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OFF format description

This text is based on the OFF format description in the Geomview Documentation and has been edited to describe the features supported by the Antiprism programs. See also - Geomview OOGL Tutorial.

OFF Files in Antiprism

The conventional suffix for OFF files is '.off'.


OFF                        # Header keyword
NVertices  NFaces  NEdges  # NEdges not used or checked

x[0]  y[0]  z[0]           # Vertices, any extra data is ignored
x[NVertices-1]  y[NVertices-1]  z[NVertices-1]

                           # Faces
                           # Nv = # vertices on this face
                           # v[0] ... v[Nv-1]: vertex indices
                           #    in range 0..NVertices-1
Nv  v[0] v[1] ... v[Nv-1]  colorspec
                           # colorspec continues past v[Nv-1]
                           # to end-of-line; may be 0 to 4 numbers
                           # nothing: default
                           # integer: colormap index
                           # 3 or 4 integers: RGB[A] values 0..255
                           # 3 or 4 floats: RGB[A] values 0..1

OFF files (name for "object file format") represent collections of planar polygons with possibly shared vertices, a convenient way to describe polyhedra. The polygons may be concave but there's no provision for polygons containing holes.

An OFF file must begin with a header line that includes the keyword OFF;

Three ASCII integers follow: NVertices, NFaces, and NEdges. Thse are the number of vertices, faces, and edges, respectively. Current software does not use nor check NEdges.

The vertex coordinates follow: 3 floating-point values. They are implicitly numbered 0 through NVertices-1.

Following these are the face descriptions, typically written with one line per face. Each has the form

N  Vert1 Vert2 ... VertN  [color]

Here N is the number of vertices on this face, and Vert1 through VertN are indices into the list of vertices (in the range 0..NVertices-1).

The optional color may take several forms. Line breaks are significant here: the color description begins after VertN and ends with the end of the line (or the next # comment). A color may be:

the default color
one integer
index into a colormap, the index numbers can be converted to color values using the off_color program.
three or four integers
RGB and possibly alpha values in the range 0..255
three or four floating-point numbers
RGB and possibly alpha values in the range 0..1
For display purposes a two-vertex face may be used to hold an edge color, and a one-vertex face may be used to hold a vertex color.

Antiprism treats the colour (0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0), completely transparent black, as a non-display color.

A value of '1' is valid in both the integer and floating point ranges, which allows more than one interpretation of some colors. The color '1 0 0' may be a near-black written for the integer range, or red written for the floating point range.

When reading a file an integer interpretation is prefered over a floating point interpretation. However, if all the integer color values in the file are either 1 or 0 then they are all converted to 0.0 and 1.0 in the floating point range.

To avoid ambiguities color values are written in the floating point range and always with a decimal point.

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Contact:      -      Modified 12.9.2016