Say Hello to 3D PDF Files
Static, two-dimensional content has always had an uneasy relationship with its dynamic, three-dimensional cousin. If you missed the announcement last week, Strata has announced Strata 3D Live, a new product designed to let users view and interact with 3D content embedded in Adobe Acrobat PDF documents. While this might first sound less than earth-shattering, when you think about it, allowing clients to view and manipulate such 3D content as product designs or visualizations, and then comment on them within the framework of an Acrobat document, actually represents something of a breakthrough for many designers.
Strata's main claim to fame is its CX 3D modeling, rendering and animation application, which positions itself in contrast to high-end 3D apps like Maya or Lightwave as being "designer-friendly". Even more interesting for most of us, it's pitched specifically to those working with Adobe Creative Suite applications. Create your design in Illustrator, perform 3D magic within Strata 3D CX, add linked layers to it with Photoshop and output it as a PDF file using 3D Live. Objects can then be viewed and manipulated simply by using a plain-vanilla Acrobat Reader, no plugins required.
I hope Strata gets some traction with this new initiative to extend the graphical capabilities of Acrobat files. If you're not famililar with Strata 3D, it's work a look. Parting thought - is Strata slyly positioning CX as a desirable acquisition and addition to the Creative Suite, within which 3D remains conspicuously absent?