Adobe DIMENSION CC Tutorials – Learn How to Use Adobe Dimension CC – CRASH COURSE In this video, you are going to learn how to use Adobe DIMENSION CC in Photoshop to composite 2D and 3D objects together. Hi, everyone. Welcome back to another very exciting tutorial here at the Photoshop Training Channel.com. My name is Jesus Ramirez, and you can find me in Instagram at JRfromPTC. In this video, I am going to show you how to work with Photoshop and Adobe DIMENSION CC to composite through the images 3D objects into a single scene. You might remember Adobe DIMENSION by its public beta name which is Project Felix, but now, as a full member of the Adobe Creative Cloud family, it is known as Adobe Dimension.
In this tutorial, in Photoshop, we are going to create 3D text, and we are going to take that 3D text into Adobe DIMENSION to apply materials, lights and the background image. You can think of this video as a crash course on Adobe Dimension CC. Just to be clear, in this tutorial, we are going to be working with 2 applications, Photoshop and Dimension. If you are a member of the creative cloud, then you can download dimension and follow along with this tutorial. We are going to start out by looking at some of the features of Adobe DIMENSION. Then we will move on to Photoshop to create the 3D text. Okay, let’s get started. This is the welcome screen for Adobe Dimension CC. you will see welcome back in your name, and the first thing that I am going to do is click on ‘Create a New Project.’ And this is going to open up this untitled document, and you are going to be able to see your tool bars, your panels and all the different things that we are going to work with in Adobe Dimension CC.
However, before we go any further, I am going to make a change to the interface. So, go into ‘Edit,’ ‘Preferences’ and select the ‘Dark Theme.’ I prefer the dark theme, so that’s what I will be using for this tutorial. So, I am going to click the OK button, and now, I have the dark interface, and that’s just my preferred interface. You can leave the lighter interface if you like. So in Adobe Dimension CC, one of the first things that you are going to want to look at is the ‘Assess’ panel which is found here on the left hand side, you can double click on the panels to collapse them if you like. The assess panel contains all the items that you are going to be working with including 3D models, materials, lights, and images. Or you can click on the first tab, labelled ‘Pack’ to see a combination of all of those. We are going to start with the Models tab, and you will see a recent tab that shows the recent models that you have used. If you have never used Adobe Dimension CC then, of course, you will not see anything on here.
But as soon as you start using models and this list will start populating, and it will change every time you use a different model. So, the models that come included with Adobe Dimension CC are found here, and I am going to use the sphere for this first example. You can simply click and drag onto the canvas and notice that blue box that is appearing on the ground plain. That is where the model is going to land as soon as I release my mouse button. And there it is. And if for whatever reason you are ever working in Dimension and you import a 3D model and it’s either too big or too small but you can’t really see it on screen and now, zoom in by scrolling the mouse wheels, you can see what I mean. Something like this. You can simply press the F key on the keyboard to fit the model on screen. Or you can click on this icon right up here, zoom to fit to selection. Notice that the selected item has a blue outline around it. So that means that, that item is selected. So I am going to press F on the keyboard to fit it to screen and there it is.
Now we can see it. So I am going to zoom out just a little more just so we can see more of it. Now that we have a model on the screen, let’s talk a little bit about the interface. On the left hand side you have the tool bar. The tool bar allows you to control the model, the materials and the camera. So you can see these dividers here, on the tool bar. This first set of tools allows you to control the model.
The move tool allows you to move the model. Notice these overlays that are on the model when I hover over these 3D handles, I can control them when the handle highlights. So I can click and drag up to control the Y axis, click and drag the blue one, to control the Z axis and the red control of course controls the X axis. You can see the properties panel and how the position is changing here. If I reset it to 0, it goes back to where the model started originally.
The ground plain on the Y axis, if I wanted to seat on the ground plain, not be buried under it then I need to be at the 0 position on the Y and that is because the pivot point is in the bottom center. Notice what happens when I change it to top center. The value for Y is now 20. If I set it to 0, then the model goes underneath the ground plain and we can’t see it anymore. So make sure that the pivot point is bottom center and then hit 0 to bring that up to the ground plain and the ground plain of course, catches the shadows that we have in the 3D scene. We also have the scale tool which is here and you can press S to enable it, that allows you to scale the model. Notice as I am clicking and dragging the center triangle or I can click on the individual axis handles to scale along that direction.
