MicroStation CONNECT Edition Help

3D Plotting Options Dialog

Used to define the settings that control the Plot To 3D option for the PDF printer driver. Settings are saved in the user preference file and are retained between sessions.

You can access this dialog from the following:
  • Print dialog: select Bentley driver from the Printer and Paper Size drop-down menu, then select Settings > 3D Plotting

Mesh Resolution Controls how accurately the mesh represents the original surface. Values between 200 and 4000 may be used. Values can be keyed in manually, or defined with the slider control.

Curved geometry is saved to U3D format as planar facets. High values for Mesh Resolution will produce a very accurate model with many facets and increased file size, while lower values will produce small models with a coarser mesh representation. The default value of 1000 produces a reasonable mesh approximation for most purposes.

While 3D PDF is a robust format for design review and presentation, there is a limit to the amount of data it can handle. Exporting a design with a lot of complex geometry can be a memory intensive task due to too many triangles in the output file and/or too many distinct pieces of geometry in the output file. Aside from line strings, all geometry in 3D PDF has to be faceted and represented as triangles. To reduce the number of triangles in the output file, you can lower the Mesh Resolution or reduce the number of curved surfaces to output.

Too many distinct pieces of geometry in the output file is usually caused when trying to export a generated triangulated irregular network (TIN) that contains millions of triangles as individual elements. To reduce the pieces of geometry, you can regenerate the TIN at a lower Mesh Resolution for 3D PDF export (as this level of detail is generally unnecessary) or, if that is not possible, you can combine the triangles into a single element for export.

On a 64-bit machine these issues are less likely to occur when creating 3D PDF output. A general rule of thumb when determining what to export is that it is almost never a good idea to have a single 3D PDF for an entire plant site or complex building. Instead, focus on specific areas of the model and turn off unnecessary geometry prior to export.

Mesh Tolerance If on, and set to a non-zero value, this setting overrides the Mesh Resolution setting. In these instances Mesh Tolerance directly controls the maximum distance from the mesh to the surface it approximates. A small value will produces a more precise mesh, with a subsequently larger file.
Minimum Element Size If on, and set to a non-zero value, specifies a size threshold in master units where any element below the threshold is not exported to the output file. This enables you to filter out small details in a design without compromising the features of the model.
Texture Map Size Controls how texture maps are stored in the U3D format.

When a file with texture maps is saved to U3D format, the texture images are embedded within the U3D data, which can cause unnecessarily large U3D or PDF files. This setting lets you limit the size of these images.

  • Small (128x128) — Produces smallest file size, with some loss in quality.
  • Medium (256x256) — (Default setting) Provides a reasonable compromise between quality and file size.
  • Large (512x512) — Better quality, at the expense of file size.
  • Unlimited — Images are not resized at all. This setting provides the maximum quality, at the expense of increased file size.
Elevation Drape Size Controls the size of textures that are either using the Elevation Drape map mode, or are created using the dcdrape procedure from Bentley Descartes.
Convert Wireframe Geometry If on, unclosed wireframe geometry (such as lines, line strings, and arcs) are saved to U3D.

If off, this geometry is omitted.

Convert Annotations If on, annotations (text and dimensions) are saved to U3D. If off, these elements are omitted.
Export JavaScript With U3D If on, a JavaScript file can be associated with the 3D scene. A complete description of the JavaScript language and the API to control 3D content is available from Adobe.
Convert Animation If on, and an animation script is present, the animation is saved to U3D. When the model is saved to U3D format, either the default script (a file with the same name as the DGN file, but with a .msa extension), or the script currently loaded in memory, is used to specify the U3D animation. If off, animations are omitted.
Automatically Activate Animation If on, the animation will be activated as soon as the 3D content becomes visible. If off, the animation must be started with the control in the PDF document.
Continuous Loop If on, the animation loops continuously through the sequence. If off, the animation stops at the end of the sequence.
Frames Per Second Controls the speed of animation playback. A higher number of frames per second produce faster playback.
Display Mode Controls the initial appearance of the 3D geometry in the PDF document. This display mode also can be changed in Acrobat via the Scene… options in the right-click menu. Available display modes are:
  • Shaded — Similar in appearance to MicroStation’s smooth rendering.
  • Illustration — Monochromatic, outlined geometry, similar to MicroStation’s Visible Edges rendering mode. Currently, all linework in the PDF file is presented in black, thus requiring a background color other than black for the linework to be visible. Background color can be specified with the Use Background Color From View setting.
  • Shaded Illustration — Shaded and outlined geometry.
  • Transparent — All geometry is displayed semi-transparent.
Lighting Mode Sets the Acrobat lighting mode for the created PDF file.
Hide 3D Toolbar in PDF If on, the 3D Toolbar does not appear in the PDF document.
Place Walk on PDF Toolbar If on, the Walk tool displays in the PDF toolbar.
Use Background Color From View If on, the view background color is used as the PDF scene background color. If off, a fixed color is used, as shown on the Background Color button. You can click this same button to open the Modify Color dialog and select another background color.
JavaScript Specifies a JavaScript file that can be associated with the 3D scene. You can enter the file name in the field, or else use the Browse button to search for the required file.

A complete description of the JavaScript language, and the API to control 3D content, is available from Adobe.

Background Color Sets the Acrobat background color for the created PDF file.