Volume 21, Number 11 , December 2005
Fill Patterns in MineSight® 3-D
Fill patterns are read from an ASCII file called,
fill_pattern.txt. MineSight® 3-D will first look for
this file in the local project _msresources subdi-
rectory, and then checks the directory specified by
the %medexe% environment variable. If this file does
not exist, MineSight® 3-D has nine built-in standard
patterns (Figure 3). Solid is the default fill pattern in
Figure 1 showing several surfaces colored using fill patterns.
Fill patterns are a very useful display option that is
invoked when you choose to display filled polygons
or surface faces (Figures 1 and 2).
Figure 3 shows the nine standard fill patterns used
by MineSight® 3-D, if fill_pattern.txt does
A fill_pattern.txt file with 131 standard pat-
terns is provided in the 2005 Update CD installation.
These patterns are modeled after standard geologic
patterns published by the U.S. Geological Survey in
Open File report 99-430: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/
Assigning Fill Patterns
Figure 2 shows the Object
Properties Polylines To use or change a fill pattern, on the Object Prop-
and Surfaces dialogs erties | Polyline dialog, toggle ON Polygon Fill or on
with the Polygon Fill the Object Properties | Surfaces, toggle ON
and Show Faces options (continued on page 3)
outlined in red.
Inside This Issue: It’s Seminar Time ... page 13
2005/2006 Training Schedule... page 14 Tips from Tech Support:
A Year in Review... page 15 The Display of Model Blocks in MineSight®... page 7
Call for Papers 23rd Annual Mintec, Inc. Seminar... page 13 Tip of the Month... page 12
Current Affairs Trade Shows and Seminars... page 16
Fill Patterns in MineSight® 3-D... page 2 Update on WinTab Drivers for Digitizer Tablets... page 12
Directory... page 13
2 December 2005
MineSight® in the Foreground
(Fill Patterns in MineSight® 3-D continued from page 2)
Show Faces (as shown in Figure 2). Then click on
the pattern button and the Fill Pattern dialog
will be displayed (Figure 4). A single cell from
the selected pattern will be displayed in the large
window in this dialog.
Figure 5. Shows a non-inverted view at the bottom of the previous
column (gray background, blue pattern), and an inverted above (blue
background, gray pattern).
Toggle ON Transparent Pattern to turn off the
visibility of the pattern (Figure 6a). If Invert Pattern
option is also toggled ON, then the face (or back-
ground fill) color will be transparent, leaving the pat-
tern visible in the viewer (Figure 6b).
Figure 4. Fill pattern dialog showing one cell of the pattern. Click on the
Item Chooser (circled in red) to bring up the fill pattern list, as read from
Colors for the polygon/face and pattern are set in
the Fill Style or Face Style sections on the Object
Properties | Polylines or Surfaces page (shown in
Figure 2). Toggle ON Invert Pattern to reverse the
colors selected for the face/polygon versus the pat-
tern, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 6a (on the top) and 6b (on the bottom) show the use of the
Transparent Option, not inverted on the top (gray face color and black
transparent pattern) and inverted on the bottom (transparent face and
(continued on page 4)
December 2005 3
MineSight® in the Foreground
(Fill Patterns in MineSight® 3-D continued from page 3)
To change the current pattern to a different pat- can make the patterns as simple or complex as you
tern, click on the item chooser button , and the fill wish, we recommend using a smaller resolution size
pattern list, as read from fill_pattern.txt, will be (e.g., 8x8 or 12x12 pixels).
displayed (Figure 4). Select a fill pattern from the 131 You can create custom patterns from existing
available patterns on the list. images using the script, mspatconv.py to convert
images to text files. The image file must be able to
hold at least a 24-bit image, and fill patterns can be
created from BMP, PNG, and TIF files. Resulting text
files can be appended to fill_pattern.txt. This
script is available from Mintec, Inc. Technical Sup-
port, and it requires the Python Imaging library (PIL)
to be installed in \python\Lib\site-packages.
