Displaying Continuous Data

Apr 30, 2013 in Tips and Tricks

This Tips and Tricks video covers alternative options for displaying continuous data in MVS using post_samples and field_math.  

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Projecting Water Tables to 2D Cross Sections

Feb 6, 2013 in Tips and Tricks

This Tips and Tricks video covers the process for adding a water table surface to a 2D Cross Section. It covers how to properly project the water table surface onto a straightened thin_fence module. The applications created for this tip and trick may be downloaded here: thin-fence_water_table-to-2d_start.v...

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3D Fence Diagrams Projected to Two Dimensions

Oct 26, 2012 in Tips and Tricks

We’re pleased to announce a two part series covering the creation of 3D Fence Diagrams and projecting them to two dimensions. Part One covers the creation in EVS/MVS and Part Two covers the specific tasks required to export as shapefiles and create a publication ready 2D cross-section in ArcGIS Desktop’s ArcMap. Part One: Creation of Fence Diagram in EVS and MVS: Part Two: Exporting Fence Diagram to ArcGIS Desktop   The application created by the end of Part One may be downloaded here: Fence-diagram-projected-to_2D.v...

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Time Domain Animation of Surface Data

Aug 24, 2012 in Tips and Tricks

In this episode of our Tips and Tricks, we’ve provided a video tutorial which covers the preparation of data and EVS/MVS applications to perform animation of time domain surface data such as water tables and ground subsidence.

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Array of Slices in MVS

Feb 2, 2012 in Tips and Tricks

In this episode of our Tips and Tricks, we’ve provided a video tutorial on how to create arrays of slices.  Instead of using multiple slice modules, each of which creates only a single slice, we’ll demonstrate a method to create any number of parallel slices perpendicular to the x and/or y axes. Instead of using multiple slice modules, each of which creates only a single slice, we’ll demonstrate a method to create any number of parallel slices perpendicular to the x and/or y axes. The files used by this video include: x-grid_objects.v y-grid_objects.v grid-slice.v...

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Isolines In Depth

Dec 8, 2011 in Tips and Tricks

We get quite a few questions about isolines, usually about how to adjust properties.  In this post I want to cover some important features in isolines as well as how to get the most out of this important module. The isolines module in EVS-PRO and MVS is very sophisticated and has some features we haven’t seen in any other product.  A series of contours are generated for you between your data min and max.  For linear data (not log processed) that is normally “n” (# of Isolines) equally spaced contours between two bounds.  You can also override the bounds so that they are a subset of your actual min/max. Please note, it is not always possible to have a contour AT your data min or max.  Creating contours requires that you have some data both above and below the desired contour level.  One way to understand this is that your max value may occur at only a single point (node) in your grid.  A countour around (or at) it would have no area. If your data is log processed isolines does a more intelligent job of positioning the contours.  The “# of Isolines” slider (defaults to 3) sets the number of contours per DECADE.  That means that for the example below with a min of 0.001 (log = -3) and max of 80999.184 (log = 4.908), there will be nearly 8 decades of range to this data.  In other words, the data spans nearly 8 orders of magnitude (Max/Min ~ 100 million).  This means there will be roughly 24 contours, though that number can vary a bit depending on your min and max.  This is because the contours will be spaced roughly equally in log space and will always include even decades (e.g. 0.01, 100, 10000). The settings above with this application will give us the following isoline contours. So now let’s use some of the more advanced features of isolines.  Sometimes our isolines will stand out better on our surfaces if they are not colored. We’ve turned off the “Color Lines” toggle and set the Default Color to be a medium gray. One confusing/troubling issue with isolines is that they are drawn as LINES.  Unlike a triangle which has area and gets bigger as you zoom in, lines are drawn in pixels.  A one pixel wide line will APPEAR wide when your viewer is small (as the pictures above), but as you zoom in the width of those lines will not change.  This makes the lines seem thinner when the image resolution is high.  Below is the same settings zoomed in. In this situation there are two ways to make the lines wider.  The quickest is to edit the properties of the isolines.  You normally do that by first selecting the isolines “object” in the Viewer and then go to Editors…Object…Advanced_Settings. If isolines are your only line object, OR if you want all line objects in the Viewer to be wider, you can actually skip the step of selecting the object.  If you do, you’ll be changing the properties of all line objects. I wouldn’t be thorough if I didn’t mention the other way to make “wide” lines.  The tubes module can be connected to the blue-black output of isolines and will turn your lines into tubes.  Tubes are drawn with...

