Wikipedia:No 3D illustrations

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3D illustrations should not be used as general inline illustrations in articles.

This guideline refers to 3D images that use a method or technique to simulate depth such as anaglyph images and stereograms. This guideline does not apply to "3D images" or "3D renderings", that is, images created using 3D computer graphics that are 2D renderings of a 3D computerised model or scene. It also does not apply to the illustration of articles about the 3D techniques themselves, which may use anaglyphs or stereograms to illustrate points.

Reasons for the guideline[edit]

If you're not wearing the requisite spectacles, this 3D image looks a mess

3D images look suboptimal compared to standard 2D images. They show significant colour artifacting around edges when displayed at sizes larger than a small thumbnail. 3D images are only of immediate use or interest to a small set of people who have compatible 3D glasses at hand. However, 3D images can add value and interest to Wikipedia, and should be made easily accessible for people who have the required glasses to view them. This guideline defines two methods that can be used to link 3D images in to articles.

Alternatives to inline use[edit]

Alternatives to including 3D images directly in articles:

  • Link 2D and 3D images together in pairs of associated images. (In this scheme, 3D only images would be disallowed from inline display in Wikipedia articles; only paired 2D and 3D, or 2D only, would be allowed, and uploading 3D only would be cause for a speedy delete.)
    • The 2D image would be the default with an optional 3D image mentioned in the caption when available and displayed on the description page.
  • Upload 3D images to Wikimedia Commons and link to the commons page with {{commons}}.
  • The 3D images could be used to build a wikibook of 3D images. This would decrease the easy accessibility of the images, but might build into a useful resource of its own.


Linked 2D/3D images[edit]

A matching 2D/3D pair of images can be included as an illustration directly inline in any Wikipedia article. Optimally images using the linked 2D/3D system should also uploaded to commons as instructed below.

To add an image to Wikipedia that has both 2D and 3D versions:

  • Upload both images to the wiki-commons tag make sure the 3D image description includes [[Category:Anaglyphs]] and they are both placed in any other relevant category.
  • Add the 2D version to the article as normal.
  • Add {{3d alt|Name of 3D Version}} to the caption of the 2D image in order to advertise the existence of the 3D version. This will add a 3D glasses icon which will link to the 3D version.
  • Include the 3D image on the 2D images description page to help make sure interested people will be able to find it.

3D image gallery on Commons[edit]

If there is no room in the article for further illustrations or there is no 2D version available, 3D images can be provided via Wikimedia Commons.

  • Upload the 3D image to Wikimedia Commons
  • Add the image to [[Category:Anaglyphs]] and any other categories relevant to the image.
  • Add {{commons}} to the Wikipedia article to alert readers that there are further 3D images available on the commons gallery page.
  • Follow the link on the {{commons}} template and add the 3D image to the Commons page that corresponds to the Wikipedia article you want to link to it from. If possible add the image under a section heading of "3D Images". The last two steps should not be repeated for every relevant Wikipedia article.


3D template for including in the caption of linked 2D/3D images {{3d alt}} usage ( 3D image available)
Commons link to be placed near the end of any article with further 3D images available through commons {{commons}} usage