Adobe Creative Cloud

March 18, 2015 /Events /

3D Printing: What You See Is What You Get

The second installment of I Went to Adobe Creative Camp at SXSW 2015… And all I brought back is a series of blog posts, the firsthand account of a first-time Adobe SXSW Creative Camp attendee.

Session 2: Moving from Graphic Design to 3D Object Design with Paul Trani

GraphicTo3D_1 Adobe evangelist Paul Trani is a designer. With an eagerness to exploit any technology he can get his hands on, he operates on the assumption that other designers feel similarly. Which is probably why he spent an hour showing a room full of design industry professionals how to make the jump to 3D printing with Adobe Photoshop CC—software that’s been in their creative arsenal all along.

The tools make it easy

Everyone in the creative industry has been called upon to function across design disciplines, to jump from technology to technology, to use programs and processes they’ve never used prior. Usually with built-in time constraints, those leaps require them to figure things out as they go and learn along the way. They manage, according one of Paul’s opening remarks, because “the fundamentals of design don’t really change it’s the technology behind them that changes.”

Therein lies the heart of his presentation: When it comes to 3D printing, designers don’t have to use unfamiliar software to get the job done.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Luxemburg.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Luxemburg.

A gateway to 3D

Adding 3D capabilities to Photoshop CC wasn’t an effort to rule the world of 3D (it will never replace 3ds Max or Cinema 4D Studio or Rhino3D); it was instead intended to help designers move from modeling to printing. To simplify bringing in files (.stl, .obj, .3ds) from other 3D programs, and to use for creative exploration: to look at something from all angles, move it around, create a light source, change its size, design its surface… then from there, print whatever’s on the screen.

Paul’s ultimate point was that Photoshop CC is an introduction. Designers wanting to get in on 3D printing, don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the process because the same software they’ve been using for years provides the fundamental features for effortlessly jumping in and out of it. It’s a platform for exploring the possibilities of 3D, without the headaches. And that’s more than enough.

My conclusion: Photoshop CC, with its fundamental features, and its familiar UI, make it the perfect gateway to 3D design and printing.

 
Read the wrap-up of Session 1: Revamping Adobe Photoshop CC for Screen Design with Zorana Gee and Charles Pearson

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