Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Interactive 3D models in PDFs!

I just saw this on Kurt's blog and had to post about it. Imagine turning in a cruise report with an interactive 3D model of your bathymetric data! Better yet, imagine a Ph.D. or Master's thesis with interactive models!

First you open your 3D mesh with MeshLab and convert it to Universal 3D (U3D) format. Meshlab then generates a snippet of code using the Latex document markup language. You include this code in your Latex document, compile, and voila: a PDF is created with the interactive 3D model built right in!

Check out the example PDF here: Laurana.pdf.

I wonder if it would be possible to export directly to U3D format from say Fledermaus or CARIS. This would necessitate some patches or hotfixes, but boy! what a powerful addition it would be.

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