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Plume_Shell vs. Plume_Volume

Jul 29, 2008 in Tips and Tricks

This tip will explain the differences between the new plume_shell and plume_volume modules. Understanding the important differences between these modules can significantly improve your visualizations.  Primarily, the output from plume_shell is a hollow shell and the output from plume_volume is a volume of solid cells.  Plume_volume provides a volumetric subset of volumetric input data.  It should normally be used only if you plan to have other modules connected to its output.  If the end goal is only visualization, you should normally use plume_shell which should be connected to the Viewer. In the image below there are identical plumes displayed using plume_shell and plume_volume. The plume_shell on the left has a much smoother surface. Image 1 – Default settings for plume_shell and plume_volume To make the plumes look identical, select ‘Remove Normals Generation’ from each of the plumes. Image 2 – Remove Normals Off To display transparent plumes, the most visually appealing image is usually plume_shell with the Culling Mode set to normal (off) (Image 4D). The plumes below are shown at 50% transparency. Image 3 – Culling Mode still on (default) Image 4 – Culling Mode off Finally, plume_volume is necessary to show a slice through a plume. As shown in Image 5, slices through plume_shell are only outlines of the plume. Image 5 – Slices through plume_shell and plume_volume Hopefully these images demonstrate that plume_shell should be used when possible as the surface of the plume generally looks smoother. Networks using plume_shell will also be faster than networks using plume_volume. Generally whenever the objective is additional subsetting or volumetric operations on the output plume_volume should be used.  For example, you can cut, slice, further subset (E.G. on an additional dataset using plume_volume) the output of plume_volume.  However, since plume_shell is only a shell, most subsequent subsetting will not provide the desired...

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Adding Parameters/Modules to an existing animation

Jul 2, 2008 in Tips and Tricks

When adding an additional parameter or module to the animator after you have created a handful of scenes it may speed things up if you change the settings for the parameter to what you want for all currently existing scenes prior to adding the parameter to the animator. For example, if you are adding an object (like an additional plume_shell) that you want to appear only later in the animation you can change the module’s visible setting to zero prior to adding it to the animator. By setting the visibility to zero prior to adding the module to the animator, the module’s visibility will be zero for all existing scenes in the animation. This step saves you from having to set it to zero in each and every scene. To change a module’s visibility setting, select the object and then either uncheck the “Object Visible” checkbox on the viewer, or open the object editor and on the main page of General Object Settings there is a radio button to set the...

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Hardware Recommendations and the Future of EVS and MVS

