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Why does Surfer crash when I create a 3D surface map?

The problem with Surfer crashing when creating 3D surface maps, or opening an SRF file with a surface map in it is a problem with the video card driver on the computer.

By default, Surfer uses the video card driver to display the 3D surfaces. Some video card drivers report to Surfer that they support Surfer's requirements to create the surface map, but actually do not. In these cases, the surface map can appear solid black on top or Surfer can crash.

Please update your video card driver to be sure it is the appropriate driver for your card, and is the most up to date version. In most cases, going to the video card manufacturer will have current drivers that aren't detected by Windows. You could also try using a different version of the driver to see if that helps solve the problem.

If that does not work, there is a way to force Surfer to use the older Microsoft driver on the computer to render the 3D surface maps instead of the video card driver.  To do this:

  1. Click File | Options.
  2. Click on Rendering in the left pane.
  3. In the right pane, uncheck the Enable OpenGL hardware acceleration box.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Restart Surfer for the option to take effect. Now open the SRF or recreate the surface map. It should appear correctly.

The main disadvantage to using the Microsoft driver is the decreased resolution for the surface map. Depending on your grid file though, and if you are not draping high resolution imagery over the surface, you may not notice it.

 

Updated September 21, 2017

 

 

 

 

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