Adobe reveals new 3D design program Project Felix

Adobe has revealed its updates to Creative Cloud for 2016, which include new co-editing capabilities and automation with the aim of making its programs more accessible and easier to use.

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Adobe has released new design programs and a series of updates which hope to “democratise design” by being simpler to use and more intelligent.

New design program Project Felix

Revealed at this year’s Adobe Max conference in San Diego, California, Adobe’s Project Felix is a new program for graphic designers, which will let them create product shot compositions and scenes using both 2D images and 3D objects.

The new program links up with an update to Adobe’s stock image library, Adobe Stock, which now features 3D models, lighting and materials alongside images, which can be applied directly to designs created in Project Felix.

Project Felix also allows users to rotate the angle of the objects in their composition, or to change the perspective of it, and includes many “auto” features, such as auto-light and auto-align to create the “perfect” natural lighting or camera angle for a product shot.

With its auto intelligence, Project Felix cuts out many of the “cumbersome” and “time-consuming” tasks that designers would normally need to perform themselves to create photo-realistic graphic images, such as angle, lighting and composition.

When asked by Design Week whether there was a worry that these new intelligent tools may result in deskilling or devaluing designers, Adobe chief technology officer Abhay Parsnis says the updates mean “the exact opposite” and would open up design to more people.

“As we apply more sophisticated processes towards creativity, this won’t eliminate human sensitivity and taste, but will allow them to focus on what’s important rather than being dragged down by the complexity of tools,” he says. “The democratisation of design only increases the value that people place on it.”

Project Felix has a render preview window, which updates automatically and provides “real-time” feedback on what the final design will look like. It also enables users to go back to any previous design they want through a new timeline feature – something Adobe is calling “non-destructive workflow”.

Adobe Stock

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Alongside addition of materials, lighting and 3D objects to the library, Adobe Stock has a new feature allowing users to search for images based on another image, in addition to the word search feature. This will allow people to search for royalty-free images, based on a copyrighted image they’re not able to use.

Users can also combine two images together and search for a visual combination of both – for instance, a photo of a field with a dull sky and a photo of a blue sky could be used to search for an image of a field with a blue sky.

This image matching capability has been enabled through the launch of new artificial intelligence platform Adobe Sensei, which will be incorporated across all Adobe software for features such as face aware editing.

Adobe Stock has also partnered with news agency Reuters, and will now have 12 million more images covering news, sport and entertainment, alongside historical news video footage.

Adobe XD

Other updates to Creative Cloud include a new version of website and mobile app design program Adobe XD, which now allows co-editing and commenting on prototype designs between different users. This means there can be feedback between developers and clients without the need to export the design to a PDF file, send and annotate it with corrections. It also has new Layers and Symbols features, allowing designers to create layers of designs and apply custom shapes.
Xd is now also available as an iOS and Android app for smartphone users, with a preview mode.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Adobe’s video and audio editing software Premiere Pro CC has new co-editing capabilities, and also a feature letting users publish directly from the program to multiple social media sites. It resizes frames to suit the platform, such as square for Instagram.

All of the updates aim to streamline design processes, to allow creative people to design faster but also enable clients to provide feedback faster, says Adobe – which Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president for digital media is coining “creative velocity”.

“The updates will allow you to deliver at scale,” he says. “Some features are replacing you, but also empowering you.”

The beta version of Project Felix, and the updates to other programs, will be available by the end of 2016, says Adobe.


Design Week was invited to the Adobe Max conference, which took place 2-4 November in San Diego, California.

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