Towards an easier creation of three-dimensional data for embedding into scholarly 3D PDF (Portable Document Format) files

PeerJ. 2015 Mar 3;3:e794. doi: 10.7717/peerj.794. eCollection 2015.


The Portable Document Format (PDF) allows for embedding three-dimensional (3D) models and is therefore particularly suitable to communicate respective data, especially as regards scholarly articles. The generation of the necessary model data, however, is still challenging, especially for inexperienced users. This prevents an unrestrained proliferation of 3D PDF usage in scholarly communication. This article introduces a new solution for the creation of three of types of 3D geometry (point clouds, polylines and triangle meshes), that is based on MeVisLab, a framework for biomedical image processing. This solution enables even novice users to generate the model data files without requiring programming skills and without the need for an intensive training by simply using it as a conversion tool. Advanced users can benefit from the full capability of MeVisLab to generate and export the model data as part of an overall processing chain. Although MeVisLab is primarily designed for handling biomedical image data, the new module is not restricted to this domain. It can be used for all scientific disciplines.

Keywords: 3D; Geometry; Line set; Mesh; Model; PDF; Point cloud; Portable Document Format; U3D; Universal 3D.

Grant support

The author declares there was no funding for this work.