Skip navigation
Currently Being Moderated

How to insert a preview photo on each PDF file when creating a portfolio?

Jan 5, 2012 4:36 AM

I'm using Adobe Acrobat Pro 10. I would like to create a portfolio containing 4 3D-PDF files (here in this sample presending only 2). The problem is that in the portfolio it tries to preview the PDF, but it can't since it's a 3D model, so it appears like this:


Is it possible to add a preview photo in the portfolio to each "slide" instead of adding another first page containg a photo to each PDF file? I would like that each PDF file would contain only the 3D model.


Thank you

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2012 5:49 AM   in reply to Tomchook

    The previews generated by Acrobat are automatic, you can't change them unless you write your own navigator in Flex.


    Having said that, the preview will show the poster image for a 3D scene, if one is defined. In your case (assuming the files are the same as the samples you posted earlier) there isn't a poster image. Before adding each file, right-click the 3D annotation, choose Properties, then "Retrieve poster from default view". Save it, then add it to the portfolio and it'll look like this:



    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2012 9:38 AM   in reply to Tomchook

    To change the default view (used for the poster image), activate the 3D scene and arrange the model as required. Then open the Views menu on the toolbar, click "manage views", create a new view then press the default button. You'll have to rebuild the poster image to match the new default, as per my previous reply.


    As of Acrobat X, PDF portfolios aren't the best solution for distributing rich media as the 3D viewport never activates on the previews - the user has to manually open each file using the toolbar link, which is not intuitive for a novice. You're better off putting the pages together as a single PDF (drag pages to the thumbnails panel, or use the Combine buttons).


    As I said earlier, the best option for the end user is to put all the meshes into the same 3D scene. If you're restricted to free software then there's no realistic solution to craft everything into one U3D file (those of us who do this professionally use commercial packages to optimize and merge the meshes). What you can do is load each mesh as a Resource - I'll have a tutorial on this soon as it's too complex to describe in a forum post. The critical factor is in how your meshes are named within the U3D files, as if two meshes have the same name it becomes a nightmare to control their visibility.

    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2012 11:30 AM   in reply to Tomchook

    There are a number of options for dedicated transcoding applications, depending on your budget:


    3D PDF Converter from Tetra 4D will convert STL files to U3D or export 3D PDFs, and comes with a 3D Reviewer application which can merge files, but it has limited abilities to edit the meshes. The converter tool runs as an Acrobat X Pro plugin.


    Deep Exploration from Right Hemisphere will also read and write STL and U3D files and directly-export to 3D PDF. It runs as a standalone program, can merge. edit and optimize meshes and a lot more (but it's expensive). An earlier version of this program was bundled with Acrobat 8-3D.


    If you're thinking long-term of getting a custom software front-end written for the document creation stage, then PDF3D has a code library which can read STL files and write out 3D PDFs (it's not a desktop program, you would use it to write your own dedicated software).


    Looking at the generic CAD/CAM sector; Solidworks, Pro-E Wildfire, ArchiCAD and Bentley Microstation will export U3D and/or 3D PDF files.



    Once all your meshes are in the same file, you can show and hide them via the Model Tree in Acrobat, then save each combination of visibilities as a view on the 3D toolbar. If you want to bring in some scripting as well, you can avoid having to define views by hand, and have buttons which show and hide each mesh in sequence.

    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 6, 2012 1:02 PM   in reply to Tomchook

    I am assuming you are using Acrobat Pro Extended 9 and the 3D Reviewer that is bundled with it and my answers reflect that:


    Once the PDF has been created, regardless of where/how, you can create new 3D Views, delete existing ones and reorder them as well. You can do this by using the 'Manage Views' capability of the View Manager on the 3D Toolbar.


    If your source data is STL, changing the LOD in 3D Reviewer should have not effect on the file either visually or on disk as the STL file format is all triangles. You can only change a Level of Detail if your source data is B-Rep.

    The 3D PDF should not be bigger than the STL files combined. If you have edited the PDF by sending the 3D data over to 3D Reviewer and then back, it may be that you have mutliple versions of the model in the PDF.

    If you explicitly 'Save As' it should remove earlier versions.

    Also - are you storing the STL data in PDF as PRC tessellated, PRC-Brep or U3D?


    If you want to optimize for file size on the 3D PDF Export from 3D Reviewer:

    The worst choice is PRC-B-Rep for STL data and that could blow the files size up (STL is a tessellated format and mapping it to a B-Rep file format would increase the size as it computes and stores connectivity information for each triangle facet in the STL file.

    Best choice would be: PRC Tessellated + compressing the tessellation.


    If you are exporting from 3D Reviewer, you can configure the PDF export options and choose PRC Tessellation and to compress the tessellation.

    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 9, 2012 9:45 AM   in reply to Tomchook

    I downloaded and did some work with your PDF and think I may have a workflow that achieves your goals.


    3D Reviewer let's you copy and paste from one product to another (the term is 'document' in the 3D Reviewer manual).


    Here's the workflow:


    1. Open your PDF in 3D Reviewer

    2. Create a second product (File > New)

    3. Select the nodes that contain the geometry in your first model (They are called Solid0, Solid1, etc.) and copy them

    4. Select the 'model' in the new product and paste

    Note: Solid1 and Solid2 seem to be copies of the lower part of the model. So I deleted them in 3D Reviewer and only copied 1 and 4

    You now should have a hierarchy in the new model that looks like this:



    - Solid0

    - Solid3


    You can select these nodes in the hierarchy and rename them. Right click them and select 'rename'



    5. Export to PDF


    When you open the PDF in Acrobat, you will see a hierarchy that looks like this:



    - Node

        - Upper

       - Lower



    If you open this back up in 3D Reviewer, you will have a heirarchy that looks like:



      - ProductXX

       - Upper

       - ....

       - Lower


    You should now be able to rename 'Product XX' to something else (e.g., 'mandibular')



    6. Export one last time.


    Now it should look the way you want in Acrobat.

    I used this approach to generate a version of the 3D PDF that has your desired heirarchy and is only 2.7 MgB in size.


    You can download the file here:*1AnTg


    The 3D Reviewer app uses the PRC file format and it has the concept of "product occurences' and 'parts'. You cannot create a product occurence node  via the tools in the user interface. When you export at Step 5 above, the product occurence is either generated or (more likely) exposed when you read back into 3D Reviewer, enabling you to rename it. Ideally you would be able to create the heirarchy as you desired without a multi-step export and read, but at least you can accomplish what you want.

    Mark as:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points