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Finding and Using 3D Models

Chapter Description

In this sample chapter from Adobe Dimension Classroom in a Book (2020 release), author Keith Gilbert shows you how to import models from various sources and learn why the starter assets included with Dimension are a good place to begin when learning Dimension. He then covers how to useAdobe Stock to find 3D objects, how to download a model from Adobe Stock and use it in a scene, and more.

Identifying potential problems when importing 3D models

Models that you place in your scene from the starter assets or from Adobe Stock should import into Dimension in a reliable, consistent manner. But models you obtain from other sources may sometimes behave unpredictably when imported into Dimension. Here are some of the potential problems, as well as a few solutions.

Model appears out of scale

The creator of a model doesn’t have any idea of the size at which you want to use the model, so it may come into Dimension enormous or really tiny. If the problem isn’t too extreme, you can scale the object with the Select tool. Or use the Dolly tool (keyboard shortcut: 3) to enlarge or reduce your view of the object.

Sometimes, an object will arrive so large that just a single small surface on the object fills the entire screen, so it is difficult to scale the object or zoom in or out. In this case, the Camera > Frame Selection command (keyboard shortcut: F) will scale your view so that the entire object fits on the screen.

Object positioned outside the viewable area

Sometimes an object won’t appear anywhere within the Dimension window. This is caused by the XYZ positioning of the object being out of scale with Dimension’s coordinate system. Thankfully, when this happens, a blue dot icon dn_icon_blue_dot.jpg will appear at the edge of the screen. Clicking this icon will position the screen so that you can see the imported object.

Object positioned below the ground plane

Sometimes an object won’t appear on the screen because it is entirely below the ground plane. Choosing Object > Move to Ground will quickly move the object above the ground plane so that it is within view.

Review questions

  • 1. Which of these file formats can be imported as a 3D model into a Dimension scene?

    • PSD

    • OBJ

    • MTL

    • CAN

  • 2. Are 3D models in the Adobe Stock library free or paid?

  • 3. What does the Object > Move To Ground command do, and when might you need to use it?

  • 4. If an imported model is much larger than the canvas, what is one easy way to quickly position the camera so that you can see the entire model?

Review answers

  • 1. OBJ is an industry-standard 3D file format that can be exported from many different 3D modeling programs and placed into a Dimension scene.

  • 2. The 3D models available in the Adobe Stock library can be purchased via a monthly subscription. However, several hundred of the 3D models on Adobe Stock are free.

  • 3. The Object > Move To Ground command will move the selected object so that it is positioned above the ground plane. This command is sometimes necessary when an imported model doesn’t appear within view because it is positioned “underground,” beneath the ground plane.

  • 4. The Camera > Frame Selection command (keyboard shortcut: F) will quickly position the camera so that the entire model is within view.

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