Applications and Tools, Papervision, Visualization in 3D

Going Mainstream with 3D Content? Enter Adobe’s Creative Suite 4

Adobe’s announcement of Creative Suite 4 includes significant additions to the ability to work with 3D content, extending the ability of Flash, Photoshop and other programs in the ‘family’ to deliver rich 3D experiences and design across platforms.

According to the Adobe press release:

“Adobe Creative Suite 4 brings 3D center-stage providing the ability to paint, composite, and animate 3D models using familiar tools. Flash CS4 Professional now offers the ability to apply tweens to objects instead of keyframes, providing greater control over animation attributes. Also in Flash, the new Bones tool helps create more realistic animations between linked objects. With a searchable library of more than 450 dynamically updated device profiles from leading manufacturers, Adobe Device Central CS4 (see separate release) enables users to easily test mobile content designed using many of the Creative Suite 4 products.”

Giving Photoshop New Dimensions
Highlights of the extended version of Photoshop include the ability to create 3D panoramas, converting grayscale images into 3D objects, and animation.

Flash Changes
Flash also gets a 3D overhaul. According to, additions include:
- Object-based animation model: the Timeline is no longer the backbone of animation. Motion tweens are included, and are no longer directly tied to the timeline. The Motion Editor, similar to that which is featured in 3D software like 3ds max, allows for object based manipulation of transformations, translations, and effects over time. Learning Flash and revising documents is now a heck of a lot easier thanks to this paradigm shift.
- 3D translation, similar to that which is used in After Effects, is now available in Flash. Plug-ins and workarounds are no longer necessary to create believable 3D in vector-based Flash.
- Animators, especially those familiar with 3D animation software, will especially appreciate the new Bones feature. Bones and Inverse Kinematics allow for objects to be tied together and linked using joints, approximating the physical movements of real-world objects and people or animals.
- The Deco tool now allows for procedural modeling, using dynamic code to create animated patterns and designs that would have previously taken hours of manual work.

Embedded Papervision?
In many ways, Adobe has lifted off of lessons and needs from the Papervision development community. The pipeline for 3D content across applications continues to strengthen and lengthen. Moving 3D models across applications as diverse as 3DS Max, Photoshop, Flash and Papervision moves the design and deployment of 3D content and browser-based environments into a wider development world.

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