Ever since computers first developed, they have performed numerous tasks that have made life a little easier and more comfortable for us. The first computers were room-sized monstrosities that occupied several rooms. These first computers were made by the military for military applications, in particular for calculating ballistic and trajectory data. But in less than 50 years computers have undergone a remarkable change not only in its capabilities but also in its applications and use. Nowadays, the computer is viewed as a household appliance, serving a number of functions, from word processing to communicating through the internet. A great leap indeed. And through its development the computer finally made its way into the world of geology. Here, the computer's ability to perform tasks and calculations quickly has helped the geologists tremendously. Because of its speed it is able to perform the numerous calculations that geologists in the past were forced to do by hand. As data manipulation became simplified it gave geologists more ease in analysis of their data. Until now, geoscientists have had to be content to view a 3-D data in the 2-D environment of a ccomputer screen, which prohibits natural interaction with the data. At the visualization facilities coming into gue today, however, supercomputers centers that are sprouting over the industry landscape, following relatively longtime usage in the automotive and space industries ( Durham, 1999). As technology continues to evolve, the use of the computer to a geologist also continue to change. With the advancements in computer technology, computers are now capable of generating 3-D Models. But what is 3-D? 3-D, which is also called STEREOSCOPIC, is based on the fact that humans perceive depth by viewing with both eyes. In the 3-D process, two lenses, one representing the left eye and the other the right are spaced about 2 1/2 inches (6.3 cm) apart, the same as the separation between a person's eyes. The resulting images are simultaneously projected. The viewer actually sees the images separately but perceives them in three dimensions because, for all practical purposes, the two slightly different images are fused together instantly by his mind. But a 3D model is different in that the image generated is already a solid 3D model. Meaning, that it is not necessary to trick the mind into seeing something in 3D, because the image generated is already 3-dimensional (Encyclopedia Britannica 1999). So, basically a 3-D image is picture that appears solid because our mind is tricked into perceiving it as 3-dimensional. While, a 3-D Solid Model is an actual representation of an object in 3-dimensions. Three-dimensional modeling and reservoir visualization tools are increasingly used to add value to heavy oil prospects (Major, 1999). Now we shall discuss several basic definitions in computer applications. This is so that some basic computer definitions can be clarified and their nature better understood. The three basic aspects of computers that are going to be discussed will namely be: computer graphics, computer simulation, and virtual reality. The primary reason that these aspects will be discussed is because these three elements are what constitute, a 3D Solid Geology Model. Although, it is to be noted that virtual reality, is an aspect of this new technology that could be said is an option. The first two elements mentioned are in by themselves capable of generating a 3D Solid Model. Virtual reality is an element that if included gives a user the ability for greater scrutiny and analysis of a model. This is because it allows a person to "immerse" himself in the system that is being analyzed. But, unless a system requires such a detailed analysis then a solid 3D model should suffice.
II. Elements of a 3-D Solid Geology Model
Computer graphics, is the use of computers to produce pictorial images. These images...