Why are my 3D surface maps solid black on top, with the colors underneath, in Surfer?

The 3D surface map appearing to have a solid black top (the colors showing on the underside) in Surfer is a problem with the video card driver on the computer.

I suggest updating your video card driver to be sure it is the appropriate driver for your card, and is the most up-to-date version. 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 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 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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