I’m a huge fan of the Starling framework, so it’s great to see that Gamua has just released Starling 1.4. And hot on its heels is version 1.1.1 of the Feathers UI framework, which sits on top of Starling and allows developers to create lightweight, skinnable and extensible UI controls for their mobile and desktop projects.

Here’s a list of the new features that Starling now provides:

  • 10% performance increase
  • Sprite masking with the new clipRect property
  • Displacement map filters
  • Enhancements to the Asset Manager
  • Support for 4K textures
  • MacBook Retina Support

For a more comprehensive list of features head over to the Gamua blog.

Personally it’s always good to see Gamua’s Daniel Sperl constantly squeeze more performance out of the framework. Daniel spent considerable time tracking down memory allocation issues with Adobe Scout to alleviate garbage collection overheads. Various other optimizations were also performed to increase display object performance.

I’m also delighted to see that it’s now possible to easily add rectangular masks to sprites with the new clipRect property. One of the strengths of clipping rectangles is that they are relatively inexpensive ways of performing masking.

Perhaps the most exciting feature is the addition of the DisplacementMapFilter class. All sorts of visual effects should now be possible including water reflections, swirling vortexes, image pixelation etc. In fact, here’s a nice demo illustrating just what’s possible.

So yeah, another solid release of both Starling and Feathers.