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In a bid to strengthen its virtual reality offerings, Adobe is buying SkyBox technology from VR software company Mettle. Mettle makes plugins that enable 360-degree and VR tools for Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

Introduced by Mettle in 2015, SkyBox plugins are designed for post-production in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Adobe After Effects CC and complement Adobe Creative Cloud’s existing 360/VR cinematic production technology. The technology is used by The New York Times, CNN, HBO, YouTube, and others.

As part of the acquisition, Mettle cofounder Chris Bobotis will join Adobe as director of professional video. “Our relationship started with Adobe in 2010 when we created FreeForm for After Effects, and has been evolving ever since,” Bobotis said in a statement. “This is the next big step in our partnership.”

Adobe has been beefing up Creative Cloud’s VR and VR apps in recent months. In November it announced several updates, including a new 3D design app called Project Felix, a font store called Typekit Marketplace, virtual reality features for the Premiere Pro video editor, three new Android apps, and a bunch of smaller updates across desktop and mobile.


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“We believe making virtual-reality content should be as easy as possible for creators,” said Steven Warner, Adobe’s vice president of digital video. “The acquisition of Mettle SkyBox technology allows us to deliver a more highly integrated VR editing and effects experience to the film and video community.”

Adobe’s stock has been rising as adoption of Creative Cloud has transitioned it to a subscription model embraced by developers. On Tuesday, Adobe said revenue from its media business rose 29 percent to $1.21 billion in the second quarter. Adobe’s stock was up 2.2 percent at $144.01 in Wednesday trading.

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