About the 3D Models

The 3D models provided for each artifact are available for download in three formats: VRML, 3D PDF, and OBJ. The models provided for the OBJ format are available in original quality or "high resolution" as well as reduced quality or "low-resolution." The models provided for the VRML and 3D PDF formats are only available in low-resolution only. The file size of the high resolution models ranges from 50-100mb and is determined largely by the artifact size and original scan resolution. It is not uncommon for some of the larger, more detailed vessels to have more than 1,000,000 triangles in the original model. The original, high resolution models are provided to facilitate detailed metric analysis using one of the free data viewers suggested below.

The file size for the reduced quality or "low resolution" models ranges from 2-5mb. Most of the low resolution models have been reduced to ~25,000 triangles unless the original high resolution model contained less than 25,000 triangles in which case the low resolution model was reduced to half the original model size. The low resolution models were created to facilitate a 'quick view' of each artifact and are provided for visualization purposes.

VRML Format and Free VRML Viewers VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) is a standard format for representing 3D models. VRML is a text-based format and was designed largely for the display of 3D graphics on the web. In fact, most VRML viewers including the ones listed here interface directly with your web browser (although stand alone applications are available). While there are a number of free VRML viewers available online, two viewers that we recommend are BS Contact 7.1 (by Bitmanagement Software) and Cortona (by Parallel Graphics. Both are free, relatively quick to download, work with most web browser, and interface well with the 3D artifact models provided on the site.

Important: Once you have downloaded either viewer and an associated 3D artifact in the VRML format, simply drag and drop the VRML file into a web browser to open the file(Or go to File - Open in your web browser window).

3D PDF using Adobe Reader 8.1 (or Higher) Adobe's PDF (Portable Document Format) now offers support for viewing 3D models. Within a standard PDF document viewed in Adobe Reader 8.1 or higher, users are now able to view and interact with 3D models. Additional options are also available that allow the user to perform measurements and view cross sections of objects, greatly extending the power of free 3D object viewing to a new level! The Interactive Viewer provided for each artifact uses the 3D PDF interface. Download the latest, free version of Adobe Reader to be able to directly access the Interactive Viewer for each artifact and to view the 3D PDF models provided on the site.

OBJ Format and Free OBJ Viewers The OBJ (Object) file format is a text-based, standard 3D format that is recognized by most 3D modeling and animation packages. The low-resolution OBJ files are best viewed in these standard 3D software. Blender is a common, open-source 3D software that can be used to view the low resolution OBJ models. The high resolution OBJ files are best viewed using Rapidform BASIS, the free data viewer provided by the RapidForm. Both Rapidform and Polyworks software suites are are used extensively in the processing and preparation of the 3D artifact models. Rapidform BASIS offers complete viewing, measuring, and reporting capabilities, providing the user with a metric-based, scientific exploration of the models.

Note: In Rapidform BASIS, use File - Import (rather than Open) to view the high resolution OBJ files.
The free Polyworks viewer, IMView, offers viewing capabilites for the OBJ format.

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