June 2020: Rich text, a new 3D loading progress indicator, and more

Make key concepts in your 3D model’s complementary text stand out with rich text formatting, now available in chapter descriptions and label descriptions. Studio users will also benefit from upgrades to our Dark label theme, a new auto-capture option for setting your chapter’s starting position, and a more robust search utility in Explore that yields more accurate and comprehensive results. Finally, learners and educators alike will appreciate several updates to the Viewer experience, including a more informative loading progress indicator and more prominent audio controls.


Rich text in chapter and label descriptions

Product: Human Studio

We've added a rich text formatting menu to the chapter description and label description fields* in Human Studio that will enable you to both 1) format text within your 3D model and 2) paste formatted text into your 3D model.

Expand the labels and description panel in the 3D model below to see rich text in action.



1. Format text within your 3D model

When you’re adding text to the chapter description or label description field in your 3D model, you can now bold or italicize words to draw the learner's attention to key information, and insert the following elements into your text:

  • Bulleted lists
  • Numbered lists
  • Superscript and subscript
  • Greek letters
  • Hyperlinks

Rich text is essential for explaining complex health topics to learners, as it makes it easier for them to visually extract important information from your text.

Both text fields also now support the following keyboard shortcuts*:

Action Windows Mac
Select all text Ctrl+A Command+A
Bold selection Ctrl+B Command+B
Italicize selection Ctrl+I Command+I
Cut selection to clipboard Ctrl+X Command+X
Copy selection to clipboard Ctrl+C Command+C
Paste clipboard Ctrl+V Command+V
Undo last edit Ctrl+Z Command+Z


2. Paste formatted text into your 3D model

If you prefer to write your text in a separate application, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, your formatting will now be preserved if you copy and paste this text into your 3D model in the BioDigital Human. Simply copy your formatted text wherever you wrote it, and then use Ctrl+V or Command+V to paste the text into the chapter description or label description field.



  • Rich text formatting is only supported in our description fields. It is not supported in any title fields.
  • Underlining is not supported. To emphasize specific words or phrases, use bold or italics.


New progressive loading experience for tours

Product: Human Viewer

The anatomical structures that make up our 3D models have always loaded into the Human Viewer progressively, giving learners a chance to see the body "built" before their eyes. However, the order in which these structures appear has been updated to allow learners to interact sooner.


"Assets": defined

There are two primary types of files, or "assets," that can make up a BioDigital Human model: Static and animated. Static assets are what give shape, color, and texture to the 3D graphics themselves, while animated assets are the files that enable any animated elements, such as a beating heart or red blood cells, to move. Not all models contain animated assets – only those that include the "Animated" tag in the Library.


What's changed?

Previously, all of the static assets in a tour would load first, followed by the animated assets. This means that in a five-chapter tour in which chapter 1 was a beating heart, the learner had to wait until all of the static assets in chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 had loaded before the heart in chapter 1 would begin to beat. This is because the beating motion is triggered by animated assets, which wouldn't load in chapter 1 until chapter 5's static assets had all loaded. 

Now, the static and animated assets are loaded for each chapter in sequence, beginning with chapter 1. In the same five-chapter tour described above (in which chapter 1 is a beating heart), the learner only has to wait for chapter 1's static assets to load before chapter 1's animated assets are loaded as well – and the heart begins to beat. See below for a comparison of the loading sequence before and after this update.

Before After

Chapter 1 static assets

Chapter 2 static assets

Chapter 3 static assets

Chapter 4 static assets

Chapter 5 static assets

Chapter 1 animated assets

Chapter 2 animated assets

Chapter 3 animated assets

Chapter 4 animated assets

Chapter 5 animated assets

Chapter 1 static assets

Chapter 1 animated assets

Chapter 2 static assets

Chapter 2 animated assets

Chapter 3 static assets

Chapter 3 animated assets

Chapter 4 static assets

Chapter 4 animated assets

Chapter 5 static assets

Chapter 5 animated assets


What happens if you skip ahead to a different chapter?

If at any time during the new loading sequence outlined above, the learner advances to the next chapter or skips to a later chapter using the Chapter List, the Viewer will pause chapter 1's loading progress, and the static and animated assets in the selected chapter will begin to load instead. This means the learner will not have to wait for for chapter 1's assets to finish loading and can begin to interact with their selected chapter sooner.


What does this update mean for my learners? 

This new loading sequence ensures that your learners are able to interact with the first chapter – or whichever chapter they choose to view first – as soon as possible. In tours where the first chapter is animated, this update will also lend the appearance of shorter loading times.


