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Adobe believes that the metaverse is going to blur the distinctions between the digital world and the physical world, and it wants to provide the tools to enable that.
That’s one of the main messages of the Adobe Summit 2022 that kicks off today. The Adobe Summit 2022 is fully virtual and powered by Adobe Experience Cloud, which is now used by 75% of Fortune 100 companies.
“Increasingly, we’re using the digital world to do things that we once only did in the physical world. The ongoing
conversation on the metaverse reflects the fact that the distinction between what people do in the physical and virtual world is blurring,” said Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe, in a statement.
Adobe sees metaverses or virtual worlds and other immersive experiences as the new wave of digital interaction. These
immersive experiences will include metaverses — rich, persistent, shared interactive experiences with collaboration and co-creation, as well as fully functioning shared economies — along with other experiences targeted to shopping, job training, play and gaming, education, remote meetings, cultural experiences, and more.
Adobe said its products fuel immersive experiences today, and its role will expand in the future. And it said it supports an open metaverse. The tools include 3D and immersive collaborative content creation products, such as Adobe Substance 3D and Adobe Aero.
Fueling the metaverse
Adobe said new integrations across Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Experience Cloud are fueling the creation and delivery of immersive experiences, to position brands to succeed in the metaverse. Among these new innovations is the launch of the new Adobe Substance 3D Modeler in beta that makes 3D creation and sharing easier.
“We’re planning on guiding businesses through the move toward a new way of doing business,” said Stefano Corazza, vice president and fellow at Adobe, in an interview with GamesBeat. “This is something we’ve been planning for a very long time. And so, when people talk about the metaverse, the first thing people ask is, ‘Where’s the content coming from?'”
He noted that forerunners of the metaverse like Fortnite and Roblox are already here, and Adobe has a strong footing there. With the acquisition of Substance some years ago, Adobe dipped its toes into the 3D space. Now hundreds of thousands of users are using it for 3D art.
“We are expanding more and more into the areas that are crucial for the metaverse,” he said. “We’re definitely diving into interactivity. And with Behavior Builder, people with no coding skills can create interactive assets.”
Adobe’s metaverse tools and strategy
Adobe’s tools are used to create games, immersive commerce, and augmented reality environments. Adobe said now is the time for companies to get metaverse ready, and that means being prepared for a democratization of everything from content creation to development and delivery. Adobe believes an immersive experience pulls you into a digitally created, often three-dimensional, world. Many shared immersive experiences will allow you to manipulate and interact with virtual objects and with other visitors. While we’re seeing lots of hype and discussion about the metaverse, Adobe believes we will not only have many metaverses, but we will also see many other kinds of shared immersive experiences as well.
Adobe said we can expect to see immersive experiences like AR shopping, VR job training, and immersive virtual museums. Adobe said the metaverse will reimagine texture and tac6le experiences for visitors. The growing marketplace for digital assets is a significant new opportunity for members of the creator economy.
Adobe supports USD (Universal Scene Description, a 3D art standard originally created by Pixar), as one of the
leading 3D/immersive file formats for authoring and glTF (Graphics Language Transmission Format), a standard file format for three-dimensional scenes and models. Adobe said that games like Fortnite, Halo, Final Fantasy, and Flight Simulator, are created with Substance 3D. And Adobe tools have also driven the content for big AR experiences, including examples from the Smithsonian and Amazon.
Adobe showed off a demo of Modeler, which allows you to sculpt 3D objects with an interface that combines natural, fluid gestures in virtual reality and the precision of a desktop interface. Corraza said it’s better for creators to start planning for metaverse-ready content now so they don’t have to play catch up later. And Adobe said that brands that build up a rich library of 3D assets will also have an advantage in the metaverse.
Adobe is also expanding beyond creation to the delivery of digital assets to enterprises and consumers. The company is positioning itself so it can help with assets for the AR vision of the metaverse, as advocated by Pokémon Go creator Niantic, or the VR-driven view of Mark Zuckerberg‘s Meta.
A long journey
Corazza said that Adobe has been working on the tech for about four years, and it released the first version in 2019. But he said metaverse-friendly tools like Substance have been in the making for much longer, as the ability to blend animations and the real world has gotten better.
Corazza said that AR has been on a journey to improve the overall metaverse experience.
“People have tried all kinds of like computer vision approaches in the past, but now it has finally gone to the next level,” he said. “Now they can anchor an AR experience to a surface and make it look real.”
Graphics shaders and rendering have also improved to the point where the objects look real with better lighting and shadows, Corazza said.
“And now the artist and the interaction designer can create the whole thing without knowing how to write a single line of code,” Corazza said. “So we have had three different breakthroughs. That’s why I think it will really grow this year.”
He added, “We are seeing basically closed metaverses adopting our chain pipeline, our tool pipeline, but we are also seeing open metaverses doing the same. I think we will see a world with both of them.”
He said Adobe aims to help the creators and make sure that they get their share of the rewards of the metaverse.
Speakers at the event include Nike CEO John Donahoe, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Roz Brewer, The American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern, Prada CMO Lorenzo Bertelli, Real Madrid Chief Transformation Officer Michael Sutherland, and BMW CMO Dr. Jens Thiemer. Actor Ryan Reynolds will also make an experience. The event features more than 200 sessions. Among the customers included in Adobe’s announcements are BMW, Coles, The Coca-Cola Company, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Epic Games, EY, General Motors, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, Nvidia, and Panera Bread.
Consumers have grown accustomed to moving their activities online. In fact, e-commerce spending is projected
to surpass $1 trillion in the U.S. alone this year, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.
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