# How can I create 2D projections from a 3D object?

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Eric on 10 May 2016
Commented: Seung Jae Lee on 5 Apr 2023
I know I can use "radon" for creating 1D projections from 2D, but how can I get 2D projections from 3D objects (such as from a 3D file like an STL file).

Mike Garrity on 10 May 2016
One approach is the technique I showed in answers to this question, and this question.
The basic idea is that you take keep the faces of your geometry, but project the vertices onto the plane. That does mean that you've got multiple conincident polys, so it's not good for things like area computation. But if you just want the visual result, it works well and it's simple.
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Naveen Pathak on 7 Jun 2021
Hi Mike,
I have a simliar problem. Please, could you help me to plot the following:
Thank you.

Y.S. on 29 Mar 2023
2 methods I found that I want to place here for future reference:
[1] fast, but only works for convex shapes. Assuming you have a struct (fvIn) with vertices & faces
fvIn.vertices(:,3)=0; % squash all Z coords
verts = fvIn.vertices;
faces = fvIn.faces;
a = verts(faces(:, 2), :) - verts(faces(:, 1), :); % compute area of all triangles
b = verts(faces(:, 3), :) - verts(faces(:, 1), :);
c = cross(a, b, 2);
area2 = 1/2 * sum(sqrt(sum(c.^2, 2))); % Calculate total area, but this gives double the area because the shape is squashed
Ap = area2/2; %
[2] slow, but works for all shapes
Loop over all triangles, project them on the Z=0 plane, create a polyshape and combine(union) it with the other projected triangles
P = fvIn.vertices(fvIn.faces(1,:),1:2);
psSurfTot = polyshape(P);
for N = 2:size(fvIn.faces,1)
P = fvIn.vertices(fvIn.faces(N,:),1:2);
psSurfTMP = polyshape(P);
psSurfTot = union(psSurfTot,psSurfTMP);
end
% calculate projected area
Ap = area(psSurfTot);
I am still looking for a fast method that works for all shapes, but havent found any
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Seung Jae Lee on 5 Apr 2023
Hi, Naveen. How could you solve this problem? Can you please share your findings?