Adobe Dimensions...OS X?

in Mac Software edited January 2014
Here's the deal: I often do package designs (and in other instances, infographics and simple cutaway type illustrations). Dimensions, since it was vector-based and you could simple drag back and forth from that to Illustrator, made doing these things SO simple. I'd use Dimensions basically just to set perspective, tilts, give me a grid, etc. I'd use it as a basic framework, which I'd then complete and flesh out in Illustrator.

In addition to their wonderful ATM Deluxe and useful Streamline, Adobe also seems to not be planning on bringing Dimensions to OS X.


Anyone here have any insight to dispel this? Any inside scoop to brighten my day?

Short of that, then, can anyone recommend something close to Dimensions that is a) affordable b) SIMPLE and c) vector-oriented.

Again, I'm NOT doing animation, not going for photorealistic modeling, not trying to create "Jurassic Park 4", etc. Just a very simple "get me the angles I need so I can begin the real work in Illustrator" program.

I'm thinking perhaps some obscure, small OS X developer may have written something like this and I'm just not aware of it?

And yes, I'm aware I can lauch Classic and use Dimensions 3 in an OS 9 environment. And no, I don't want to...kinda spoils the whole point of a luscious, functioning OS X-only system.

I use X for EVERYTHING these days...just wondering if anyone knew anything, either about Dimensions or a very close substitute.

Personally, Dimensions was so simple and straightforward, I was kinda hoping Adobe would roll its features/capabilities into Illustrator, perhaps as a plug-in type of thing? Along with Streamline too.

Those two apps actually got MAJOR usage from me over the years, and now they seem gone forever.



  • Reply 1 of 22
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member

    (okay, that was a very cheap - and transparent - "bump" move).

    Sue me.

    While I'm here, let me ask this: are there any "lite" 3D rendering packages that a doofus like me could pick up fairly easily and do some basic 3D construction in?

    I've been on a "desk designing" tear of late and have VERY nice (and detailed) scale drawings in Illustrator (top, front, side views).

    Everything's done to precise measurements and all and I'd like to be able to bring those pieces in and extrude (or lathe, where appropriate...and apply simple surfaces like chrome, plastic or wood to selected pieces) and then construct it into a nice 3D model, viewable from any angle and all.

    I'm sure I could do this, I just don't know enough about 3D software to even know where to begin looking (OS X native, low learning curve, affordable, etc.)
  • Reply 2 of 22
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Well, I can at least suggest <a href=""; target="_blank">SketchUp</a> as probably the easiest 3D app to learn and use. Version 2.2 for OS X was designed to import and export a lot more graphics formats too.

    As far as Dimensions, frankly, I don't think Adobe has any serious plans to develop anything else for the Mac aside from their current essential apps. as time goes on, they are pulling a Micorosft and whie still developing for Macs, they are leaving out small but important pieces. Without a lot of these apps and services, they are gently, uh, persuading people to move to Windows. But enough of my moaning?
  • Reply 3 of 22
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Thanks for the reply/link...I was starting to get sad!

    Regarding Dimensions, it hasn't been touched in about 4 or 5 years. If I remember correctly, its last update was when Illustrator 7 was released (I got them bundled together through a special promotion from Adobe: Illustrator 7 and Dimensions 3).

    This was probably 1996 or so? So yeah, Dimensions seems pretty "dead in the water".

    A shame, because it was great for wrapping logos or art around bottles or cups and things like that. I worked at a place where we did a lot of that and it was really hand to have around to tweak and dial-in scaling and placement and all on an oddly-shaped object before we did it for real.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member

    I am now in the internet cafe in the central rail station in Stockholm, Sweden and waiting for the train to Oslo, Norway....

    Saw this post and I would like to charm in actually sucks big time. But so far this is the only (I think) "3D app" that supports vector graphic.......

    But since 3D isn't Adobe's interest I am not suprised to see them stopping the development on this tiny little app.....

