3DS (.3ds)

Background & Context

    • 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 & 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 expri as specifying the corresponding elemi.
  • 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.

Import Elements

  • 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 "Graphics3D" element by default for 3DS files.
  • The "VertexData" 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 "VerticalAxis"->{0,1,0}, the Wolfram Language will apply the transformation {x,y,z}->{x,-z,y} to all graphics coordinates when importing from 3DS, and the inverse transformation when exporting to 3DS.


Basic Examples  (3)

Show the import elements available in a 3DS file:

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

Create a solid 3D object using RegionPlot3D:

Export it to 3DS:

An Export example using inline 3D graphics:

Introduced in 2007