Adobe heralds 3D authoring, radiosity lighting

SAN FRANCISCO (10/21/2003) - Adobe Systems Inc. on Wednesday is introducing its 3D authoring tool, Adobe Atmosphere, for building multimedia-based interactive environments for the Web and PDF files.

With Atmosphere, Web designers and digital document creators in applications such as arts, e-commerce, entertainment, and education can deliver realistic, interactive environments that enable users to navigate and interact with the environment and its contents. Users also can collaborate in real-time.

An example of an Atmosphere application would be a ticket-selling system in which the vendor could build realistic replicas of venues for patrons to check out the view of the stage from specific states, Adobe said. Architects and designers, meanwhile, can build prototypes or publish existing designs developed in CAD application to the Web. Publishers can create interactive PDF eBooks.

The product provides a deep, immersive experience delivered on a Web page, said Bahman Dara, senior product manager for Web3D/Atmosphere at Adobe. He provided a demonstration of the product with scenes such as a concert venue. "Everything you see is a physical space designed in atmosphere," Dara said.

Radiosity lighting techniques in Atmosphere enable accurate painting of scenes with soft shadows and reflected light.

Developers can import 3D objects, featuring animations from industry-standard 3D tools such as Discreet 3DStudio Max. Users also can select from a library of included objects and JavaScripts to enhance designs and add animation and interactivity to an environment.

Atmosphere for Windows XP will be available via download from Adobe.com on Nov. 19 for US$399. The family of Atmosphere products features Player, which is a Web browser plug-in; Player for Adobe Acrobat Reader; and Collaboration Server, for real-time collaboration.

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