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Adobe adds 3D printing support to Photoshop CC

Thursday, January 16th, 2014 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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Adobe has jumped on the 3D printing bandwagon, adding tools for preparing 3D models for printing to Photoshop.

The new functionality forms part of the latest update to Photoshop CC, released earlier today. The update also adds an intuitive-looking Perspective Warp option and support for external referencing in Smart Objects.

Prep models for 3D printing without leaving Photoshop
Anyone looking to prepare a 3D model for printing now gets a basic range of tools for doing so, including options to close holes in the mesh or generate a support structure automatically.

You can also print directly to “the most popular” desktop 3D printers, assuming you have one connected locally; or via the Shapeways online service if not.

Photoshop users can now directly upload their 3D models to the Sketchfab 3D publishing service, and embed them in their Behance profile using Sketchfab’s interactive 3D viewer.

As with the rest of Photoshop’s 3D toolset, the new features won’t replace a dedicated 3D package, or a more specialist tool like Autodesk’s work-in-progress Project Miller, but they should be adequate for basic jobs.

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For pro users, the more interesting part of the update may be the other new tools. The Perspective Warp (above) enables users to change the perspective of part of an image simply by applying and manipulating control grids.

The demos only show fairly small perspective shifts, so we’d guess it’s going to be of more use for correcting distortion than, say, matching the perspective of source images during compositing, but it looks a useful tool.

Photoshop’s Smart Object functionality has also been updated. Smart Objects can now reference external files, meaning that they update automatically in every linked document when the source file is changed.

As well as Photoshop files themselves, the system works with Illustrator files, PDFs and Lightroom images.

Pricing and availability
The new tools are available now to anyone with an appropriate Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Photoshop-only subscriptions start at $19.99 per month; the entire Creative Suite starts at $49.99 per month. If you have Photoshop CS3 or higher, you can also currently subscribe to Photoshop and Lightroom CC for $9.99 per month.

Read Adobe’s full news announcement
(The same info, plus suitably enthusiastic quotes from designers and 3D printer manufacturers)

Read more about the new tools in Photoshop CC on Adobe’s website

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