Wednesday, January 21, 2009

3D PDF Generation

I thought I would write a "how-to" post after reading some recent coverage on 3D PDFs. There are a few different software packages that can generate 3D PDFs, but I will cover the workflow using LPS, PRO600 Fundamentals, and Bentley PowerMap. The actual 3D PDF generation is done with PowerMap (also supported in MicroStation). Aside from photogrammetric mapping it is also possible to build a model from guesstimating building dimensions or designing a model from scratch.

To produce the 3D PDF below, I performed the photogrammetric pre-processing in LPS and then extracted 3D building vectors in PRO600 Fundamentals (which runs on top of Bentley PowerMap) via stereo feature extraction. After that, the steps are:

1) From PowerMap set the View extent to the area to be exported.
2) Choose File > Print. This opens the dialog below.
3) Ensure "Plot to 3D" is checked.
4) Choose Settings > 3D Plotting: you may want to change some settings such as the background color and a number of advanced settings.
5) Choose File > Print (from within the Print menu) when you're ready to save out the 3D PDF.

Click on the image below to download the 3D PDF I generated. I didn't get into any sophisticated modeling, but the tools within PowerMap and MicroStation will allow for creation of highly realistic models.

This post also gives me a chance to try out Scribd: check out the 2D PDF I exported from PowerMap as well, with imagery as a backdrop. Personally I like the zoom and pan functionality as well as full-screen mode: a nice alternative to viewing in Acrobat...
Los Angeles Ortho and Vectors See here for some more 3D PDF examples from the Bentley MicroStation V8i page.

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