Adobe has released a set of new software tools designed to make it easier to create three-dimensional digital objects for marketing campaigns, video games and the metaverse.
With its graphic design and photo editing tools, Adobe has long dominated the market for two-dimensional content creation, a position it sought to protect when it spent US$20 billion in cash and stock last month to buy rival upstart Figma in the biggest buyout ever of a privately held software firm.
But in recent years Adobe has also invested in creating three-dimensional content, a field dominated by video-game centric firms like Unity Software.
Such content is expected to factor prominently in the metaverse, the virtual world that Meta Platforms and others are counting on for future revenue growth.
But three-dimensional objects have long been labour-intensive for artists to create, and Adobe on Tuesday released two tools designed to make it faster and easier to make the digital objects.
Adobe's "3D Capture" tool lets users take a series photos of a real-world object with nearly any camera - including smartphones - and then melds the photos together into a three-dimensional digital object.
An early use of the software will be for e-commerce, where, for example, a shoe seller could let users with augmented reality virtually try on sneakers to see how they look on their feet, said François Cottin, senior director of marketing for Substance 3D and metaverse at Adobe.
"It's only with augmented reality and with 3D that you can do that," Cottin said.
The second Adobe tool released allows artists to switch between editing a three-dimensional object on a desktop computer to manipulating it with their hands in a virtual reality headset.
Virtual artists get a similar feeling to sculpting clay, which remains in use designing cars and other objects, while also having the precision of working on a computer, Cottin said.
"Jumping from one to another is extremely, extremely useful," Cottin said.