Working with 3D is something Adobe’s tools haven’t really been built for, but it’s now extending its capabilities. Kinda. Sorta.
Even though the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of apps is fairly extensive, there’s an area it doesn’t really cover, and hasn’t touched upon much at all: 3D.
You get a little bit of 3D control in the video post-processing tool After Effects, you can position 3D elements in Dimension, and you can do a bit of painting to 3D models in Photoshop, rudimentary as it might be, but beyond these apps, Adobe has never really jumped onto the 3D bandwagon.
But it’s beginning to do a little more, thanks in part to acquisitions. The reason we have Adobe Audition’s sound editing app is because the company bought Cool Edit Pro from Syntrillium almost 20 years ago, something that eventually became Audition. More recently, Adobe acquired another company, Allegorithmic, which offers a a suite of 3D tools for making 3D look real, assembling digital objects, painting them, applying photos to textures, and designing those textured elements yourself.
And much like how Cool Edit Pro became an Adobe app, so too has Allegorithmic’s apps, launched now as Adobe’s Substance 3D suite, which looks set to include a 3D modelling app in the coming months, something that is now in beta to let you model clay with digital hands.
The set of tools is something Adobe now has sitting in the “Substance 3D” set of apps, ranging from Substance 3D Painter for painting textures onto objects, Subsrance 3D Sampler to make materials from photos, Substance 3D Designer to create models and texture elements from scratch, and Substance 3D Stager for setting up models to create renders with all of that previous stuff that could be considered virtual photos.
While this move sounds like a positive push for Adobe to finally get stuck into 3D, there is a catch: it won’t come with the rest of the Adobe Creative Cloud platform. Unlike the assortment of extra features often rolled out to the Adobe Creative Cloud offering, this is different. Rather, it’s an optional extra that Adobe’s Australian arm told Pickr is going to be “sold exclusively in the Substance 3D plans”.
That means if you want to dabble in Adobe’s take on 3D, it’ll cost you a little bit more than the monthly or annual cost of a Creative Cloud subscription, with the Adobe Substance 3D collection starting at $28.99 per month extra in Australia.