Plug-in exports could pay $8m pa

Auckland software house house Right Hemisphere has developed two plug-ins for the design program Adobe Photoshop which could earn as much as $8 million in annual export sales if expectations are met. Right Hemisphere has a sales goal of 10,000 copies a year for the product, with the US, Japan and Europe being key markets.

Auckland software house house Right Hemisphere has developed two plug-ins for the design program Adobe Photoshop which could earn as much as $8 million in annual export sales if expectations are met.

Deep Paint gives users a range of painting tools such as oil, pastels and water colours, while companion product Deep Paint 3 replaces traditionally flat computer paint with a textured version that has depth and shine, thus allowing the artist to create 3D brush effects.

Right Hemisphere has a sales goal of 10,000 copies a year for the product, with the US, Japan and Europe being key markets. If these goals are met, exports earnings for each product are expected to be around $4 million.

Adobe claims about 95% of the desktop design market for PhotoShop, and about a third of PhotoShop customers buy a plug-in set such as Kai's Power Tools, according to Adobe distributor Renaissance.

Right Hemisphere director Mark Thomas says one of the problems with software development is finding a "clear hole or position" in the market. Right Hemisphere took the opportunity to extend computer-based painting. The year-long development of Deep Paint was made possible by $190,000 funding from Technology New Zealand, doubling Right Hemisphere's R&D budget. Most of the grant went toward solving 3D problems such as high-quality 3D texture mapping.

"The problem is like wrapping a rugby ball in paper, then trying to get rid of all the wrinkles. There is no perfect solution to the problem but we can offer significantly better solutions than those presently offered," says Thomas.

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