IBM Mobile 3D User Manual
The Mobile 3D viewer provides function to read, interact with, and render wireframe or
lit, texture mapped, Gouraud shaded models in either orthographic or perspective viewing
mode. Additionally, the Mobile 3D viewer allows the user to attach text annotations to an
object and save both annotations and object as a specific view. Model views can be
recalled by browsing a Saved View preview panel. This feature was added to support a
customer or engineer’s ability to attach notes to a digital mockup of a part or assembly
when at a remote location without access to a workstation running a CAD package such
as Dassault’s Catia.
The Mobile3D Viewer comes with two applications. The first application is the Mobile
3D Transcoder. This application can be executed on a workstation or PC running
Windows NT or Windows 2000. The application is used to convert VRML 2.0 files into
the PDB file format used with the Mobile3D Viewer. Not all features of VRML 2.0 are
supported and the application will issue warning messages when it encounters an
unsupported primitive type. In most cases, whenever this occurs, the Transcoder will skip
the unsupported primitive and continue until completion.
The second application is the Mobile 3D Viewer. This application runs on several Pocket
PC devices including those based on StrongARM, Xscale, and MIPS processors.
The Mobile 3D Transcoder is built to run on
Windows NT or 2000 platforms. The
VRMLToP3D.exe application can be used as
is. The IBM Mobile 3D Viewer is packages
into a Pocket PC install package. Installation
requires the following:
1. Pocket PC device with serial, USB, or
2. Microsoft ActiveSync
Simply place Mobile3Dinstall.exe in the
directory of your choice and execute from the
command line or by double-clicking in
Windows Explorer. The install program will
query for the PocketPC device attached to you
compute and download the appropriate
processor-specific application and DLLs. The
install package will also download the sample
models included with IBM Mobile 3D.
Figure 1. Menubar
Mobile 3D Viewer
Once your Pocket PC is installed you can start to view models. The user interface
includes main menu bar with File, View,
and Options pop-ups. Icons are included
for faster access to frequently used options
(Figure 1). The file pop-up shows several
menu items for Opening a file, Save
Notes, Get Notes, Add Notes and Exit
The View menu includes options for
Wireframe, Perspective, Reset Camera,
and changing the Background screen color
(Figure 3). The Options menu includes
options for Animate, Culling, Lighting.
and Performance (Figure 4). The Animate
option applies a continuous rotation
sequence to the model being viewed.
Culling toggles backface culling on or off.
It is important to note that models derived
from VRML often have inconsistencies in
polygon clock direction or require two- Figure 2. File Menu
sided lighting to appear properly. In these
cases culling may not result in any backface
removal. Lighting applies the Lambertian
lighting equation at the model vertex, corners,
or faces depending on the attribute binding.
Performance toggles a performance readout
displayed on Title Bar.
The Icons included on the Menu Bar are used
for quick access to annotation mode (A) and
the arrow is used to return to interactive
Rotations, translations, and scales are
Figure 3. View Menu
accomplished by moving the stylus in pre-set
areas of the screen. Figure 5 shows which area
of the screen is used for each type of transformation. Alternatively, translations in x, y
directions can be controlled using the direction button on the PDA device.
Annotations and Views
Models can be annotated by selecting the
Add Notes option from the View menu or
the “A” icon on the Menu Bar. It is worth
noting that on handheld devices, text can
be input several ways: (1) Soft Keyboard,
(2) Character Recognizer, and (3)
Transcriber. We recommend the
Transcriber since it seems to be the fastest
and most convenient means. Selecting the
[ ] icon on the menu bar lets you
switch between these 3 options. You only
need to set the text entry option once.
When you enter Annotation mode and
select a point on the screen, an Annotation
Dialog (Figure 6) will appear. Simply Figure 4. Options Menu
enter the text and select OK to save. It is
important to note that the viewer remains
in annotation mode until the user switches to [ ] interactive viewing mode or toggles the
Add Note menu item in the File menu.
Annotations are attached to 2D points on
the screen and do not move with the
model. In addition, if they are not saved
explicitly via the Save Notes menu item,
Figure 5. Screen areas for rotation, scale,
they will be lost. Each time the Save Notes menu
item is selected all the currently displayed
Figure 6. Annotated View preview dialog
annotations and the current model view are saved to a file. The process of creating
annotations and saving them along with current model view can be done repeatedly.
When a particular view needs to be recalled, the user can select Get Notes from the File
menu and select the desired annotated view from a Preview panel (Figure 6).
Mobile 3D Transcoder
The Transcoder, vrmltop3d.exe executes on Windows NT, 2000 systems. There are no
minimum memory requirements or processor speeds, but since some of the models can be
large it may take significantly longer to process the PDB output file on lower
memory/processor speed systems. The command to execute the Transcoder:
Vrmltop3d <vrml filename>
As previously noted, the Transcoder only processes VRML 2.0 files. VRML 1.0 files can
be converted to VMRL 2.0 using available freeware (see VRML converters)