3. Starting SPIERSview

3.1. Opening a file

SPIERSview uses a single-document model – it only views one file at once. To view another files you simply open multiple copies of the program, and to close a file you close the program.

SPIERSview can be launched in one of two ways

1) Launching the SPIERSview program directly: this will bring up a dialog allowing you to select the file you want to load. If you cancel the load dialog, the program will close.

2) (Recommended) Double-clicking a ‘.spv’, ‘.spvf’, ‘.vaxml’ or ‘.sp2’ file will launch SPIERSview on this data.

3.2. Initial processing

When launched, SPIERSview first processes the data to generate viewable objects, first calculating ‘isosurfaces’ (3D triangle-meshes) from slice-based data using the Marching Cubes algorithm, and then by the conversion of these into a viewable format; this entire process may take anything from a second or two to several minutes, and depends on the type of file opened (see above) and the complexity of the objects. Note that for VAXML files, these tasks may include the downloading of STL or PLY data from a remote server, which may be slow. Progress bars show the progress of this work; the top bar represents overall progress, and the lower bar the progress of each subtask. Note that the user can begin interacting with the model before once the first object has been loading; subsequent objects will appear as they become available.