Creating custom 3D PDF templates inside Acrobat 3D with Right Hemisphere’s PDF Publishing and PMI Modules

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This is my third and final tutorial in this series on interactive 3D PDFs. Hopefully by now you have read the other two tutorials and viewed the supplied PDFs, and maybe are even inspired to create your own interactive 3D PDF. If I have done my job properly, everything was fairly easy and straightforward.

Stop. I know what you’re thinking. There has to be a catch or some trick to making this 3D stuff work. I will confess there is some magic going on in the background–it’s called JavaScript. But you don’t have to know anything about it. The magic of JavaScript needed to make an interactive 3D PDF work has been done for you, and is contained in the PDF Templates which ship with the Right Hemisphere PDF Publishing Module. Since, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, the focus of this third tutorial is on how to create your own PDF Template in Adobe LiveCycle Designer 7.0 and then publish some interactive content from the Acrobat 3D Toolkit to this new custom template without writing or copy and pasting a single line of JavaScript. The PDF Template we’re going to author here will be an interactive 3D product information sheet.

Before we get started, I think it’s imperative for you to understand that these interactive 3D PDFs are essentially little applications. Any PDF Template used by the Right Hemisphere PDF Publishing Module is preprogrammed to control certain types of 3D functions such as simple key frame animations, stepped procedures, and layer control to show/hide data and control camera model views. What is important to understand in the creation of a PDF template is that you are building a 3D application which has a purpose. Today 3D viewers that pan, zoom and rotate have very limited business use. As a result both businesses and the general public don’t care about them. But, once you create a 3D application which enables graphical information and other types of data to be easily understood and communicated to the end user in widely distributed, ubiquitous platform such as PDF, you will see an explosion of 3D applications in PDF. So let’s get started on creating our interactive 3D application.

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About the Author: Lars Olson

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