Overview of Object types

In Dimension, you can work with different types of objects — both 3D and 2D. Each object type has specific behaviors and properties.

Object types

Standard models

Standard Models ()represent a 3D shape using points and edges in 3D space. They are created in other applications then imported to Dimension for staging and composition. To learn more about standard models, see Supported file types | 3D  models.

Basic shapes

Dimension can create basic shapes () such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, and more. To learn more, see Add and modify basic shapes.

3D text

Dimension can create 3D text () objects which are three-dimensional representations of a string of characters with bevel and style controls. To learn more, see Add and edit 3D text.

Groups

Groups () are organizational helper objects. They have no visual representation, but have position, rotation, scale, and can be used to speed up your composition.

Cameras

Each Dimension scene contains a Camera () which can be navigated through 3D space and controls what is displayed in the canvas.

Materials

Materials () define the appearance of other objects and can be applied to Standard Models, Basic Shapes, and 3D Text.

Graphic layers

Graphic layers () can be added on top of materials and moved over the surface of models as decals or filled as patterns.

Environment

Each Dimension scene contains an Environment () which is a container for the lighting and ground plane.

Convert parametric models to standard models

Basic Shapes and 3D Text objects are parametric which means their underlying shape is generated by Dimension and is controlled by their properties. Due to their changing nature, some features won’t work with a model while it is parametric. 

  • You can apply materials to parametric models but not graphic layers that rely on the geometry to be positioned.
  • You can use the magic wand on parametric models but it selects predefined areas of the model.
  • You cannot use the Align and Distribute tool on a parametric model with multiple parts, such as the glyphs of a character, as the spacing is controlled by the properties such as tracking and line spacing.
  • You cannot delete or remove parts of the model.

You can choose to convert a parametric model into a standard model, which will freeze the parameters and unlock standard behavior for the object. To convert a model, do the following:

  1. Select the parametric object.
  2. In the Actions panel, choose the Convert to Standard Model action.
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