I am trying to get started.

Pajek does well with outputing 2D graphs, e.g as SVG or JPG, but suggests X3D and several other choices for 3D output.

I would prefer a Blender solution for visualization of 3D graphs because of Blender's additional capabilities, if I succeed with getting the hang of it for simple uses, as I am a total novice with Blender now.

Blender does not complain about the X3D file I output from the Trade.net sample data set for Pajek on relations between nations in global trade. But Blender by default does not display the nodes and edges of the national_trade_graph.x3d I exported, just a cube with a central set of blue, red, and green axes around an orange square surrounded by orange and white circles.

If you have a suggestion to point out how to have Blender display the nodes (nations) and edges (trade) I would appreciate it.

Additionally, I only found one reference to use of Blender (for astronomical data), but none for social network data; if you know of any others using Blender like I want to, I would appreciate it.

I can provide sample data, a JPG image and the X3D file if you want.

I am willing to read the fine manual for Blender if you can point out to me where. Otherwise I will go back to Youtube tutorials.

Original data, JPG 2D image, and X3D file, requested by Duarte Farrajota Ramos in his edit, are hopefully now in Blend-Exchange but original data file, Trade.net provoked the message "You can't upload files of this type.", and national trade graph.jpg provoked same message, and also for national_trade_graph.x3d so my Upload there seems to be a failure. I guess Blend-Exchange is limited to .blend files.

I next tried Google Drive where I succeeded in uploading the files (and included national_trade_graph.x3d.blend) and have a link readable by anyone with it, no sign-in required https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/13xNc92zIJ2iAUwIekMRzbhgOjANKkfdr?usp=sharing

I saved national_trade_graph.x3d.blend and attempted to upload it to Blend-Exchange but got the message for this URL, https://blender.stackexchange.com/posts/143893/edit "The provided url is not valid, please copy and paste the entire url, including the "https://" header." I tried without the /edit but got same error message.

I hope with that trail of partial failure there may be clues of what I might do to correct the provision of data and graphs for this discussion.

  • $\begingroup$ please provide the original data file, an image of the data showing all the extra bits you are missing and preferably the .blend of what you have ended up with. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Jun 27, 2019 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ I uploaded the .blend file successfully to here: <img src="https://blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com/embedImage.png?bid=6191" /> $\endgroup$
    – pwrcul
    Jun 27, 2019 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ If I open the .blend file there is no sign you have completed the import, there is just the default cube. If I import the x3d then the result appears to have all the components of the JPG image so I am not sure what you are missing. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Jun 27, 2019 at 11:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you, rob! I just proved what a newbie I am. And... I am in business. I can climb the learning curve now... $\endgroup$
    – pwrcul
    Jun 27, 2019 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ added a full answer for anyone that stumbles across this in the future. we were all newbs once. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Jun 28, 2019 at 11:52

1 Answer 1


Blender defaults show a Cube along with a Camera object and a basic Lamp. This allows a first time user to immediately render a scene.

The most common instructions in Blender tutorials are to Delete this Cube so you can get on and do your own work.

Select the Cube with a Right mouse click (current Blender version 2.79b, changes in 2.8 to a Left click) and press delete and confirm to remove the Cube from the Scene.

From the File menu select Import and X3D Extensible 3D(.x3d,.wrl). enter image description here

Select your file and press the Import X3D/VRML2 button.

enter image description here

After a short while your model and all its components are loaded and visible.

All the components making up the diagram are now listed in the Outliner and it is worth learning how to use the Select Pattern function.

Press a to deselect everything and then Click the Select menu and Select Pattern ...

In the Select Pattern dialog change the Pattern from * to Shape_Text* enter image description here enter image description here

This will select all the Text elements and you can now move them with g(Grab) and y along the Y axis. Which allows you to nicely move the Text into the foreground or background.

  • $\begingroup$ rob, I will give that a try in a few hours when I get back. That's very helpful. $\endgroup$
    – pwrcul
    Jun 28, 2019 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ I think I see the Outliner on the right. I put in some time but was mainly baffled by my inability to find the Select Pattern option. And I have not deleted the cube yet. I am going to the sections starting with easyblend.org/html/getting_started/about docs.... $\endgroup$
    – pwrcul
    Jun 28, 2019 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ I can delete the cube and found select pattern but not yet grab text cloud and move it... Back later $\endgroup$
    – pwrcul
    Jun 29, 2019 at 4:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I grabbed text country labels and moved them out along y axis. Neat. I wonder if I can have a country name pop up when a node is selected. I wonder if I can make the edges for a country (and nodes) smaller and in color for particular nodes or groups, maybe through the Outliner? Back to bed now.... $\endgroup$
    – pwrcul
    Jun 29, 2019 at 10:48

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