3-d PDF and S2PLOT

David G. Barnes & Christopher J. Fluke

A paper which describes a technique for embedding 3-dimensional figures in PDF files, using S2PLOT, has been accepted (2008 March 11) for publication in the journal New Astronomy. This web page provides resources and information relating to this paper.

The accepted article has the DOI identifier 10.1016/j.newast.2008.03.008, and is available from this permanent link:


Presently this link does not include the 3-d figures; for these see below.

Obtaining the article with 3-d figures

The accepted article with embedded 3-dimensional figures can be downloaded here. * * * PLEASE read the information below: "Reading the article" * * *

The article is available on arXiv.org but without the embedded figures (due mostly to filesize restrictions).

Reading the article

Adobe Reader version 8 or higher is required to interactively examine the 3-d figures in the paper. It can be obtained here for Apple Mac OS X, Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Please note: Figure 4 (isosurfaces) can be very slow to load in Adobe Reader for Apple Mac OS X. Sometimes it can take up to 2 minutes ... please be patient!

Most other PDF readers (including older versions of Adobe Reader / Acroread; Apple Preview; xpdf) can view and print the PDF file, but will not allow interactive inspection of the 3-dimensional figures.

Optimising Reader 8.1

We recommend the following settings in Adobe Reader 8.1 to make the best of embedded 3-dimensional figures in PDF files. These settings can be made in Reader's preferences.

S2PLOT version 2.02

S2PLOT version 2.0 provides a Save-to-VRML feature that can be used to transfer S2PLOT geometry to Acrobat 3D for the creation of 3-d figures. S2PLOT version 2.0 also includes new features such as multiple panels, drawing in screen coordinates (for 2-d annotations), draggable handles for user interaction, and a Python module.

S2PLOT v 2.0 is available now; v 2.02 (which includes bug fixes for VRML export) will be on the S2PLOT web site shortly.

Return to the main S2PLOT pages.