Personalized GUI with Python
The most prominent new features in EnSight 8.2 are a user-defined GUI with Python scripting, automatic cluster rendering, and new texture mapping capabilities.
The user-defined GUI feature enables users to easily design an interface based on their unique workflow, macros and preferences. A new command dialog allows users to see, modify and define macros, as well as execute Python scripts. Users can enhance the current EnSight GUI or replace it entirely with a GUI created in Python.
“The user-defined interface provides a great deal of flexibility through Python to expand EnSight’s GUI or create your own custom GUI,” says Dr. Jeff Jortner, principal member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. “It provides one-click access to specialized functionality that would take many clicks in other programs.”
Automatic cluster rendering
Cluster rendering in EnSight 8.2 is now fully automated, removing tedious configuration tasks that users face with other programs.
“EnSight 8.2 makes it easier than ever to take advantage of the software’s powerful distributed rendering capabilities,” says Jortner. “CEI has brought parallel processing to the user's desktop in a completely transparent manner.”
Automatic cluster rendering in EnSight is an extension of CEI’s Server of Server (SoS) functionality. SoS can read any of the more than 60 solver formats that EnSight reads. In the new implementation of SoS, users simply open a solver file and tell EnSight how many servers they will be using for processing. EnSight automatically decomposes the dataset on the fly and distributes load-balanced work portions to available servers.
Seeing data in new ways
EnSight 8.2 gives users the ability to read and apply 2D textures to any part of a model. Texturing can be used to map photos or 2D images onto models for increased realism, or to visualize data in new and illuminating ways. In EnSight 8.2, transparency is part of a color palette. Different percentages of transparency can be applied to more precisely display a wide range of phenomena. The hood of a car, for example, can be transparent where stresses are low, and opaque to show stress values within a significant range.
During development of EnSight 8.2, texture mapping was tested by the CANMET Energy Technology Center in Ontario, Canada, to visualize flame characteristics in industrial gas burners.
“The new 2D texturing capabilities are very promising for industrial flame visualization,” says Dr. Eddy Chui, senior research scientist at CANMET. “In the past, we’ve not been able to see through the isotimic surfaces to fully visualize the 3D structure of a flame. Now, we can see a 3D representation with depth based on calculated 3D data. This will be quite helpful for analyses and diagnoses of flame characteristics.”
Lite in name only
CEI’s EnSight Lite, announced in May, is aimed at small- and medium-sized companies, large companies looking to maximize their visualization investment across the enterprise, and academic institutions.
“EnSight Lite represents the most advanced visualization functionality ever offered at this price point,” says Darin McKinnis, CEI’s vice president of marketing and sales. “It offers the powerful core visualization features used by the world’s leading engineering and scientific organizations, and provides an easy migration path to other products in the EnSight family.”
EnSight Lite supports every major CAE solver for finite element, CFD, structural, crash, dynamics and hydrocode analysis. It runs on 32-bit platforms, including Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. EnSight, EnSight Gold and EnSight DR support 64-bit platforms.
“EnSight Lite fills an important niche in the visualization market,” says Craig Makens, director of sales and marketing for ThermoAnalytics, a leading provider of heat-transfer analysis software. “Our customers will use EnSight Lite in tandem with our RadTherm, WinTherm and MuSES software; to post-process combined thermal and CFD results; and as a cost-effective way to add more visualization seats.”
Direct your own video
EnVe 2.0 makes it easier than ever for users of EnVideo, CEI’s free video viewer, to do virtual cut and paste of animation segments for seamless presentations. It includes a new point-and-click GUI, Python scripting language, and support for new file formats, including MPEG4 and QuickTime on all platforms.
New and improved web site
In conjunction with its new product launches, CEI has gone live with a new web site (www.ensight.com) that provides a richer user experience and easier navigation. A new online gallery enables visitors to browse images produced using CEI’s EnSight; Harpoon, the extreme mesher; and Kraken, CEI’s solution for visualizing geology and reservoir engineering datasets. A new section showcases customer application stories for the different industries that CEI serves. In the future, the site will include online, graphics-based tutorials for EnSight and Harpoon.