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The maker of Photoshop says photos are obsolete

Three red boxes of Adobe software with their logos facing forward are lit by the light from a window.
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Adobe, like its co-founder, is an original.
  • Karen Ho
By Karen Ho

Global finance and economics reporter


Adobe, the US software company behind Photoshop, says its products can now generate images better than traditional photos.

“[Ben and Jerry’s] found what many companies are finding; that 3D-rendered images are indistinguishable from traditional photos, and they’re far more efficient and actually less expensive to produce,” said Scott Belsky, Adobe’s chief product officer, during an earnings call on Dec. 10. The comments were regarding the American ice cream company’s use of Adobe’s 3D and immersive products to produce a marketing campaign about deliveries during the pandemic.

The pandemic has made it much more difficult for in-person photo shoots and productions. As a result, many creative teams are turning to 3D software and other digital tools to render images or video instead. The global animation industry has been able to continue working, with some studios even seeing a surge in demand for kid’s content. The end of a new Disney movie, Godmothered, was animated after the outbreak of Covid-19 shut down filming.

Adobe’s Substance and Dimension are both designed to help make photos obsolete: one for applying colors, light effects, and other details to 3D models; and one for rendering photorealistic images. The company is also experiencing success during the pandemic: its company-wide fourth quarter sales were $3.42 billion, a 14% increase compared to the same period last year.

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