[pdftex] pdftex supported formats: what about 3d objects?

Paolo Cignoni cignoni at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 12:57:00 CET 2007

Dear developers of pdftex.

I was wondering how complicate would be to support the inclusion of 3d
objects inside pdf generated by pdflatex.

As you probably know recent pdf specifications (hereby i refer to 1.7
version of the pdf specs) allow the inclusion of 3d objects inside
pdfs. Currently (see section 9.5.2 of the specs) the only supported
format is U3D, a format for which there exists a low level open
parsing library.
Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there are not open tools for the
generation of pdf containing 3d objects, the only available solutions
are commercial closed ones.

I am the head designer of MeshLab, an opensource system for 3d objects
manipulation and conversion, and i am going to include the support of
the u3d file format to the system. So the last step needed for having
a complete open chain for generating pdfs with 3d object inside is the
support of this format by pdftex. I think that probably this should
not be quite complicate (it should be just the inclusion of another
stream inside the generated pdf, with some possibly user provided

I came from the 3d world and i have some knowledge of the U3D format
but i do not have any knowledge of the internals of TeX.
I would be happy of providing you any help you could require in this
task.  I really think generating pdf with a 3d object inside would be
a feature very appreciated by the research community.

Waiting for an answer,


Paolo Cignoni

More information about the pdftex mailing list