11.0 MicroMODEL 3-D DISPLAY TOOLS

11.1 Introduction

The 3D Display Tool Sub-Menu appears below:

  1. Return To Main Menu
  2. Command Shell
  3. Create 3D Data From Drillholes
  4. Create 3D Data from Surface
  5. Create 3D Data from Grade/Rock
  6. Create 3D Data from Digitized Polygons
  7. Create 3D Data from Plot File Filled Rectangles
  8. Create 3D Rendering of Search Ellipse
  9. Display 3D Data / ParaView File Conversion

This module gives the user access to five separate programs that are used to generate 3D displays from MicroMODEL data.

11.2 Command Shell

This menu choice enables the user to invoke commands and run external programs without exiting MicroMODEL. This program is simply a command shell. The user enters as many commands as desired. Type "EXIT" at the command prompt to return to MicroMODEL.

11.3 Create 3D Data From Drillholes

This menu choice runs the program that allows the user to generate 3D display data from drillhole samples or composites. Output file format can either be the 3D MicroMODEL format, the 3D AutoCAD DXF format, or both.

If drillhole class limits are in effect, then only those holes that are part of the currently selected class or classes will be exported to the 3D data file.

Drillhole class limits are set in a separate screen. If no limits are in effect, then the text "USE ALL DRILLHOLES" appears next to the answerset name field in black letters. If limits are in effect, then the classes that are included are listed next to the answerset name field in red letters. For example, if input is limited to classes 1 and 3, then this text will read "DH LIMITED TO 1,3".

Drillholes can be limited to a Minimum and Maximum Easting plus a Minimum and Maximum Northing range, if desired. In order to ignore these Easting and Northing limits, a check box is provided. Check the "Check Here to Ignore Limits (Show All Holes) box to ignore the Easting and Northing limits.

If MicroMODEL 3D data format output is needed, then the user must check the box labelled "Write Information to MicroMODEL 3-D Data File". The name of the file must also be selected. This file should always be given an extension of ".DAT".

If AutoCAD DXF format output is needed, then the user must check the box labelled "Write Information to DXF File". The name of the file must also be selected. This file should always have an extension of ".DXF". For AutoCAD output, the user must also provide an AutoCAD layer root name. The root name is used in generating the AutoCAD layer name. Each drillhole interval is given a pen number, based on a series of cutoff ranges. The pen number is appended to the AutoCAD layer root name to form the AutoCAD layer to which the drillhole interval is written. For example, if an interval would display with pen number 5, and the AutoCAD layer root name is "MICMOD", then that interval would be written out to AutoCAD layer "MICMOD05".

If desired, the user can create a separate DXF output file for each drillhole. To do this, check the box "One DXF File for Each Drillhole. When enabled, the program will generate individual output files that are named based on the DXF output file name which is entered plus the drillhole name. The new file is called (root)_(dhname).DXF, where (root) is the root name of the DXF output file specified and (dhname) is the drillhole name. For example, if the user specifies "DH.DXF" as the DXF output file name, and a drillhole is named "EXPL001", then the individual output name for that hole will be "DH_EXPL001.DXF".

For DXF Output, the user must enter the apparent radius to be used in displaying the drillhole intervals, along with the number of facets per cylinder. The drillhole interval cylinders are approximated by using a series of flat facets. Think of a wood pencil, which normally has six sides or facets. The apparent radius should generally be larger than the drillhole radius in real life. For example, a 5 inch diameter core hole should still be made at least a foot in diameter in order for the hole to display in the AutoCAD drawing. The number of facets should generally only be 3 or 6 to minimize the size of the output file, but if "real smooth" drillholes need to be displayed then the number of facets can be bumped up to 8 or 12.

A separate option allows the user to change the radius size used to display the drillhole, based on the grade of that interval. In general, this option is used to select larger radii for higher grade values and, thus, display the drillhole as "fatter" in areas of higher grade. Check the box "Specify Separate Radius for Each Grade Range" and enter the displayed radius of the drillhole for each grade range on a separate screen. Note that if the multiple radius option is selected, then the pen color option is automatically set to Multiple Colors and the user cannot change that setting. This is so that grade range information will be properly gathered. If the user needs to use only a single color, then specify the same pen color for all grade ranges.

The Drillhole name can be included in the DXF output, if desired. Check the "Display Drillhole Names" box, and enter the size of the label in real world units. With this option enabled, the drillhole name will be included in the DXF output. If the DXF is then imported into ParaViewGeo, the name of the hole is displayed in the X-Y plane along with the facets for that hole. Please note that at the current time, the drillhole name will NOT display in the simpler MicroMODEL 3-D viewer, due to limitations witht the 3rd party graphics software (Winteracter).

The user must choose whether sample intervals or composite intervals are displayed. Also, the user must select which grade label will be chosen for color code assignment. Alternatively, the rock code can be used for color code assignment.

Intervals can either all be displayed as one color, or color ranges can be specified based on the value of the grade label or rock code. If multiple colors are specified, then the user must define the cutoff ranges and pen numbers (colors) on a separate screen.

11.4 Create 3D Data From Surface

This menu choice runs the program that allows the user to generate 3D display data from a surface grid, such as original topography or a floating cone. If OPD subgridding is in effect, and an OPD Surface exists, then it can also be processed. Output file format can either be the 3D MicroMODEL format, the 3D AutoCAD DXF format, or both.

The user can specify a subset of the model to be used by specifying starting and ending rows and columns.

The surface to display must be chosen. It be original topography, one of the floating cone surfaces, or an OPD surface.

If MicroMODEL 3D data format output is needed, then the user must check the box labelled "Write Information to MicroMODEL 3-D Data File". The name of the file must also be selected. This file should always have an extension of ".DAT".

If AutoCAD DXF format output is needed, then the user must check the box labelled "Write Information to DXF File". The name of the file must also be selected. This file should always have an extension of ".DXF". For AutoCAD output, the user must also provide an AutoCAD layer name. The name entered is written to the AutoCAD file and the 3DFACE entities will all appear in that layer.

The program limits the total number of 3DFACE entities that are written to 100,000. If more than this number will be generated when writing data for every block in the model, then the program will generate 3DFACE triangles by combining every 2nd row and column. If this still generates more than 50,000 entities, then every 3rd row and column is combined.

11.5 Create 3D Data From Grade/Rock

This menu choice runs the program that allows the user to generate 3D display data from Grade block models, the Rock Model, or a comination of both. Format of the output file(s) can either be the 3D MicroMODEL format, the 3D AutoCAD DXF format, or both.

The user can specify a subset of the model to be used by specifying starting and ending rows, columns, and levels.

There are three different display options. The first is to show one or more rocks from the 3D Rock Model file (R200). Any blocks that match a list of one or more rock codes will be written to the 3D output. The second option is to display blocks from a 3D Grade model that meet a minimum and maximum value range. The third option is to show blocks from a 3D Grade model that meet a minimum and maximum value range, which also match a list of one or more rock codes in the 3D Rock model file.

For options one and three, the user must specify the number of rock codes to match, and enter the list of codes to include via a second input screen. Two check boxes are also provided so the user may choose mined blocks (rock values negative), and/or unmined blocks (rock values positive).

For options two and three, the user must specify the grade label and model type, and how many output files to produce (each file has its own grade range).

If MicroMODEL 3D data format output is needed, then the user must check the box labelled "Create MM 3-D Viewer File(s)". The name of the file(s) are generated from the Output File Root Name(s) that are selected. For example, with an output file root name of "Gold_01_to_05", the MM viewer file created will be "Gold_01_to_05.DAT".

If AutoCAD DXF format output is needed, then the user must check the box labelled "Create AutoCAD DXF File(s)". The name of the file(s) are generated from the Output File Root Name(s) that are selected. For example, with an output file root name of "Gold_01_to_05", the AutoCAD DXF file created will be "Gold_01_to_05.DXF". The user should also enter the desired AutoCAD layer name to use for each of the output files.

For each set of files to create, the user specifies the lower grade boundary and upper grade boundary for each file in the input grid. There are no checks to see if the various grade ranges overlap, nor are there checks to see if the same file root name is used more than once.

11.6 Create 3D Data from Digitized Polygons

This menu choice runs the program that allows the user to generate 3D display data from a digitized polygon file. This can be a topo contour file, pit design file, rock polygons in plan view file, or rock polygons in section. Output file format can either be the 3D MicroMODEL format, the 3D AutoCAD DXF format, or both.

The user can optionally "drape" the digitized polylines onto a cone surface. The draping option displays the polylines as they project onto the cone surface. This option is very useful in displaying floating cone results in which the mining is constrained to a boundary such as a patented land limit. If the drape option is selected, then the user also must specify a vertical offset (feet/meters). The polyline is displayed "offset" units above the cone surface. The offset allows the polylines to show completely, without being obscured by the surface (assuming the surface is also being displayed). A suggested value for the offset is one-half of a model block height.

The user can specify a subset of the model to be used by specifying starting and ending rows, columns, and levels. Alternatively, the box labelled "Show All (No Limits)" can be checked to override the row/column/level limits.

There are four different types of input data that can be converted. The first is digitized topography stored in a standard MicroMODEL POLY.CNT file, or topo data extracted directly from a PolyMap project. The second is digitized pit design data stored in a standard MicroMODEL POLY.PIT file, or pit design information from a PolyMap project. The third type of data is plan view rock polygons which must come from a standard MicroMODEL POLY.RKP file. Finally, the fourth type of data is section view rock polygons that must come from a standard MicroMODEL POLY.RKS file.

Depending on the input option, the user must select the proper input file by pressing one of five buttons. These buttons access *.CNT files, *.PIT files, *.RKP files, *.RKS files, and PolyMap.

The user can control pen color for the rock polygon files. Pen color is controlled via a range of rock codes and pen choices. Topo and pit output files are written using a single pen color.

If MicroMODEL 3D data format output is needed, then the user must check the box labelled "Write Information to MicroMODEL 3D Data File" above output file name. The name of the file must also be selected. This file should always have an extension of ".DAT".

If AutoCAD DXF format output is needed, then the user must check the box labelled "Write Information to DXF File" above to the DXF Output file button. The name of the file must also be selected. This file should always have an extension of ".DXF". For AutoCAD output, the user must also provide an AutoCAD layer root. If a single Color is chosen, then the AutoCAD layer name for the 3DFACE enties will simply be the root name. If multiple colors are used, then the pen number is appended to the root name. For example, root name is "MICMOD" and pen number is 7, AutoCAD layer name will be "MICMOD07".

For rock polygons, if multiple colors are selected, then the user enters the rock code cutoffs and associated pen numbers on a second input screen.

11.7 Create 3D Data from Plot File Filled Rectangles

This menu choice runs the program that allows the user to generate 3D display data from any MicroMODEL plot file that displays filled color rectangles. Most likely candidates are "Plan View Cell Plot of Grid Values", "Plot Cell Values in Section", and "Plot Cell Values in Angled Section."

The user simply specifies the name of the plot file to convert (e.g. CELL.PLT) and the name of the 3-D Data File to create (e.g. 3DCELL.DAT). The color of the rectangles carries over to the 3-D Data File.

The user may find that it is necessary to leave space between sections and/or level maps in order to be able to easily view the colored rectangles in 3-D.

11.8 Create 3D Rendering of Search Ellipse

This menu choice runs the program that allows the user to generate a 3D image of a MicroMODEL search ellipse. This program is useful as an aid for visualizing the direction and anisotropic properties of oriented searches.

The user specifies a complete set of search parameters including Maximum Search Range, Primary Axis Length, Secondary Axis Length, Tertiary Axis Length, First Rotation Angle (Azimuth), Second Rotation Angle (Dip), and Third Rotation Angle (Tilt or Rake).

The user may elect to create a MicroMODEL Binary TIN file that can be displayed with the MicroMODEL 3-D viewer, or he can create a standard AutoCAD DXF file.

The user must specify the Center Easting, Northing, and Elevation of the ellipse. Normally, this will be the center of the project limits.

11.9 Display 3D Data / ParaView File Conversion

This menu choice runs the program that allows the user to either gererate a simple 3D view using a built-in 3D file viewer, or to convert a set of MicroMODEL 3D data into a format that is compatible with the ParaViewGeo (tm) 3D display program. The ParaViewGeo (tm) program is a very powerful and free software program that allows the user to display data in three dimensional format.

11.9.1 MicroMODEL 3D File Viewer

MicroMODEL 3D data files can be displayed with the built in MicroMODEL 3D viewer. The user selects the number of different 3D data files that will be displayed from an integer entry field. On a second input screen, the user selects the individual files, enters a brief description of the file, and chooses the single pen color to use when displaying the file. Note that drillhole display files and digitized polygon display files have the colors included as part of the file format, so a pen color is not chosen for these file types.

Binary wireframe files that have been created via conversion from DXF input can also be displayed. Simply choose the binary triangle file and select the desired pen color.

The brief description appears in a drop down menu labelled "Show", and by checking and unchecking the entry, the contents of the file can be made to appear or disappear.

These items also appear along the left hand side of the display as check boxes. The user can check or uncheck these boxes to display/not display each item. The color used to display each item is also shown as a small color box to the left of the checkbox. Another means for turning on and off the first twelve items is to simply press the F1 through F12 keys. Pressing the key toggles the display off and on.

The coordinates for MicroMODEL 3D output files are stored in local model coordinates. The default center of the display is the center of the model. The user may enter offsets from the center in local Easting, Northing, and Elevation. The user can also specify the viewing location relative to the model.

The Background Color for the display is selected via a pen color selection button on the first input screen. This color should be different than any of the colors used to display the pieces of the various input files. Generally, a light grey is a good choice.

