Apply realistic materials like wood, glass, metal, plastic, paper, and much more, giving you instant reflections, shadows, and other visual effects.

What you learned: How to manage and edit materials and apply them to 3D objects

Material types

Some models come with materials, and when you import the model, the materials will be automatically imported along with them.  There are also materials that are designed to be standalone and can be applied to any object, like plastic, wood, glass, and water.

Apply a material

To quickly change the look of an object, you can start by using standalone materials.  Dimension ships with many materials for you to get started with.  You can get additional materials on Adobe Stock or Substance Source, or create your own using Adobe Capture.  To apply a material to your object:

  • Locate a material in the Starter Asset or Creative Cloud Libraries panel that you want to use
  • Drag and drop the material into the canvas
  • The material will apply to whichever items you have selected or is under your cursor if there is no active selection.

Sample and reuse materials

Use the Sampler tool to easily reuse materials through your scene, so you can quickly get a cohesive look across objects.

  • Activate the Sampler Tool (default shortcut key I)
  • With the Sampler Tool active, click in the canvas to sample the material beneath the cursor
  • Hold the Alt key to switch the Sampler Tool to Apply mode
  • Click in the canvas to apply the material to the object beneath the cursor

Link materials to edit them through the scene

Applying a material to multiple objects at the same time or using the Sampler tool will create a linked material.  When a linked material is edited, the change will be reflected through the whole scene. To unlink a material, use the “Break Material Link” action in the Actions panel.

Apply materials to parts of models

Use the Magic Wand tool to make smart selections of your models, making it easier to apply materials to certain areas.

  • Activate the Magic Wand tool (default shortcut W)
  • Set the tool options for the Magic Wand tool to small, medium, or large selections
  • Click in the canvas on the part of the model you want to select
  • Apply a material to the new selection using drag and drop or the Sampler tool
  • The new area will be shown as a new material region in the Scene panel

Select materials

  • Double-click in the canvas with the Select tool to select the material applied to an object.
  • Select a model, then use the Select Material action in the Actions panel.

Editing materials

All materials are editable, meaning you can adjust the specific properties to create your own variations of appearances.  To edit a material, first select it, then use the Properties panel to control it.

Material types

Dimension supports two types of materials, which have different functionality.

The Adobe Standard Material will always have the same properties.  You can directly control each property either with slider and input values or by creating images.  For example, you can use a color image in the Color property to change the surface color.  You can use a black and white mask in the Metallic property to mask out areas you want to be metallic or non-metallic.

Substance Materials always have different properties, which generate texture images.  For example, the Stripe Substance material has properties specific to stripes, like embossing, stripe width, and individual stripe colors.  The Wood Substance material has properties like wood grain, warping, plank count, and wood-specific properties.

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