All About 3D Materials: Fabric

Render by Justin Patton.

by Kimberly Potvin

posted on 01-05-2018

Fabrics touch every facet of our daily lives. Whether used in fashion with the clothes we wear or interior decorating with the furniture and accents that make up our homes — textiles like lace, cotton and velvet are beautiful to behold and even more enticing to touch. Blend into these the dynamic aesthetics of patterns like polka dots, stripes and zigzags and the sky is the limit.

In our previous two articles about 3D materials (All about Materials: Wood and All about Materials: Metal), we took a deep dive into the way that wood and metal surfaces can be leveraged to build a successful design in Adobe Dimension (formerly known as Project Felix). For our next installment, we investigate the amazing alternatives available with 3D fabrics – those unique combinations of colors, patterns and textures that can be critical for any successful design project.

Embrace some color

Although Dimension allows a designer to change the color of any surface, utilizing a material’s original aesthetics can provide a much-needed boost of inspiration. By browsing through the collection of 3D assets available for licensing on Adobe Stock, a designer is greeted by an instant array of possibilities — each material with its own unique qualities and attributes.

For example, the deep, solid grey of felt, layered with the open weave of teal wool and the bright ochre of rough canvas, a designer can utilize an enticing blend of shades and hues. By playing with these colorful fabrics, rich, preexisting palettes can be leveraged in a way that is often difficult with more traditional 2D workflows. Add to this the ability to place eye-popping fabrics on furnishings like this 3D model of a sofa or on piles of square and cylindrical throw pillows and a designer is given all the tools to play with different fabrics and colors in new and distinctive ways.

Render by Justin Patton.

Materials from the Substance Source collection on Adobe Stock.

Experiment with patterns

When using 3D textiles, one of the key attributes are the variety of patterns that are available. As a designer, being able to easily choose between herringbone versus straight lines, ornate lace versus simple polyester mesh or polka dots versus rectangle polyester can be a critical to the final composition. This ability to easily change, swap, morph, or modify the surface of a material on a model can take that static artwork and turn it into an enigmatic, interactive space.

In our next example, we focus on a single continuous color, a soft black, and use this as the connecting point between all three of our fabrics. By combining together rough cotton stripes and an exquisite wool tartan in red, the final composition embodies a rich play of patterns, textures and colors. This great array of patterns could be used on a 3D model like this gift box to create an amazing tabletop scene for the winter season. By adding in some silver bells and a candle in a holder, the design could become a stunning composition of holiday bliss.

Render by Justin Patton.

Materials from the Substance Source collection on Adobe Stock.

Experiment with textures

Each textile has its own unique texture based on the weave, the type of fabric and the way the material was manufactured. Whether it is the wide, breathable surface of silk, the tight, flecked pattern of synthetic wool or the strong, concise knit of thin linen, these exquisite materials can be mixed and matched into one-of-a-kind surfaces.

In our final example, we blend together three textures to accentuate subtle differences between both the weaves and the colors. By taking a synthetic jersey with a grey and yellow polka dot design and layering that against the rough, sturdy texture of denim, the final design is one that leverages both the visual strength of these two fabrics. By then adding in a bright pop of blue with a cotton canvas surface, the final design is one that plays with all the varying possibilities of these assets. Using materials like these in a fun, playful way — for example in packaging with this open cereal box and blending in abstract large and small splashes on a pastel green background – a designer can take an everyday idea and make it extraordinary.

Render by Justin Patton.

Materials from the Substance Source collection on Adobe Stock.

Dive in, think outside the box, play with some fabrics, and explore all that Adobe Stock 3D and Adobe Dimension have to offer.

Topics: Creativity, Design

Products: Stock, Creative Cloud