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In 2D Gerber viewer you load gerbers and maybe also drills, in any order. They will have assigned arbitrary colors, to distinguish them. Possibly you can also rotate the z-order, bringing to front the layer you are interested in, at the moment.
To construct a 3D model, the viewer needs to know much more. As the abstract thought and knowledge of a CAM operator is hard to program, the user have to add or correct the missing information:
ZofzPCB tries to retrieve or guess this information, sometimes incorrectly. Therefore, it is always possible to correct the "Auto" loaded data, before rendering. It is a good practice to save the configuration in the .camset file. It will be easier to load the files, next time, after editing.
The new format solves all the problems listed above. It is also easier to remove the meta labels and frames, as the board outline is clearly defined.
We are using a GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) via Direct3D, to display the image. Drawn/painted layer contains many overlapped objects. Often a part of the PCB plane is cleared, and some other elements are drawn in the resulting hole, like a track in a plane. All this higher level construct must be converted to optimal positive mesh. The result is that even a complicated PCB can be displayed by moderate GPU, usually at 60fps.
Drawback of the flattening and triangulation is the time it takes, before passing the mesh to the GPU.
The rendering speed allows to animate the displayed components, creating unique impressions of rotation, movement, spreading and stripping layers of the PCB.
The approach lets you keep the frame of reference - it is clear where you are, what had happened to create a particular view.
Please see the video below, showing the navigation possibilities.
Please see the video below, showing the animated selection of layers.