4D Interactive Models

4D Interactive Models, also known as 4DIMs,  were previously C Tech’s primary 3D publishing method, however, 4DIMs have been supplanted by the C Tech 3D Scene Viewer and EVS Presentations.

Each frame of a 4DIM could represent different content and/or views, and could be rotated, zoomed and panned.  However, there was no other possible interaction such as:

  • Probing for coordinates or data values
  • Modification of the opacity, visibility or rendering properties of any object in the frame

Even more important than the above interactivity, C Tech Web Scenes (CTWS) offer multi-dimensional modification of key model parameters.  Let me explain.

We might want to have slices through the model in the X, Y & Z directions.  In the CTWS shown below, for this rectangular grid with a Z Scale of 4, we have created 10 foot steps in X & Y and 2 foot steps in Z.  This yielded:

  • 57 slice positions (states) for X
  • 41 states for Y and
  • 27 states for Z.

With a CTWS we can position each slice direction at any of its positions independent of the other two slices.  We accomplish this with only 125 total states (57+41+27).

If we want to create something similar with a 4DIM, we need individual frames for every possible combination of slice positions.  That would require 63,099 4DIM frames (57*41*27).

The worse part would be the difficulty of determining the 4DIM frame that puts each slice where you’d want it.  If you want to change the opacity of the plume or slices, that was never possible in a 4DIM.

In a CTWS, all of that is easy.

Three Independently Controllable Slices at a Painting Facility