Don't Combine Parts by Material
Dimension seems to automatically combine model parts when they use the same material, such as when I use the Sampler Tool. This is problematic because there seems to be no way to separate the parts after this operation. What if I want to change the properties or material of just one part? Now I can't. If anything, they should be put in a subgroup or navigable tree.
Helllo! I was hoping to get some more information on this topic. Let me start by clarifying that Dimension has 2 ‘lists’.
There is the Scene Panel ‘object’ list which is all the 3D components. Then there is the “Appearance” list which shows the materials and graphics applied to any specific object.
The object list you can think of as actual parts. These can me moved independently, can be renamed, reorganized, etc.
If you want to have a distinct piece that is always listed as a separate part, you can make it an object in the object list. Make a magic wand selection, then cut/paste the selection into a new object. Now it will show up as a 3D object and can be moved, renamed, etc.
The appearance list however, has different functionality. It’s a list of materials and graphics applied to an object, and is intended to auto-rename and auto-merge because you’re replacing the material, not replacing the part (which is the 3D thing listed in the object list).
I wanted to know if this cut/paste functionality to make the ‘part’ into a new 3D object meets your needs. Certainly not going to say this is the most intuitive so we can work on making it clearer, but is the idea of ‘3d parts’ with ’materials assigned clear at least?
I'll try your method. Maybe I'm being stubborn here since I've kind of gone too far down the road of modifying parts of my models to go picking them apart now.
But I will say that all the OBJ models I've gotten from my engineer (Solidworks exports) or from 3D libraries like CGTrader have all the parts within a single model. So it's not very intuitive to have to tear it apart, rather than having Dimension adapt to the way most OBJ models seem to be structured.
I don't see two lists. I just see one. Am I doing it wrong?
To be clear about my workflow: I imported a .OBJ iPhone model and the only way I see to apply materials and colors is to use the list on the right pane in the screenshot.
It looks like a moderator converted my feedback about automatic renaming into a comment on this thread. They are separate issues, but I guess as long as the Adobe team is aware of the problem, I'm good.
If I have renamed a model component, Dimension should not rename it when I change its material.
For example, I have an iPhone model made up of a bunch of components. I rename one component "Screen," so I can keep track of it. When I then change its material from, say, plastic to glass, the component gets renamed to something like "Glass 16" and it gets deselected and moved to the bottom of the component list. It makes it very difficult to keep track of the part I am working on.