All about 3D Materials: Metal

by Kimberly Potvin

posted on 09-16-2017

This month, in our article All about 3D Materials: Wood, we took a close look at the amazing selection of wood surfaces that are available within Adobe Dimension (formerly Project Felix) and on Adobe Stock. Surfaces like palisander, white oak, parquet – the options are endless.

In part two of this four-part series, we continue to explore materials as an asset type and all that these surfaces have to offer. Why spend hours manually altering an object or attempting to reshoot a scene when you have the power of 3D at your fingertips?

For this installment, we look at materials that are metallic in nature. By using the same model and applying different surfaces, you can visualize the value that 3D assets can bring to any design project. Join us for a trip through metal grids, silver surfaces, dented copper and shiny steel. They are all here just waiting for you to dive in.

Metallic grids come in an array of styles useful for a variety of design purposes. Futuristic patterns, repetitive scales, symmetrical grating – each of these can bring its own unique attributes to a scene. For example, metal patterns can be used to create a one-of-a-kind background or to enhance an abstract composition with an artfully placed geometric shape (like this pyramid). As a designer, being able to think-outside-the-box is key for creative success and 3D assets allow you to do just that.

In the scene below, by placing a circular metal grid on the sphere and enclosing it in a warm, shiny brass, this abstract design is pushed to the next level. Alternating textures, patterns and tones vividly compliment the circular shape and create a play of light and shadow within the composition. By using different surfaces and unique combinations, an artist has the flexibility to experiment with a variety of visual components and 3D results.

In other cases, we can combine solid materials together to create a warming or cooling effect. This can result from the base color of the material or adjustments made to other surface properties within Adobe Dimension (such as glow and intensity). Adding rich, metallic colors to models like this flip top bin or antique tea kettle can enrich any interior design giving a scene a contemporary look and feel. For example, by using a material like clean painted metal, artists can add a rich splash of color while leveraging the surface imperfections for a hint of realism. Combining these metallic materials with an asset like bronze yellow can give the work a lush, warm feel while leveraging the complimentary, dramatic nature of these two materials.

In addition to various colors and patterns, metal materials can also have different surface permutations (as seen with the clean painted metal above). By taking a highly reflective red anodized metal material and juxtaposing this against a matte surface, such as galvanized steel, a more realistic feel can be obtained. Utilizing the visual effects of the galvanization process, the example design pushes the red sphere to the foreground – framed by the steel surface – one consisting of lines, cracks and grainy patches. Applying these 3D design techniques to models like this quirky rocket can impress any client.

With the metal materials available on Adobe Stock, the possibilities are endless. Stay tuned for our next article where we look at the wonderful world of fabrics.

Topics: Creative Inspiration & Trends

Products: Stock