By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
My brother was a semi-professional skeptical inquirer and a terrific photographer. So when somebody loosed a bee in his bonnet about UFOs, he fabbed up some "photos" of UFOs to prove that you can trick the mind to visualize what is not there. The reverse situation — not being able to visualize what really is there — is a common, albeit hardly spoken of, problem when you post-process engineering and scientific data. Thus my interest when I learned that CEI (Computational Engineering International) recently released version 9.2 of its EnSight family of visualization and post-processing tools.
CEI has been developing what it calls "extreme visualization" software since I don’t know when — at least 1999. The mission of the company is to provide easy to use but robust visualization and post-processing tools that empower you and your colleagues to see, display, and document CAE results that you’ve been unable to fully document and communicate previously. The products this company develops come in versions intended to make high-quality graphics and rendering of engineering models accessible for organizations large and small with needs great or modest. EnSight works with most major CAD and CAE systems and data formats, and there’s even a version optimized for the complexities of CFD results.
EnSight offers standard features such as key-frame animations for fly-thru and fly-around movies; a command language for running scripts, macros, and batch operations; and calculator functions. The skinny on EnSight version 9.2 is that it offers many improvements to its performance, rendering, readers, and graphics quality most notable to previous users. New users will just have to cling onto their socks.
EnSight 9.2 also has new features for HPC (high-performance computing) job launching. It offers interactive hot-points that appear when you mouse over them. Here, you then grab a handle and modify your image as necessary. Clip planes have been improved to display the original underlying tessellation, and there’s a new reader for OpenFOAM, the open source CFD software package.
But none of what I just wrote does EnSight the least bit of justice. So, let me put it this way: Do you ever wonder after you labor at post-processing your CAE data whether or not you are seeing or getting all the data richness that you should see? Whatever your answer, I recommend that you hit the links at the end of today’s Pick of the Week write-up and learn — actually "see and learn" because there are videos galore — what EnSight is all about. And, yes, there’s a link to sign up for a trial version. This is a good investment of your time.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering