Tutorial: Creating 3D PDF Documents with Jamberoo#



The ubiquitous portable document format (PDF) now supports embedding 3D imagery within the PDF file, so that the readers can manipulate 3D structures and observe them from any perspective. 3D PDF documents can be displayed by any computer with up-to-date Adobe Reader software installed. Below there are several examples of PDF documents with integrated 3D models.

Dioxin molecule
Dioxin Molecule HOMO of Paddlane Vibrations in Methane (displacement vectors) Custom 3D Views and multiple properties

Creating Simple 3D PDF Documents using Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended

Creating Simple 3D PDF Documents using MS Office Word 2003

Creating Presentations with 3D PDF using MS Office PowerPoint 2003

Creating Custom 3D views

Using Custom 3D Views for Showing Multiple Properties

Embedding the dynamic 3D content into Adobe PDF

Adobe Acrobat can provide far more capabilities than a simple document viewer. It is possible to enhance a PDF document so that it can contain elements of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) such as buttons, checkboxes, combo boxes, etc. to initiate user actions. This can be achieved using the Acrobat JavaScript, an object-oriented scripting language developed by Netscape Communications. Acrobat JavaScript implements extensions to the JavaScript language which enable a developer to manage the Acrobat-specific objects.

Check box and displacement vectors
Radio buttons and HOMO/LUMO
Animation of Vibrations in benzene

Adding GUI Controls (Buttons, Check boxes, Radio Buttons) in Acrobat 9

Using Checkboxes in 3D PDF Documents

Using Radio Buttons in 3D PDF Documents

Animating Vibrations in 3D PDF Documents

[Tutorial Home]


The author is thankful to Prof. Feng Wang, Dr. David G. Barnes and Dr. Christopher J. Fluke (Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne) for bringing 3D PDF capabilities to his attention, and for openly discussing issues related to VRML and 3D PDF. Interested readers may like to view their papers on 3D PDF for astronomy.


Send all questions, suggestions and comments to Vlad (vvv900@gmail.com)

Dr. Vladislav Vasilyev

Supercomputer Facility,

The Australian National University,

Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia