Introduction to the Visualize Window

VSimComposer’s Visualization feature is a flexible and comprehensive model viewer based on VisIt. The simulation tutorials and examples in VSim Examples provide several examples of using the Visualization feature’s options in context.

The VSimComposer visualization tool is context sensitive, meaning that only those features that can be used with the current data are made available from the interface.

For more information on VisIt, please see: https://wci.llnl.gov/codes/visit/ and http://www.visitusers.org/index.php?title=VisIt_Wiki

For more information on using the VisIt context menu see: Tools/VSimComposer Menu: Visualization Options.

The Visualization window is divided into a Visualization Controls pane on the left and a Visualization Results pane on the right.

The type of data available to view is governed by the Data View pull down menu.

Select the Visualize Icon from the Icon Panel

Upon successful completion of the simulation run, the last message in the Engine Log tab is a reminder that you can now select the Visualize icon from the icon panel on the far left of the VSimComposer window as seen in Fig. 85.

visualize icon in icon panel

Fig. 85 Visualize Icon in Icon Panel

Data View Pull-down Menu

In the top left of the main pane, you may select the kind of analysis that is to be performed. Again, this menu is context sensitive, so not all options may be available for your simulation. For example, you may only choose phase space if you have particles, and you may only paint fields onto surfaces if you have complex boundaries specified in GridBoundary blocks.

  • Data Overview
  • 1-D Fields
  • Field Analysis
  • History
  • Phase Space
  • Binning
  • Paint Fields

See Fig. 86.

data view menu

Fig. 86 Data View Menu

Standard Controls Available Across Multiple Views

Several control buttons or choices are available across several different Data Views. They have the same functionality in each case and are documented below.

Annotation Level

To adjust the Annotation Level, use the Annotation Level drop-down menu at the lower left of the Visualization Controls pane.

  • No annotations
  • Axes only
  • Axes & Legends
  • All annotations

See Fig. 87.

annotation level

Fig. 87 Annotation Level

Reload Data

You can visualize data from a simulation run as soon as it becomes available. If you decide to visualize data before a run is complete by switching to the Visualize tab, the VSim engine continues creating data files in the background. Later, when more data is available for visualization or the simulation run is complete, use the Reload Data button to visualize the new data. See Fig. 88.

controls buttons

Fig. 88 Controls Pane Buttons

Save Image

This button saves the current image to your computer. You will be given options on where to save, the file name, and format as well as some options on size and dimension.

Labels

This brings up the Axis Labels window. See Fig. 89.

axis labels menu

Fig. 89 Axis Labels Menu

Axis Scale

This button enables adjusting the Scaling Factor for each axis. See Fig. 90.

axis scale limits menu

Fig. 90 Axis Scale Menu

Rendering

This button allows for adjustment of the lighting and stereo effects. See Fig. 91.

rendering menu

Fig. 91 Rendering Menu

Colors

This button allows changing of the color table used for the plot and allows you to set limits on the minimum and maximum. See Fig. 92.

colors menu

Fig. 92 Colors Menu

Reset View

This button returns the objects in the Visualization Results pane back to their original location.

Auto Reset

Checking the Auto Reset box will force a Reset View each time the dump slider is moved.

Dump Slider

The slider at the bottom of the Visualization Results pane allows the user to move through the simulation results in time. Only the times for which files were “dumped” can be viewed.

Data Overview

Variables

The Variables section of the Visualization Controls pane enables you to choose which aspects of the simulation data to visualize. The types of variables that are available in the Variables section are dependent on your particular simulation. Below are some typically available types of variables for a 3D simulation containing fields and particles.

Particle Data

Types of Particle Data may include any Species in the input file:

  • electrons
  • ions
  • neutrals

Scalar Data

Types of Scalar Data may include fields like:

  • E
  • B
  • J

See Fig. 93.

scalar data variables

Fig. 93 Particle and Scalar Data Variables

Vector Data

Types of Vector Data include:

  • E
  • B
  • J

Meshes

Types of Meshes include:

  • globalGridGlobal (B)
  • globalGridGlobal (E)
  • globalGridGlobal (J)
  • globalGridGlobal (coax)

Geometries

Types of Geometries include:

  • poly
  • poly_surface

See Fig. 94.

vector data variables

Fig. 94 Vector, Mesh and Geometry Data Variables

Log Scale Color

If the appropriate field is selected, the Log Scale Color checkbox will be available to enable and disable display of log scale color.

Checking this box will put the color on a log scale. This is useful to see details in a field. See Fig. 95.

log scale color

Fig. 95 Log Scale Color Checkbox

Display Contours

The default value in the Contours field is 5. If you select the Display Contours check box and have an appropriate data set selected, the number of contours can be changed to any positive number. See Fig. 96.

contours

Fig. 96 Contours

Clip All Plots Checkbox

If the appropriate data is selected, the Clip All Plots checkbox will be available to enable and disable plot clipping.

When Clip All Plots is enabled, the Plane Controls can be used to select an axis intercept or normal vector for the clipping. See Fig. 97.

clip all plots

Fig. 97 Clip All Plots Checkbox

Particle Style

The Particle Style section of the Visualization Controls panel enables you to control the appearance of particles in the visualization.

