{Interactive \TeX-aware \acro{3D} vector graphics}
{John Bowman}
{Asymptote is a powerful descriptive vector graphics language for
technical drawing recently developed at the University of Alberta. It
attempts to do for figures what \AllTeX\ does for equations. In contrast
to MetaPost, Asymptote features robust floating-point numerics,
high-order functions, and a \Cplusplus\slash Java-like syntax. It uses
the simplex linear programming method to resolve overall size
constraints for fixed-sized and scalable objects. Asymptote understands
affine transformations and uses complex multiplication to rotate
vectors. Labels and equations are typeset with \TeX, for professional
quality and overall document consistency.
The feature of Asymptote that has caused the greatest excitement in the
mathematical typesetting community is the ability to generate and embed
inline interactive \acro{3D} vector illustrations within \PDF\ files,
using Adobe's highly compressed \acro{PRC} format, which can describe
smooth surfaces and curves without polygonal
tessellation. Three-dimensional output can also be viewed directly with
Asymptote's native Open\acro{GL}-based renderer. Asymptote thus provides
the scientific community with a self-contained and powerful \TeX-aware
facility for generating portable interactive three-dimensional vector
graphics.}