Adobe Pushing into 3-D

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2003-10-22 Print this article Print

The company announces its Atmosphere authoring tool for building 3-D into the Web and PDFs

Adobe Systems Inc. is launching a new authoring tool for developing 3-D multimedia environments both for the Web and for its PDF files. Adobe Atmosphere, scheduled to be available on Nov. 19, allows Web designers and document creators to build interactive environments and scenes where users can navigate and interact with the multimedia content as well as collaborate in real time, Adobe announced on Wednesday. Using Atmosphere, designers can host multiple types of media, including 3-D objects, streaming audio and video, textures and interactivity. For example, Adobe said, a ticket vendor could recreate a performance venue on the Web so that ticket buyers could virtually preview their view from a given seat. Likewise, publishers could build PDF e-books where a reader could explore 3-D illustrations and interact with a storys characters.
Atmosphere, along with the authoring tool, comprises free Atmosphere Player plug-ins for the browser and for Adobe Reader as well as a free Atmosphere Collaboration Server to provide the real-time interaction within the environments.
For its 3-D capabilities, Atmosphere supports the importing of 3-D objects from common 3-D tools such as Autodesk Inc.s Discreet 3D Studio Max and Alias Systems Maya and provides a library of objects and Java Scripts for adding animation and interactivity to environments. The Havok physics engine is included in Atmosphere to provide physical simulation of such attributes as gravity and friction within environments. Atmosphere will be available for Microsoft Windows XP for $399. Viewing Atmosphere environments will require Internet Explorer running on Windows 98SE, ME, 2000 and XP or Adobe Reader, Adobe said.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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