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Apache Flex (Flex)
Apache Flex is an application framework for easily building Flash-based applications
for mobile devices, the browser and desktop.
For detailed information about Apache Flex please visit
The Apache Flex Pixel Bender package contains Adobe Pixel Bender shaders used by the
Apache Flex SDK.
To compile the shaders, run:
ant -f pixelbender.xml
While Apache Flex runs on a large set of platforms, the Adobe Pixel Bender
compiler used to compile the shaders is only supported on:
Microsoft Windows
Mac OS X
Getting the convenience packages for the Apache Flex Pixel Bender shaders.
You can also get just the binaries from our website. These binaries do not
include the dependencies, so additional software may need to be downloaded and
Getting the latest sources via git
Getting the source code is the recommended way to get Apache Flex. We also
offer an automated installer along with binary distributions on our website
You can always checkout the latest source via git using the following
git clone sdk
cd sdk
git checkout develop
The above sequence actually checks out the entire Apache Flex SDK. The
Apache Flex Pixel Bender files are a subset of files from this repository.
Building Apache Flex Pixel Bender Files
Apache Flex Pixel Bender files requires a build tool which must be installed
prior to building Flex. The build tools have a proprietary license.
Install Prerequisites
Before building the Apache Flex Pixel Bender files you must install the following
software and set the corresponding environment variables using absolute file paths.
Relative file paths will result in build errors.
The environment variable PIXELBENDER_HOME can also be set in the property file
called See the file for instructions.
The Adobe Pixel Bender Toolkit is needed to build these files. You may also
need to set the JAVA_HOME and ANT_HOME environment variables as described below.
Java SDK 1.6 or greater (*1) JAVA_HOME
(for Java 1.7 see note at (*2))
Ant 1.7.1 or greater (*1) ANT_HOME
(for Java 1.7 see note at (*2))
Adobe Pixel Bender Toolkit (*5) PIXELBENDER_HOME
*1) The bin directories for ANT_HOME and JAVA_HOME should be added to your PATH.
On Windows, set PATH to
On the Mac (bash), set PATH to
export PATH="$PATH:$ANT_HOME/bin:$JAVA_HOME/bin"
There is no Adobe Pixel Bender compiler for Linux.
*2) If you are using Java SDK 1.7 or greater on a Mac you must use Ant 1.8 or
greater. If you use Java 1.7 with Ant 1.7, ant reports the java version as 1.6
so the JVM args for the data model (-d32/-d64) will not be set correctly and
you will get compile errors.
*3) The Adobe Pixel Bender Toolkit for Windows can be downloaded from:
The Adobe Pixel Bender Toolkit for Mac can be downloaded from:
Download the Adobe Pixel Bender Toolkit for your platform and install or unzip
On Windows and Mac Set PIXELBENDER_HOME to the absolute path of the Adobe Pixel
Bender Toolkit directory.
Using the Binary Distribution
The binary distribution should be usable as-is and not require building. The
binary distribution is used in a build of the main Flex SDK build script. To
set the Flex SDK build to use a binary distribution, run the main Flex SDK
build.xml's main target and set -Dpixelbender.url=<path to folder containing
binary distribution> or set pixelbender.url in a file.
Building the Source in the Source Distribution
To build the source, run:
ant -f pixelbender.xml
To clean the build of the compiled PBJ files use:
ant -f pixelbender.xml clean
To use the PBJ files in an Flex SDK build run:
ant -f pixelbender.xml copy-to-flex-sdk
The above will copy the PBJ files to the appropriate places in the folder
specified by the environment variable FLEX_HOME which may also be
specified on the command line or in a file as:
ant -f pixelbender.xml -DFLEX_HOME=<path to Flex SDK> copy-to-flex-sdk
The presence of the PBJ files in the Flex SDK folders will prevent the Flex
SDK from downloading a binary distribution to access those PBJ files.
Note for Release Managers: To generate a source distribution package and a
binary distribution package use the main Flex SDK build.xml as follows
ant release-pixelbender
The packages can be found in the "out" subdirectory.
To get a brief listing of all the targets type
ant -projecthelp
Thanks for using Apache Flex. Enjoy!
The Apache Flex Project