mistergreen Depends on how detailed and how much surface effects you want. AIR might not be the tool you want to use.
I disagree. The vertex, texture, index data + shader code are just uploaded to the GPU, and are all accessible though Starling. They work the same way as in other graphical APIs, so you can achieve much the same effects. You might have to do some low level graphics programming, but that’s true of other low level graphics APIs.
The main constraints in Starling are on the CPU side: ActionScript is not up to doing some sorts of processing, which you might do to e.g. prepare data for rendering. But anything that can be offloaded to the GPU works very well.
Also there’s nothing built in to Starling to handle 3D data, such as 3D models. But this is true of other low level graphics APIs too. You need to write code for it, if some does not exist already.