New loading progress indicator (opt-in only)

Product: Human Viewer

We've updated the loading progress indicator in the Human Viewer so that it represents the loading progress of the active chapter instead of the entire tour. This update is designed to give learners the confidence to begin interacting with the active chapter right away instead of feeling like they need to wait.

We've also introduced a new type of loading progress indicator – a progress circle – that more explicitly tells your learners the loading status of the active chapter. 

The default loading progress indicator visualizes the progress of the chapter while it loads via a progress bar that appears along the top margin of the 3D scene. 


The new progress circle also visualizes the progress of the chapter while it loads, but it additionally tells learners what percentage of the chapter has loaded so they have a better sense of how much time is left.


Like the progress bar, the progress circle will appear after any "Click to Interact" prompt has been clicked, and it will disappear once the active chapter has fully loaded.

To enable the progress circle in your published model(s), add the first URL parameter below to your BioDigital Human URL(s).


URL parameters for loading progress indicators

&ui-loader=circle Enables progress circle (% indicator in front of 3D model)
&ui-loader=bar Enables progress bar (flat bar across top of 3D scene)
&ui-loader=none Disables default progress bar

Auto-capture option for setting starting position and thumbnail 

Product: Human Studio

Every model and tour chapter in the Human Library has a default starting position, or the model's position in 3D space when the learner first enters the chapter. Every chapter also has a thumbnail image, which provides a preview of the 3D model as it will appear to the learner. This thumbnail will also appear in the Chapter List in the Human Viewer. 

By default, your model's starting position and thumbnail will now be captured automatically as you customize your model. As you move the model around (zoom in, zoom out, pan, or rotate), hide or show structures, and apply paint or effects, you'll see all of your updates reflected in the thumbnail with every step. This means that when you save your model or tour, the current position of the model in each chapter will be the new starting position for that chapter. 


Note: To opt out of auto-capture or to manually update your thumbnail image at any time, deselect the Auto-capture starting position option at the top of the Chapters menu. The Capture button will then appear under each chapter.



Consolidated media controls

Product: Human Viewer

For custom models that include audio*, the Play/Pause Audio button has been relocated from the information panel to the toolbar next to the other media controls, including the Play/Pause Animation button and animation scrubber. Consolidating the audio controls with the other media controls will provide a more intuitive experience for the learner, who previously may not have known to look in the information panel.

Large (≥960px wide)


Small and medium (≤959px wide)


As always, the audio must be turned on by the learner; it will not begin playing automatically.

Clicking on the scrubber will now open the media bar, which contains the following options (from left to right):

  • Play/Pause Animation
  • Play Chapter from Start
  • Expanded scrubber
  • Play/Pause Audio
  • Close Media Bar


The new Play Chapter from Start button enables the learner to replay both the audio and animation from the beginning of the chapter at the same time.






*Note: Audio is only available for custom models built by the BioDigital team and is not yet available in Human Studio.


Advanced styles and actions for dark label theme

Product: Human Studio

The advanced styles and actions previously available for light labels only are now available for dark labels as well.

When you select the Dark label theme under Style, you will now have access to the following additional style options:

  • Label Pin: Switch from the default Plus / Minus pin to a plain Circle pin.
  • Label Type: Switch from the default Leader Line style to Floating, and decide whether you want your label tag to appear on the left or right side of the pin.
  • Make Pin Glow: Add a flickering “glow” to your button to encourage the user to click on it.

Under Actionsyou will also be able to hide what happens to your dark labels when the model first loads and when the user clicks on your labels:

  • On Load
    • Hide description: Hide/collapse the label description when the model loads. (Then you can show/expand it when the user clicks!)
  • On Click
    • Show description: If you've decided to hide your label description on load, you can set it to reappear when the user clicks on the label.
    • Zoom label: When the user clicks on the label, you can either disable the default zoom-in function entirely, or zoom in on a fixed position of your choosing. To zoom to a fixed position:
      1. In the drop-down menu, switch from from Zoom to label structure to Zoom to fixed position.
      2. Use your mouse, keyboard, or 3D controls to reposition the model. (When the user clicks on the label, the model will zoom in to this exact position.)
      3. Click Mark Position.


Improved 3D model search

Product: BioDigital Human web app

We've made updates to the web app's search function that will yield more accurate, more comprehensive search results. Your search results will now include matches between your search term(s) and the following items and will be ranked in the same order (i.e., matches to the model title will be listed first, followed by matches in the model description, etc.):

  • Model title
  • Model description
  • Label titles and descriptions
  • Anatomical structure names (new!)

Additional updates include:

  • Search results are now translated into your language of choice.
  • You can now search multiple keywords (separated by commas). Results from a multiple-keyword search will yield results on both keywords.