Embedding Models? + El Thetarino

To paraphrase Kazez: Why look it up when I can just ask you?

So I could spend a lot of time googlin’ and researching and not coming up with anything, or I could just ask the good wholesome people of the internet. Anyone know a method of embedding models into this blog so that people can at least easily rotate and perhaps pan and zoom?

And just so there’s a picture. An order 2 Scharlemann cycle gets its brown “corners” identified to form a Mobius Band. An order 3 Scharlemann cyce gets its brown “corners” identified to form a Whatchamacallit Band. I’ve been calling it a Twisted Theta Band since the induced boundary graph is a theta-graph, but it’s not just a product theta-graph. Idunno: the Threebius? Tribius? Threeta? El Thetarino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing?

Mobius and Threebius

~ by Ken Baker on June 2, 2008.

35 Responses to “Embedding Models? + El Thetarino”

  1. I would recommend jReality (www.jreality.de) that has support for lots of formats, OpenGL (applets, CAVE envirionments etc) and is made especially for visualization of mathematics. Do you simply want to display models or also animate them?
    If you need any help developing an applet with jReality I’d be happy to help you, since I’d be happy to help with a blog that I like.

  2. Call it irregular slacks.

  3. I vote for “Möbius pants”.

  4. I just got the Big Leboowski reference. Nice one..

  5. If you have access to Mathematica, LiveGraphics3D makes nice embeddable 3D graphics with rotate & zoom.


  6. Thanks for the link JS. Some neat examples there. I didn’t know about LiveGraphics3D.

    A month or so ago I had modified the Mathematica code for Apery’s parametrization of Boy’s surface that appears in Carter’s book to be one of the Mathematcia Demonstrations so that you could mess with parametrization. But the Mathematica installation on the machines I’d been using had some issues with 3d graphics libraries and would quickly crash. So I haven’t yet uploaded it to their repository.

    Once I get on a suitable machine, I’ll have to try making that into a LiveGraphics3D.

  7. Processing might meet your needs- it’s getting a lot of use recently in applets. The syntax is similar to Java, and since it’s so hot right now in the design world, you can find oodles of documentation for it.
    Here’s a link: http://processing.org/

  8. Take a Mobius strip with three flips. Cut it down the middle and you get a loop. with a trefoil knot and 8 twists. Give the paper six intersections and the twists are gone, draw the fat graphs knot diagram. Why does it take 6 intersections to flatten the curves? you tube “mobius strip knot diagrams”

  9. Javaview is used on many webpages

  10. Thanks Lars. Javaview looks promising since it will load obj files and both Sketchup and Rhino export to obj.

    Still have to figure out how to get the colors to transfer though. Right now all my models are a uniform pale blue when loaded into Javaview.

  11. maybe you already know about the sketchup web exporter:

    i haven’t tried this myself yet, but it looks promising and pretty easy to use.

    • Currently that web exporter is setup for MS Windows. But I adapted its script to produce some images on The square and granny tangle. WordPress doesn’t seem to permit the embedding of java, so you have to follow some links. Here‘s one of them.

  12. Hi Ken,
    Did you get anywhere with LiveGraphics3d (or other software)? I’d like to embed stuff like this: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/TruncatedSquarePyramid.html into my own blog http://www.mickybullock.com and would be interested if you had found a way! Cheers

    • Hi Micky,

      I haven’t found any satisfactory method yet for getting my models embedded. Every method I’ve tried has had one drawback or another.

      As for LiveGraphics3D, most things I’ve made aren’t so easily done with Mathematica, so I haven’t bothered myself too much with LiveGraphics3D. The Mathematica Demonstrations, while not embeddable, allow others to download, view, and manipulate… so that may be an option.

      There seem to be more options coming available for SketchUp, especially if you run Windows.

      Depending on what kind of interactivity you want, you can cheat things by creating an array of snapshots and using java to control their display. This is what I was referring to in the previous comment.

      Let me know how it goes for you!

  13. You can link to the ones that you upload to the google warehouse, eg

    but i don’t think you can embed this because wordpress.com won’t allow the tag in your post’s html.

    this is not really optimal though…

    • Thanks Andrew. It is unfortunate that wordpress is a restrictive this way.

