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  • Frans Basson

GEM4D Version available for download

Updated: Dec 15, 2019

This is a collective blog update for the past five GEM4D-versions. The individual updates were reasonably small, but the collective update is significant. Many thanks for the feedback from many users, and the specific contributions from TL, TP, JD, KdP, LC, NT, CH, EC, KG, LH, JS, EH, FB, EZ, RK, RT, AB and HA.

New functionality

  • Use "Ribbon => Drillhole => Other actions => Composites" to create composites from Geotech lines data. Only a Geotech lines file is required to create composites. The created file can then directly be loaded as Marker-data with all the associated functionality.

  • Use "Ribbon => Driilhole => Other actions => Marker points" to create points data along a drillhole file, for example lab testing data. A survey lines file is required in addition to the oriented logging file. The file can directly be read a Marker-data.

  • Use "Ribbon => Driilhole => Other actions => Mapping discs" to create Mapping-data from oriented core logging with Alpha and Beta angles. A survey lines file is required in addition to the oriented logging file. The file can be directly be read as Mapping-data. As this functionality is not yet well tested, please check and let me know if you find errors.

  • "Ribbon => Marker => Marker filters => Manual => Relative to meshes" now also include a distance option. If the distance is kept as the default "-1", the value is ignore. Any other value will limit the search distance to the selected value. This function works exactly the same for Mapping-data.

  • "Ribbon => External => PrisVec (prisms)" no have an additional option to determine start and end points by doing a least squares best fit to the spatial data.

  • "Top toolbar => Blue colour palette icon => Colour on PPV from coordinate" now includes a generic PPV-formula for blasting to accommodate more sites.

  • Optimisations to"Ribbon => Marker => Marker actions => Density => Add grid density column", as the method was slow for large files. The speed increase is roughly 3 to 5 times depending on various factors.

  • Block model grid refinements, customised options, and optimisations to"Ribbon => Marker => Marker actions => Density => Create regular grid". This is getting used by more users, and more flexibility was required.

  • Re-introduce automatic scene rotation with the "+" and "-" keyboard buttons.

  • The "Escape" keyboard button now stops rotation and resets all active actions.


  • Change the Mapping grid heading "Trace" to "Size".

  • Interface changes to better match the overall program logic.

  • "Ribbon => Settings => Mesh lighting and shading" now also effects images and textures.

  • The drillhole methods now take column names across to output files.

Bug fixes

  • Improvements to "Top toolbar => Crossed swords icon => Split meshes on pick mesh", but some issues still remain. It is really difficult to accommodate all special cases with Boolean functions.

  • Data filtering had issues in some versions - fixed.

  • "Ribbon => Image => Load files => OBJ with texture" is now more robust and could read all test OBJ-files with their textures that I tested.

  • Errors when assigning RocScience layer names - fixed.

  • "Top toolbar => Ruler icon => Save as CSV and DXF-files" did not save the information in the correct format to load as "Ribbon => Drillhole => Survey lines => Load survey" lines files - fixed.

  • The "Ribbon => Settings => Camera => Fix distance" was not working - fixed.

Discussion: OBJ-file with texture

OBJ-files can be loaded in one of two ways:

  1. "Ribbon => Mesh => Import files => Wavefront (OBJ)" load a OBJ-file, convert to DXF, and the object is then available to all normal mesh functions. This option does not support textures on the mesh.

  2. "Ribbon => Image => Import files => Wavefront (OBJ)" load OBJ-files with the associated textures, and the topic of this discussion.

Loading a OBJ-file with textures require two associated files - a MTL-file and JPG-file. Both the OBJ and MTL files are text files that can be opened with Notepad for investigation. The JPG-file normally looks like a mosaic, and the connection between the mesh vertices and texture locations are in the OBJ-file.

OBJ-files are normally used to import photogrammetry images into GEM4D. I use AutoDesk ReCap which costs only A$420 per year (or A$45 per month). ReMake is far superior to AutoDesk 123DCatch which was previously available for free. ReMake allows me to take a few photos of any areas along my way and create a mesh with texture within minutes. ReMake is really easy and does not require camera calibration etc. Upload the photos and a mesh is available minutes later.

Depending on the purpose, it could be useful to play with the lighting settings "Ribbon => Settings => Mesh lighting and shading" - see images below to see the difference of light settings.

No shading

Ribbon => Settings => Mesh lighting and shading => Smooth shading / High contrast

Smooth shading & High contrast

Ribbon => Settings => Mesh lighting and shading => No shading

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