Smooth Variable Coloring with Elemental Variables

Solver variable data can either by Elemental (one value per element), or Nodal (one value per node). This article pertains to those with Elemental based data, and where smooth variable coloring is desired. Perhaps your model looks something like this to start with:



At a basic/simple level, EnSight has the ability to do a "graphics smooth" called "smooth color for Per-Element variables". This graphics smooth is cheap (memory), quick (on the graphics card), and works well when you don't have hanging nodes and high gradients together. To turn on this graphics smooth, you can either toggle on the Preference setting (Edit -- > Preferences -- > Color  --> Toggle ON the "Use Continuous Palette for Per Element Variables":


Or, within the Palette Editor -- > Options -- > Type to "Continuous":


For most situations, this is sufficient, quick (done in graphics), and cheap (memory).

However, if this is not sufficient (perhaps if you have hanging nodes and large gradients), there is a deeper modification that can be made to help generate smooth variable coloring. After this "graphics smooth", you still might have something like this (where the gradients are high, and connectivity is not 1:1


We have a deeper smooth, where we actually interpolate the values from the element centers, to each node. This yields "NODAL" based data. Using this nodal data is more expensive (memory used), slower (cpu performed on all elements), but is a "deeper" smooth and thus works better in situations of hanging nodes, or high gradients. The calculator function called "ElemToNode" will convert the elemental data into a nodal variable, and give you a much smoother image. Here is the calculator pre-defined function:



And, here is the resulting image using this "Nodal" variable:


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    Vinicius Strugata Ambrosio

    Excelent information!