original on 2011-07-11.
- "Autodesk & Scaleform". Autodesk. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
- Autodesk Scaleform GFx Middleware Overview
- Unreal Development Kit Game Design Cookbook, Packt Publishing Ltd, 22-Feb-2012
- UDK Game Development, Cengage Learning, 2012
- Beginning iOS 3D Unreal Games Development, Apress, 04-Apr-2012
- CryENGINE Game Programming with C++, C#, and Lua, Packt Publishing Ltd, 22-Nov-2013
- Game Coding Complete,
- Cryengine 3 Game Development: Beginner's Guide, Packt Publishing Ltd, 21-Sep-2012
- Kris Graft. "Scaleform GFx 4 Supports Flash 10 AS3". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-10-01.
- Scaleform 4.2 Extensions, Autodesk
- Kris Graft. "New Scaleform Supports 3D Menus". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
- "Unreal Engine in major Scaleform UI deal". Develop. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- "Scaleform to be free for UDK". Develop. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- "CryEngine 2 Uses Scaleform GFx". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- "Emergent Fully Integrates Scaleform and SpeedTree in Gamebryo Under Company's Growing Partner Program". Reuters. 2008-02-05. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- Will Freeman (2009-03-21). "Key middleware providers pledge support for Gamebryo LightSpeed". Develop. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- Chris Remo (2009-03-12). "Scaleform announces CRI video codec partnership". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- "Scaleform and GameSpy Launch Comprehensive In-Game Lobby Solution". IGN. 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-07-21.