1. On the VZAP home page, select “Collection”. This will load the Dynamic Image Engine tool.
  2. Choose a taxon or taxa and/or elements. Select “Continue” or “Compare Selected”.
  3. The Element Wall will Load. The Element Wall will display the anterior (appendicular) or dorsal (axial) view of the chosen element. If no elements are selected, a “place holder” element (usually the cranium) will be displayed for each taxon. If “Compare Selected” is chosen all elements from the selected taxa will be displayed.
  4. Zoom in and out using the scroll wheel on your mouse.
  5. For taxonomic, element, side, and orientation information select an image. A menu will be displayed with specimen/element information and links to additional media.
  6. To view all elements for the selected specimen, select "2D Images", then “View all Elements”
  7. To view all orientations for a selected element, select "2D Images", then “View all Orientations”. Click on the images to display the anatomical orientation.
  8. To view a 3D model, select "3D Images", then select one of the three available resolutions.
  9. To see detailed taxonomic, element, and specimen information, select “Specimen Details”.
  10. To organize the Element Wall by sex, age, and side, select the filter on the top left of the screen.
  11. To compare elements from specimens in the same taxonomic family, select "Compare Family".
  12. To select individual specimens for comparison, select "Add for Comparison".
  13. To remove individual specimens or elements from the comparison, select "Remove", then "Species", "Specimen", or "Element".
  14. To return to the classification tool, select it from the buttons at the lower right of the screen.

3D PDF Functions:


Click and hold the right mouse button and then drag in the direction you wish to rotate the element.


Click and hold both the right and left mouse buttons and then drag the element in the direction you wish to pan.


Use the scroll wheel on the mouse to zoom in and out on the surface of the element.


When available, select an anatomical orientation for an element. The element will automatically rotate to the correct orientation.

Cross section:

Utilize the cross section feature to examine the surface cross section from multiple planes.

3D Measurement Tool:

Utilize the measurement tool to create point-to-point, circumference, angle, and other measurements on the surface of the model.

Enable Extra Lighting:

This tool allows the user to dynamically manipulate the lighting conditions of the model.

Model Render Mode:

This tool allows the user to switch the model to wire-frame, vertices, and other render modes. 

For additional information, please consult interacting with 3d models in the Adobe Acrobat manual.

Idaho State University Canadian Museum of Civilization Informatic Research Institute Idaho Virtualization Laboratory Idaho Museum of Natural History National Science Foundation HITZ Foundation Port Townsend Marine Science Center Sitka Sound Science Center Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers ARC-0808933 and ARC-1023321. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.