As I’m sure you know, we’re pretty excited to have 3D capabilities inside Photoshop CS3 Extended. That said, we know that what’s there today is really a first step into a pretty big realm.
Giving a glimpse into what the future might hold, the MIT Technology Review talks about Adobe’s research into real-time raytracing. In a nutshell, says principal scientist Gavin Miller, "Adobe’s research goal is to discover the algorithms that enhance ray-tracing performance and make it accessible to consumers in near real-time form."
These techniques scale particularly well on multi-core systems, which is why you tend to see rendering tests show up in high-end machines’ benchmarks. A brief slideshow accompanying the article demonstrates the differences between ray-traced images & those produced by the kind of interactive renderer used in Photoshop CS3. [Via Aravind Krishnaswamy, who works in Gavin’s group]