Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Adobe Dimension tutorial: Import a model from 3D Warehouse

3D Warehouse is a huge repository of free 3D models. The site is run by Trimble, the maker of SketchUp 3D modeling software. Any SketchUp user can upload models to 3D Warehouse to share with others Many manufacturers of industrial parts, store furnishings, furniture, and other items upload models of their products to 3D Warehouse as well.

All of the models in 3D Warehouse are completely free to use in compositions or modify as desired, according to the license agreement. You can easily use models from this vast collection in Dimension. Here’s how.

1. Create a new file in Dimension, or open an existing file as I’ve done here. I want to place a stack of books on the coffee table in this scene.

2. In a web browser, go to

3. In the search field, type in keywords to search for. I searched for “books”, and found this model.

4. Click the download button, and choose SketchUp 2018 Model from the dropdown list. The file will be downloaded as a .skp file.

5. In Dimension, choose File > Import > 3D Model.

6. Select the .skp file you just downloaded, and click Open. The file will be imported, and placed in the scene. It may not be placed anywhere where it is may need to choose Camera > Frame Selection, or move it above other models in the scene in order to see it.

7. Position and scale the model as desired.

Want to learn more about Adobe Dimension? See the Adobe Dimension CC Classroom in a Book I wrote published by Adobe Press.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Adobe Dimension tutorial: modifying material properties with a bitmap

You can do a lot in Adobe Dimension just using the materials found in Dimension’s Starter Assets and the materials that you can purchase on Adobe Stock. But by adding a black and white or grayscale bitmap image to your material properties, you can create an infinite variety of surface appearances. This short tutorial will show you how.

You can download the files used in this tutorial here.

1. Create a new document in Dimension.

2. In the Content panel, choose Starter Assets, and click on the Beverage Can model to place it in the scene.

3. Choose Camera > Frame Selection to fill the screen with the can model.

4. Double-click on the surface of the can to select the Can Material. 

5. In the Content panel, click the Metal material in Starter Assets to apply the metal material to the model. 

6. In the Properties panel, click the swatch next to Base Color, and choose RGB 255, 161, 161 for the color.

Screenshot 001

7. In the Properties panel, click the plus icon to the right of Metallic.

Screenshot 002

8. In the pop-up, click select a file, and choose the lines.png file from the tutorial files that you downloaded earlier.

9. Change the rotation angle to 45°.

Screenshot 003

10. Close the pop-up. Use the Orbit tool to rotate your view of the can. You’ll see that the lines are “shinier” than the area between the lines. This is because when a black and white bitmap is applied to the metallic property, the white areas are 100% metallic and black areas are 0% metallic. In this case the lines are light gray, so they set the metallic property to about 80% metallic.

Screenshot 004

For further experimentation, try replacing the lines bitmap with the jive.png bitmap. This bitmap contains four shades of gray. You can also try applying a bitmap to the Opacity, Roughness, and Glow properties.

Adobe has a nice visual summary of how bitmap masks affect various properties here.

Want to learn more about working with materials in Adobe Dimension? See the Adobe Dimension CC Classroom in a Book I wrote published by Adobe Press.