PIL is available for free and can be downloaded from
Figure 7 shows a portion of the list of patterns as read from fill_ http://www.pythonware.com/products/pil/.
patterns.txt. Use the scroll bar along the bottom of the window to Beware that if the resolution of the fill patterns is
view the entire list.
too large, the patterns may only be useful for plots,
Customizing fill_pattern.txt and for the limited resolution of a computer monitor,
they may be too big. The solution is to use a smaller
fill_pattern.txt is an ASCII file that can be
resolution. A rule-of-thumb recommendation is to
modified using any text editor. Patterns can be cre-
use no more than a fifth to a tenth of the screen width.
ated manually by using “X” for the pattern and “.” for
Patterns repeat, or ‘tile’, so they can be defined rela-
the background face. In the fill_pattern.txt file,
tively small in the fill_pattern.txt file.
each pattern is defined by a Start (“fill pattern”) and
End (“end fill pattern”), has a name and the number A relatively complex fill pattern (from fill_
of pixels in the X and Y directions. The number of pattern.txt) is shown as an example of how intri-
pixels in the X and Y directions refers to the number cate patterns can be (Figure 9).
of characters by column (X) and row (Y). There can be
no blank lines or blank spaces in a pattern definition;
however, a blank line separates different patterns.
For the example in Figure 8 the syntax for pattern,
“Limestone, interbedded shale (679)” (from Figure 4)
is shown as it exists in fill_pattern.txt (Figure 8).
Figure 8 shows an example of a relatively simple fill pattern from
When displayed, the pattern will be tiled in the Figure 9, shows fill pattern, “Ore 733”, a fairly complex pattern.
viewer in the polygon or surface selected. While you (continued on page 5)
4 December 2005
MineSight® in the Foreground
(Fill Patterns in MineSight® 3-D continued from page 4)
This complex pattern looks like the following in on the icon). Then click on the Strip Definition
MineSight® 3-D (Figure 10). Notice how the single cell icon to define the strip width, color and pattern items
of the pattern is displayed in the Fill Pattern dialog, (Figure 12).
but it is tiled on the surface (or polygon) in the viewer.
Figure 10 shows a single cell of a complex fill pattern in the Fill Pattern
dialog, and the same pattern used on a surface.
Display fill patterns in Drillhole Intervals
Setting different patterns for drillhole intervals is
Figure 12 shows the Drillhole View Properties | Strips page, with
based on cutoff values, but viewing the patterns is the Strip Definition dialog. Strips are viewed in 2-D mode.
done via Strips in 2-D mode (Figure 11).
Display Fill Patterns on Model Blocks
From the Drillhole View Properties dialog | Gen-
eral tab page select the display (Cutoff) item, then Fill patterns can be viewed on model blocks in 2-D
click on the Cutoffs button. When the Cutoff line and 3-D modes, but their setup depends on the model
colors dialog is displayed, choose the interval you display type. For filled polygons and 3-D blocks
want patterned and click on Properties. Then go to display styles, the fill pattern is based on the proper-
the Polygons tab page and toggle ON Polygon Fill ties of the individual display item’s (or hatch item’s)
as described above and click on the pattern icon to cutoff intervals (Figure 13). For Surface/Slab, con-
choose the pattern you want to use. tours, and Smooth contours display styles, the fill
pattern is based on the Model properties (Figure 14).
(continued on page 6)
Does your site currently make use of
any user-subroutines which will need to
be re-compiled prior to switching to the
MineSight® 2005 version? If so, are they
available to submit to Mintec, Inc. for
Figure 11 shows a cross sectional view through a Drillhole View in
2-D mode with Strips ON, using fill patterns. recompiling? Remember, this will need to
Once the fill patterns types have been set for the be done before March 31, 2006!
various intervals, go to the Drillhole View Properties
dialog | Strips tab page and add a General strip (click
December 2005 5
MineSight® in the Foreground
(Fill Patterns in MineSight® 3-D continued from page 5)
Figure 13 shows a level
in a 3DBM shown in the
Filled Polygons display
style. Note that some
cutoff intervals have fill
patterns, but not others.
The fill patterns were set
for some of the display
item’s cutoff values.
Figure 14 shows the same
area as in Figure 10, but in
a Surface/Slab display
style. Note that the fill
pattern is the same across
the model, regardless of the
display item’s cutoff values.
In this case, the fill pattern
is selected from the Model
Fill patterns are a great presentation tool as well as a helpful aid in geologic interpretation.
6 December 2005