P-Sea Software

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PO Box 1390
Morro Bay, CA 93443
Ph.# (805) 772-4396

P-Sea WindPlot 3D Common Problems

Today's personal computers are very sophisticated. Part of the PC's success is due to the fact that hundreds of thousands of hardware and software vendors produce millions of products, yet they all function together - due to the PC's open design. Unfortunately, this same open design can produce a variety of complex problems when attempting to interface everything together.
Video display is one example where these issues can become most evident - especially when using 3-D rendering. There is a lot going on "under the hood" to make 3-D display in P-Sea WindPlot 3D a reality. Essentially, this is divided into three parts. First, WindPlot combines maps with geo-spatial data to create a 3-Dimensional model of the terrain. Secondly, the video driver renders this image and prepares it for display. Finally, the video display device (or video card) transforms the image prepared by the driver to a RGB signal which is sent to your monitor.
It is during the second step (the use of the video driver), that most display problems occur. In most cases the video card manufacturer creates the video driver. In some cases, a third party, such as the computer manufacturer or Microsoft provides the driver. In any event, it is their responsibility to ensure that the driver supports all of the various functions in the specification for video display in Microsoft Windows. When there is a function in the driver that does not meet these specifications, it is said to have a "bug in the driver."

Although video driver issues can manifest themselves in very interesting and unexpected ways, here are some common examples:
- 3-D display does not work when "Turn off Hardware TL" is selected.
- 3-D display does not work when "Turn off Hardware TL" is not selected.
- 3-D display is very slow, despite use of an "accelerated" video card.
- 3-D display is corrupted, or displays unexpected "garbled" images.
- 3-D P-Sea WindPlot crashes when trying to resize the screen.
(NOTE: Check "Resize Error" in 3D Options menu when this last one happens)

Should you experience any of these phenomena on your computer, chances are you've encountered a "bug in the video driver". Fortunately, video card manufactures are constantly revising their drivers, adding new features and correcting these bugs as they are identified. Most vendors provide updated drivers free of charge on their web site.
If a computer comes with Windows 8 or Windows 7 and an earlier version of Windows is installed, then this sometimes causes issues with 3D like 3D image appears behind blocks of video and hard to see. This is becuase the drivers in the older windows is not compatible with the new hardware on the comptuer. There is not cure for this one short of reloading the original version of Windows.

Sometimes you may be able to temporarily enable 3-D display (without getting updated drivers) by changing the way that P-Sea WindPlot 3D interacts with the video driver. Examples include: turning off (or on) "Turn off Hardware TL " ; trying a different color depth (use Windows Control Panel, Display, Settings - 32bit is preffered); and disabling (or reducing the dependency on) hardware acceleration in Windows (Windows Control Panel, Display, Settings, Advanced).

COMPATIBILITY TESTING Before its release, we tried P-Sea WindPlot on a few machines with different video cards and drivers from different manufactures. In every case, when a problem was found, updating that machine to the latest video drivers corrected it.

While this is not an endorsement of the cards here is list of hardware-accelerated cards which should work fine: ATI Magnum, Rage, XPERT; Diamond Stealth 2 G640; Intel 810; Jeronimo PCI; Matrox MGA-G200; Nvidia GForce2, TNT M64; Voodoo3 3DFX PCI.

P-SeaBed Builder can have it's own problems but they are usually not video card driver related. Usually either the video color depth setting in the computer's display properties is other than 32 bit or there was no tracks or marks in the area to generate the 3D and you end up with a flat bottom. On slower computers it may take a long time to generate the bottom so be sure to give the computer enough time. You should see a spinning bar on the 3D panel to let you know it is working. It is advised NOT to attempt generating 3D bottom when underway.

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