5.3 3d graph, rotate after saving (3.1.02)

5.3.1 Erik Leunissen

Is it possible to save a 3d picture in a more or less standard format such that interactive rotation (either by maple or another application) remains possible?

5.3.2 Gerald A. Edgar (4.1.02)

When you have a 3D plot window, the Export menu lists some 2D output formats, but also 3D formats DXF and POV. A POV file can then be rendered by the free programs POV-Ray or MegaPOV. But these programs do not seem to export to any other 3D formats. A quick web search did not find any conversion programs from POV to other 3D formats.

Looking at a POV file shows that it is a text file, and the syntax is readable, so conversion programs should be possible.

What about DXF? Unlike POV, most 3D programs *can* import and export DXF. So I guess if you want Maple to output 3D information (and you cannot use POV files directly), then DXF format is the one to use.

The drawback is that DXF has no colors, just triangles.

Perhaps some enterprising person will write a parser for POV into a more common color 3D format (3DMF, OBJ, 3DS). Or maybe it would be easier to parse Maple’s own plot3D objects?

5.3.3 Frank Gerdes (4.1.02)

Perhaps the JavaView library for Maple is what you want. See www.javaview.de.

It works with Maple 6 and Maple 7. I think there are different installation files for Win98 and Win2000/NT.

5.3.4 Thomas Richard (7.1.02)

DXF is a CAD format, and thus has its limitations, but rotating, zooming etc. remains possible. It was introduced in Maple 6 (and broken in Maple 6.01 (but not in 6 / 6.02 / 7)).

We use Autodesk VoloView Express for viewing.

5.3.5 Dr Francis J. Wright (7.1.02)

You can save in VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) format using plottools[vrml]. The result can be viewed and rotated in real time by a VRML browser, such as Cosmo Player which is free. See section 4.6 of my book "Computing with Maple"; the VRML example from the book is on the book web site at http://centaur.maths.qmw.ac.uk/CwM/.

5.3.6 John Richardson (17.1.02)

Dr Francis J. Wright wrote: ...


The current VRML 97 commercial viewer is Cortona for the Macintosh and either Contact or Cortona for the PC.



There are open source viewers for the PC, Macintosh and UNIX.

http://www.web3d.org for more info.

I just returned from Macworld where I showed off a speech enabled multimedia UI for the OpenVRML open source VRML 97 viewer. It is really cool. It is a modification of the MacLookat OpenVRML viewer called SimVRMLLookat. The Maclookat application and source can be found at Source Forge. The SimVRMLLookat source will be up on the site later this month.

OpenVRML is available for the PC and UNIX also. Speech is only available on the Mac. Eat your hearts out PC people......:)


Note: YES, Cosmo Player was realy great and cool in it’s time.

Maclookat is for OS 9. You can download the double clickable application from the sourceforge site. You can also build it in Codewarrior 5 under OS 9. Nobody has been successful in building it with Codewarrior 6 or Codewarrior 7. The build requires some JPEG libraries for Version 0.10.x.

Note: MacLookat does not have a user guide. So, using the option key is the walk mode and the shift key is the Pan mode. "a" is slide up. "z" is slide down. "." and "," is rotate. There are also arrow key modes. Just plain click and drag is "rotate/tilt" mode.

The Mac OS X version is being developed by Michael Louka. He originally developed MacLookat.

However, if you want to amuse yourself with a modified Maclookat, call SimVRMLLookat, which is speech enabled and is ultra cool I can send it to you in double clickable form. SimVRMLLookat has an API that is currently tailored towards Apple Events, SuperCard and Labview. Also, RoboLab and Lego Mindstormes.

Note that Apple Events are isolated in Classic. So the apps run under classic but the Apple Events fall into a black hole.

Also, any other Maple users who crave 3-D viewers, feel free to request SimVRMLLookat. My goal is to post SimVRMLLookat on the source forge web site by Jan 25.

My solution for VRML 1.0 is to try and load it into Spazz3D 2.4 running under Virtual PC 4 or 5. Note that VPC 5 requires 9.1 or 9.2 or OS X. Then if it loads, I just re-export it to VRML 97 from Spazz3D.

Of course, VPC with Win 98 is $175. Spazz3D is free for 2 weeks then disables itself. Stay away from VPC with NT. http://www.spazz3d.com

If it does not load into Spazz3D there are several options. Spazz3D may tell you why it does not load. If so, then edit with Microsoft word and correct the illegal field which is most likely the case.

Spotlight is a GLARING example of VRML 1 nodes with problems in VRML 97.

Another option is to load it into Amapi 3D 6 or higher. The company that developed Amapi, TGS, makes commercial Open Inventor libraries and VRML was developed from Inventor. Amapi will import VRML 1 and VRML 97. Amapi is in the $300 range. Amapi is maintained by TGS’s subsidiary, Eovia.

The advantage of this solution is that you can export to Shockwave 3D and VET (Adobe Atmosphere). http://www.eovia.com

Another Option is Meshworks. Look on the Macweb3d site. It is free and may inport VRML 1.

Mac OS 8.

The main problem is OpenGL. You have to download it from Apple and load it yourself. I would be interested to hear your results on using MacLookat under OS 8. Just curious, why do you use OS 8?

Note: for the Waterloo Maple programmers that troll this list you should upgrade the export to handle VRML 97. While you are at it, make sure you pay attention to the Universal Media solution for texture export or any textures you export will view differently in different viewers.

Note: Nexternet may have licensed the Cosmo Player source code and re-released it. De-install Cosmo befor installing Pivoron, their player. They are partnered with Cybelius which is PC only so may not be available on the Mac. Their site is difficult.