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3D Geometric Shapes and Models

We are currently improving the display of data visualizations on ScienceDirect. As a result, 3D visualizations will not display on ScienceDirect immediately. However, you may still submit your data files and they will appear with your article once the new version is available later in 2018.

About the 3D viewer for OBJ and PLY models

Authors of selected Elsevier journals are invited to enrich their online articles by providing supplementary 3D models in OBJ and PLY formats, which will be visualized using the interactive 3D viewer embedded within the article.Using the 3D viewer, the reader can select models, zoom into the model, rotate and pan the model, change display settings, and download original data files. It is also possible to open the 3D viewer in a new window and to view the model in a stereo mode using anaglyph glasses.This 3D viewer was developed in collaboration with Kitware SASopens in new tab/window. It supports all major browsers and mobile devices.

Articles featuring this 3D viewer:

Benefits for Authors and Readers

The 3D viewer functionality enables authors to enrich and extend their article by adding a possibility to interactively explore the 3D reconstructions of research data discussed in the article. This provides a way to highlight their findings in a visual and easily accessible manner, helping readers to quickly understand the relevance of a research paper, to visualize research findings for deeper insights, and to access the underlying data.

ply app image

Author Instructions

Supported data formats

Two data formats are supported by this 3D viewer: PLY and OBJ.

  • PLY is a 3D data format known as the Polygon File Format or the Stanford Triangle Format. This format was principally designed to store three dimensional data from 3D scanners. The format specification can be found hereopens in new tab/window.

  • OBJ is a geometry definition file format developed by Wavefront Technologies for its Advanced Visualizer animation package. The format specification can be found hereopens in new tab/window.

It is also possible to upload material (MTL) and regular texture files (JPG/PNG).

  • MTL is an auxiliary file containing definitions of materials that may be accessed by an OBJ file.

The following tools can be used to prepare 3D archeological models in the aforementioned data formats: 3D Studio Maxopens in new tab/windowAutoCADopens in new tab/window,MeshLabopens in new tab/windowBlenderopens in new tab/windowParaViewopens in new tab/windowMayaopens in new tab/window, etc.

Submission & publication

Multiple 3D models can be submitted. Each model will have to be uploaded to the online submission system via the "3D models" submission category as a single zip file, irrespective of whether it's just a single PLY/OBJ file or a more complex model consisting of material (MTL) and texture (PNG/JPG) files.

Please be advised that the recommended model size before zipping is 50-100 MB with the absolute maximum limit of 200 MB. The same holds for texture files.Please provide a short informative description for each model by filling in the "Description" field when uploading a dataset.

Note: 3D models will be available for download from the online article on ScienceDirect. If you have concerns about your model being downloadable, please provide a video instead.

3D models will be provided in the online version of the article. The PDF/printed version of the article will feature static figures only (if those figures are included in the article manuscript).

Supported journals