Published on 05/9/2012

Car configurator

  • Car configurator

Tao Presentations is a great sofware allowing to create complex presentations with many dynamic and interactive elements.

A concrete example of this type of documents is the interactive, 3D car configurator, which you can download here. Like any Tao Presentations document, this document is best viewed on a 3D display. This document is illustrated below:

How to customize this document ?

The use of many CSV files (comma-separated values, a common exchange format for spreadsheets) makes it easy to change many aspects of this car configurator, by adding for instance, other car models, colors and options. Simply follow these instructions:

  • Changing the cars list:

To add or remove cars, simply open the cars.csv file and use the following line template (one line = one car):


In this document, we separated the cars in two components, chassis and body, which makes it possible to apply colors only to the body. You could naturally extend this principle further, for example to show multiple car options. 

  • Changing the colors list:

To add or remove body colors, simply open colors.csv file and use the following line template (one line = one color):


It is necessary to specify French and English names for each color because the document is bilingual. The hexadecimal code for common colors can be found here.

  • Changing the options list:

To add or remove some options, just open options.csv file and use the following template of lines ( one line = one options):


What do we learn from this document?

Here are some interesting aspects that this document can teach us:

  • Split large documents into smaller components:

It is very easy to combine separate files into a presentation thanks to the import primitive.

import "my_file.ddd" // Add a file into the current presentation

Splitting a complex document into smaller files makes it easier to test and manage the smaller components individually.

import "part1.ddd" // First part of the presentation
import "part2.ddd" // Second part of the presentation
import "partN.ddd" // Part N of the presentation
  • Loading CSV files:

The load_csv primitive, it is possible to load any CSV file and to process each line using a function passed as a parameter. An identical primitive also exists for TSV files. The following example will show only the first column of a three-columns table: 

load_csv "my_file.csv", my_function // Load the csv file
my_function c1, c2, c3 ->
text c1 // Show only the first column of each line
  • Creating a 3D slide show :

It very easy to build a dynamic slide show thanks to the 3D slide show module. To create it, we use the slider primive. This primitive takes two arguments, the total number of elements of the slide show and the name of the function used to display all these elements.

slider 4, my_function   // Slide show with 4 elements

We use also the slider_offset primitive in order to set offsets between elements along the (x, y, z) axes. Then we can build a basic slide show with this simple code :

import SlideShow3D // Add the required module

slider_offset 250, 0, 0 // Offset on the x-axis
slider 5, my_function // Display 4 éléments thanks to my_function

my_function N:integer ->
color_hsv N * 20, 0.5, 0.5
sphere 0, 0, 0, 200

key "Right" -> slider_previous // Move slide show backward
key "Left" -> slider_next // Move slide show forward

What can I do now ?

If you have understood all previous elements, it is very easy to extend the mechanism to create a large number of simple but amazing presentations, such for instance the star map shown here. Just imagine now what you can present in 3D!


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