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Qimera Project Layers Dock

Qimera - Project Layers

The Project Layers dock as show above allows the user to interact with the visual layers of the 3D scene.

Vertical Exaggeration

The vertical exaggeration field controls the exaggeration of the scene along the Z axis. Qimera uses a default exaggeration of 6× to make surface features more prominent, but an exaggeration of 1× can be used for accurate scaling.

Layers Tree

The layers tree shows all of the different layers in the current project. These layers are grouped by type.

Dynamic Surfaces

Dynamic surfaces are grids created from raw sonar or processed point source files and which automatically update when the underlying soundings are changed. Dynamic surfaces are the backbone of Qimera's point cleaning workflow. Most editing and filtering operation are conducted on a dynamic surface.

If there are pending edits to be applied to a dynamic surface, the auto-solve icon will appear to the right of the layer in the tree as shown below. Edits can be applied by pressing the Auto Process button or choosing 'Update From Edits' from the right click popup menu of a Dynamic Surface.

Static Surfaces

Static Surfaces  are grids which do not change when their underlying data changes. Static surfaces may be created inside Qimera by gridding points, imported from outside Qimera or created as static snapshots of a dynamic surface.

PFM Objects

PFM Objects  are a legacy surface format that contains both the grid cells and their underlying point data. These were used for point editing in previous versions of Fledermaus, but may be imported into Qimera for basic point cleaning.

Sd Objects

The Sd Objects group is a catch-all for any other layer type not given its own dedicated category.


The Route  group contains the active project route, if any. A project can only contain one route. A route is a special line object imported from a .qgfline file that contains distance information for all points along the line. A route typically represents a planned survey line, a pipe or cable route or other line against which locations might be referenced.

When a route is present, any 2D position near that can be expressed in a route relative coordinate system known as KP and DX.

  • KP is the "along track" coordinate and represents the distance along the route. This is expressed in thousands of the horizontal survey unit, so for a survey conducted in metres, KP will be expressed in kilometres.
  • DX is the "across track" coordinate and represents the perpendicular distance between the given point and the nearest point on the route.

Background Charts

The Background Charts  group is always empty, but its checkbox controls the visibility of the background charts in the scene when in 2D view.


Charts are electronic navigational charts in QPS's QNC format.

Attribute Panel

The attribute panel automatically customizes itself (like magic) based on the layer(s) that you select.  Above you can see all possible attributes that will be available to the user, but not all are visible at any one time.  As seen in the top image, the Dynamic Surface attribute panel exposes specific attributes.


This attribute is used by Point SD layers.  It allows you to change the appearance of the point.  The options are Circle, Square, Crosshair, Cube, Diamond, Cylinder, Sphere, Flag, Point, and None.

Point Size

This attribute is used by Point SD layers.  It changes the size of the displayed marker.

Depth Layer

This attribute is used by Dynamic Surface layers.  It changes the currently displayed depth layer.  The options are Average, Shallow, Deep and CUBE.

Color By

This attribute is used by Dynamic Surface layers.  It changes how the surface is colored.  The options are Height, Uncertainty (95% c.i.), Sounding Density, Checked Flag, Plotted Flag, Feature Flag and Suspect Flag. If the Dynamic Surface was built with CUBE, the options would also include # of Hypothesis, Uncertainty, and Hypothesis Strength. Note that the CUBE Uncertainty layer is different than the normal uncertainty layer. The normal Uncertainty layer represents the normal standard deviation, scaled to 95% c.l., of all accepted soundings in the grid cell, regardless of what CUBE believes the depth to be and regardless of the potential number of CUBE hypotheses. On the other hand, the CUBE Uncertainty layer reflects the standard deviation, scaled to 95% c.l., for ONLY those soundings that are associated with the selected hypothesis.

Color By

This attribute is used by Point SD layers.  It changes how the marker is colored.  The options are Solid, X, Y, Z and any other imported custom attributes contained by the SD object.


This popup allows you to see the currently selected colormap.  It also allows you to select a colormap file, edit the current colormap or adjust the colormap range.

Highlight By

This attribute is used by Dynamic Surface layers.  It changes how the surface is highlighted.  The options are None, Checked Flag, Plotted Flag, and Feature Flag.


This attribute is used by Dynamic and Static Surface layers. This attribute changes the surface display to either a wire frame display, a solid shaded surface, or plates mode.


This attribute is used by Dynamic and Static Surface layers.  This button launches the Shading Parameters dialog.


This attribute is used by Image, Scalar, Dynamic, Static Surface layers and Plane SD Layers.  It controls the transparency of the layer in the Scene.


This attribute is used by most 3D layers.  It applies a small vertical offset to the layer. This is mostly useful for ensuring that one layer is drawn above or below another.


This attribute is used by Image and Scalar layers.  It controls the height location in the scene (Z).

