In Depth #6: Solid/Triangulation Simplification

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What is Solid/Triangulation simplification?

When generating volumes, qualities and reserves having accurate detailed Solids is an important part of the process. However most of the time in Spry you’re using your Solids as a visual aid where the high level of detail is usually unnecessary. In addition common triangulations such as topographies often are imported with a similarly high level of detail. Solid Simplification reduces the complexity of any Solid or Triangulation by use of one of two methods (Point Collapse and Convex Hull) which has the following benefits:

  • Reduced video memory requirement (~50mb of Video Memory per 1,000,000 triangles)
  • Reduced Spry model size (~20mb of Disk Space per 1,000,000 triangles)
  • Reduced load times

The simplified 3D models should possess a similar amount of assistance when scheduling but help your models run more smoothly than before!

What’s the difference between Point Collapse and Convex Hull?

The Point Collapse method reduces the number of faces on a Solid and can be controlled (primarily) through an angle tolerance. Results should provide a good approximation of the shape of the original Solid. The Convex Hull method does not have any real options and completely rebuilds the Solid which provides generally a heavy reduction in the number of faces but generates Solids with very little detail (and destroy any concave shapes). Use Point Collapse as a primary method and Convex Hull when you REALLY need to reduce the size of your Solids on a slow/old computer or a really large model.

What is the best way to produce simplified Solids?

To simplify Solids on a Table right-click the Table and select Utilities -> Solid Simplification.

Solid Simplification menu

Simplifications can be stored either in a new Solid Field (preserving the original Solid in your Database = larger model size) or can overwrite the existing Solid Field.

Because it can be difficult to determine how much simplification to apply before applying it (see example comparisons below) the recommended method is as follows:

  1. Create one new Field for each Solid Field you wish to simplify
  2. First Pass: Run the Solid Simplification tool over your original Solids and do NOT overwrite existing Solid but instead set “Target Solid” to your new Solid Field. Use Point Collapse with a lower value (5 or 10 degrees)
  3. Set your Scenario to use the new Solid Field/s and inspect the simplification by (re)loading your Solids
  4. Second Pass: Run the Solid Simplification tool over your new Solids and increase the Point Collapse Normal Difference to a higher amount and recheck
  5. Continue the previous step until you’re satisfied with the correct Normal Difference setting
  6. If you went too far, use the last best setting and run over your original Solids
  7. If you wish to reduce your model size, export your original Solids and then delete the original Solids Field. In addition go to Database Maintenance in the back-end Spry settings and run “Compact Database”

The reason for these steps is to reduce error and assist in producing the best possible result. If you don’t want to be so careful just make sure you back up your Solids in advance!

What is the best way to produce simplified Triangulations?

To simplify Triangulations in your Design tab right-click any Triangulation and select Simplify.

Triangulation Simplification

Similar to the Solid process above, the recommended process is to not overwrite at first, but to create “_Simplified” clones until you are happy with the result. To reduce the size of your model once completed the recommended process is to export your original Triangulation, delete it in your Spry model and then run “Compact Database” in your back-end Spry Database Maintenance settings.


Example Comparison: Solid Simplifications


Example Comparison: Triangulation Simplifications