Adobe releases tools for generating product images from 3D models

(Reuters) – Adobe Inc (ADBE.O) on Tuesday rolled out a tool aimed at helping marketing departments at e-commerce stores generate product images without having to pay for as many photo shoots.

The tool, called Project Sunrise, will let marketing teams generate fresh variations of images from a three-dimensional model of products such as shoes, kitchen gadgets or furniture. It is designed to allowing marketing professionals to come up with the images they need for web pages and marketing emails.

The product straddles San Jose, California-based Adobe’s longtime business of generating and editing images and its newer business of supplying technology tools for marketing and e-commerce.

For e-commerce companies with thousands of products in their catalogs in different colors and finishes, highly realistic renderings have already overtaken traditional photos in many applications. Companies such as Inc (AMZN.O) and Target Corp (TGT.N) use such renderings.

But even keeping up with making renderings has created a tremendous amount of work for e-commerce companies as marketing campaigns have become more tightly targeted, said Francois Cottin, senior director of marketing for Adobe’s Substance 3D business.

For example, Cottin said, a company selling a coffee machine might want to show the gadget against a different background in different countries, because German kitchens might look different from California kitchens. Most companies have to tap 3D artists to create each image.

“Big e-commerce websites, they have hundreds of people” manually creating 3D renderings, Cottin said. “It’s as big as the visual effects studios working for Disney or Marvel.”

The new Adobe system automates many of those details. In the case of a shoe, for example, an artist might create a 3D model of the basic model of the shoe. The software system can then generate variations with different colors and textures, such as smooth leather or suede, and feed them into a website’s e-commerce system.

“This platform is used by creatives on the one side, and by merchandisers and marketers on the other,” Cottin said.

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