Extrude Vectors as 3D Shapes
Extrusion is a technique where a flat 2D shape or surface is pulled out to give it depth. Vector extrusion would allow users to import vectors as paths, then extrude those paths into 3D shapes. This would include some additional parameters like hard or rounded corners.
Hello everyone! The Dimension team is very interested in the topic of creation/modeling/editing as a whole. We haven’t added any creation so far, but are actively researching this area. We have a new survey on modeling and editing and would love your thoughts on the topic!
Gary Newman commented
I've used Illustrator since AI88, and I've been a beta-tester for AI since 1993. I beta-tested Adobe Dimensions before its official release, and continued to use it almost daily until Adobe killed it in 1996. Since then, I've kept an old Mac around, running an old OS (it won't run on any recent Mac OS) - just so I can continue to use Dimensions.
I used it for such things as drawing up floor plans of a building and extruding walls. In the same file, I can extrude or revolve shapes, combine them into models of furniture and place them in the rooms of the building, creating an entire scene. I could then rotate the 3D space to my liking, and place lights and cameras where I wished. It also allowed me to draw a path through a window, down a hall, into a room, and then have a camera follow that path, creating an animated walk-through. This was all capable in a product that Adobe quit in 1996, because of lack interest and sales. They incorporated some of the technology into Illustrator, which can still do a pretty good job of creating and rendering 3D models - one "dead" object at a time. It will not create a scene and will not export a model. And you're left with ordinary vector art in Illustrator.
What I don't understood - especially now, with the new Dimension software - is why they can't use the 20-plus-year-old Dimensions technology that they presumably still own.
Jeff Korzeniowski commented
both extrude and revolve are needed.. and any others that go along with basic vector building.
Yes please, I need it to create nice 3D icons =)
Chelsi Peters commented
One of the 3D software titles I currently use supports this through their 3D Text panel. It allows the user to import .eps files that you can add an extrusion and bevel to, along with materials, etc. The caveat is that it supports older Illustrator .eps files so that the vector import doesn't have things like clipping paths, knockouts, etc. :)
Jayden Blanchard commented
Anders O Blomberg commented
Oh, you are all so young and innocent! Here is the story, and a pretty sad one too:
In the early 90's Adobe bought a buggy French 3D software called Satellite. Adobe denied this but there's proof: In Satellite there was a spinning icon when one had to wait, it was a sphere with round knobs on it. Adobe renamed the software to Dimensions and cleared a few (but not all) bugs. And the spinning icon with knobs was still there...
The magic about Dimensions was that it could import vector graphics from Illustrator (or Freehand for that matter, a long forgotten program) then output 3D objects in the 3DMF format. So I would extrude, revolve and create quite complicated objects, using boolean operations and much more.
I could also bring back the vector output from Dimensions to Illustrator or Photoshop.
The 3DMF objects fit fine in KPT Bryce* where I could render in print quality with more objects, terrains, waters, skies, lights, reflections and much, much more. Plus advanced animations, such as FPV in a fantasy roller coaster...
In Dimensions I could also animate movements and output series of images, morphs and even pixel movies, great fun!
Then Adobe killed Dimensions. And got away with it! **
Some of its 3D stuff was made 3D filters in Illustrator, but it was not as powerful anymore. No ability to build complex objects, no timeline or animation, and worst of all, no export of 3D objects.
The new Dimensions is another software, with focus on package design, period.
I have kept my old Dimensions and Bryce on a Lombard running MacOS 9, and I look after it well. The 20 year old battery is alive!
I admit it is a little unstable now and then, and I am learning Strata to print 3D objects. Strata does not import 3DMF, only STL, so I cannot print my Dimensions models.
Nothing I know of beats the old Dimensions interface and simplicity!
* KPT Bryce. Kai's Power Tools by Kai Krause, ring a bell...? This software was unfortunately taken over by Corel and DAZ, the latter with a focus on selling realistic (?) fantasy figures with very little clothes on.
** Alternatives. I also got fed up with the subscription costs, so I installed Adobe CS 5 from it's cd's, haha! And I seriously try out less greedy alternatives such as Graphic and Affinity.
