About Acrobat Pro Extended and 3D Formats

We hear very often the question whether a 3D format is supported in Acrobat 9 Pro Extended, and in some cases the response is a) "yes, all current versions", or b) "yes, up to version X", or c) "no, it is not supported". On the same subject of formats, there is increasing interest in the 3D format representation inside PDF called PRC, with questions being asked such as a) “is the PRC format open” or b) “are the specifications accessible” or c) “is there an SDK to read and write PRC”.

In this article, I will try to address all these questions by providing short answers when possible and by introducing the new Acrobat 3D SDK that is now available as part of the Acrobat 9 SDK that is now live. So, please read on and feel free to ask any additional questions using the comments form.

Supported 3D Formats in Acrobat 9 Pro Extended

The short answer is actually a fairly long list which now includes over 30 CAD formats. So, if you just need to know if the format of the CAD application you are using is supported, before making a decision to evaluate or purchase the product, please don’t wait any longer and download the PDF below which includes a detailed list of all 3D formats and versions from which you can create a 3D PDF using Acrobat 9 Pro Extended:

Acrobat 9 Pro Extended Supported 3D Formats

If unfortunately, the format you were looking for is not on the list, you have an alternative solution called 3D Capture. If you are not familiar with this very powerful tool that comes with Acrobat 9 Pro Extended, I encourage you to check it out by reading the documentation available on-line at the following links: 

    1. Capture a 3D Model in PDF
    2. Supported 3D Applications for Capture in PDF

Last but not least, if none of the two methods above work for your format, your last resort is to read further down and discover what is possible with the Acrobat 3D SDK. Note that it will require to have developer skills to create a new translator for a non suppoted format using the 3D SDK.

Adobe PRC Specifications

Yes, the PRC format is open as are all the formats that PDF can contain. Whether you are an end-user or a developer and need to access the detailed PRC specifications, please don’t wait any longer and go to the link below to discover all the bits and bytes that PRC is made of:

Adobe PRC Specifications

Acrobat 3D SDK

For your information, the 3D SDK to read and write PRC is now part of the Acrobat 9 SDK which is now live and can be downloaded from the following page:

            http://www.adobe.com/go/acrobat_developer

Below are some pointers to the 3D sections inside the Acrobat SDK documentation that will provide you with direct acces to 3D related topics such as the 3D API Reference guide and the 3D Samples guides that can be leveraged for instance to add support for a new 3D format in Acrobat 9 Pro Extended.

     Acrobat 9 SDK Documentation available online

  1. Link to the online documentation:
    http://livedocs.adobe.com/acrobat_sdk/9/Acrobat9_HTMLHelp/index.html 
  2. Intro to the new 3D SDK:
    Introduction to SDK > What’s New > What’s New for Acrobat SDK > 3D Support
  3. 3D Developer guide:
    Plug-ins and Applications > Developing Plug-ins and Applications > Creating 3D Annotations
    Plug-ins and Applications > Developing Plug-ins and Applications > Parsing and Creating PRC Files
  4. 3D Samples guides:
    • Introduction to SDK > Guide to SDK Samples > Plug-in Samples > Embed3DData
    • Introduction to SDK > Guide to SDK Samples > Plug-in Samples > ExportFromPRC
    • Introduction to SDK > Guide to SDK Samples > Plug-in Samples > ImportToPRCBrep
    • Introduction to SDK > Guide to SDK Samples > Plug-in Samples > ImportToPRCTess
    • Introduction to SDK > Guide to SDK Samples > Windows – Interapplication Communications > ReadCADFileVC
    • Introduction to SDK > Guide to SDK Samples > Windows – Interapplication Communications > ReadPdfPrcVC
    • Introduction to SDK > Guide to SDK Samples > Windows – Interapplication Communications > WritePdfPrcVC

  5. Link to the 3D API Reference guide:
    http://livedocs.adobe.com/acrobat_sdk/9/Acrobat9_HTMLHelp/API_References/PRCReference/3D_API_Reference/index.html
  6. 3D JavaScript Developer guide:
    JavaScript > Developing Acrobat Applications Using JavaScript > Interfacing with 3D JavaScript
  7. 3D JavaScript Reference guide:
    JavaScript > JavaScript for Acrobat 3D Annotations API Reference

 

Pierre Tager, Acrobat Product Manager