You’ve heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This is very true in the analysis of 3D (areal) surface texture. While parameters with numerical values offer some degree of understanding… a picture can often be more instructive.*
The false colors in this 3D surface map (from our OmniSurf3D analysis software) indicate the relative heights of the pixels, ranging from lowest (blue) to highest (red). But color is just a start…
Motion is an even more powerful visual tool.
Rotating, panning and zooming a measurement lets you “explore the surface” and see the relationships between features as we move the data in space.
Our eyes respond to actual surfaces.
In addition to false-color height maps, many types of optical measuring systems provide “image” data as well. Viewing a surface in its “true colors” helps our eyes to relate to the data and can reveal even more information.
The side-by-side view in OmniSurf3D brings it all together, linking both viewing modes for the most complete visualization.
Here is a another side-by-side view, featuring one of our Digital Metrology pens. By simultaneously viewing the height map and the image we can see that the ink, while just a thin layer, has real, measureable depth.
Want to really explore your surfaces rather than just interpreting roughness numbers? Give OmniSurf3D a try! Click here for a free 10-day demo before you buy.
* This dataset comes from a joint project between the United States National Archives and NIST. Here is a video with more information about how the project team used 3D (areal) mapping to preserve a critical piece of history: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdBp3TU8r34. The datasets are publicly available at: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/149274356