Digital Steganography: A New File Type for 3D Models

Digital Steganography is the practice of concealing one file type within another, such as text within in image (it is also a long-standing method of encryption used by security agencies…). In this presentation I will describe a novel method for encoding 3D geometric data within an image file that create a new, cross platform file type for 3D models. The X,Y, Z values of a triangulated mesh, such as would typically be described by an STL file, can be mapped, more or less, directly to the R,G,B values of a pixel within a simple PNG file. Once mapped, the data can be organised within the image in may novel ways that create a 2D representation whose data is, at the same time, both human and machine readable. Using a number of prototype tools, developed using the processing programming language, I will demonstrate the following;
– Limitless opportunities for file encryption, using custom codes as well as image editing software.
– New ways of tracking ‘the diff’ between various 3D models files that are enabled by this new file format.
– Improvements in file compression when compared to other 3D file formats.

Phil Langley

I am an architect and computational designer based in London and I am a PhD candidate at the Sheffield School of Architecture (SSoA) where my research is concerned with the agency of software and its social production within the field of architectural design. I am a visiting design tutor at SSoA where I co-organised the postgraduate design studio 'Open Data', with Mark Meagher. I am also a co-director of the design and research collective openkhana.net https://github.com/phiLangley/openPHD