Oct 5, 2007 in Tips and Tricks

A common question asked of us at C Tech is information regarding suggestions for computer purchases. Read on to see our current recommendations, as well as a sneak peek at features in the upcoming Version 9 release of EVS and MVS. EVS and MVS both are advanced software packages. Choosing the correct system configuration can help EVS perform tremendously, and is not always a matter of price. In fact, often times, less expensive equipment can outperform more expensive hardware in EVS and MVS – if the correct components are chosen. Hardware recommendations are always difficult. The computer world changes at a fast pace – usually there are major improvements to computers every six months. For this article, I’m going to list our current 2007 recommendations for systems, as well as explain some of the reasoning behind specific options. There are three main factors in building a system for running EVS and MVS. First, you need to decide on your memory, or system RAM. The amount of memory required is completely dependent on the types of models you are going to build with EVS/MVS – in particular, the higher resolution model you create, the more memory you should have in your system. System memory doesn’t impact performance until you run out – once you use up your memory, the performance of the entire system slows dramatically. Fortunately, RAM has dropped significantly in price over the last few years. Over time, larger amounts of memory have become available at lower prices, so this is a fairly easy one to improve in your system. Also, having extra RAM will not hurt anything in your system. Given current ram prices, I always recommend at least 1 GB of RAM for any system running Windows XP, and 2 GB of RAM for any system running Windows Vista. If you plan on making large or detailed models, adding at least 1GB of extra RAM is an easy way to help the performance of your system. For making high resolution models, I’d recommend at least 2 GB of RAM, and preferably 4 GB. That being said – 2 GB is very useful, but adding much beyond that becomes less of an improvement. This is due to the way Windows handles memory – only 2 GB of system memory will be allocated to a single process, so adding 4 GB is only useful in that you are guaranteeing that there will always be enough memory for EVS, as well as the operating system and any other programs running. However, Windows Vista, in particular, can easily use nearly a full GB of ram for the operating system tasks, since it pre-loads a lot of process information into system memory, so 3 or 4 GB is quite useful there. Second, you need to decide on a graphics card. This is an important one for EVS/MVS – so much of what you do will be impacted by the choice of graphics card, since this will determine how well the Viewer responds to user interaction. Fortunately, graphics card manufacturers improve their products at an amazing pace. Unfortunately, they are not always good about keeping their OpenGL drivers in perfect shape, and EVS/MVS uses (and needs) a feature rich implementation of OpenGL. The most important factor in determining a graphics card isn’t...

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Placing Isolines on the Top of a Model

Feb 7, 2007 in Tips and Tricks

For our next article in the “Tips and Tricks” section, I thought I would discuss another frequently asked question – How do you place isolines on the top surface of a model? As many of you know, this is quite straightforward if you are using the standard kriging modules in EVS to build your model. However, it can get tricky if the model is already created. This can happen if you are trying to use an old EVS Field File of a model that was generated in the past, or if you are bringing in the results of a groundwater modeling simulation. Fortunately, there is a way to accomplish this… As I mentioned, if you are using the standard kriging modules, this is fairly straightforward. Just add a geologic_surface module to your network, and connect it to isolines. The geologic_surface module provides elevation data directly for isolines, and allows you to pick any of the surfaces of the model. But what happens when we start using a model coming from somewhere else? Let’s look at this same network, but this time, we’ll use an EFB (EVS Field File) that was saved previously… There’s no Krig_3D_Geology anymore, which means we have no surface to connect to isolines! If we still had the original geology file, we could add a Krig_3D_Geology to our network, and set it up to run the way we did before, but that would be a lot of extra information, and also adds an element of risk – it may be difficult (if not impossible) to exactly match the information that was used when creating the EFB file. To make matters worse, this EFB file may have come from some other source – like the results of a groundwater model package. In that case, we may have never had a geology file that we can use. Fortunately, there is a way to get there – the slope_aspect_splitter module. This module was added in Version 8.5, and has many uses. In this case, it will let us take a 3D model and split off just the top surface of the model. First, we’ll need to get a second Explode_and_Scale module. We’ll connect the green-gray and gray-brown ports from the main Explode_and_Scale module to our second, but in Explode_and_Scale#1, we’ll turn off all of the layers except the first. This Explode_and_Scale will now output a copy of just the first layer of our model. Without this, we would get isolines on the tops of each layer – not just on our top surface of the model. We’ll pass Explode_and_Scale#1 into our new slope_aspect_splitter module, then connect it’s first blue-black port to our isolines. Our network now looks like this: Once you have this connected, you’ll see isolines. By going into isolines and choosing Elevation as my Iso Component, and setting the min and max values appropriately, I was able to create the following picture: In this case, everything worked with all the default settings for slope_aspect_splitter. This module is the one that does all of the difficult work for us. Let’s look at its user interface: This module works by taking all of the external surfaces of a model, and splitting them into two separate outputs for us based on the slope or aspect of individual triangles in the...

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