Drape Image

This attribute is used by Static Surface layers.  It drapes an Image or Scalar object onto the selected surface

Drape Onto Scene

This attribute is used by Point and Line SD layers.  It drapes each vertex onto the surface layers in the scene.  The point nearest (below) the vertex is where it will drape.

Mask Out Surface Areas

This attribute is used by Image layers.  It allows all visible Static or Dynamic surfaces to mask out portions of the selected image.


This attribute is used by Image and Static Surface layers. It will reduce the visibility of pixel edges by smoothing the colormap based on surrounding pixels. 


This attribute is used by Dynamic Surface layers. It can be set to one of three update policies which control when the dynamic surface updates to changes in the underlying point data.


This attribute is used by Plane SD layers. It changes the color of the plane. 

Update PolicyBehavior
AlwaysThe dynamic surface will automatically update whenever changes are made to the underlying point data.
After Processing

The dynamic surface will automatically update whenever a processing job modifies the underlying point data.

Running any filters or manualy cleaning in the 3D editor, swath editor or slice editor will not automatically cause an update, but will instead cause the surface to marked as needing an update. This allows one to do quick manual cleaning without having to wait for the surface to update after each edit. When edits are complete, the surface can be updated via its context menu, or by pressing the Auto Process button.


The dynamic surface is completely disconnected from the changes to the underlying point data.

The 3D editor cannot be launched on the surface. Neither processing jobs, filters, or the swath editor will cause the surface to update.

Note that switching from Never to a different update policy will require a full surface update, which can be quite slow for large surfaces.

Context Menus

By right clicking on any item in the Project Layer's tree hierarchy a context menu will pop up. Because many actions are available to layer types, the actions are annotated by a type number 1-6 associated with the menus listed below.

Dynamic Surface Context Menu

Static Surface Context Menu

PFM Object Context Menu

Sd Object Context Menu

Route Context Menu

Charts Context Menu

Add Files (1,2,3,4,6)

This action will add an SD object to the scene. If the SD object is in a different coordinate system than Qimera, it will be re-projected to the project coordinate system.  If the context is for a Chart, it will add a QNC(.qnc) file to the layer.  QNC files are the optimized versions of ENC(.000) files.

Add Group (1,2,3,4,6)

This action will add a custom named group to the tree hierarchy.

Remove (1,2,3,4,5,6)

This action will remove the current selection from the project. Using the shortcut key 'Del' will also remove the current selection from the project.

Rename (1,2,3,4,5,6)

This action will rename the current file selected within the project and from its source location.

Zoom to Bounds (1,2,3,4,5,6)

This action will zoom the scene such that the current object fits the viewable area of the window.

Update Dynamic Surface from Edits (1)

This action will update a selected dynamic surface with edits pending.  Qimera will warn you with a list of surface names and area requiring update before proceeding.  If any of your Dynamic Surface QPDs were used in another project, and edited, Qimera will detect this when it re-opens your project and will mark the surface as requiring update.

Select Associated Source Files (1)

This action will clear the current line selection and select all the lines in the scene associated with the currently selected Dynamic Surface.

Unload PFM Edits (3)

This action launches the Qimera PFM Unload Wizard which saves edits back to processed point files that support unloading.

Use Line Object as Selection (4)

Shown only for line objects, this action replaces the current selection, if any, with a freehand selection having the same shape as the line. If the line is not closed, an additional, closing line segment is added.

To be usable as a selection, the line object must contain a single, continuous polyline.

Use Line Object as Profile (4)

Shown only for line objects, this action will create a profile object.

Add Selection to Line Object (4)

Shown only for line objects, this action will add the current closed selection to the selected line object.

Load Route from QGF File... (5)

This action allows setting the project's active route. If the project already has an active route, it will be replaced.

Center View on KP... (5)

This action will prompt you to enter a KP value along the project's active route and then move the view to be centered on that KP position.

Center Selection on KP... (5)

This action will prompt you to enter a KP value along the project's active route and then move the selection (and the view) to be centered on that KP position. If you do not currently have a selection, the action will be disabled.

Charts On Top (no fill) (6)

This will render the ENC charts on top of any dynamic surfaces without any filled in areas (left image below).  By default, charts are drawn below any Dynamic Surfaces (middle image below) and you have to change the opacity of the Dynamic Surface in order to see ENC symbology underneath the surface (right image below).  Remember that charts are only draw when Qimera is in 2D View.


Create New Chart (6)

This will create a new empty ENC layer.  See the section on Qimera ENC Editor Dock for more information on creating ENC objects.

Import Files (6)

This will import an ENC chart(.000) file, convert it to a QNC and save it in the project QNC folder.tion to

Lock/Unlock Editing (6)

This allows the user to control which layers are allowed to be edited.  If you have a chart layer in your Layers Dock that is not in your project as a QNC file, it will be locked by default and you will not be able to unlock it for editing.  If you have an external ENC(.000) that you want to edit, import it into your project using the Import Files option above.

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