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Working with Materials

Chapter Description

Apply materials to 3D objects with this sample chapter from Adobe Dimension Classroom in a Book (2021 release) and obtain an overview of the two types of materials in Dimension (MDL and SBSAR), how to import materials from Adobe Stock, and how to adjust material properties, such as glow, opacity, and translucence.

Changing MDL material properties

So far, you’ve applied starter asset materials without setting any of their properties. But every material can be customized in several ways using the Properties panel.

  1. Click the back arrow icon dn_icon_back_arrow.jpg at the top of the Scene panel (or press Esc) to return to the model list.

  2. In the Scene panel, hover over the Cup 2 model, and click the right arrow icon dn_icon_right_arrow.jpg to reveal the model materials.

  3. To make the plastic material a bright orange, click the color swatch next to the base color in the Properties panel, and change the color to 255 red, 82 green, 22 blue.

  4. Press Esc to close the color picker.

  5. To make the surface a bit shinier, in the Properties panel, increase the Metallic value to 10%.


    Because the material for the Jar Lid model was sampled from the Cup 2 model, both models use the same Plastic material, so both are now orange and shiny. Changing the properties of the material on one object also changes the properties of the material on the other object. But what if you want the Cup 2 model to be rougher and less metallic than the Jar Lid? You can achieve this by unlinking the material between the two models.

  6. Select the Break Link To Material icon dn_icon_break_link_to_material.jpg in the Actions panel. Now the materials on the two models are unlinked and their properties can be manipulated independently.

  7. With the Cup 2 plastic material still selected in the Scene panel, enter 25% for the Roughness value.

  8. Enter 0% for the Metallic property.

  9. Click the back arrow icon dn_icon_back_arrow.jpg at the top of the Scene panel (or press Esc) to return to the model list.

  10. Hover over Cup 1 in the Scene panel, and click the right arrow icon dn_icon_right_arrow.jpg to reveal the model materials.

  11. To make the surface a bright orange, in the Properties panel, click the color swatch next to the base color, and change the color to 255 red, 82 green, 22 blue.

  12. Press Esc to close the color picker.

  13. To make the surface less reflective, increase the Roughness value to 30%.

  14. Click the plus icon dn_icon_plus.jpg to the right of the Roughness slider.

  15. Click Select A File.

  16. Select the Dots-white.png file and click Open.

    With this PNG mask applied, areas that are black in the PNG will be smooth metallic in the image, and white areas will be rough.

  17. Press the Esc key twice to close the image picker and return to the model list in the Scene panel.

Changing MDL glass material properties

Adjusting the Translucence properties of a material makes it appear like glass or liquid—you can see through it. You can alter the Translucence, Index of Refraction, Density, and Interior Color properties in the Properties panel to make models appear to be made of glass, liquid, or gel.

  1. Hover over the Pint_glass model in the Scene panel, and click the right arrow icon dn_icon_right_arrow.jpg to reveal the model materials.

  2. If the Translucence properties aren’t already open, in the Properties panel, click the right arrow icon dn_icon_disclosure_triangle2.jpg next to Translucence to reveal them.

  3. To make the glass more “foggy” or “cloudy,” enter a Translucence value of 90%.

  4. To cause the glass to “bend,” or refract the light more, enter 2.8 for the Index of Refraction. You won’t see the effect of this unless you have Render Preview turned on.

  5. Click the back arrow dn_icon_back_arrow.jpg at the top of the Scene panel to return to the model list.

5. Changing SBSAR material properties | Next Section Previous Section

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