In this case I want to click and drag on the Y axis and drag up. So now my sphere is more of an egg shape because I have scaled it up in the Y axis. And of course, I can reset it by going back to 1.1 to match the Z and X axis. And now it is a sphere again. And then we have the rotate tool. You can press the R key on the keyboard to select it and you can click and drag on the handles to rotate the sphere.
You can’t really tell if the sphere is spinning because it is a perfect sphere. To what I will do is I am going to scale it up a little bit and maybe rotate it and in different axis, you can see in fact, it is rotating. And just like in Photoshop and in other tools, you can press Ctrl + Z to undo. We are going to talk about the material selection tools a little later on in this video. So these are the two tools that allow you to control the materials and then I am going to skip over to the tools that will allow you to control the camera.
So I am going to click on the Orbit tool and then hover over around this sphere. So I am no longer rotating or moving the sphere. Now, I am moving the camera in this 3D screen. Then we have the hand tool, and you can click and drag to pan around, much like in Photoshop when you have different tool selected, you can press the Space bar to move over into the pan tool. So just like in Photoshop, hold the Space bar, and now you are really using the hand tool to pan around the image. Another way of doing it is by clicking on the mouse wheel button if you have one. You can click and drag to pan with the mouse wheel button. And then you have the Dolly tool that allows you to zoom in and zoom out. Another way of doing that is by scrolling up and down on the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Then you have this tool; it is called the horizon tool. So, before I show you how that works, I am going to click and drag so that you can actually see the horizon and the horizon is somewhere out here where the ground plain meets the sky.
If I click on the horizon tool, we can see the horizon line, and we can click and drag this up and down, and these circles allow you to tilt the horizons. Notice I am clicking and dragging on those circles to tilt the horizon. In case you don’t have a straight horizon line on the background that you are trying to match. We are going to talk about that little bit more later in this video. The next thing I want to talk to you about is material. So I am going to click on this icon here in the Assets panel to check out all the different materials that come built in to Adobe Dimension. You have a whole bunch of different materials that will give your 3D models different looks. But before we apply these different materials that come with Dimension, I want to show you how to create your own. First, I am going to make sure that my sphere is selected and in the properties panel, make sure that you click on this arrow so that you can see the material and that’s what that icon here represents.
That icon here on the far right is the material icon which is the same icon here on the assets tab. But anyway you can click on this down point arrow. You can see that there’s something called the ‘Sphere material.’ I am going to click on it, and it is going to expand the properties panel. Just to make things easier, see I am just going to collapse all the other properties inside of that material. So, we will start with surface, and that is one of the important ones because that contains the base color. So, I can click on the color, and I can change the color of that material. And I have different options that I can change like the glow, the opacity, and several different others. I am not going to go through all of them, but if you hover over the label, you will see an animated preview that shows you what it does. And it also has the written description, so that you can get more details.
So, you can open up the base color again, and you have this dropdown that gives you the different ways of selecting color. You have an eyedropper that allows you to select the color from the canvas. If you have a background for example or something like that in this case, I just click on the grey background, so it gave me a grey sphere and most importantly, you can import an image. So you can click on image and drag out the image into here or just click on the select a file link or on this folder to select the file from your computer. I have this file here of a beach where people are jumping, and you can see now that the image has been wrapped around the sphere. I can come back into my properties panel. And under textures, you can see the X axis repeat, and I can click and drag on the X label to rotate the texture of this 3D model in the X and the Y axis. And I can repeat it. So see now how it is tiling and repeating the X axis and Y axis of this tile is the same unless I click on the constraint proportions chain link.
And now, I am repeating more than one axis than the other. So you can create your own materials that way. Now Dimension does come built in with its own materials, and they are found here in the materials tab. So, I can select a material, for example, there’s one here ‘Metal,’ click and drag it on to the sphere and that will create a metal material. And there’s a whole bunch of different other materials that come built in with Adobe Dimension. All those that you see there. And these materials can also be edited from the properties panel. So I can adjust how metallic this material is and if it has a texture, I can opposite it, you have seen the textures, there’s different types of properties you can control and once again, they all have that animated preview that tells you what they do. So if you forget, just simply look at the animation and read the description. Now before we go any further, I want to point out that Adobe Dimension has this really cool feature which is the ‘Render Preview’.
