Adobe Dimension and SketchUp

SketchUp isn’t the only product where I’m involved in the support forums. While SketchUp was with Google I was a ‘Top Contributor’ in the SketchUp forum, I’m still involved with Google in the Web Search forum, though they rebranded the TCs to be called Product Experts now. When SketchUp had its own forum here, us TCs were renamed as Sages.

I’m also what Adobe calls Adobe Community Professional, and MVP in their forum (their acronym is Most Valuable Participant I think). In fact, today I was supposed to be at an ACP Summit in Los Angeles, but a bad fall from my Brompton foldable bike while departing the recent SketchUp DevCamp event changed my plans. The product I know best of Adobe’s is Adobe Animate (previously called Flash Professional), I spent about 17 years programming things in that tool. I have some things I’m working on where I will use SketchUp along with Animate. But that’s a story for another day!

Today I wanted to talk about Adobe Dimension:

It’s Adobe’s tool for creating photorealistic product shots, using a combination of background images and 3D models. A year ago they added native support for SketchUp files, and even ran a session at 3D Basecamp in Palm Springs.

Although I’m not going to make it to Adobe MAX, their conference that starts tomorrow, SketchUp will have a booth in the Adobe Dimension area of the exhibition hall. I’ll edit this later when I find out the booth number! Manning the booth with be two SketchUp team members, Niraj Poudel and Eric Sargeant. Make sure to go and say hi if you’re at MAX.

The main reason I wanted to start a topic was to check if any of you are already using Dimension, and have examples of what you have made with it. It’s a good tool for a SketchUp user to know about for a couple of reasons. First, it’s another potential market for you, where you might create models that Adobe Dimension users would buy to then use in their product mockups. Also, it’s a decent renderer, if you occasionally would like to see a photorealistic version of your SketchUp model, and you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, you could download Dimension and use it just for rendering your models.

Here’s a quick test I did using the Super Hornet from Aaron’s live modeling session:

I didn’t spend much time on this, just replacing a few of the SketchUp materials with something fancier inside Dimension. The program also supports Substance, which will allow for procedural textures, that should add to the realism.

Anyway, I’m the amateur here when it comes to being an artist! If you do use Dimension, please post some examples. Eric and Niraj will no doubt show off what you have done during the conference, so feel free to include some sort of credit in the image.

@eric-s @niraj.poudel @TheOnlyAaron


That’s great! We regularly have students that are familiar with the Adobe Suite and now seeking more possible ways to enhance their skillset to bring 3D into their workflow, obviously with SketchUp, be it 3D Models from 3D Warehouse, or create themselves.

Useful info would be how to set up a template or what aspects you’ll encounter. (Solids, textures etc.)

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Dimension has a straight on view (though you can raise and rotate the camera, but then run into issues with the matching photograph), and although it has some neat ways of working that SketchUp could learn from, it isn’t as quick at setting up a scene. But, it would be possible for a Dimension user to go quite a way just by taking 3D Warehouse models. Still, SketchUp would be useful for making original models, and for more rapid staging of 3DWH models, to then take the complete scene into Dimension.

There often is a new version of Adobe apps released on the first day of the conference. I have some insights into upcoming features in Dimension, and will add them here once Adobe announce a new version.

Glad you brought it up. Six months ago, I did a couple tutorials and played with it a little.

Original Matchphoto model in SketchUp:

Same model imported to AD and aligned with the same photo:

I didn’t get farther than this, but wanted to come back to it since, so, yes, I’d like more on this topic.


Here is the article on new features in Dimension 3.0: