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  • Frans Basson

GEM4D Version available for download

Version is a significant update with many graphics improvements such as clearer transparency, a new shading option, pseudo-3D points and lines. PrisVec were also improved to accommodate more file formats directly.

New functionality

  • Pseudo3D display options were added to display Mesh lines, Markers/Mapping points, Collars points, and Survey & Geotech lines. These pseudo objects appear similar to 3D objects but are still flat lines and points, and large amounts can be displayed - see "Discussion 1".

  • Add "Ribbon => Marker => Marker actions => Distance => Add vertical distance column", which calculates the distance between all Markers and their closest vertical intersection point with meshes.

  • Set multiple Marker iso-surfaces with "Left panel => Marker => Iso-surface and Colour mapping => Settings => Iso-surface options" - see "Discussion 2".

  • Tablet Mode finger gesturing now fully functional when pressing "Top toolbar => TABLET". In the TABLET-mode, you can now pinch and rotate the scene with two fingers.

  • Add a "Gloss" shading mode for report images with "Ribbon => Settings => Lights and Shading => Shading => Gloss". This option creates visually very pleasing images in some circumstances - see "Discussion 3".

  • "Ribbon => External => PrisVec (prisms)" functionality extensions:

    • Most CSV-files exported from prism software can now be directly read into PrisVec without using Excel to customise the format.

    • Native support was added for more file and date/time formats, with a "Custom" option.


  • A hardware translucency implementation with Z-buffer is now used. The main benefit is the accurate representation of multiple transparent objects in the scene, which are also visually more appealing - see "Discussion 4".

Bug fixes

  • When activating iso-surfaces, the contour plane was automatically displayed - fixed.

  • Image OBJ-files were not working on all files after the last update - fixed.

  • When transparent PNG-files were brought in as "Ribbon => Image => Load and import files => Image file JPG, PNG", the transparency was sometimes shown as black - fixed.

  • In some drill-holes functions and their exports, the legend names were not indicated in the correct order - fixed.

Discussion 1: Pseudo-3D representations for large datasets

Pseudo3D display options were added to many data types. These pseudo objects appear similar to 3D objects but remain flat lines and points, and large numbers can be displayed. Select the pseudo3D objects by using the options indicated below.

Mesh lines: "Ribbon => General settings => Pseudo 3D"

The following all start with "Left toolbar =>", then

Markers : "Markers => Marker type => Shape => 2D_Point3D".

Mapping: "Mapping => Orientation shape => Shape => 2D_Point3D"

Collars : "Drillhole => Collar => Collar marker properties => Shape => 2D_Point3D"

Survey : "Drillhole => Survey => Survey line properties => Shape => 2D_Line3D".

Geotech : "Drillhole => Geotech=> Attribute line properties => Shape => 2D_LineD".

The images below show ERF-function results displayed as normal points (2D_Point) in the top image, and as pseudo3D points (2D_Point3D) in the bottom image. The ERF-function is available from "Ribbon => Mesh => Export files => Mesh info as CSV => Radius Factor (ERF) on grid plane", and discussed in the Blog

Discussion 2: Multiple iso-surfaces

Multiple iso-surfaces can now be shown simultaneously as shown below using "Left panel => Marker => Iso-surface and Colour mapping => Settings => Iso-surface options". The iso-surfaces can be combined with the raw data (Markers), and the iso-surface on a selected plane (Contour plane).

Discussion 3: New "Gloss" Shading Mode

A new metallic gloss shading mode was added to "Ribbon => Settings => Lights and shading => Shading => Gloss". See below the pleasing images this shading creates for reports. Remember, that a screenshot can be taken directly from GEM4D by pressing the "c" key on the keyboard. The "c" stands for "copy-to-clipboard".

Discussion 4: Translucency improvements

The screenshots below show the difference in the transparency outcomes between the previous and latest implementations. The screenshots are of a regular grid of transparent Marker-points that are coloured on their relative depths. The images on the left show the previous implementation, which clearly shows that the depth sorting was not always done correctly when compared to the images on the right. The new implementation on the right shows the correct depth sorting of transparent objects, which hugely improves the accuracy of the visualization.

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