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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.

Importing 3D models from other sources

In addition to working with starter assets and content from Adobe Stock, Dimension will import 3D models in the following formats:

  • FBX (Filmbox)

  • glTF (GL Transmission Format)

  • GLB (Single-file binary version of the glTF format)

  • OBJ (Wavefront)

  • SKP (SketchUp)

  • STL (Stereolithography)

Depending on the skill of the person who created the model and the software used, 3D models can be large and complex. In addition, different 3D modeling programs save their 3D objects into these “standard” file formats in various ways. How successful you’ll be importing a model in one of these formats, and how useable the resulting model will be, depends on these variables:

  • How well the modeler has created the model. For example, if the model is of a wine bottle, did the modeler create the cork in the bottle as a separate object, so that you can apply a different surface to the cork than to the rest of the bottle, or is the entire bottle a single object? Is the model constructed of enough polygons so that the curve of the bottle appears smooth, but not so many polygons that the model is overly complex?

  • The model geometry. Dimension only supports polygon geometry. Alternatives to polygon modeling such as NURBs or curves aren’t supported and can’t be imported.

  • How complex the model is relative to the processing power and memory available on your computer. For best results, a model should use the lowest number of polygons to achieve the desired appearance. The import of a model with a high polygon count may be perfectly accurate, but slow. Because the model is so complex, Dimension may subsequently be slow and unresponsive.

  • How well Adobe has written the translation routine being used to translate the file format into Dimension’s file format.

  • How accurately, consistently, and reliably the modeling software being used writes its data into the given file format.

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to predict how successfully a particular model will import into Dimension. You will need to try importing it to find out! If you have a model in one of Dimension’s supported formats that doesn’t import properly, report the issue via the Adobe Dimension feedback website, at https://feedback.adobedimension.com.

Importing a GLB model

Most people have some personal effects, tchotchkes, or toys on their desks. You’ll add a toy model of a radar antenna to the surface of the desktop.

  1. In Dimension, choose File > Import > 3D Model.

  2. Select the file named DSN_34M_BWG.glb, which is in the Lessons > Lesson05 folder that you copied onto your hard disk.

  3. When it comes into the scene, the model is enormous compared to the desk model. It is obviously at an entirely different scale than expected. No worries. The first step is to choose Camera > Frame Selection so that you can see the entire model.

  4. To make the model smaller, you’ll use the Size fields in the Properties panel. If the lock icon next to Size appears unlocked dn_icon_unlock.jpg, click the icon to lock the X, Y, and Z fields together so you can scale the model proportionally.

  5. Enter 20 cm for the X value, and press Return/Enter.

  6. Choose Camera > Frame All so that you can see all the models in the scene.

  7. Now the antenna model is positioned below the ground plane. Choose Object > Move To Ground to correct this.

  8. Drag the blue arrow on the Select tool widget to move the antenna closer to the desk.

  9. Choose Camera > Frame All.

  10. Use the Pivot Handle on the Select tool widget to position the Antenna model on the desktop as desired.

4. Using 3D models from Photoshop in Dimension | Next Section Previous Section

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