5 Reasons Why You Should be Using Leapfrog 2.4

In terms of building geologic and analytic solids, Leapfrog stands at the top of the list.  It is an algorithm-based modeling program that will mathematically generate solids very quickly and accurately.  If you aren’t yet aware of Leapfrog, visit their site here for more information.

Version 2.4 of Leapfrog was released at the end of March, and included a handful of new features that bring a wealth of new features to the program.  (Click on the images for larger views.)


1. Manual Structural Data

In version 2.3, structural data could be imported as CSV files to build faults, veins, and other structures with a known strike and dip.  Version 2.4 gives the option to add structural data manually by selecting a point and defining the strike and dip of the structure.  The features can be digitized anywhere, whether on a drill hole trace, solid, or surface.  The following example uses a digitized surface map of structures following a fault (I just made up the map, so it’s not a real feature but is fine for demonstration.)

First, the map is imported into Leapfrog and draped onto the topographic surface.

A close-up of the topography shows the oriented map overlay with the structure objects.

Using the Add Structural Data option in Leapfrog, structure objects can be digitized directly onto the surface map, eliminating the need for a digitizing tablet or many GPS pickups in the field.  As the objects are added to Leapfrog, details regarding the coordinate space, strike, or dip can be adjusted with the accompanying panel.

Additional structure objects can be added by simply clicking a single point, holding the left mouse button, and dragging out to the side to define the Strike of the structure object.  The Dip will default to perpendicular to the screen view – i.e. if you are in a plan view, the dip of the structure objects will be 90 degrees.

Once the structure objects are digitized, the topography and map can be turned off, showing just the newly-digitized structure objects.

A simple Surface Interpolation will generate the desired surface for the structure in question.  This surface can be used to define domains (as in this example) or for building structural trends for additional modeling iterations.

The generated fault surface can be expanded to fit the dataset by using a larger bounding box.

Now that the Fault Structural Surface is built, we need to use it to create domains for the different sides of the fault.  Leapfrog version 2.4 has a great new tool for this:


2.  Complement Domains

Using the Fault surface, the SW domain is easily built using the standard Domain option.  (In this example, the fault domains are sub-domains of the Topography, meaning they are automatically clipped to the topographic surface.)  The following image shows the SW domain, as well as the new option for the Complement Domain.

By using the Define Complement option, Leapfrog will automatically build the opposite side of the fault into a new domain.  In addition, it will automatically reflect subsequent changes made to the original domain or the Topographic parent domain.

Now, to facilitate showing the generated data to someone not using Leapfrog, we can create a movie file using the next new option.


3.  Create a Movie

In many mining packages, it’s possible to create a movie fly-around of a project, but is usually a cumbersome task of defining a path to follow, then turning features on and off as the movie records (I’m looking at you Vulcan!)  In Leapfrog, the movie is generated based simply on stationary scenes recorded by the user, and the movie generator will do the rest. You rotate the data to a desired angle, turn objects on or off, and the transitions will be animated automatically. For example, scenes are stored in this manner:

The following 4 scenes (along with the one above) were saved:

The Create Movie option is started, and the Scenes are selected.  The various transitions, rotations, etc. can be modified in the Movie editor.  (In this example I’ve set the Scene 5 to rotate for 20 seconds.)

The resultant movie is a .wmv file, which can be used by many video applications.  The following link will open the video in Youtube.

Leapfrog Movie Editor Example Output


4. Drillhole Planning

The next new option allows the user to digitize proposed drill holes and get drilling prognoses for assay values based upon the existing grade shells available.  The panel is quite simple to use:

The function is most easily used in Section View, which would be perpendicular to the trend of the drill hole.  The drill hole trace would then be digitized by a simple line, and whatever requisite drift etc. would be calculated and integrated into the drill hole trace.  However, given the functions available in the editor panel, the drill hole could really be built from scratch with the azimuth, dip, depth, and lift specified manually by the user.

In this example, the drill hole M015 intercepts the existing grade shells (identified by the blue, yellow, and red solids) which will give expected values down hole for what the proposed drillhole should intercept.  By running a drill hole prognosis, we get the following panel:

The calculated interval values for the selected grade shell grades (in this case Au_GT) are displayed and can be exported to a spreadsheet for comparison with actual drilling results.

5. GIS Import

The final new option to mention is the ability to import GIS data from standard mapping packages.  There is not much else to be said about this option, other than that it’s nice to not have to export to DXF to do data transfer!



If you’re a resource or modeling geologist and are not yet aware of Leapfrog software, it is certainly worth investigating as it will completely change how you build solid models.  If you are using Leapfrog, be sure to give these new features a try – they just may make your modeling process even more streamlined!