So I want to click on this icon here and you can see this render preview of the 3D model with or the options that you have set. You can expand this render preview to be full screen by clicking on the two arrows and Dimensions will start rendering the 3D model along all the properties. Now, this may take a while depending on the speed of your computer. I am on a fairly fast computer. I have 64 Gigabytes of RAM and 8 Gigabytes of video memory.
If you are working on a laptop or a computer that doesn’t have that much power, then this may take a little while. So just keep that in mind. I am going to collapse this for now, so it’s just a smaller screen and I want to show one quick thing. I am going to click on surface and I am going to bring down the opacity. Notice that when you bring down the opacity, in the regular preview you get this noisy effect but in the render preview you can actually see that it is transparent.
And the reason is that when you are working in this working preview Dimension doesn’t want to use too much power to render that. So you are going to see that effect. If you really want to see what it is going to look like when it is completed, you can enable the render preview to get a better idea. So that’s the reason why it doesn’t look as good when you look at the regular preview. Again, if your computer doesn’t have the speed, the render preview won’t be as fast. So I am going to close this for now. Just so that we can focus now on our 3D model. And I am going to adjust few other materials. I am going to click and drag this wood material on to the 3D model and I want to show you one thing.
You can actually rename your materials, so I can call this sphere material but if I click and drag another material into it, for example, this grey marble, notice how the name changes. So keep that in mind. If you rename your materials and change them, they will be renamed to whatever material you drag on to. And once again, you can always come and adjust the materials that you import. And talking about materials, these are the materials that come built into Dimensions.
But you can go into the Adobe Stock website and download others and they sync to Dimensions through the creative cloud libraries that you have. I have a creative cloud library that I call 3D assets and I have models, lights and materials. So you can see the materials that I have purchased from Adobe Stock and just like the materials built into Dimension, you can click and drag them on to your 3D models and then see the render previews. And this is one that I like a lot. It looks really cool. Let me expand it. This one obviously has opacity and a metal material to create that metal mash which is pretty cool. I am going to close this for now just because we don’t want to wait for that to render. So when you have the material selected, then you press the backspace key or the delete key on the mac, it deletes that material. I can also come into this scene and select this sphere, notice the blue outline around it and I can press the backspace key, delete for Mac to delete that as well.
What I am going to do now is collapse the creative cloud libraries panel. I am going to go into my 3D models panel and I am just going to select a different model. Just so I can show you the tools here. So I am going to select this cube box, click and drag it into the scene and I am going to rotate the scene and as you would expect, if I select a material, doesn’t matter which one, for example, this wood texture and drag it onto the box, it is going to apply it to the entire box. I am going to undo that, Ctrl + Z. and that’s where these tools come in handy. I have this Magic Wand tool that I can click and select an area of the 3D model, in this case, the lead and apply that material only to that area. Then I can select the bottom part of the 3D model and I am going to rotate around it just to make sure that I have selected all the sides and it looks like I did.
And I can come in and select a different material. So now I can apply those two different materials to the same 3D model. So that’s what the wand tool does, it allows you to select different areas of the 3D model to apply material and you have the add/subtract buttons and how strong the selections are going to be. If I go in too large and click wand, it selects the entire model obviously because now, it is trying to select more areas of that 3D model. So start with tiny and then add to the selection or adjust the slider to select the right areas. I am going to go back into the 3D models here and I am going to bring in another model. So I am going to bring in this foot pouch and with that model selected, I am going to click on the eyedropper and I can just select a material from another 3D model to apply to my selection.
It allows you to copy materials that are found in other 3D models. Now, before we go any further, with Adobe Dimension, I want to point out that you are not stuck working with 3D models that are provided to you by Adobe Dimension. You can of course go into Adobe Stock and purchase different 3D models. Like the ones that I have here, that I have purchased. Or you can go into any other website that sells 3D models and import them into Dimension as OBJ files. Or you can create your own 3D models in Photoshop, export them as OBJs and use them in Dimension.
