Adobe’s 3D beta Project Felix can now re-create lighting using neural networks

project felix lighting tool sunlight copy
Adobe’s new 3D design program is still in beta testing — but that hasn’t stopped Project Felix from gaining the capability to re-create sunlight. In version 0.3, launched on July 19, Project Felix gained the ability to realistically re-create lighting inside a 3D drawing, thanks to a neural network.

Earlier versions already gave Project Felix the ability to add lighting effects such as reflections and directional light to make an added image look like it belonged in the original scene. With the latest update, however, the program can now automatically detect a scene’s lighting and re-create that look for the new object.

The program was built from a convolutional neural network, a form of artificial intelligence inspired by the way actual neurons in the body works. The artificially intelligent feature is able to create a more realistic image by replicating the original light, Adobe explains.

For example, even if the sun isn’t actually part of the image, the system can identify which direction the sun is coming from, then re-create that light on any objects added to the scene. The result is that when 3D objects are placed inside a 2D image, the object looks like it has always been there, since the light matches the rest of the objects in the scene.

“Historically, the lighting tool in Project Felix has been mostly an image-based technique to relay the light from an image,” J. Eisenmann, an Adobe computer scientist, said in a blog post. “In this update we’re looking at the image, and we’ve trained some convolutional neural networks to actually reproduce physical lighting for a scene.”

Along with the enhanced lighting algorithms, the update includes a user-friendly bookmark feature. As a 3D program, designers can view their creation from any number of angles — the bookmark tool simply serves as a way to save a favorite view or “camera” angle. With bookmarks, it’s easier to see how a change looks from specific angles, making it easier to compare the before and after result.

The update, Adobe says, is the result of user feedback from the program’s beta testing. Project Felix is a program that’s designed to allow users without previous 3D experience to design beyond the typical two-dimensional document.

“3D is like a playground,” Justin Patton, Project Felix’s art director, said. “You have this world of objects and materials that all interact together. You constantly come across new and interesting things that you didn’t even set out to create initially. With Project Felix 0.3, there are so many opportunities for experimentation and discovery. I think we’ll start to see new types of art being created, and that’s the reason we do what we do.”

The beta version of Project Felix is available with Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscriptions.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.

Razer’s classic DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse drops to $40 on Amazon

If you're looking to pick up a new gaming mouse for the holidays, Amazon has you covered with this great deal on the classic Razer DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse with customizable buttons, RGB lighting, and a 16,000 DPI optical sensor.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.
Social Media

Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

What did Instagram users share the most in 2018? A lot of heart emojis, heart face filters, and heart GIFs. The platform recently shared the year's top trends, including hashtags like #fortnite and #metoo along with a few surprises.

Want a fun, affordable instant camera? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S is just $49

Instant cameras have had a surprising resurgence of late, and no brand is better recognized in the instant photo space today than Fujifilm Instax. Walmart is currently offering the Instax Mini 7S for just $49.