Dimension CC is a design tool which provides access to high-quality 3D built from the ground up for graphic designers. This article outlines the render and export options available in Dimension CC.

Rendering overview

Rendering is the process of turning 3D information into a 2D image. To create images that appear photo-realistic, Dimension simulates how light behaves in the real world. When you render an image in Dimension, the computer starts running a simulation which follows the paths of light rays from their sources (the sun, the sky, lights in the scene). The light rays bounce off of objects in the scene, and are affected by the materials they interact with. When Dimension knows the color of every pixel in the image, the rendering is complete. This method of rendering is called ray tracing.

Dimension uses three types of rendering.

Rendering in Dimension CC
(Left) The interactive view of the design mode canvas. (Middle) The render preview window. (Right) A final render produced from Render Mode.
  • Canvas The canvas in Design Mode is fast but it's not accurate. It's designed for you to interact with the content to make selections, move objects, and assign materials. Some effects like translucent glass, soft shadows, and reflections aren't diplayed in the canvas.
  • Render Preview The Render Preview window gives you a real-time update of how your final render will look like, every time you edit the scene. The Render Preview will give you a sense of the final lighting, shadows, reflections, and translucency. However, it's limited on quality to preview the render faster.
  • Render Mode Render Mode allows you to configure your final render and uses a production renderer to give you the best results. You can receive the full quality image after the rendering is complete.

Rendering in Dimension CC

In Dimension, export final files by switching to Render Mode, where you can find options to configure your render and produce a final image.

  • Quality Render Quality refers to the amount of noise or grain which is displayed in the final image. Producing a low-quality image with some noise in it is faster, while producing a sharp image with no noise in it is slower.
(Left) Full composition render. (Upper-right) Region of a low-quality render at 300% zoom. (Lower-right) Region of a high-quality render at 300% zoom.
  • Format Dimension currently offers still image exports and provides three formats.
    • PNG: Ideal if you are not planning on doing any post work and want to share the render as is.
    • PSD 16-bit: (Default) Ideal if you want to do any additional compositing work or post-editing. 16-bit PSDs have the best compatibility with Photoshop’s tools.
    • PSD 32-bit: Ideal if you want to do high end lighting compositing workflows in Photoshop or another application. Not all tools, blend modes, and other features work in Photoshop when using 32-bit PSDs.
  • Export Path Set up a save location and name for your file. When the rendering is complete, Dimension automatically saves the final output at this location.

Factors affecting the rendering time

Rendering is a complex process and the time for rendering to finish has many contributing factors.

  • Hardware The largest contributing factor to rendering time is the hardware of the machine. Rendering requires many calculations that powerful GPU and CPU components speed significantly. Review the system requirements for minimum and recommended hardware setups.
  • Resolution The size of the render greatly impacts the time of renders. It is recommended that you preview renders at a lower pixel size to get a sense of the lighting before committing to a final resolution render. You can change the size of the render in Design Mode.
  • Materials The combination of materials used in the scene has a high impact on render times. Plastics, metals, and matte materials render quickly while translucent materials like glass, water, or gels render slower.

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