The Size field contains the size of each particle symbol.

The Symbol pulldown menu contains choices for the following shapes:

  • Point (default)
  • Box
  • Axis
  • Icosahedron
  • Octahedron
  • Tetrahedron
  • Sphere Geometry
  • Sphere

See Fig. 98.

particle style

Fig. 98 Particle Style

Field Analysis

The Field Analysis data view will allow further analyzing of a particular field. The Visualization Controls pane allows for selection of the field and selecting the line out location. The Visualization Results pane contains a 2d view of the chosen field, and a lineout at the selected location.

Field

The Field drop-down menu will allow you to choose which field from your simulation to do further analysis on. See Fig. 99.

Field drop down

Fig. 99 Field drop down

Slice Settings

Slice settings will appear when a 3D field is viewed. The slice settings allow you to set the position of a slice of the 3D field to create a 2D plot. The Plane Controls botton allows for further control, including creating a slice at an angle. See Fig. 100.

Slice settings and plane controls

Fig. 100 Slice settings and plane controls for a 3D plot

Log Scale Color Table

Checking this box will put the color on a log scale. This is useful to see details in a field. See Fig. 101.

log scale color

Fig. 101 Log Scale Color Table Checkbox

Lineout Settings

The position of the lineout can be changed using the Lineout Settings. The lineout can easily be set to vertical or horizontal at a specified intercept location, or the Advanced tab can be used to set a line in any arbitrary direction or length.

After setting the desired location of the lineout, press the Perform Lineout button to replot the lineout. See Fig. 102.

Lineout Settings

Fig. 102 The lineout settings controls

Layout

The layout of the Visualization Results pane can be changed from the default of Side-by-side 2d/1d. Options include:

  • Side-by-side 2d/1d
  • Stacked 2d/1d
  • 2d Only
  • 1d Only

See Fig. 103.

Layout dropdown

Fig. 103 The layout dropdown options

History

The History data view allows for plotting of any 1D array histories that were included in your input file prior to running your simulation.

Up to 4 histories can be viewed at one time.

Location

The location drop-down allows you to plot multiple histories on top of each other. By setting the location of graph 1 and graph 2 to Window 1, both plots will appear in the same window.

Color

The color of the line can be modified using the Color drop down. Choices include red, blue, green, and black.

Style

The style of the line can be modified using the Style drop down. Choices include solid, dash, dot, dotdash, and points.

FFT

Selecting the FFT checkbox will take a Fast Fourier Transform of the data.

Log Scale

Selecting the Log Scale checkbox will put the y-axis on a log scale.

Zoom

Setting the Zoom radial selection will switch the mouse click feature to zoom. Start by clicking the mouse inside the plot window and then dragging to create a rectangle. Finish by un-clicking the mouse button. The plot will be zoomed to the data contained inside the rectangle.

Navigate

Setting the Navigate radial selection will switch the mouse click feature to navigate. Click the mouse inside the plot window and drag to move the plot. See Fig. 104.

History View

Fig. 104 The History View

Phase Space

The Phase Space data view allows for plotting of any particles (species) in your simulation.

Base Variable

The Base Variable can be used to switch between any of the particle species in your simulation.

X-axis

The variable to be plotted on the x-axis.

Y-axis

The variable to be plotted on the y-axis.

Z-axis

The variable to be plotted on the z-axis.

Color

The particles can be plotted in either a solid color such as red, green, or blue, or they can be plotted using another variable as their color. An example is to plot the velocity as the color on an x, y, z spatial plot.

Point Size (pixels)

The size of each particle symbol.

Symbol

The Symbol pulldown menu contains choices for the following shapes:

  • Point (default)
  • Box
  • Axis
  • Icosahedron
  • Octahedron
  • Tetrahedron
  • Sphere Geometry
  • Sphere

Enable Second (Third) Plot

Up to 3 particle species can be plotted at one time in the Phase Space window. To enable another plot, check the box.

Reset View on Draw

When changes are made to the variables to each plot, you must click the Draw button. Check the Reset View on Draw button if you would like the view reset each time the draw button is clicked.

Draw

When changes are made to the variables to each plot, you must click the Draw button to redraw the plot.

See Fig. 105.

Phase Space View

Fig. 105 The Phase Space View

Binning

The Binning data view allows for “binning” the particles (species) in your simulation and creating histogram-style plots.

Base Variable

The Base Variable can be used to switch between any of the particle species in your simulation.

Variable

The Variable to be binned.

Bins

The number of Bins. The variable will be divided into the number of bins chosen.

Reduction Operator

The Operator is the method used for binning.

Reduction Variable

If the Variable is active (depending on the operator), the variable what the operator acts on.

Draw

When changes are made to the variables, you must click the Draw button to redraw the plot.

Slicing

Slice settings will appear when a third dimension is added. The slice settings allow you to set the position of the slice of the 3D field to create the 2D plot. The Plane Controls button allows for further control, including creating a slice at an angle. See Fig. 106.

Binning View

Fig. 106 The Binning View