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Raw Binary Reader

Group (Subgroup)

IO (Input)


This Filter is designed to read data stored in files on the users system in binary form. The data file should not have any type of header before the data in the file. The user should know exactly how the data is stored in the file and properly define this in the user interface. Not correctly identifying the type of data can cause serious issues since this Filter is simply reading the data into a pre-allocated array interpreted as the user defines.

This Filter will error out and block the Pipeline from running if the total number of bytes that would need to be read from the file is larger than the actual file itself. The user can use an input file that is actually larger than the number of bytes required by the Filter; in this case, the Filter will only read the first part of the file unless an amount of bytes to skip is set.

The amount of data that is in the file should match the Attribute Matrix dimensions that the data will be read into.

Scalar Type

Computer data comes in 10 basic types on modern 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems. Data can be categorized as either integer or floating point. With each of these types, the number of bits that represent the data determine their maximum and minimum values. For integer values, the standard types are 8, 16, 32 and 64 bit (1, 2, 4, and 8 bytes). For floating point values, there are either 32 bit or 64 bit (4 or 8 bytes). Integer types can be either signed or unsigned. A signed integer can take negative values. An unsigned integer can only take positive values, but will have twice the positive value range as a signed integer.

The types of data that can be read with this Filter include:

signed Int8
unsigned UInt8
signed Int16
unsigned UInt16
signed Int32
unsigned UInt32
signed Int64
unsigned UInt64
Float 32 bit
Double 64 bit

Number of Components

This parameter tells the program how many values are present for each tuple. For example, a grayscale image would typically have just a single value of type unsigned 8 bit integer at every pixel/voxel. A color image will have at least 3 components for red (R), breen (G) and blue (B), and sometimes 4 values if the alpha (A) channel is also stored. Euler angles are typically stored as a 3 component vector of 32 bit floating point values.


This parameter tells the program which byte is most significant for multibyte values. Intel architecture computers are little endian while Power PC, Sun Sparc and DEC Alpha CPUs are big endian. Consider the following example:

Byte Ordering Example for 32 Bit Signed Integer

Byte 0 Byte 1 Byte 2 Byte 3 Interpretation
FF AA 00 00 -5636096 (Big Endian)
00 00 AA FF 43775 (Little Endian)

This setting is crucial to the correct interpretation of the binary data, so the user must be aware of how their binary data was encoded.

Skip Header Bytes

If the raw binary file you are reading has a header before the actual data begins, the user can instruct the Filter to skip this header portion of the file. The user needs to know how lond the header is in bytes. Another way to use this value is if the user wants to read data out of the interior of a file by skipping a defined number of bytes.


Name Type Description
Input File File Path The input binary file path
Scalar Type Enumeration Data type of the binary data
Number of Components int32_t The number of values at each tuple
Endian Enumeration The endianness of the data
Skip Header Bytes int32_t Number of bytes to skip before reading data

Required Geometry

Not Applicable

Required Objects


Created Objects

Kind Default Name Type Component Dimensions Description
Any None Any Any Created Attribute Array name

Example Pipelines

Please see the description file distributed with this Plugin

DREAM.3D Mailing Lists

If you need more help with a Filter, please consider asking your question on the DREAM.3D Users Google group!