So, let me show you how that works. I am going to select the move tool and I am just going to select and delete the 3D models and I am going to go into Photoshop for a second and in Photoshop, I have this file here that contains a background and the word dimension on a text layer. Just in case you are interested, I am using Aerial Black and I typed the word Dimension. With a text layer selected in Photoshop, in the text actually selected, in the properties panel, you are going to get this 3D icon. You can just click on it and that converts that text into a 3D model. If I click and hover over the orbit of the camera icon, I can rotate around the 3D scene, a lot like we can do in Dimension.
And in the properties panel, under mash, this is what this icon is, you have shape presets and I am just going to select one of these presets, I will select the one on the far right called ‘Devil Frame’ and that is going to apply that preset to this text. Now I am going to export this text as an OBJ file and import it into Dimension. To do that I am going to go into 3D, Export 3D layer, from the 3D file format dropdown select ‘Wave front OBJ’ and press OK. And I am just going to name this file ‘text’ and this is going to save it as an OBJ file. Now, I can go back into Dimension and from Dimension, I can go into file>import>3D model and import that ‘text’ OBJ file and this is the text. Remember, earlier when I said, if you ever import something or bring something in and you really can’t quite see it, press the F key on the keyboard, to fit it on screen. So there it is, the word Dimension.
I can select the orbit tool and rotate around so that we can see the text that we brought in from Photoshop. So this is how you can create your 3D models and import them into Dimension. We use text but you could also create your company logo or anything else that you like in Photoshop, turn them into 3D and then bring them in to Dimension.
Now, I want you to notice one thing, under the scene panel, we have the 3D object and then we have the different materials for the different shapes that Photoshop created. So the front inflation material, if you click on it, it will select it on blue, I can go into my materials and I can drag in any one of these materials. So I will select the grey marble for example, drop it in there and it applies it.
It doesn’t apply to the entire model, just the ones that I have selected. Also notice the name, now changed to grey marble. If I click on the dimension extrusion material, you are going to see something very interesting. And I am going to select a material that has lot of detail that we can see. For example, the brick material. I can drop the bricks on there but notice how that doesn’t quite look like bricks. And that is because the way Photoshop created this 3D model, the textures on the extrusion side of the 3D models are always going to look squish like this, so what you will have to do is go into the textures under properties and adjust the repeat. So you can unlink this and try to figure out what the right X repeat is.
So you can just simply hit the up arrow key on the keyboard and start going up until it starts looking more like a real brick wall. So it is going to be quite a bit, you can go in by values of 25. So try 25, 50, 75 and then hit enter and it looks like I have to go all the way to 100 and that’s starting to look more like a brick wall. Now if I go with higher values then the bricks are going to get smaller.
So if I go to 200 and then change the wide to 2 to try to keep the same relationship, there are going to be really, really tiny bricks. So I actually have to go the other way and then do the math. If a 100 is too small and 200 is even smaller that means we have to go to lower values to make those bricks larger. So if I type in 50 and then type .5, you can see how those bricks are starting to get larger. So I can now type in 25 and then the Y axis, type in .25 and you can see now how those bricks are getting larger and now they don’t look stretched or squished like they did before.
And in this case maybe I want to go to 10 and .1 and that might be too much. I think maybe 25 and .25 is where I want to be, for this example. And then I can click on the render preview just to see the render and right now, I am in the full screen render mode and that’s okay and you can see how this is rendering. I am just going to collapse this and make it smaller so that we can get smaller render preview and the next thing that I want to show you is that you see how the bricks are going up and down? I sort of want to flip them so that they are not going up and down. I kind of want them to go sideways.
So, I can go into the textures and in the offset I can type in 90, for example. Hit enter and now the bricks are going side to side which is more of the effect that I would like. And now I am just going to make one more adjustment. I am going to go into the front bevel and I am going to apply a different material. I am going to collapse the creative cloud panel just so we can see more materials and I will apply the metal one again.