The user can select the apparent radius to use for showing drillhole segments from drillhole files that are included in the display list. The number of facets per segment is also chosen. Reasonable choices are 1.0 units for radius, and 6 for the number of facets.

There are two radio buttons on the first input screen. To display the files using the MicroMODEL 3D display program, choose the radio button labelled "Normal Operation. Display Files with MicroMODEL Viewer. Otherwise, to use this program to generate a set of facet files for the ParaView program, select the radio button labelled "Generate .Facet Files for ParaView and Skip MicroMODEL Display.

The user may optionally display any or all of three axis lines (X,Y,Z) as part of the 3-D view. Check boxes control which axis lines are shown, and the user enters the total length of each axis line, as well as the color in which to display the axis. Finally, the user must specify the thickness in feet/meters for the axis lines (the lines are displayed as cylinders with a diameter equal to this thickness). The user also specifies the size of the axis labels in feet/meters. The labels are "X", "Y", and "Z".

A set of ten pre-defined view directions can be chosen from the "View" menu choice. "Down" sets the view looking down with North "up." "Up" sets the view looking up from below the model with North "up." The remaining eight choices allow the view to be set from the North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, and Northwest.

11.9.2 ParaView File Viewer

MicroMODEL generates files that are in the "Facet Polygonal Data Files" format for ParaView and thus are given the standard extension of ".facet". The ParaView program is case sensitive, and the files *MUST* have the extension of ".facet" (lower case letters) in order for ParaView to automatically decipher the format.

For ParaView file creation, the radio button labelled "Generate .Facet Files for ParaView and Skip MicroMODEL Display" must be chosen. Display offset parameters, viewing parameters, background color, Apparent Radius, and Number of Facets are all ignored for the ParaView file creation. The only relevant information is the number of files, and the file names.

Each 3D data file is reformatted into the ParaView facet file format. The name of the MicroMODEL 3D data file is used as the root for the output file. The ".DAT" part of the name is stripped and replaced with ".facet". For drillhole segment files and digitized polygon files, multiple output files are created, one for each unique pen number that is included in the input. For example, if a 3D data file (3DHOLE.DAT) contains pen number 6,9, and 12, then three facet files will be generated, with the names 3DHOLE06_.facet, 3DHOLE09_.facet, and 3DHOLE12_.facet. The underbar character is included in order to keep the ParaView input file dialog from contracting multiple file names (such as 3DHOLE06.facet, 3DHOLE09.facet, and 3DHOLE12.facet) into a tree structure element called "3DHOLE*.facet" which must be expanded in order to access the individual file names. And, since ParaView does NOT allow the user to select multiple files at the same time via this wildcard construct, it seemed this "feature" only got in the way.

Once the facet files have been created, they can then be read into the ParaView program. An installation program for ParaView can be downloaded from the MicroMODEL FTP site (\ParaView\paraview-3.4.0-win32-x86.exe). Just run the executable and ParaView will automatically install. To start Paraview, select Run > Programs > Paraview 3.4.0

Once the main ParaView display appears, the first thing to do is adjust the background color for the display. Select Edit > View Settings. Change the Background color by clicking on the "Choose Color" button. From the Select color dialog, click in the large color window to select the basic color, then, use the narrow window at the right to adjust the lightness/darkness of the background color. While in this dialog, you can opt to check the box "Use Parallel Projection" to change the projection method from the default setting of perspective projection.

Now you are ready to load in the facet files. Click on File > Open. Use the navigation dialog to select the drive, folder, and file name to open. Facet files will appear as members of the file list. One at a time, select the facet files you wish to display. When finished, click on the Apply button in the Object Inspector window.

To change the color of the various facet files, click on the file name in the Pipeline Browser, then click on the Display tab in the Object Inspector window. Select "Solid Color" from the Color by dropdown menu. Then, click on the "Set Solid Color" button to change the color for the facet file. Repeat this process for each of the facet files that have been loaded.

Once the files have been loaded, and the colors have been set, you can adjust the display using mouse drags to rotate, or mouse wheel to move in or out from the objects. There are buttons on the tool bar to allow you to view from the +X, -X, +Y, -Y, +Z, and -Z directions.

To save the current setup into a settings file that can be easily retrieved, select File > Save State. Enter the name of the Paraview state file to save (e.g. myproject.pvsm). You can now exit the program. To recall the old state file, rerun ParaView, then select File > Load State and then select the state file that was saved previously.

To start with a clean slate without exiting ParaView, select File > Disconnect and confirm that you want to disconnect. Any facet files that are currently open will be closed and removed form the Pipeline Browser.