Add and modify basic shapes

Dimension allows you to create many basic 3D shapes including cones, cubes, cylinders, tori, and spheres. Each shape has properties unique to it such as radius for spheres and rounded corners for cubes. You can combine these properties in a number of ways to create interesting combinations and unique shapes.

Add and modify basic shapes

Add and edit shapes

  1. In the Starter Assets panel, click any Basic Shape object to add it. A new shape object will be added to the center of the scene with default properties.

    add shape

  2. Use the Properties Panel to change the shape, bevel, and slicing properties.

    edit shape

  3. Apply materials to the shape to customize the look.

    add materials

  4. Shapes behave as any other 3D object. You can position them and add other 3D objects to create a final composition.

    Compose

Properties

Cube

Shape properties:

Width: Sets the width of the cube along its local X axis.

Width

Height: Sets the height of the cube along its local Y axis.

Height

Depth: Sets the depth of the cube along its local Z axis.

Depth

Bevel properties:

Beveling is disabled by default. To use these properties toggle on the Bevel property group.

Radius: Controls the radius of the bevel effect which is generated along all edges of the cube.

Radius

Sides: Controls the number of sides along the bevel effect, making it faceted or smooth.

Sides

Sphere

Sphere types: Spheres come in several patterns used for generation. The standard sphere will use square shaped sides and the divisions will always run along the poles of the sphere. Other sphere types will use triangle shaped sides in different patterns controlled by a subdivision property. Choosing between sphere types is primarily for different visual effects at low subdivision levels.

Standard sphere
A standard sphere (left), hexahedron sphere (center), and octahedron sphere (right) with different division patterns.

Shape properties:

Sides (Standard Sphere Type): Controls the number of sides along both poles of the sphere.

sides

Radius: Controls the radius of the overall sphere shape.
 

Radius

Subdivisions (Non-Standard Sphere Types): Controls the number of sides across the sphere type pattern by dividing each triangle into multiple triangles.

subdivisions

Torus

Shape properties:

Ring Radius: Sets the radius of the overall torus ring, measured from the center of the overall torus shape to the center of the torus pipe.

Ring Radius

Pipe Radius: Measures the radius from the center to the surface along the cross section of the torus pipe.
 

Pipe radius

Ring Sides: Controls the number of sides around the torus ring.

Ring sides

Pipe Sides: Controls the number of sides around the torus pipe.

Pipe sides

Slice properties:

Angle: Sets a portion of the shape radius to remove, from a range 0 to 360 degrees.

Angle

Cone

Shape properties:

Top Radius: Measures the radius of the top of the cone.
 

Top radius

Bottom Radius: Measures the radius of the bottom of the cone.

Bottom radius

Height: Measures the distance between the bottom and top of the cone.

Height

Sides: Sets the number of sides around the cone.
 

Sides

Bevel properties:

Cones can have individual bevel effects applied to the top and bottom edges of the cone height. To see the bevel the top and bottom radius of the cone shape must be greater than 0.

Top Radius: Controls the radius of the bevel effect which is generated along the top edge.

Top radius

Top Sides: Controls the number of sides along the bevel effect, making it faceted or smooth.

Top sides

Bottom Radius: Controls the radius of the bevel effect which is generated along the bottom edge.

Bottom radius

Bottom Sides: Controls the number of sides along the bevel effect, making it faceted or smooth.

Bottom sides

Slice properties:

Angle: Sets a portion of the shape radius to remove, from a range 0 to 360 degrees.

Angle

Plane

Shape properties:

Width: Sets the width of the plane along it’s local X axis.

Width

Length: Sets the length of the plane along it’s local Z axis.

Length

Corner Radius: Controls the radius of all corners of the plane.
 

Corner radius

Corner Sides: Controls how many sides the corners will have across their radius.

Corner Sides

Converting parametric models to standard models

Basic Shapes are parametric in nature which means their underlying shape is generated by Dimension and is controlled by their properties. Because of the changing nature, some features won’t work with parametric models:

  • The general transform size and scale properties will act as a multiplier on top of the base size settings of the parametric model.

  • You can apply materials to parametric models but cannot apply graphic layers which rely on the geometry to be positioned.

  • The magic wand will select predefined areas on parametric models.

  • You cannot delete or remove parts of the model.

You can choose to convert a parametric model into a standard model which freezes the parameters and unlock standard behavior for the object. 

To convert a model:

  1. Select the parametric object

  2. In the Actions panel choose the Convert to Standard Model action

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