Mike Rankin shows how to create realistic images by applying materials to 3D objects in Dimension CC. He shows how to modify the attributes of default materials using the Properties panel, how to apply solid colors and images to the surface of an object. He also demonstrates properties like glow, roughness, opacity, and metallic. Mike also shows several pre-made materials that are built into Dimension CC, as well as how to load more materials from Adobe Stock.
- [Instructor] So far we've seen how to add models and transform them as well as how to change the view in Dimension CC but in order to really see the power of Dimension CC to create realistic images, we need to see how to add materials to objects and that's what we'll do in this movie. Again, I'm going to start with a fresh file and if you need a fresh file, just choose File, New. And a very simple object like a sphere will best illustrate the looks of the different materials, so I'm going to add a sphere by going to the Assets panel, viewing my models and then dragging down until I see sphere and clicking on it.
And I'll click the button to fit it in the view. The sphere comes in with a default set of material properties that you can see and change in the panels on the right side of the screen. In the Scene panel I can see my sphere and I can click on the sphere material to show the controls for it in the Properties panel. And here we have separate controls for the surface of the sphere, the interior of the sphere, the shape of the sphere and textures. For now, we'll just use the surface controls.
So I'll open those and for each of these controls, you can hover your cursor over the name of the property to get an animated tool tip. And I can click on the color square to pick a different base color than the default white. I have color pickers in various modes and an eyedropper to sample a color from elsewhere in the scene. So I'll use the color picker to make something like a dark red. And below the color picker, I get a comparison of the old color versus the new one and notice I can also apply an image to the object here by clicking on Image and then navigating or drag and dropping a file.
I'll click Select a File and in the exercise files, I'll select Bee_Flower.jpg and click Open. I'll press return or enter to dismiss those controls and now if I don't like how this image looks by default, I can adjust it using the texture controls. So I'll open those and I can move the image on the sphere with the x and y controls by entering a value or hovering my cursor over the x or y so I get these double arrows and then dragging.
And I can do the same thing to rotate the image on the surface. If you see a seam like this, you may need to rotate the object to hide it, so I'll take the Rotate tool, click on the sphere and then drag the green widget to hide that seam. Then I'll go back to the Scene panel, click on Sphere Material, and I can work on these values again, until I get the image where I want it.
Repeat controls the size of the image and by default the x and y values are linked. You can unlink them by clicking on this chain, but I'll click Again to leave them linked and then drag to the right to increase the number or copies of the image used to cover the sphere, making them smaller. Or drag to the left to reduce the number of copies used to cover the image, making them larger. Also notice how the image hides the base color.
If I want to remove the image, I can click the base color button and click Color to show it again. Also notice that you can drag these controls anywhere on screen so you can reposition them if they're covering up some important part of the image. Again, I'll press return or enter to dismiss them. There are also sliders for Glow, which is the intensity of light emitted from the surface of the object, Opacity which is the visibility of the surface, Roughness which makes the surface either dull or shiny and Metallic, which controls the amount of luster a surface has.
At a high luster, the color of the surface is blended with the color of the lights. At low metallic, the color of the lights doesn't mix with the color of the surface. And you can see these highlights are no longer red. In addition to mixing your own custom material properties, you can also use pre-made materials either by choosing File, Import, Place Material on Selection and then loading a Materials Properties File, which must be in the MDL format, or by using the materials built into Dimension CC.
To access these go to the Assets panel and click on the Materials button, and like with Models, I get a dynamic set of materials I've recently used here at the top and this gets updated each time I use a different material. So with my sphere selected, I can click something like glass to make the sphere look like it's made out of glass. And for some materials, the object in the scene will look very grainy like this because it would be too much work for the computer to have to render an accurate preview all the time.
So to minimize the stress on your computer, there's a render preview panel that will show the materials accurately and you can turn that on here. And there's my glass sphere. And we can still customize these pre-made materials in the Properties panel. For example, I can change the glass from smooth to frosted by increasing the roughness value a bit. I'll close the Render Preview panel and it's also just a matter of a single click to apply materials like metal or plastic or wood.
And note that you can resize textures like wood grain in the Properties panel by changing the Repeat value here at the bottom. Here I'll make the wood grain smaller by changing Repeat from one to two and pressing return or enter. And the same goes for materials like concrete, and marble. And there are a lot of cool materials that come with Dimension CC so you should definitely spend some time exploring them and applying them to different objects.
There's everything from rust to ice, denim, bricks and wicker. And everyone of these is customizable in the Properties panel and you can find even more by browsing Adobe stock by clicking this link. So you can start to see that the possibilities are almost infinite. So in this movie we explored the ways that you can add materials to objects in Adobe Dimension CC by choosing them from the Assets panel, or creating them from scratch with the controls in the Properties panel.