Adobe plans to add 3D capabilities to its flagship Photoshop application in the hope of extending the popular image editor's range into other fields.
The company said that it will be introducing two separate versions of Photoshop when it rolls out its next Creative Suite 3 (CS3) line of products on 27 March.
One version will contain the traditional Photoshop image editing tools, while Photoshop CS3 Extended will include tools for 3D graphics, motion and image measuring.
The aim of CS3 Extended is to push Photoshop into a larger market, according to Adobe.
The company hopes that adding the new features will extend the application's appeal from photography and graphics professionals into fields that require 3D modelling and rendering capabilities, such as animation, engineering and medical research.
Adobe hopes that the rendering and animation features, which allow users to export projects as QuickTime, MPEG-4 and Flash movies, will appeal to animators looking for an easy way to create short clips or render backgrounds.
For scientists and engineers, the company is touting the animation and 3D measurement tools as a way to fine-tune models and presentations.
The Mac OS CS3 releases will be the first versions of Photoshop to ship as a universal binary, which means that the application will run natively on the latest Intel-based Macintosh computers.
This should provide a performance boost over previous PowerPC versions of Photoshop that had to be translated to the new chips.
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