3D Graphics Performance Comparison – Part 9 (Acrobat)

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Although Adobe Acrobat is not a CAD system, it is being widely promoted to the Manufacturing industry. So I thought I might as well compare it with other CAD systems. Using the default graphics settings, I found that Acrobat dropped some parts during the navigation. Gavin Bridgeman from Tech Soft 3D, the company that handles Adobe’s 3D side of business, advised me to import the STEP file into Acrobat using the preset 3D conversion setting called “Large File”. Actually I feel a bit stupid because that is something I should have done in the first place. Instead I had gone ahead and selected “Default” which obviously turned out to be a “jack of all traits and master of none” kind of a setting.

Since Acrobat is not a CAD system it has the liberty of loading 3D data in ways that suits different purposes. For example, if you are loading a STEP file to convert it into a Parasolid file, Acrobat will need to load model as solid Breps. However if you opening the STEP file just  to view it, as in our case, then it can load only the render mesh.

The “Large File” preset differs quite a bit from “Default” in the following ways:

  1. 3D PMI and Views are ignored
  2. Attributes are ignored
  3. Level of Detail (LOD) is set to “Low” instead of “Medium”
  4. The PRC tessellation is not compressed

Since the LOD was set to “Low” I expected the navigation to be smoother due to a smaller number of triangles but the display quality to deteriorate. But I was quite surprised to see this.

Click image for larger view

This “Low” setting for LOD is actually pretty good. Apparently, there is another setting below “Low” called “Extra Low” which make things look quite bad. Anyways, I decided to go ahead with the recommended “Low” LOD and imported the STEP file. Here is a video showing the performance.

At the beginning it looks promising but then towards the end parts start to drop off. Here is the original video using the “Default” 3D conversion setting where parts start to drop off right at the beginning itself.

I’m sure if I had set the LOD to “Extra Low” there would be no dropping of parts, but then this comparison is also about a respectable display quality and not just speed. I think I will need to create a new category for Acrobat.

Part 10 >>