So I am going to click and drag the metal on there. So now we have the marble in the front, these metal lining in bricks. So now I can click on this icon or press F to fit the entire text on screen. And you can see what that looks like in here and now I am going to expand the render preview. So we could see more of it. I am not going to let it render all the way. I just wanted you to see how this was looking so far. So it’s looking pretty good, you can see the reflection, the lightening, all that good stuff that Adobe Dimension is taking care of and we don’t have to worry about. So that’s pretty cool. I am going to make this smaller and maybe I will even close it. And what we are going to talk about now is background images. So I can click on the images tab and you can see the images you can use that are built into Adobe Dimension or of course, you can use your own and what I am going to do now is I am going to click and drag this desert background on to my working canvas and when I bring the image in, I am going to get this pop up.
This is going to ask me if I want to resize the canvas to the image aspect ratio, create an environment light, match the sunlight and match the camera perspective. I want to do all of those, I am going to press OK. And notice now how my text looks like in that image. I am going to once again press the F key to fill and I am going to click on this horizon tool. Notice now how the horizon line on my 3D scene, it is matching the horizon line of the background. So now this image is in perspective with my 3D model. So my 3D model looks like it is in the scene of course.
So I can click on the Dimension text and I can move it in 3D space and it looks like it is part of this scene because the perspective is matching. Also in the scene panel, under environment, I have created this environment light based on the scene. So, I can increase the intensity of the light if I need to, I can rotate the light, I don’t need to do that in this case. Basically, what all these means is that the background created the light, it is affecting the 3D model. And let me show you more clearly how all that works. I am going to go into the grey marble material and then click and drag a metal material on there. Notice now, how that’s reflecting the background and I will do the same thing for the bricks so that you can even see it further. And let me open up the render and I will make that larger so that you can see it.
So notice how my text now is reflecting the environment that it is on, also Dimension figured out where the lighting was and it is creating shadows that match the scene. So that is a really powerful feature that you are going to want to use when you are bringing in your 3D models into your background images. I am going to make it smaller and then I am going to close it. Then I am going to go into the environment, under scene and I want to click on the background image here and just delete it because I am not going to need a background for what I am going to show you now. I am going to go into color and now, I can add a color to the background. So maybe you want a background with a different color. In this case, I am just going to leave it at an off-white color. Then I am going to go into the lights property and these are image based lights that you can apply to your scenes and these are the ones that come built into Dimension, so I can click and drag this Studio 80s image based light and just drop it on to my scene and it creates that really cool looking affect.
I can see a render preview of that and that’s what that looks like and this is where you can start getting creative and maybe change the color of your background to something else, to match that groovy look. Maybe something like this and I will make this larger. Or you can click and drag a different type of light on to your scene and the reason why it’s showing like that because I was looking at the render preview. So let me try that again, I want to click and drag any one of these slides on to here just so that you can see the difference. And that changes the render preview of course. So you have all these different lights that you can work with. Something that I didn’t mention that I am not going to go into too much detail but I do want to show you that we have the ability to create depth of field.
So I am going to go into my models tab and I am just going to bring in couple of other models here. So I am going to bring a model in here and here it is. So this model here and it is really tiny, so let me move it around and of course, I am going to scale that up. So I am going to click on the scale tool, I am going to make it way larger so that it matches the rest of the scene and of course, I can click and drag on the scale here and make sure that I get all equal size. So I am going to type 50 on all sides and maybe that is too much. So I am going to go into 25 and hopefully that’s the right size and that will be the right size for at least this example. So we have this cup and I am going to move it back, right about there and what I am going to do is I am just going to duplicate this cup. So I am going to select it and make sure that it is selected in the scenes panel and I am going to click on this icon here to duplicate it.
You can also press Ctrl + D, Command D on Mac and I am just going to move this coffee cup right over here, closer to us. Right about here. So now we have a coffee cup in the back, the text in the center and another coffee cup really close to us. And if I go into environment and then select depth of field here, make sure that I enable it. I can select this target icon to select what will be in focus and I can change the blur, so I am just going to maximize it to 100% and you will see that when I select something, that will be in focus. So if I expand this you will see the coffee cups are going to be blurry but not the text because I am creating depth of field and when you are working with depth of field, it is going to take longer to render. So keep that in mind. So you can already see that the coffee cup closest to us is blurry and this one is blurry as well but not the text. I am going to minimize this and I am going to change this so that the coffee cup closet to us, it is what is in focus and I am going to expand this and you will see now that the coffee cup is no longer blurry or out of focus.
