A Q&A with Guido Quaroni, senior director of engineering for 3D & immersive

A photo of Guido Quaroni.

By Adobe Life Team

Posted on 01-19-2021

We are excited to welcome Guido Quaroni to Adobe, who recently joined as the senior director of engineering on the Adobe 3D & immersive team. In this role, Guido will be leading the development of next generation 3D and immersive tools and services, setting the gold standard for future products from Adobe and the industry. He brings with him decades of experience, most recently from Pixar, where he was an animation scientist and later the vice president of software for research and development.

We had a chance to talk with Guido about his new role and his career.

What attracted you to join Adobe?

I’ve been a customer of Adobe’s software for a number of years and I always admired Adobe’s commitment to provide great tools to creative users. More recently I got pretty excited in hearing about Adobe’s renewed interest in entering into the 3D market given how much more pervasive the consumption of 3D content is becoming. I’m also an admirer of Allegorithmic as a company and from their high-quality products, some of which were used at Pixar for movie production. Adobe’s acquisition of Allegorithmic was a clear signal that things were moving in the right direction regarding the emerging 3D market.

What will you be working on at Adobe?

Under Sebastien Deguy’s supervision, who is the vice president of 3D and immersive, I’ll be directing the engineering teams to collaborate together in creating amazing applications for 3D artists. Our mission is to design and develop end-to-end solutions while interacting with other Adobe business units, like Research, Design and many of the Creative Cloud teams.

What does the future of 3D and Immersive technology look like to you? What excites you most about this field, especially in regard to our products like Adobe Dimension and Adobe Aero?

Future devices will consume 3D data directly since they will be capable of “rendering” the data in real time. Users will be able to interact with 3D models and entire “scenes” in new ways. What’s exciting is the desire to constantly innovate to empower artists to create 3D worlds and define ways for people to experience and interact with them. Adobe Dimension and Adobe Aero are two great manifestations of ways to achieve this. There will be a “hub” where all sorts of 3D assets will come together, and this may likely be where Dimension and/or Aero will lead the way.

3D modeling and immersive tech is becoming essential for designers and marketers. How do you think consumers are responding to this?

Consumers will embrace digital representations more and more as real time visualization will become more realistic, or for using a better word, believable. It’s just a matter of time. Our job is to create great user and artist friendly solutions to support this transition.

What does success look like to you after a year in your new role?

I want to have a team that works well together and builds on the success of each other. We have multiple software solutions today and likely more in the future. Seeing one team support another on their “final stretch” would be the most rewarding aspect. A team that works well together will create great software for our customers.

What is your most proud invention or innovation?

Launching the USD initiative while at Pixar. USD is an open-sourcesoftware developed at Pixar that is gaining traction in the industry. I’m proud of what the engineering team accomplished during my leadership and in how we fostered an environment where talented engineers could be more visible within the whole 3D industry.

I have to ask…You’re Guido in Pixar’s, Cars—what is the story behind that?

During the early days of production for the movie Cars, the director was looking for possible names for the little Italian forklift. Simply translating forklift in Italian didn’t quite work so I suggested another possible translation. I thought about how one would say “I drive a car” in Italian, which is “Io guido la macchina.” So from “I drive” you get “Io guido.” I thought Guido could fit well and “coincidentally” it was also my name. Once the name was approved, I was asked to do the scratch voice for the character for the internal production reels while the casting team explored professional actors to do the final voice.

Guido from the Pixar’s, Cars.

Photo courtesy of Pixar. Guido from the Pixar’s, Cars.

I guess the simplicity of the lines (I mostly say “Pitstop!”) and maybe the right pitch sealed the deal. After a few internal screenings I was confirmed to be the official voice of Guido. I ultimately got attached to this little guy, so I participated in his design phase working directly on the material properties and the Italian flag wig of the digital model. I also gave him a shading upgrade 10 or so years later for Cars 3 since we had more advanced rendering technologies by that time.

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