9. Multi-piece datasets

SPIERSview can combine two or more ‘.spv’ format files (both compact and presurfaces varieties) into a single multi-piece model; this facility is useful for combining parts of an object initilly reconstructed as multiple SPIERSedit datasets (e.g. part and counterpart of a fossil). Each ‘.spv’ file incorporated is known as a piece. The Pieces panel (see Fig. 2) shows all the pieces making up the currently open file – if no extra pieces have been imported, there will be only one such piece.

Items in the pieces panel by default have the filename imported – they can be renamed (by double clicking) to provide a more helpful name.

New pieces can be imported into SPIERSview using the Import piece command on the SPIERSview menu. These must be ‘.spv’ files, and must be files saved by SPIERSview itself – files exported by SPIERSedit cannot be imported directly (to get around this restriction simply load any such file into SPIERSview, then save it again). Pieces can be removed by selecting them in the Pieces panel and using the Remove Piece command on the SPIERSview menu. They can also be replaced with new versions using the Replace Piece command on the SPIERSview menu; this preserves any re-positioning, grouping of objects, etc performed on the piece being replaced, so is useful to re-import updated files from a SPIERSedit dataset.

Objects from all pieces are shown in the objects panel. On import the objects from a new piece will appear at the bottom, but they can be grouped with objects from other pieces, and/or moved up and down the list at will.

When new pieces are imported they will not typically be correctly positioned relative to one-another. To manually reposition, the user should use the Reposition Selected mode described above. To assist with this, selecting a piece in the pieces panel automatically selects all the objects in the piece in the Object panel, ensuring that the correct objects are moved.

Legacy ‘.sp2’ files (see above) are opened by SPIERSview as multi-piece files.