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Adobe snags 3D technology for visual-effects suite

The maker of desktop publishing software acquires graphics assets from Cycore Cult Effects and Atomic Power Evolution for its After Effects applications.

Adobe Systems, a leader in desktop publishing software, on Monday acquired technology assets from graphics software developers Cycore Cult Effects and Atomic Power Evolution, aiming to beef up its visual-effects suite.

Adobe, which recently released the newest version of the After Effects suite, said it is using some of the plug-in 3D visual software features from Cycore and Atomic Power to expand the suite's creative options. After Effects comprises motion graphics and visual-effects applications designed for creating visuals for film, video, multimedia or the Web.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Like many companies in the technology sector, Adobe recently issued a quarterly profit warning stemming from the drag that the weakening U.S. economy has had on its business. The news at the time sent Adobe's shares sinking. Adobe said slowing sales in some geographic markets could pinch its expected 25 percent revenue growth for the first quarter and the full fiscal year.

Also last month, the company tapped further into the nascent and slowly developing electronic-book market through technology that Adobe acquired when it bought Glassbook, a maker of e-book software. Adobe released the Acrobat eBook Reader and Content Server software, aiming to make e-books as convenient as their paper-and-ink counterparts. The new software permits e-books written in PDF format be lent to friends, purchased by the chapter or leased for limited periods of time.

The acquisition of Cycore's 3D graphics technology expands Adobe's new suite to include creative tools such as Vector paint, which allows users to paint precise graphics, and Fractal Noise, which simulates backgrounds and creates textures and mattes. The After Effects suite also includes Atomic Power's flagship Shatter tool, which lets users extrude a graphic in 3D and blow it up in unique ways. So-called preset Shatter templates include bricks, glass and puzzle pieces.

Adobe said it plans to provide support to existing Cycore and Atomic Power customers through its online support on the Adobe Web site.