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

If Surfer crashes when creating 3D surface maps, or when opening an SRF file with a surface map in it, then there 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 visit your video card manufacturer's website to get the latest driver for your video card.  Alternatively, some computer manufacturer's (Dell, HP, etc) release their own driver updates for hardware included with different computer models.

If updating the video card driver does not resolve the behavior, there is a way to force Surfer to use the Microsoft software video 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 Rendering in the left pane of the Options dialog.
  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 3D surface maps and in the 3D View. However, if you are not working with extremely high resolution grid files and image overlays, you may not notice the difference.


Updated November 8, 2018





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