    Similar to Streamline (Freehand can do better than this app on tracing anyway)......Dimensions really has no wide use

    Good news is.....both run just fine under Classic
  • Reply 5 of 22
    jkbjkb Posts: 18member
    Illustrator 11, due out this summer. "Dimensions"-like 3d features will be added into the app.

  • Reply 6 of 22
    quickquick Posts: 227member
    [quote]Originally posted by jkb:

    <strong>Illustrator 11, due out this summer. "Dimensions"-like 3d features will be added into the app.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    I'd prefer a standalone app, but having Dimensions integrated into Illustrator would be fine too. At least a good reason to update from 10 to 11.

    I really loved Dimension. I used it up to the point when keyboard shortcuts refused to work.

    Adobe, please do a OS X version of Dimensions!!!
  • Reply 7 of 22
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    [quote]Originally posted by jkb:

    <strong>Illustrator 11, due out this summer. "Dimensions"-like 3d features will be added into the app.


    I hate to be cynical, but is this common knowledge or do you claim to have an "inside track". Sorry. I really want to believe you, but I've been here long enough to know that it's very easy for people to pop in and say whatever they want (or what they think people want to hear) with nothing whatsoever to back it up.

    You don't fall into that camp, do you? Hope not...

  • Reply 8 of 22
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    [quote]Originally posted by Leonis:

    <strong> actually sucks big time.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Well, that's a matter of opinion, my man. I absolutely loved it, as it PERFECTLY fit my needs and always performed wonderfully for me...for what I was doing. Yeah, it's not a photorealistic, ray-tracing thing...but that's not what I needed.

    [quote]<strong>But so far this is the only (I think) "3D app" that supports vector graphic.......</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Bingo. Hence my thread...

    [quote]<strong>Good news is.....both run just fine under Classic </strong><hr></blockquote>

    Bad news is, I never want to touch OS 9 again in any way, shape or form.

  • Reply 9 of 22
    defiantdefiant Posts: 4,876member
    You don't have to touch it, you can poke at it with a stick
  • Reply 10 of 22
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    I'll beat it with a stick, how's that?

  • Reply 11 of 22
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    honestly, aside from tollbar and palette rearrangement, speed issues, and pdf/www/svg integration, adobe may be running out of whiz-bang, ooh-aah "features" to throw into future releases of illustrator (mots people upgrade based on new features, not "clean up"). so i think adobe has no choice BUT to add the following as plug-ins to illustrator:

    * adobe dimensions -- c'mon, when you need to extrude a simple shape, it doesn't make sense to launch an additional application. and there are at least a couple companies making plug-ins for illustrator that do this. i am sure adoe would like that $$$ back.

    * adobe streamline -- use adobe's "auto trace" function, which hasn't been updated since, what, illustrator 5? and then use freehand's. se the difference? of course, streamline is even better than freehand's, but again, it's rotting on the vine. i see a plug-in soon for this, too.

    * graphing function -- hello? does no one see a need to update this core usage of illustrator since its 6.0 days?!?

    of course, once you add these, where so you go for more features? a huge "draw it for me" button?

    p.s. i would also like adobe to restrict the ability to have rgb AND cmyk images in the same document (like photoshop's "modes"), or at least flag the different elements better. can't tell you how many times things have almost gone to print like that.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    quickquick Posts: 227member
    [quote]Originally posted by rok:

    <strong>honestly, aside from tollbar and palette rearrangement, speed issues, and pdf/www/svg integration, adobe may be running out of whiz-bang, ooh-aah "features" to throw into future releases of illustrator (mots people upgrade based on new features, not "clean up").</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Aside from integrating Dimensions into Illustrator (I'd prefer a standalone version though, as I said before) no more features please! Make Illustrator faster and smaller (version 10=50MB <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" /> ). That's all I request. Almost every Adobe app is bloatware nowadays.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    i always had success with Dimensions, streamline wasn't very good though
  • Reply 14 of 22
    artman @_@artman @_@ Posts: 2,546member
    Don't know about a Dimensions-like app, but here's an OS X Streamline app...

