36 Days of 3D Type
3D render made in Dimension by Erin Kim.
by Kimberly Potvin
posted on 04-03-2019
At the end of March, Adobe announced its partnership with 36 Days of Type to celebrate all things typography. Our goal? To give artists, designers, and creative renegades the chance to visualize the beauty and inspiration that can be found in letterforms. This year, the Adobe Stock 3D team, along with Dimension and Adobe Fonts, got together to do something truly amazing for this event.
Using the Adobe Trajan as inspiration, we have created a collection of 40 3D models (26 letters, 10 numbers, and four symbols). These models are free in this Adobe Stock collection for anyone in the creative community to use to celebrate 36 Days of Type. These assets are built to work perfectly in Dimension while leveraging a modular yet flexible design, allowing artists to easily personalize each model.
Render of 40 free letterform assets on Adobe Stock.
In addition, we have partnered with Erin Kim, a Senior Product Designer on the Dimension team, to demonstrate some of the amazing ways that these 3D assets can be customized within Dimension. So, what are you waiting for? Embrace the art of 3D type and show us what you’ve got!
Erin Kim has always wanted to participate in 36 Days of Type. This creative celebration captures all of the inspiration that designers like Erin attempt to integrate into their personal and professional work on a daily basis. In the past, Erin admits that she may have shied away from taking on a project of this size. Be honest, we have all been there. Sometimes a warm blanket, a hot cup of tea, and a good book win you over.
With the introduction of a 3D alphabet on Adobe Stock and the updated features available in Dimension, Erin has found her inspiration and created a few breathtaking renders to demonstrate how these assets can be used. This initiative has been a perfect way for Erin to flex her design muscles while showing others how accessible 3D can be with just a tiny creative push.
When you bring these models into Dimension, you will notice that each letter comes with four conveniently labeled parts in the Scene panel. These include fill, indent, border, and inlay. By leveraging these parts, Erin was able to create her own, personalized version of these assets using a few simple workflow tricks. As a tip, if this is your first time using Dimension, it is always helpful to take a run through the on boarding tutorial. A great place to start is with Using Assets and 3D Stock in Dimension.
Tip 1: Be brave and tear it apart
One of Erin’s key recommendations is “don’t be afraid of tearing these objects apart and putting them back together.” With Dimension, you can easily select parts of a model with the magic wand tool and cut, copy, and paste. By using this approach, you can do a lot of customization with pre-built models.
Left: Leather, Middle: Brushed concrete, Right: Natural worn leather.
In the above example, Erin did a few simple steps to customize the assets.
- Step 1: Start off by hiding the inlay and border layers of the model using the eye icon, then use the Scale tool to widen the indent layer. Then, hide the fill and indent layers and make the border layer re-appear.
- Step 2: Once you are finished, use the Magic Wand tool to select one part of the border layer and delete this so that only a single border outline remains. Follow up by making all the hidden layers re-appear.
- Step 3: Use the Rotate tool to see the asset from the side, then copy-and-paste or alt+drag your border layer so that you have multiples. Then, using the Move tool, slide two of the border layers backwards to create the desired effect. Erin also made the type thicker here by using the Scale tool.
Tip 2: Be bold with patterns and graphics
Left: Striped fabric, Middle: Perforated leather, Right: Leather.
For those who are new to 3D, Erin emphasizes that you can bring those amazing 2D skills to a 3D scene by leveraging graphics. In the Asset Panel of Dimension, which now has a selection of Substance materials, there are a variety of beautiful patterns that have a set of parameters, allowing an artist to easily customize a final look.
In order to achieve Erin’s visual style in this render, just follow a few easy steps.
- Step 1: Start off by double clicking on the fill layer of your model, which will open the material properties panel. Then, click on the “Striped fabric” material in Dimension’s Starter Assets panel in order to apply it to your Fill layer.
- Step 2: Since this particular material is split into three parts, you have the opportunity to customize each one. Click on the first color then use the color slider in the pop-up panel to modify it, then repeat for the other colors. At this time, you can also adjust material properties for each individual color (roughness, opacity and more).
Don’t hesitate to play with the parameters inside of the material properties to make your own look and feel. It is all about experimentation.
Tip 3: Be a rebel and customize
As artists and designers, we all love adding our own personal touches. One of the ways you can do this in Dimension is by adding your own graphic. By dragging and dropping on top of Fill and changing the mode from Decal to Fill, you can truly make these 3D assets your own while leveraging a design sensibility that you already adore.
To add a graphic as a decal (similar to what Erin has done here with a small design from Illustrator), it just takes a few simple steps.
- Step 1: Drag one of your graphic elements from the Creative Cloud library panel and drop it onto your 3D model. You can also copy-and-paste directly from Illustrator.
- Step 2: In the Placement section of the Material Properties panel, select Fill instead of Decal and Mirror instead of Repeat.
- Step 3: You can then increase the repeat and modify the angle and offset. This will make your graphic appear multiple times on the asset. To change the positioning of these graphic elements, play around with the Offset values until you are happy with the results.
Do you still feel a little uncertain? Is that warm blanket and tea calling? Don’t worry, we still have your back. With these 3D typography assets, you can also just take it easy, have fun and apply different colors to each letter for your own unique style, composition, and feel.
For 36 Days of Type, our hope is that you not only push your creativity with fonts further but also create 3D works that you love with the help of this tutorial. All of us here at Adobe can’t wait to see what you come up with and share. Happy rendering!
Topics: Creativity, Design, Typography
Products: Stock, Creative Cloud