Geometric Reflections, Meet Dimension.

Howdy fellow digital manipulation weirdos. Welcome to my *first* official tutorial. One of many to come, hopefully!  

So I've been making geometric reflections for 7+ years now, and I always thought it would be cool to build one fully in 3D but the learning curve has historically been so sharp to learn I just haven't had the time to really dig in to it. Then Adobe reached out and commissioned me to make a few pieces in their new software Dimension and I finally got the push I needed to start playin around with 3D.  

I'm really digging what I created, so I wanted to share what I learned. 

Programs used: 

- Adobe Dimension 
- Adobe Photoshop

Download assets:

Terrain 3D Model:


Cloud background:

Note: I did have to license the adobe stock material and image, but you can follow along with this tutorial using your own images and the default materials available in Dimension too! 


For u non-video learners, a step by step.


Step 1: Adjust the canvas size

Use the properties panel to adjust the canvas to 2,133px x 3000px. Resize the view to fit the canvas (or type in 60.07%).

Step 2: Place the terrain model

File > Import > 3D Model 

When the object imports it's white, and on a white background I find that impossible to see so I like to throw a matte on it temporarily so it’s easier to see. 

It also imports teeny tiny and sideways, so we need to make some property adjustments. You can do this in the properties panel on the right side by just typing in what I have (example 1), or eyeball it with the transform tools on the left (example 2).

Example 1: 

Type in the properties that I already have. 

X: 1.1 cm, Y: 5.9 cm, Z: 0.9cm

X: 90, Y:-180, Z: 96

X: 50 cm, Y: 50 cm, Z: 11.9 cm

Example 2: 

The DIY approach. Part of the fun of the dimension is the trial and error. 

Pro tip: Lock the size property so that everything scales proportionately

Step 3: Set up your shot 

We’re gonna use Dimension’s camera tools to get the perspective set up that we want for the final shot.

Pro tip: 

Add a camera bookmark so you can always get back to this camera set up. 

Step 4: Add a material to the terrian

Go to File > Import > Place Material on Selection and add the porous rock material that you downloaded, then adjust the properties so that the material repeats twice. 

Step 5: Add the water 

Click on the 3D model panel in dimension and select the plane. Then make the size 100 cm and use the move tool to bring the plane into view. (Hint: use the the green arrow to move along the y-axis)

Add the 'metal' material to the plane. 

Step 6: Add the mirror

Click on the 3D model panel in dimension and select the cube. Then use the transform tools to move and resize the cube into place. 

Cheat sheet: 

Type in the properties that I already have. 

X: 24 cm, Y: 0 cm, Z: -1.7cm

X: 0, Y:-3, Z: 0

X: 0.18 cm, Y: 11.9cm, Z: 6.57 cm

Add the 'metal' material to the plane. 

Alright let's check out what it looks like in the render preview. Then let's adjust the camera and cube a little bit more so we get the reflection to look more seamless. Tread lightly, small adjustments will make large changes to the reflection. 

Step 7: Add background images

Environment background

Click on environment in the scene panel and add the cloud image to the background. This adds the main sky background to the shot.

Environment Light Background

Click on Environment Light in the scene panel and add the cloud image. This will add the sky into the reflection on the mirror. 

Step 8: Set up the lighting

Go to the assets panel on the left and click the lights tab. Click Sun to add sunlight to the scene. Then play with the settings (or use what I have). I like to keep the little render preview open during this part of the process so I can keep an eye on how the lighting and shadows are hitting the reflection.

Step 9: Render! 

Alright so it's finally time to throw this bad boi in the oven. Click on the Render tab and pick your export settings. I chose high quality because true life I'm a pixel hoarder, but it takes a long time to render. If you want to just see a quick preview you can choose low or medium. Or if you're a baller and you still have Cloud credits you can render at lightning speeds. 

I used all mine for the month already. :* (

Get Weird 

Mix up the materials, lighting, and backgrounds to make new geometric reflection pieces! 

Using Format