EnSight Barracuda : Common Getting Started Questions

In the process of learning to use EnSight for Barracuda data, there are often some common questions/concerns. Below are some common questions, and some answers. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to --- we are glad to help.


1. Interactive & Batch Operation

EnSight can be run both interactively, and in batch mode. Any/All operations performed interactive can also be done in batch (including movie generation, Scenario file generation, data analysis). In normal (interactive) mode, EnSight takes instructions from the keyboard/GUI. In batch mode, EnSight takes commands from either journal files (recorded as you operate interactively), or Python-based instructions. 

Utilize batch, as it is a huge time saver! If you'd like help getting started in batch, perform an operation interactively, and check out the commands recorded (File -- > Commands). You can simply save those off, and run in batch. You can do much more, but that is a good place to start.

To run EnSight in batch, simply type 'ensight101 -batch -p <play_file>  where the play_file is either a journal or python based instruction set.


2. Keyframe Animations

It is common to create an animation which changes the camera position (zoom, pan, rotate, turn off parts). In EnSight, this is called a Keyframe animation. We have some predefined "Quick Animations", or you can create custom animations. You can control multiple "waypoints" along the animation, such as camera position, part transparency, and transient start/stop.

Visit this location for more information about keyframe generation.


3. Viewports

Do you want to see multiple views of the same model? Do you want to visualize multiple variables on the same part at once? Do you have multiple datasets that you'd like to visualize at the same time? All of these capabilities are available in EnSight, and the one common aspect is the idea of "viewports". These are viewport/windows of your dataset. You can have up to 16 viewports in one session of EnSight. Each viewport can fundamentally show you a different view/orientation of your model. Each viewport can also have unique part visibility controls (i.e. Part 1 is shown in Viewport 1, but not in Viewport 2).

Viewports are interactive in the session of EnSight, and are meant to be manipulated and used interactively.


4. Creating temperature curves, or sweeps through the data and plotting min/max/ave values (sometimes called spatial profiles).

In EnSight, this general capability is called "Part Constant Query". You can take any part(s), and create what we call "constants" on that part. It is really a fixed value, like area, average value, minimum, maximum, flow rate, mass flux averaged value, etc. With this "constant" created on a movable part (like a clip plane, clip line, or isosurface), you can then use this "Part Constant Query" tool which will sweep that part through the model, and create a graph of that constant vs. swept location.

Using this Part Constant Query tool is very useful and is a common operation in EnSight. Please refer to Part Constant Query FAQ Page for information on creating and using this Part Constant Query.


5. Interrogating Data from FLUX_* files

EnSight's Query capability can be used to store xy type of data. This data can then be graphed (plotted), and integrated into the analysis output information (images, animations, Scenario files, etc). This type of xy data typically comes from "querying" a value in EnSight, but it can also come from external data files, like that of the FLUX_* files.

We wrote a small macro which will read in the values from the specified FLUX_ file, and create queries based on the data there. This data can be useful to visualize along side the typically lower-temporal resolution of the solution output information (compared to that in the FLUX_* files).

To download this macro, visit our BVR Tools page to learn more about this particular tool, and how to utilize it to read in the FLUX_ type of files into EnSight.


6. Calculating Time Average Quantities in EnSight

EnSight's Calculator does have some PreDefined operations called Temporal Min/Max (TempMinMaxField()) or Temporal Average (TempMean()). These functions take the values at each node over time, and compute min, max, average values, essentially compressing a transient solution variable into a single timestep value. You therefore visualize and analyze the field variation as though it was the min, max or average.

In the current release of EnSight, GMV files are read in, and treated as though all of the parts change each timestep. This makes obtaining Time Average Quantities difficult, as EnSight does not think that element/node at timestep 1 is anything to do with element/node at timestep 2. So, the ability to do Temporal functions are initially available. However, the grid does not change over time, so this should be possible, right?

To work around this reader issue, you will have perform the following operations to obtain a dataset which can be operated in this manner:

a. select all of the parts, except the particle parts.

b. activate any/all variables which you intend to use (these should be just for the continuous phase). (hint: You can activate the variable by clicking in the checkbox in the variable list)

c. Export the model to EnSight Case Format: File -- > Export -- > Geometric Entities. Choose the EnSight Case Gold format. Supply a filename.

d. Once complete, you can edit the ".case" file with a text editor. You can edit the geometry specification line to reference a single geometry definition (using your specific geometry filename):


model: 1  placid_fixed_elements.geo****


model: placid_fixed_elements.geo0000

This tells EnSight that there is only a single reference of the geometry. Now, load up the .case file into EnSight, and you will be able to perform Temporal Quantification (you will also be able to play through time much quicker and with less memory).


7. Additional Information

During the 2015 CPFD Barracuda Conference, we gave a short demonstration of EnSight with Barracuda. Have a look here to download this presentation


We have prepared a short introductory training for users interested in learning how to use EnSight with Barracuda Data. This is a short tutorial, but should provide a good "Getting Started with EnSight for Barracuda"


We have some additional custom features for Barracuda users. Visit this page here for an up to date collection of additional 'extras' for Barracuda users.

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