Photoshop for augmented reality? New easy-to-use app from Adobe will let users create and share their own custom AR experiences

  • Aero is a new augmented reality design tool from the makers of Photoshop
  • The free app will let users create and share their own custom AR experiences
  • The app will connect with other Adobe programs for advanced customization

At Adobe’s annual Max conference today, the company revealed a long-anticipated addition to Creative Cloud that will let users build and share their own augmented reality experiences.

Called Aero, the app is available today on the App Store for free and will run on both smartphones and tablets.

Aero will let users create their own custom AR experiences with a simple to use visual interface that relies on drag and drop controls and won’t require any advanced knowledge of programming. 

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Adobe Aero (pictured above) will let users design and share their own custom augmented reality experiences using a simple drag and drop interface

Adobe Aero (pictured above) will let users design and share their own custom augmented reality experiences using a simple drag and drop interface

Users will be able to share their creations with friends through iMessage, according to a report from The Verge.

Someone who receives one of these AR care packages will be able to open it on their phone or tablet as a limited preview that will run even if they don’t have Aero installed on their device.   

App users will be able to control everything from where in the environment the 3D object is placed to how it will respond to various interactions, like being touched. 

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Users can also design pathways through an environment for objects they want to be mobile instead of fixed in place.

Aero (pictured above) will let users drop a 3D object into an environment and either anchor it in place or create a customized route for it to travel

Aero (pictured above) will let users drop a 3D object into an environment and either anchor it in place or create a customized route for it to travel

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AR AND VR?

Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of an environment or situation

  • It immerses the user by making them feel like they are in the simulated reality throughimages and sounds
  • For example, in VR, you could feel like you’re climbing a mountain while sat at home

In contrast, augmented reality layers computer-generated images on top of an existing reality

  • AR is developed into apps to bring digital components into the real world
  • For example, in the Pokemon Go app, the characters seem to appear in real world scenarios

The app will come with a number of premade objects and animations, but more advanced users will be able create their own objects and animations using Adobe’s other Creative Cloud programs.

A short demo video from Adobe shows how more advanced users will be able to customize their own work.

Starting in Photoshop, users can create their own custom 2D image and then send it to Dimension, another Adobe program that converts 2D images into animated 3D object files.

That 3D object from Dimension can then be sent to Aero where it can be placed in an environment. 

Users can design a range of interactions with the object to determine how it should react once it’s placed in the environment.

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During the last year, Adobe has run residency program to help encourage designers and artists to come up with interesting examples of how augmented reality might be used in the future.

Recent residents have included Turkish children’s illustrator Tuna Bora, Oakland-based AR/VR artist Estella Tse, and Dan Mumford, an English illustrator who’s designed concert posters and tour art for Metallica, Phish, Ween, Pearl Jam, and Foo Fighters.

Adobe Aero has been designed to be usable by anyone, and requires no advanced knowledge of programming

Adobe Aero has been designed to be usable by anyone, and requires no advanced knowledge of programming

Aero will let users animate AR objects and customize they way they respond to interactions like being touched or pushed

Aero will let users animate AR objects and customize they way they respond to interactions like being touched or pushed

 



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