      I did something similar to what’s done on the 3dwarehouse at the end of this post , but you have to follow the link at the end.

  14. How about 3d pdf. We use them a lot for xchange with arch’s etc.
    We generate them from Bentley Microstation – very simple to create and view.

  15. JLW – I tried that once, but wasn’t very successful… though I forget why. I’ll have to give it another go.

  16. back in 2006(?), google had interactive tutorials for sketchup. i think they may have been swf.
    also, i’ve come across papervision or flashscript demos. some have been a bit freaky (mouse interaction), but they’ve somehow seemed limited to whatever algorithm behind the demo.
    there’s also some file type (i’ve forgotten) that’s the 00’s version of vrml.
    i’ve never used any of these, so don’t know if useful. plus, maybe you’ve already rejected these..

    • Thanks, I think they were swf. They had a javascript for “rotation” of models which was really just a series of images flipped through by dragging a mouse. I tried using a version of that in the square and granny post.
      That encountered the issue of wordpress not allowing javascript.

  17. check out what people are doing over on chrome experiments – in particular, something like this:
    suggests that with a little jscript, you might be able to get something to work…

    • Cool. I’ll look into that more when I manage to find that elusive month lurking somewhere in cracks between July and August. But that does seem to have potential.

  18. another possiblity, which i have only begun to investigate myself, is
    this is promising because it does not rely on java, but does require
    a WebGL browser and may need users to update their graphics card
    it is promising because it uses only html tags.
    of course it also depends upon how you want to create, import and export your graphics/models.

    i will be doing some testing of all this and get back to you if you might find it useful.


    colin martin

  19. i have just realised that your first post for this was 3 years ago.
    i think that reflects the difficulty we have found in finding an
    elegant solution. the variety of available solutions also reflects
    this i think. i notice ‘processing’ was suggested [dec 17, 2008]
    and there is also papervision.
    the main trouble with all of these is that by the time we have
    done all the coding necessary, we have lost our enthusiasm
    for presenting our image/model.
    that’s why i am hoping that x3dom might be similar to
    including other media in web pages. we will see.


  20. Have you tried asking on StackOverflow? (I think it’s on-topic there, anyway.)

  21. There was something called VRML back in the late 90’s. I don’t know if it’s supported by anyone anymore but I think it would suit your purpose.

    • Thanks. I’ve looked into VRML before. I recall having trouble exporting my models into a format that retained all the desired info. I may look into it again. Of course it seems other simple means of 3d models through browsers are budding.

      • Hi Ken

        I use a JavaScript library, Three.js, to build interactive web-enabled 3D stuff that uses WebGL – no plugin necessary.

        You can see examples of the library here:


        Here is an example of the stuff I am working on:


        I will be back on this app in a few weeks. The rendering of textures will be much improved and I plan to start adding ‘shaders; to the equations.

        I would delighted to work with you. The math of the future is – not in silly static squiggles on paper – but in code and interactive and in 3D!

      • Woah. Neat stuff!

  22. Take a look at Berlin TU site 3D interactive,


    I love your site and think of using it as a basic model for my own work.

    The Berlin Group seems inspired
    Sky Drive started doing a lot of remodelling and is really not suitable so I have to move my work somewhere more accessible. I agree with I also would dearly love to work with
    anyone who has as much enthusiasm.

    I work on a elastic bag concept with a primary circulant graph structure and fill it to create objects.

    My greatest problem is finding anyone to bounce ideas with.

    the math of the future might look like a woodworking shop . I love animated Multi-bodysequences through time and space

    • Hey that’s nice work. I’ve been toying with three.js a bit as prompted by Theo, but I’ll look into jReality too. Sorry for the long delay in reply.

      • Ken ,
        Once the main problem was simply Mathematical now we are getting older and the issue has grown to become communication methods.

        Since few communication specialists know what we are doing we must become a new kind of creature.
        This is a trained artist finding unusual math objects in the sky.

  23. Uploading your models to sketchfab and then sharing them through sketchfab’s embedded viewer seems to be the easiest solution at this time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: