Adobe announced the coming availability of a new feature in their Capture app: Scantastic.

The Capture app, which is available for iOS and Android platforms, has been around for a while and has been used in the Adobe ecosystem for capturing vector graphics. One of the frequently used functions in graphics arts is to convert a pixel-based image into vectors that can be more easily manipulated. That’s the original purpose of the Capture app.

But now it seems they are about to add additional 3D functionality to the Capture app. Here’s a video of how it will work:

YouTube video

This will enable users of Adobe’s Creative Cloud to not only capture vector information from the external world, but also 3D models as well. These captured 3D models can be seamlessly integrated into Adobe documents for further processing.

It seems that the Scantastic feature uses photogrammetry, as opposed to other methods of scanning such as structured light, lasers or LIDAR, which has been recently leveraged on new iOS devices.

Dynamically setting the bounding box on a Scantastic scan [Source: Adobe]

From the video, it appears that the capture sequence is quite interactive. For example, during the scanning process you can set the bounding box that encloses the subject of the 3D scan. Often in other 3D scanning systems this step is done after-the-fact. By doing it in advance Adobe simplifies the issue of importing the capture into a document.

It’s not entirely clear, but I suspect that the photogrammetry processing takes place not on the mobile device, but rather is done in the Adobe cloud using powerful processing arrays. This would certainly allow for speedy creation of the 3D models.

It’s also not clear how this feature is priced. I am assuming that it is simply part of the normal Adobe Cloud subscriptions, or at least if you are subscribed to the right combination of Adobe apps.

With this development, Adobe will enable their subscribers to much more easily integrate 3D content into their applications. Most of the time these 3D objects will be used for graphics and visual purposes, but there is the possibility of them being used for 3D printing as well.

Many artists who engage in 3D printing are also Adobe subscribers, who will at some point gain access to this functionality. While they may have been able to use 3D scans previously, they were not as integrated into the Adobe ecosystem as the Scantastic process will be. Thus we may see some very interesting 3D printed artwork begin to emerge as this feature becomes available.

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