RockWare Webinars – RockWorks2020 Playlists

Interested in the new version of RockWorks? Back from field season and need a quick refresher? Have specific technical questions? Join RockWare for a live web demo and discussion.

Join us for a free webinar to learn about one of the most exciting new features in RockWorks2020: the Playlist. They are easy to create, easy to edit, and easy to run.

Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Time: 10 am Mountain Standard Time (USA)
(9 am Pacific, 11 am Central, 12 noon Eastern, US)
Duration: 30 min. demo/Q&A
ID: Nov2020

Email to Register Now

Read about the Playlist

Creating 3D Animations in RockWorks2020

RockWorks2020 includes a new Animation Menu (under the Graphics group of tools) that includes a number of new animation programs.  The benefit of including the animation programs as a menu item is that they can easily be added to Playlists and RockWare Command Scripts.  In this post, we’ll discuss some of the new functionality available through the Animation menu, specifically for three dimensional animations.  Here is a list of 3D animation program now available through the Animation menu:

XYZ->3D Surface Animation – Creates a 3D Surface Animation of X, Y, Z and Date data stored in the Datasheet

Grids -> 3D Surface Animation – Creates a 3D Surface Animation based on two end-member RwGrd files or a list of RwGrd files and dates

Solids – > 3D Animation – Creates a 3D Solid Animation based on two end-member RwMod files or a list of RwMod files and dates

Solids – > 3D Isoshell Animation – Creates a 3D Solid Animation based on two end-member RwMod files or a list of RwMod files and dates.  When using this tool, the user can specify up to six embedded “iso-shells” to display in the animation.

Solid Reveal – Creates a 3D Solid Animation where voxel layers are removed (or replaced) in the X, Y or Z direction.

RockPlot3D File -> Animation – Creates an animation based on a user-defined RW3D file

Animation Output Options for 3D Animations

The output options tab is available for all of the 3D options listed above.  Here, the user can define the type of file being created, as well as the viewing angle, background color, vertical exaggeration, and a number of other parameters.  One of the advanced new features in RockWorks2020 is that the program can actually show temporal changes (i.e. it can morph from one model to another) while also changing the view angle.  Notice that there is a starting and ending viewing Direction, Inclination and Zoom.  If you are planning on stringing together multiple animations (for example, using TechSmith’s Camtasia), this makes it infinitely easier to establish identical starting and ending points for each animation segment.

Creating Animations Based on a Static Image and a List of Viewing Parameters

The RockPlot3D File -> Animation program includes an Advanced option that allows the user to create an animation based on a user-defined RW3D scene and a list of user-defined viewing parameters.  Instead of just a starting and ending viewpoint, the user can specify any number of viewpoints, along with the number of frames that should be used to transition from one viewpoint to the next.

Again, if you plan to create videos showing a site using a program such as Camtasia, the ability to create more complex videos is really a game changer.  Here are some steps you could take to make this much easier than it has been in the past:

  1. Create the various RW3D files that you want to display in a video. For example, create one that includes just 3D logs, and one that includes 3D logs along with some sort of model.
  2. Create animations of all of the RW3D files referencing the same views and using the same parameters (frames/second, resolution, etc.).  I would recommend that you do this with a Playlist!
  3. Bring these into your video editing program and stack the videos on top of each other. They should have the same dimensions and length.  You can now easily slice and dice the various videos during the rotation.  For example, switching between views of logs, aerial phots, models, and so on.

In the example below, I created two videos – one showing just some 3D logs and one showing the same 3D logs along with a Stratigraphy model.  I stacked the two on top of each other in Camtasia, and was easily able to cut out a few sections of the top video to create an animation the fades between the two RW3D scenes, while maintaining the same viewing angles.

Here is how this was set up in Camtasia:

If you are getting started with animations and have questions about how to proceed, feel free to pick our brains by emailing our support team (  Also, if you need an animation quickly and don’t have the time or software to proceed, consider hiring RockWare Consulting to help!  We really do live vicariously through our customers and would love to work on a project with you.