The Next Version is…

The next version of DREAM3D has been in heavy development since the fall of 2013 and has under gone significant changes both to the user interface and under the hood at the lowest levels. As developers we have tried our best to take all the feedback from users and roll those ideas into the latest version. This version will be designated version 5.x and we are starting to release regular builds from the bleeding edge of the source repository. Speaking of which, we develop most of the plugins as open-source plugins and the source code is housed at and can be accessed by anyone in the world.

User Interface Features:

There have been lots of improvements to the user interface in version 6 and I would like to try to point some of them out.

  1. The parameters have been move out of the actual filter widget and into their own area. This gives more room for the inputs and allows the user to see more of their pipeline without scrolling. See the middle column of the user interface image below
  2. The “Search For Filter” can now search for filters based on the name of the filter, any parameters in the filter, the name of the plugin that the filter is part of, filter group and filter sub-group. This allows the user to more quickly find filters they are looking for. (See the top left of the user interface).
  3. The “Filter Library” is now a fully disclosable tree view of all the filters available. This allows quickly locating filters if the user knows the group or sub group the filter falls into or the basic category the filter falls into.
  4. The “Filter List”, “Filter Library”, “Pipeline Issues”, “Prebuilt Pipelines”, and “Pipeline Bookmarks” are all dockable widgets and can be shown or hidden or moved to another location in the user interface by the user. This gives the user maximum flexibility to configure the GUI to their own tastes.

V5 GUI (5.1.149)

These are just 4 of the more obvious changes that have been implemented in the latest version of DREAM3D. We hope you like this new version as much as we do.

Under the Hood Enhancements:

DREAM3D has been re-written to allow the user more flexibility in selecting input data and setting output data for each filter. The user is no longer completely locked into a core dictionary of terms but can use domain specific terms where needed. The example case is that early versions of DREAM3D were very poly-crystal centric in using the word “grains” to describe everything. To a ceramist or composites engineer, they may not use the term “grains” but instead “Fibers”, “cells” or something else. The new version of DREAM3D allows the user to more organically name their output data sets. The data structure is now based on DataContainers, AttributeMatrix and AttributeArrays  which allows the user a wide range of organizing their data. Current research is focusing on how to efficiently organize time series and montage or tiled datasets.

Because the changes to the data structure are so significant we were not able to keep the backwards compatibility with version 4. dream3d files. We recognize this as an issue and are attempting to work a solution at some point. Also some filters have been removed and many more filters have been added (over 180 filters now). If you attempt to import a previous pipeline file you may find that DREAM3D does not recognize some of the filters any more. The good news is that we now have a much better searching functionality so finding a suitable replacement should be easier than before.

Finally, Command Line Mode

There is finally a command line version of DREAM3D called PipelineRunner. This program takes a single argument which is a pipeline file. The program will execute the pipeline and exit. This opens up the possibility to have a scripting environment generate a pipeline file or modify an existing pipeline file within a looping block and iteratively run a data analysis pipeline.


If you are interested in trying out the new version, please head on over to the web directory where we keep the latest builds and download a version for your operating system.