Was So excited to see this start up, 10 years of vector logos and other great potential scrap vectors sit in dormant for a 3D program like this (advertises), an easy navigation/learning/execution.. to solve absolutely all my photo and design ideas. Everything..to the final portfolio stage.
Too early to assume vectors are out? Patch #1 Please add some dimensions : D
OK so I do have a fairly easy workaround until Adobe officially adds extrude and rotate from illustrator paths...
Take your illustrator path into photoshop, and in the 3D section, complete the extrude or rotate in there. You can then export the 3D shape into a .obj file, which you can then import into Dimensions.
Obviously to make changes to the shape you'll have to go back to illustrator and then through photoshop again but it worked really well with the files I just tested it with. There's a youtube video of it if you search for it..
Franck Payen commented
Hi. I'm also all behind the "get a real 3D file from the Ai extrude/rotate tool". These are always simple shapes, but make a good start for some packaging needs.
Without an extrusion or rotation function to create custom shapes this software is useless to me. Photo shop and illustrator allow this but this 3d application does not?
In 1997 I learnt a piece of software that happened to be called Dimension. It was a perfect way to build basic 3D shapes and apply artwork and lighting. Very simple software and 20 years old, it still beats Adobe's attempt. No one wants to design packaging labels and not be able to decide the shape of the container. Oh how amazing this could be.
Sergio Barros commented
What makes Dimension special is the ability it gives to the user to make otherwise complex setups in an easy way and very decent final look. The lack of options already mentioned here, like importing simple paths from Illustrator would be widely acclaimed. Me including. Because we need to easy setup and render our work, our logos, etc. I am still in the learning curve of Dimension, but I intend to use it in my work as freelance designer, in several ways, but specially to make renders of the work we make, in stores renovation externally or internally. I am currently trying to use Blender to do the extrude part of the job, and import to Dimension as OBJ, but I am struggling with the results so far. A lot of problems.
Paulo Romero commented
I remember dimension being able to extrude and model, that would be great :)
We do 3d renderings of awards all the time. I had hoped dimension would be a great option. We have two team members using Rhyno...a very expensive proposition. If illustrator extruded vectors could be imported, it would seem dimension would be the answer.
I've been using it for a little over a month now at work to build 3 Dimensional scenery's for mock ups in presentations. There's def. a lot of potential to build from software wise. But, direct Illustrator compatibility is a must for building custom shapes. The one thing I like about Dimension over Cinema 4D is the interface is far easier to learn. But as far as overall end product potential goes, Dimension still has a long way to go to be a rival contender to C4D.
I've only spent 3 days with Dimensions, but the procedure appears to be: (1) Begin with vector elements drawn in Illustrator. (2) Export to (layered) .PSD file. (3) Create basic 3D forms from those layers. (4) save as objects (.OBJ) and then import those from within Dimensions. It's a good deal of work, but for basic 3D rendering (and merging with photographic or illustrated backgrounds) fairly effective. The issue of not being able to easily create one's own models remains a huge hurdle, and I first jumped on to this forum searching for a way to create my own materials for the program. Haven't found anything yet.
Rich Palmer commented
I had the original Adobe Dimensions back around 1995. It was far more powerful than this and please someone explain what good is Dimensions if you can't make your own shapes? Adobe seems to be in a race to the bottom with programs designed mainly for weekend graphic artist. Adobe is no longer actual professionals choice for many things now.
Jamie Langston commented
I did not mean to flag that. It was a b
Very good suggestion
Tom Lin commented
I do a lot of toiletry (bathroom hardgoods) concepts for some of my clients and being able to extrude/lathe custom shapes for bottles, pumps, dishes etc would be incredibly useful and make Dn essential part of my workflow.
I'm very excited about Dn but not being able to create custom models means I can't implement it into my work.
Dimension does not yet support vectors for 3D objects or extruding, lathing, lofting, or other modeling techniques at this time. This idea is for support for implementing it so please feel free to leave specific comments on what you want to do with extruded vectors and why it's important for your workflow.
How can you change the extrusion depth of an object...I had Dimensions in the old days and it was good...this version feels half baked...should be an automatic to import and work with illustrator vectors...online tutorials are weak...please upgrade them...