The things that are out of focus are the text and the coffee cup in the back. And of course, I can click on this target, select the coffee cup in the back and we can see the render preview and of course, everything will be out of focus except the coffee cup in the back. I am going to disable the depth of field now and I want to show you one last feature before we end this video. And that is when you have a 3D model like this coffee cup here, you can actually apply a label or a sticker sort to speak to any 3D model. So with the coffee cup selected, I can go into the cup material, expand this, right here cup material and notice on the actions panel, I have this option labeled place graphic decal. So I can import an image and we will use the same image that we have used earlier in this video and what I can do is go right here where it says cup, I have my cup decal and with the move tool selected, I am going to get these handles that are going to allow me to scale, move and rotate the decal on my 3D model.
So you can already see how you can place a logo or something like that on your 3D model. Then I can go into the cup material and maybe change the base color and I can go into the color, not image and I can change the color of my cup, so maybe select the dark grey which will change the color of the cup. I have that decal on that 3D model and once again, if you want to edit that, you can expand your 3D model and you will see the decal options there. You already saw these handles that I could click and drag and I of course have these options here opacity and roughness, metallic and once again, if you forget what something does, hover over the label and you will get an animated preview with a description. The final step after completing a design is rendering. So you can click the render button and from here, we can render the image. That means that all the math is going to be applied to create the shadows, highlight and all that good stuff and exported as a PNG, PSD, either a 16 bit PSD or a 32 bit PSD.
I want to select 16 bit PSD. Quality is how much time Dimension is going to spend trying to figure out all the math. Low gives you a faster result and High gives you a slower result. Obviously low is less quality and high is better quality. Slow and fast are relative terms. Fast could still take a really long time depending on the speed of your computer. So always start out with fast, see how long that takes and if it gives you a satisfactory result then stick with that. If you need something with a little more quality and less noise then increase the quality.
And then this is where you are going to save your file. So I will save it on the desktop and that’s okay. So I am going to click on render and for this particular model, it is not going to take too long to render. At least for my computer, it will probably take about a minute or so, with these settings. So I am going to render it and then come back to you in just a minute.
Now that this is done rendering, we can open it up in Photoshop and I have already gone ahead and done that. And there it is. So this is the result. We have a PSD that contains a background color, the background color is of course the same color that we selected for the background on the scene. If we had used an image then this would be an image instead. But, we used a solid color. This is the rendered image here. You can see how this image contains little bit of noise.
So if you wanted less noise then you will have increase the render quality. And then we have these additional layers that gives us information about the materials, the objects and depth information. So we can actually use this as a depth map in Photoshop, really quickly to show you how that works, with this layer active, you can go to the channels panel, you can duplicate that channel and call it whatever you like. I am just going to call it 3D depth. And I am going to the layers panel and now duplicate this rendered image, disable the image at the bottom and I am duplicating it so that I can work indestructibly. Then go into Filter, Blur, Lens Blur, under source, select 3D depth and I can adjust the radius and notice how the image starts to get blurry but if I come over and click on the actual image like on the cup, notice how the cup is no longer out of focus, only the word dimension and the coffee cup back here and that is because of the depth map that’s brought in with the 3D model. So if I click on the coffee cup here on the background, the opposite happens.
If I click on the word dimension then it sort of blurs the other two but not the word dimension. So that’s sort of what that depth map is doing. It is allowing you to bring in that depth information and use it in Photoshop. So I am just going to press OK, so that’s sort of like the before and after. And of course, you can use the adjustment layers to make whatever adjustments you want to the 3D models and of course, you can clip it on to them and adjust them anyway you like. And by the way, if this is your first time at the Photoshop Training Channel, then don’t forget to click on that Subscribe button and on the Notification Bell, so you can get notified when new tutorials come out.
And that’s it for this tutorial. I hope that you enjoyed it and that you learned something new. If you have any comments or questions, leave them down below. Thank you so much for watching. And I will talk to you again, soon..