    <a href=""; target="_blank">Silhouette</a>

    Haven't tried it. Seems expensive for what it does. But still, it's an OS X application.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    PSCATES, have you used 3D Transform much in Photoshop? I don't know how much detail you're looking for, but I've done a few package designs recently, and I can often get by with setting everything up in Photoshop using 3D Transform. You can even set up a nice droplet action if you want to auto-create a specific cover to a package layout you've already created.

    Here is a very basic example, but I've been able to get some very detailed multi-angled products through a little trial and error. Check out this simple tutorial:

    <a href=""; target="_blank">3D Transform Filter Tutorial</a>

    Also, here's an example of using curves to create a more 3D appearance to any 2D object that I use all the time:

    <a href=""; target="_blank">Bugz Lesson 1</a>

    <a href=""; target="_blank">Bugz Lesson 2</a>

    Let me know if you have any questions!



    [ 01-13-2003: Message edited by: RosettaStoned ]</p>
  • Reply 16 of 22
    drewpropsdrewprops Posts: 2,321member
    I've been using Streamline a lot in the past two weeks for some posters I've had to design and boy-howdy is an annoyance to crank up OS 9 to use it.

    I playe around with auto-trace but was disappointed with the results.

    I've downloaded Dimensions but never installed it...but I'm thinking I'd like it, as I do a lot of product label designs too.

    One filter that I find INDISPENSIBLE is FilterIt 4.0! What a fantastic set of filters for Illustrator. Go. Buy it NOW and be happy. Lots of 3D manipulations available, on the fly.

    Still, having all these things as OS X native apps would certainly be a joy. I suppose that they ARE bundling them into Illustrator over time....

  • Reply 17 of 22
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    [quote]Originally posted by Quick:

    <strong> That's all I request. Almost every Adobe app is bloatware nowadays.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    most of that extra space is stupid help files (html and gifs and jpegs-a-plenty). i mean, have you looked at how MANY files installers from big third parties put on your drive?!? didn't photoshop have over 10000 or something ridiculous like that? macromedia studio mx nearly made me gag. and when i have to see retrospect gather up 200000+ files for backup, i get pretty ticked off.

    anyway, i just want illustrator to behave a little better under os x (still get weird preference and keyboard problems all the time). it's gettign there. maybe illustrator 11? thinksecret says this year for all adobe apps to get a fresh update. if it makes 'em more pdf and os x compliant, i am all for it.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    bigbluebigblue Posts: 341member
    [quote]Originally posted by drewprops:


    One filter that I find INDISPENSIBLE is FilterIt 4.0! What a fantastic set of filters for Illustrator. Go. Buy it NOW and be happy. Lots of 3D manipulations available, on the fly.


    FilterIt is fine, but doesn't do extrudes. Just perspectives. One filter who does extrudes is KPT Vector Tools, now disfunctional (I think). Great filter, small, fast and intuitive.

    [ 01-14-2003: Message edited by: BigBlue ]</p>
  • Reply 19 of 22
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    KPT vector tools was great... Still miss it...
  • Reply 20 of 22
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Yeah, I hate that all the Photoshop spazzes get the snazzy plug-ins and stuff. We vector-slingers have a VERY small pile to choose from.

    I'd really love to see some Dimension (and even Streamline) functionality rolled into Illustrator. I hope the guy posting above wasn't just slinging some bullcrap.

    If they just made the Auto Trace thing based on Streamline's "engine" (or whatever the proper term is) that would be great.

    And for simple extrusion, rotation, mapping art to a surface (package design and all), etc., some sort of "Dimension Lite" rolled into the next rev of Illustrator would absolutely rock.

    Useful, meaningful things like that I don't consider "bloatware" and would welcome into Illustrator.
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