Wolfram Language & System 10.3 (2015)|Legacy Documentation

This is documentation for an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.View current documentation (Version 11.2)

3DS (.3ds)


    MIME types: application/x-3ds, image/x-3ds
    Autodesk 3DS file format.
    Scene description and 3D modeling format.
    Used for 3D modeling and animation.
    Native format of Autodesk 3D Studio.
    Binary file format.
    Stores 3D objects together with lighting and view point information.

Import and ExportImport and Export

  • Import["file.3ds"] imports a 3DS file Graphics3D object.
  • Export["file.3ds",expr] exports a Graphics3D expression to a 3DS file.
  • Import["file.3ds"] returns an expression of the form Graphics3D[GraphicsComplex[vertices,primitives,opts]].
  • Import["file.3ds",elem] imports the specified element from a 3DS file.
  • Import["file.3ds",{elem,suba,subb,}] imports a subelement.
  • Import["file.3ds",{{elem1,elem2,}}] imports multiple elements.
  • The import format can be specified with Import["file","3DS"] or Import["file",{"3DS",elem,}].
  • Export["file.3ds",expr,elem] creates a 3DS file by treating expr as specifying element elem.
  • Export["file.3ds",{expr1,expr2,},{{elem1,elem2,}}] treats each as specifying the corresponding .
  • Export["file.3ds",expr,opt1->val1,] exports expr with the specified option elements taken to have the specified values.
  • Export["file.3ds",{elem1->expr1,elem2->expr2,},"Rules"] uses rules to specify the elements to be exported.
  • The export format can be explicitly specified in the form Export["file",expr,"3DS"] or Export["file",expr,{"3DS",elems}].
  • See the reference pages for full general information on Import and Export.
  • ImportString and ExportString support the 3DS format.


  • General Import elements:
  • "Elements" list of elements and options available in this file
    "Rules"full list of rules for each element and option
    "Options"list of rules for options, properties, and settings
  • Data representation elements:
  • "Graphics3D"3DS file represented as a Graphics3D object
    "GraphicsComplex"list of GraphicsComplex objects, each representing a 3D geometry stored in the file
    "PolygonColors"face color information, given as a list of color primitives associated with each polygon
    "PolygonData"polygon data in indexed form
    "PolygonObjects"list of Polygon primitives given in absolute coordinates
    "VertexData"list of vertex coordinates
  • Import and Export use the element by default for 3DS files.
  • The element corresponds to the first argument of GraphicsComplex.
  • When rendering a 3DS color model, Import automatically uses the setting Lighting->"Neutral".


  • General Import options:
  • BackgroundAutomaticwhat background color to use
    ImageSizeAutomaticoverall size of the graphics to display
    LightingAutomaticwhat simulated lighting to use in coloring 3D surfaces
  • All options of Graphics3D can be given when importing from 3DS.
  • Advanced option:
  • "VerticalAxis"{0,0,1}orientation to assume for the coordinate system used in the file
  • By default, the Wolfram Language assumes that in the coordinate system used by 3DS, the vertical axis corresponds to the third coordinate.
  • With the setting , the Wolfram Language will apply the transformation to all graphics coordinates when importing from 3DS, and the inverse transformation when exporting to 3DS.

ExamplesExamplesopen allclose all

Basic Examples  (3)Basic Examples  (3)

Show the import elements available in a 3DS file:

Click for copyable input

Import an example file, rendering it as a 3D graphic:

Click for copyable input

Create a solid 3D object using RegionPlot3D:

Click for copyable input

Export it to 3DS:

Click for copyable input

An Export example using inline 3D graphics:

Click for copyable input
Introduced in 2007