The second generation of Apple’s ARKit platform for creating augmented reality (AR) experiences debuted at the company’s developer conference last night. Alongside it, Adobe gave a brief preview of a new app its created for building AR experiences.
Today, it’s told us more.
The video above shows a 3D model being worked on in Adobe Dimension – a tool included with a full Creative Cloud subscription that previously was more aimed at packaging designers wanting to create mockups by applying flat designed to 3D models and then rendering them in realistic-looking environments. Some of the model’s colours are changed by applying textures and a butterfly element is edited by taking it out to Photoshop, recolouring it and then bringing it back into Dimension.
So far, so what-you-can-do-today.
What will be added in the future is an ‘Export to Aero’ command – which sends the 3D model to a yet-to-be-released iOS app called, unsurprisingly, Aero.
In this app you can see the 3D model in the world around you. You can resize, move and turn it using standard gestures. There are also menu controls to animate, spin, play, jump and destroy your models.
We assume the animations were created alongside the model in a 3D tool such as Cinema 4D or Maya – as Dimension currently contains no animation tools.
As well as being able to record videos and publish ‘experiences’, the video shows that you can export the model into Pixar’s USD format, which underpins ARKit 2 in the udsz file format. From here you can take the file into Xcode to develop AR apps.
(In a blog post, Adobe also says that it’ll be supporting the competing gITF format used by Google, Microsoft and others.)
The rest of the video shows the final experience at the The Festival of the Impossible, an AR exhibition that Adobe’s sponsoring in San Francisco next week.
Adobe hasn’t given a release date for Aero or the update to Dimension, but has said that it’ll reveal more at its Adobe Max conference in LA in October. This should coincide with Apple’s launch of iOS 12 – which consumers need to view ARKit 2 apps on their iPhones and iPads.
You can sign up for early access to Project Aero here.