Learn how to change the looks of your 3D model by applying materials and graphics.

In Dimension CC, you can control the way a 3D model looks by applying materials and images to surfaces.

Materials are an asset type that change the way models look. They are made up of a collection of properties which determine the color, whether the object is matte or glossy, and whether the object is metallic or translucent.

Different materials in Dimension CC
Five identical models use different materials to get different looks. Left to right, the materials are wood, gold metal, marble, gelatin, and titanium.

Many models have materials that are made specifically for them and get imported into Dimension along with the model, for example, the models in Starter Assets or available on Adobe Stock. If a model is imported without materials, Dimension automatically uses a default material. All materials can be replaced or edited.

You can also apply images to models. Images get layered over the base material and each image layer can have its own additional material properties.

Layering an image to a base material in Dimension CC
Images can be applied to any model surface and get automatically deformed to the shape, including curves, edges, and folds.

Add materials to objects

  1. Locate a material you want to use on your model. You can find materials in Starter Assets, on Adobe Stock, or import custom materials directly from your local device storage.

    Locating a material to use on a model in Lightroom CC
    Find a material to use on your model from various sources
  2. Drag a material thumbnail from Starter Assets, Libraries, or a file from File Explorer (Win)/ Finder (Mac) window directly into the Dimension canvas.

    Adding a material to a model in Dimension CC
    Adding a material to a model by directly dragging into the canvas
  3. The material is applied to the object below the cursor, or all selected objects, if dropped across multiple selections.

    Material applied to objects in Dimension CC
    Material applied to the selected object or across multiple selections

Add graphics to models

  1. Locate an image you want to use on your model. You can find images in the Starter Assets, on Adobe Stock, or import custom images directly from your local device storage.

    Locating an image for your model in Dimension CC
    Choose an image to use it on your model
  2. Drag an image thumbnail from Starter AssetsLibraries, or a file from File Explorer (Win)/ Finder (Mac) window directly into the Dimension canvas.

    Importing image into the canvas in Dimension CC
    Import image into the canvas directly
  3. The image is applied to the object below the cursor.

    Image applied to the model in Dimension CC
    Image gets applied to the model
  4. With the Select & Move Tool active and the image selected, you see a widget in the canvas.

    • To position the graphic, drag it inside the circular area.
    • To rotate the graphic, drag the circular handle.
    • To scale the graphic, drag the square handles. Hold down the Shift key to scale uniformly.
    Position and scale the image across the model in Dimension CC
    Position and scale the image across the model

Customize material and graphic properties

Materials are a collection of many properties and you can completely customize each one. To access the properties of a material or graphic, simply select it either by clicking it in the Scene panel or double-clicking in the canvas. Material properties take either a color, an image, or a value. For a full list of individual material properties, see Adobe Standard Material.

  1. To change a color property, click the color swatch and use the color picker to select a color or input a color value.

    Change color property of the selected material in Dimension CC
    Change the color property of the selected material
  2. To change a non-color property, use the slider control to increase or decrease the value or directly type in a value.

    Change the non-color property of the selected material in Dimension CC
    Change the non-color property of the selected material
  3. To use an image for a color property, drag the color image to the image swatch.

    Use an image to change the color property in Dimension CC
    Using a color image to change the Base Color property of the selected material
  4. To use an image for a non-color property, drag a black and white image onto the (+) icon or the image swatch next to that property. Hover over the property title to learn more about how the mask affects the property. For example, with the metallic property, black areas become non-metallic and white areas become metallic.

    Use an image to change the non-color property in Dimension CC
    Using a black and white image to change the Metallic property of the selected material
  5. Control the position, rotation, and scale of the material. All images used in any properties can be transformed together in the material properties.

    Apply transformation in position, rotation, and scale of the material in Dimension CC
    Apply transformation in position, rotation, and scale of the material

When to use images in material properties and when to use as a new graphic layer?

Both materials and graphic layers are useful tools. Whether you want to create images and masks for a material or a layer is up to the effect you want to get.

The primary difference is that graphic layers do not cover the entire material region and have fewer material properties. Materials are better when you want a pattern or texture to cover the entire area while graphic layers are better when covering less than 50% of a model. Graphic layers can be prone to more distortion when trying to wrap around an entire 360-degree model.

Images as materials or a new graphic in Dimension CC
Images as materials or a new graphic

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