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Adobe Aero turns Photoshop art into augmented reality, no code necessary

Photoshop helped make graphic design more accessible. Now, Adobe Aero aims to do what Photoshop did for graphic design, but for the augmented reality (AR) space. Launched on Nov. 4 after more than a year in beta, Aero is the first platform that allows designers to create AR without any code, Adobe says.

Adobe Aero, an iOS-only app, takes on AR in conjunction with Adobe’s other programs. Designers can start an AR project in Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC, then bring those files into Adobe Aero to integrate those initial designs into an immersive space. That allows designers familiar with Photoshop — but not necessarily code — to bring their creativity into an augmented reality space.

Using the tablet’s camera, designers tap to place their artwork into an AR space. Adobe Aero includes the tools to then add interactive behaviors, such as spinning, bouncing, rotating, or following a path connected to a specific trigger. For example, the graphic can start spinning when viewers tap on the screen.

Adobe Aero also works with Photoshop’s layers — one demo shows how an artist used the tool to walk through the different layers of two-dimensional artwork. The app includes a tool to choose how much space to place between those layers, allowing artists to add space, then walk through their artwork in AR.

Besides working with 2D and 3D art in Photoshop, Aero allows users to add starter assets, along with work stored in the Creative Cloud or the camera roll. Once finished, Aero allows exports using a link, a file to embed inside a third-party app, or a video.

The app was originally previewed as Project Aero last summer. The company, at the time, said that the program would help simplify the process of building AR objects, allowing artists to turn their work into AR objects without the help of a developer.

“Digital is no longer confined to a single screen – it’s permeating throughout physical spaces and the real world,” wrote Adobe’s Stefano Corazza. “AR can free us from boundaries of the screen and transform any environment to a digital stage.”

Adobe calls Aero an emerging technology, which means it’s still “coming together.” But, beginning today, the app is out of beta in the first public version. Adobe Aero is available as a free download from the App Store.

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