[Bf-committers] Universal 3D support?

Toni Alatalo antont at kyperjokki.fi
Fri Oct 7 23:41:15 CEST 2011

On Oct 7, 2011, at 11:18 PM, Richard Shaw wrote:
> Are there any plans for Universal 3D (U3D) support?
> I was trying to find a way to create a 3D PDF with open source
> software but Blender doesn't appear to support it. It's an open
> standard so I figure the lack of support is for a more technical

Often with open source the reason for something not existing is simply that no one has implemented it. That is usually because there hasn't been great need.

I don't know U3D from before -- certainly is cool that Adobe Acrobat supports it, but otherwise seems a bit a dead effort .. launched in 2005, pushed by Adobe, but marginal adoption so far? Well there are major engineering apps and Photoshop in the list, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_3D

This blog post hints that the format is perhaps technically not so great, don't know if later revisions have changed it though: "the killer of the spec is its ridiculously overbearing bit encoding scheme. I just cut & paste the code from the specification and translated it to Java, and it's just awful. The code uses something like over 30 lines of code to read an uncompressed 8-bit integer." http://my2iu.blogspot.com/2005/04/u3d-is-half-baked.html

Some people have apparently brought things to U3D from Blender via OBJ export to MeshLab (open source) and, with good success, proprieatery DAZ: http://artandlogic.blogspot.com/2008/08/blender-to-acrobat-3d.html .. back in 2008.

I guess Collada and perhaps X3D are more useful to people so U3D just hasn't been made. Probably is doable if really needed.

This comment from already 2009 says that an extended version of Acrobat has later added Collada support: "Using the COLLADA exporter and Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended, one can create pdf documents that include the 3D model, enabling users to rotate the model directly in the pdf viewer, as well as exploring the object tree and see all the parts names." http://labs.solidworks.com/Products/Product.aspx?name=colladaexport . Also Photoshop and Mac OS X Preview etc. support Collada, so perhaps that's where the world is converging instead.

> Richard


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