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Adobe Dimensions

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Adobe Dimensions is the 3D module of Illustrator, although it can also be used as a stand-alone 3D design environment. The interface includes a ToolBox and Status Bar, and the following dialogs may also be brought to the screen: Surface Properties, Custom Color, Extrude, and Revolve. Normal, Telephoto, Wide Angle, and Custom views can be chosen.

Modeling Tools

The Revolve and Extrude dialogs are the central 3D modeling facilities in Dimensions. template shapes are either drawn in the software or imported. One of the dialogs is selected, and the object is either extruded or lathed. Extrusions may be crafted with or without bevels and/or endcaps to user set depths. Lathed objects can be either hollow or filled, and can be revolved to any degree up to 360. 3D primitives include Cube, Sphere, Cone, and Cylinder. Control points can be edited on any 3D or 2D object.

Lights

Dimensions has a Lighting dialog that allows you to set global light intensity and direction.

Rendering

Screen renders can be in Draft, Shaded, or Wireframe.

Animation

Two kinds of animation files can be produced in Dimensions. The first, with all frames of an object on one page, is suitable for DTP work or for use as a background. The other, a sequential group of numbered frames, can be used as a true 3D animation files by such software as Adobe Premier and other software that imports sequential files. The process is basic: “Start Sequence” targets the object or objects to include. The object(s) are moved, rotated, and/or scaled. “End Sequence” brings up an storage path dialog, allowing you to select the number of frames to be generated. The frames are generated and saved.

Other Special Features

Undo levels, Number of Shaded Blends, and Rendering Parameters can be set in the Preferences dialog. Custom perspective views can be set with an interactive slider.

File Load/Save Conventions

Dimensions exports Illustrator formats exclusively: 1.1, 88, 3, 3J, 4, 5, 5J. It saves out Dimensions 1.0 and 2.0 formats. You can open Dimensions and Swivel 3D files.

See Also