Export figure to 3D interactive PDF

version (46.2 KB) by Ioannis Filippidis
Export figure as U3D file or directly to 3D interactive graphics within PDF.


Updated 4 Aug 2021

From GitHub

View License on GitHub

FIG2U3D saves the figure as a U3D file for inclusion as an interactive 3-dimensional figure within a PDF. Either LaTeX or Adobe Acrobat can be used to embed the U3D file in the PDF.
Development and releases on GitHub:
including binaries there:
(linked also here).

The IDTF2U3D executables available in package from github are originally from:
and can be downloaded from:
If obtaining them from there, then place the "bin" directory in the "idtf2u3d" directory of the fig2u3d distribution.

A VWS file is also created, which contains the current camera view of the axes saved. This file can be used to set the figure's default view in the PDF to be the same with the open figure window in MATLAB.

The media9 LaTeX package can import U3D files with their associated VWS files in a PDF document. It can be found here:

For PDF readers which do not render 3D figures, it is possible to include an alternative 2D image as a substitute to the 3D object. For conveniency, the script saves a 2D image together with U3D file. File type and other options for exporting this 2D image can be specified as additional arguments.

FIG2PDF3D Converts the figure directly to a PDF containing only an interactive 3D graphics object.

Graphics object supported for export include:

line, surface, patch, quivergroup, contourgroup.

Line colors and marker styles, surfaces and quivers with NaNs and surface shading are supported. Multiple instances of various objects can be plotted in the same axes and exported. Note that some limitations apply, for example filled contours are not yet supported.

Dependency detailed info:

for fig2u3d: idtf2u3d converter executable, download:
and place the "bin" directory in the "idtf2u3d" directory of the fig2u3d distribution.

for fig2pdf3d: latex distribution (e.g. MikTeX, TeXLive, MacTeX etc.)

and media9 (preferred) or movie15 LaTeX package

Cite As

Ioannis Filippidis (2022). Export figure to 3D interactive PDF (https://github.com/johnyf/fig2u3d), GitHub. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2012a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.
To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.