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Working with 3D Content in Adobe Acrobat 9

Article Description

Adobe Acrobat 9 offers some pretty spiffy 3D capabilities, including the ability to rotate, spin, zoom, and add custom views of your 3D models. The Adobe Creative Team walks us through the coolest 3D features.

Using the Views Menu

The Views menu on the 3D toolbar lists any views defined for the current 3D model. At a minimum, most designers will create the standard views—Left, Top, Front, Right, Bottom, and Back.

  1. To switch to a predefined view of a model, expand the Views menu and select a view (see Figure 6). Then choose a different view and notice how the positioning of the model has changed onscreen.
  2. Click the Default View button to return to the opening view of the 3D model.

    Now you'll create and save a camera view that you can apply to other 3D models.

  3. Select the Rotate tool on the 3D toolbar and drag over the 3D model to create any new view you like.
  4. Click the Camera Properties button (see Figure 7) to open the Camera Properties dialog box.

    Camera properties define the precise angle and positioning for a view of an object. These properties make up a camera view that can be used across files. For example, if you need the same view of a number of models, you can create a camera view that you can use across all your model files. For Alignment, you can select Target to align the camera properties to the target position, or you can select Camera and Target to align the camera properties to both the camera direction and the target position (see Figure 8). For now, leave Target as the selection.

  5. Click the Select Model button and then click the 3D model in the document to record the current camera position in the dialog box. (You may need to drag the dialog box away from the model.)
  6. Click Save As and name your camera view. We named the view Test for this example.
  7. Click OK to save the view.
  8. In the Camera Properties dialog box, click Save Camera View, and click OK to clear the View Properties dialog box. Click the Close button to close the Camera Properties dialog box.
  9. Display the Views menu. Notice that Test is now displayed as a view (see Figure 9). You can test the view by selecting any other view and then selecting the Test view.

    Your newly created view is also available across files.

  10. Choose File > Open, and open the file Bottle_Mold.pdf. Click the 3D model to open the 3D toolbar. Click the Camera Properties button. In the Camera Properties dialog box, expand the Camera Preset menu, and select Test. Click Save Camera View. Click OK to clear the message box, and click the Close button to close the Camera Properties dialog box. Expand the Views menu and select Test. Notice that this view is the view you defined for the water bottle. Close the Bottle_Mold.pdf file when you're finished. You don't need to save the changes.

Acrobat Pro and Pro Extended users can create a new view of a 3D model at any time by clicking the Create View button in the Views pane of the Model Tree.

When you're finished working with your model, you can delete any views that aren't useful. You can even create views when you create your 3D PDF file. In the Acrobat 3D Conversion dialog box, select the Add Default Views option, and select views from the adjacent pop-up menu. Also, if you add a comment, measurement, or annotation to your 3D model, a new view associated with that comment, measurement, or annotation is created automatically.

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