In this tutorial I’ll explain how to use 3D transforms in Adobe XD. This is a brand new feature introduced at Adobe MAX in October 2020, marking the 3 year anniversary for Adobe XD.
Adobe XD 3D 😀
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New 3D Transform Controls
If you open the latest version of Adobe XD and select an object on the canvas you’ll notice a new icon appear in the properties inspector to the right:
It says “3D Transforms” when you hover over it, and when you click it you’ll get some additional transform controls which give you rotation along the X, Y, and Z axes. COMMAND (or CTRL on Windows) +T will toggle these 3D Transform controls too.
You’ll also notice 3 new handles appear in the center of the selected object. These allow you to drag the object along the axes for more visual control. Adobe calls these handles “gizmos”:
Here’s the Y axis being dragged:
Holding down SHIFT while you drag these gizmos will have the same effect, but in increments of 15°.
And if you want to reset any transforms you’ve made you can either manually set things back to 0 in the 3D Transforms controls panel, or you can right-click the object like so:
Transforming Multiple Objects
With a Repeat Grid you can do the same thing. Here I’ve created a repeat grid to give me three objects, and the gizmos when the grid is selected controls the whole group:
Alternatively you can select just one of the objects, in which case each individual one will rotate in the same way (because we’re dealing with a repeat grid):
By ungrouping the grid you’ll be able to transform each object individually. And whilst being transformed the objects are still completely editable. Here you’ll see I can drag new images into them, just as I would be able to normally.
3D Transforms and Auto-Animate
Auto-animate is one of the most exciting features in Adobe XD (check out our complete course with Dansky here). And happily, 3D Transforms work harmoniously with auto-animate too.
To demonstrate this, here you’ll see I’ve taken the three objects and placed them centrally on their own artboards.
If I then transform each one differently, when I link the boards together and animate them, Adobe XD will smoothly animate the transitions too (check out the vide version of this tutorial to see the full effect).
How Can I Use 3D Transforms in Adobe XD?
Precisely how you use this new feature is up to you, and your imagination is your limit. I used the cards as an example, but you could perhaps design a pricing table where each column is rotated differently and at different depths on hover. An image carousel might be another example of something this is suited to, or even presenting products in 3D space for an eCommerce design.
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