By Sam Bain

Imagine you have built an amazing geological model. You have identified and fixed the problems in the core logging, you have reconciled the lithology labels used by the different historical surveys of the area, your geological surfaces are consistent with the data and make geological sense, your grade model has been built taking into account the geological structures and you are happy with its predictions. Is that your job done? No, of course not. Every project is started in order to solve specific problems. Once a project is completed, the solutions must be shared with those who need them. You need tools which let you to easily share the key results of the project. Leapfrog products include a range of tools which let you to do this. In this blog post we will look at one of these: the Leapfrog saved scene.

A Leapfrog saved “scene” remembers the current objects in the 3D scene and also the scene settings. Viewing a saved scene will restore the same objects to the 3D scene using the same viewing angle and scene settings.  A saved scene allows you to store a 3D view of your project. Such a scene might point out key features of the project viewed from a particular angle, using appropriate slicing and transparency settings.

A scene is easy to create. Once you have constructed a view in the 3D scene that you wish to save, simply right click on the “Saved Scenes and Movies” folder and choose the “Save Current Scene” option (Figure 1). You can also use the Ctrl + ‘ hotkey.

Figure 1: Create a new saved scene

Figure 1: Create a new saved scene

In addition to providing an informative scene name, you can also write a comment that is stored with the scene (Figure 2). This might describe what the scene shows, the key features, or who created the scene. This comment can be edited later if required.

Figure 2: Name a saved scene. A comment can also be stored with the scene.

Figure 2: Naming a saved scene. A comment can also be stored with the scene.

A new scene is stored underneath the “Saved Scenes and Movies” folder in the project tree.

Figure 3: Where saved scenes live

Figure 3: Where saved scenes live

A scene remembers what objects (including the ruler) were in the 3D scene along with the scene list controls for each of these objects (most notably visibility and slice mode). Overlay options, such as grid, axes, scale bar, and compass along with the z-scaling, lighting, and perspective visualisation settings are also remembered.

A scene does not remember the colour scheme settings, such as the background colour and line styles. These settings must be edited in the Colour Scheme tab of the Scene Preferences. A scene also does not remember the graphics acceleration mode. The best graphics mode varies for different computers, and therefore we recommend you identify the most appropriate graphics mode for your particular machine. This is a good reason for a scene to not override the graphics mode setting.

A good plan when accessing a Leapfrog project for the first time is to first look for any saved scenes. A well-constructed scene can explain how the geological model was built. Such an introductory scene provides a good starting point for someone new to the project, showing them the principle data sources and how they have been used.

Saved scenes can be exported from Leapfrog and distributed to other parties for viewing in the free Leapfrog Viewer. This software displays a Leapfrog scene in the same 3D environment as within the other Leapfrog products, with the only limitation being that the scene and objects within it cannot be edited. All the same objects will be present in the scene as when it is viewed in other Leapfrog products, and they will initially have the same transparency and slicer settings as were set when the scene was created. However, the view can be rotated, the slicer moved, and the transparency and slicer settings of objects changed in order to further explore the scene.

The first step for sharing a scene using the Viewer is to export it from Leapfrog. To do this simply right click the “Saved Scenes and Movies” folder and choose the “Export Scenes…” option (Figure 4).

Figure 4: To export a saved scene, right click on the “Saved Scenes and Movies” folder and choose the "Export Scenes" option

Figure 4: To export a saved scene, right click on the “Saved Scenes and Movies” folder and choose the “Export Scenes” option

You must then choose which of the scenes in the project are to be exported. A list of the available scenes is provided for this purpose (Figure 5). Once the required sections for export have been selected, click “OK”.

Figure 5: Select the scenes that you wish to export

Figure 5: Select the scenes that you wish to export

The next dialog asks you first how to deal with hidden objects in the scene (Figure 6 – 1). The hidden objects referred to here are objects that are in the Leapfrog scene but have their visibility turned off. While you might want these objects to be invisible, you might also want to include them in a scene so that others can turn their visibility on and see how they relate to the other objects present.

The second part of this dialog deals with what information is shared in the exported scene (Figure 6 – 2). When you click on an object in the 3D scene within other Leapfrog products a scene selection window opens. This window presents different information depending on the nature of the object selected. As an example, clicking on a drillhole assay segment in the 3D scene will open a scene selection window that gives you the Hole ID, the interval information (‘from’ and ‘to’ values), and all assay values associated with that segment. The options in the dialog shown in Figure 6 control what will happen if the object is clicked on in the 3D scene within the Viewer. If the first option – “Export shapes only” – is selected then clicking on an object in the Viewer will simply show the objects name in the scene selection window. If the second option is chosen – “Export all data that appears when I click” – then all the information associated with each object will be viewable in the scene selection window. These options let you control how confidential data is shared with a scene.

Figure 6: Export options for saved scenes. Choose whether hidden shapes in the saved scene are to be exported (1). Choose whether to share data associated with shapes in the exported scenes (2).

Figure 6: Export options for saved scenes. Choose whether hidden shapes in the saved scene are to be exported (1). Choose whether to share data associated with shapes in the exported scenes (2).

The exported scene or scenes are combined into a single Leapfrog View file (.lfview). This file can be opened by the Leapfrog Viewer.

The Viewer is an easy to use piece of software that lets you explore a scene or collection of scenes. The image below shows a saved scene open in the Viewer (Figure 7). I have separated the controls into 4 broad areas:

  • Area 1 is where you can change which scene is displayed in the 3D scene. As we discussed earlier, a Viewer file can consist of a series of exported scenes. If this is the case, you can click on the arrows to change the scene that is currently being viewed.
  • Area 2 contains most of the standard tools you might recognise from the main Leapfrog products. You can add a slicer or plane to the 3D view and use the ruler tool to measure distances. The two extra controls are the “Look” drop-down menu, which allows you to change your point of view of the scene, and the auto-rotate button which starts the scene rotating in the 3D scene.
  • Area 3 is where you can set the behaviour of the slicer when it is in the scene. These are mostly the same slicer controls you will be used to from the main Leapfrog products, such as “remove front”, “remove back”, and “thick slice”. Additionally, you can set the slicer to move with the camera. This option combined with the auto-rotate lets you present a model with a slicer rotating through it.
  • Area 4 is much like the project tree within other Leapfrog products. It contains a list of the objects in the scene. Each object has a visibility control (on/off) and a transparency slider. If the object is a mesh it will also have controls on how the wireframe is displayed.
Figure 7: The Leapfrog Viewer

Figure 7: The Leapfrog Viewer

The Viewer is a free download that is available from the Leapfrog website.

Once the software has been installed you can open exported scenes (.lfview files) from any Leapfrog product (Geo, Mining, Hydro, and Geothermal). The Viewer can be downloaded and installed on as many computers as required. Our aim is to provide an easy to use and freely distributable medium in which you can share your modelling results with others in 3D. Traditional 2D outputs such as cross-sections and rendered images allow you to show fixed slices of your model to others, whereas the Viewer lets you demonstrate your geological models strengths and complexities in full 3D.

To recap, in this blog we have looked at Leapfrog saved scenes, exporting these as .lfview files, and then opening these in the Leapfrog Viewer. Saved scenes let you store a particular 3D scene. The objects in the scene are remembered, along with their transparency and slice modes. A saved scene will also remember overlays and scene settings. Scenes are exported as .lfview files which can be opened and explored in the freely downloadable Leapfrog Viewer. The Viewer has all the 3D viewing performance of the other Leapfrog products. This allows you to easily share your 3D models with others.


Further Reading:
Read more about 3D implicit modelling.