Tecplot 360 User`s Manual - Back

Tecplot 360 User`s Manual - Back
User’s Manual
Release 2
Tecplot, Inc.
Bellevue, WA
2008
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08-360-01-2
Rev 09/2008
Table of Contents
Introduction to Tecplot 360
Chapter 1
Introduction
.......................................................................... 14
Interface......................................................................................... 15
Getting Help .................................................................................. 44
Chapter 2
Frames and the Workspace ....................................... 45
Data Hierarchy .............................................................................. 45
Interface Coordinate Systems........................................................ 47
Frames ........................................................................................... 48
Workspace Management Options Menu ....................................... 57
View Modification......................................................................... 60
Edit Menu...................................................................................... 65
Chapter 3
Data Structure ..................................................................... 69
Connectivity List ........................................................................... 69
Ordered Data ................................................................................. 70
Finite Element Data....................................................................... 74
Variable Location (Cell-centered or Nodal) .................................. 76
Face Neighbors.............................................................................. 77
Working with Unorganized Datasets............................................. 77
3
Loading your data
Chapter 4
Data Loaders .......................................................................
82
CGNS Loader................................................................................ 83
DEM Loader ................................................................................. 88
DXF Loader .................................................................................. 89
EnSight Loader ............................................................................. 91
Excel Loader ................................................................................. 94
FEA Loader................................................................................... 98
FLOW-3D Loader ....................................................................... 107
FLUENT Loader ..........................................................................113
General Text Loader.....................................................................119
HDF Loader ................................................................................ 130
HDF 5 Loader ............................................................................. 131
Kiva Loader................................................................................. 133
PLOT3D Loader ......................................................................... 134
PLY Loader ................................................................................. 140
Tecplot-Format Loader ............................................................... 141
Text Spreadsheet Loader ............................................................. 150
Overwriting Data Files................................................................ 151
Creating Plots
Chapter 5
Creating Plots
................................................................... 154
Creating Plots.............................................................................. 154
Data Journaling ........................................................................... 155
Data Sharing................................................................................ 156
Dataset Information..................................................................... 157
Select Color................................................................................. 163
4
Chapter 6
XY and Polar Line Plots
........................................... 169
Mapping Style and Creation........................................................ 170
Line Map Layer........................................................................... 176
Symbols Map Layer .................................................................... 195
XY Line Error Bars ..................................................................... 197
XY Line Bar Charts..................................................................... 200
I, J, and K-indices........................................................................ 202
Line Legend................................................................................. 203
Polar Drawing Options................................................................ 206
Chapter 7
Field Plots
........................................................................... 209
Field Plot Modification - Zone Style Dialog............................... 210
Time Aware ................................................................................. 216
Data Point and Cell Labels.......................................................... 219
Three-dimensional Plot Control .................................................. 222
Chapter 8
Mesh Layer and Edge Layer .................................. 231
Mesh Layer.................................................................................. 231
Edge Layer .................................................................................. 233
Chapter 9
Contour Layer
.................................................................. 237
Contour Layer Modification........................................................ 239
Contour Details Dialog................................................................ 240
Extract Contour Lines ................................................................. 253
Chapter 10
Vector Layer
....................................................................... 255
Vector Variables........................................................................... 256
Vector Plot Modification ............................................................. 257
Vector Arrowheads...................................................................... 259
Vector Length .............................................................................. 260
5
Reference Vectors ....................................................................... 262
Chapter 11
Scatter Layer
..................................................................... 265
Scatter Plot Modification ............................................................ 265
Scatter Size/Font ......................................................................... 268
Reference Scatter Symbols ......................................................... 269
Scatter Legends ........................................................................... 270
Chapter 12
Shade Layer ........................................................................
273
Shade Layer Modification........................................................... 273
Chapter 13
Translucency and Lighting
..................................... 275
Translucency ............................................................................... 275
Lighting Effects........................................................................... 276
Three-dimensional Light Source................................................. 277
Chapter 14
Slices ........................................................................................
281
Slices Derived from the Dataset.................................................. 281
Slices Extracted Directly to Zones.............................................. 288
Chapter 15
Streamtraces .......................................................................
293
Streamtrace Details dialog .......................................................... 294
Streamtrace Animation................................................................ 307
Surface Streamtraces on No-slip Boundaries.............................. 307
Streamtrace Extraction as Zones................................................. 307
Streamtrace Errors....................................................................... 308
Chapter 16
Iso-surfaces
........................................................................ 309
Iso-Surface Groups ..................................................................... 309
6
Iso-Surface Definition ................................................................. 310
Iso-Surface Style ......................................................................... 311
Iso-Surface Animation ................................................................ 312
Iso-Surface Extraction................................................................. 313
Chapter 17
Axes ........................................................................................... 315
Axis Display................................................................................ 315
Axis Variable Assignment........................................................... 315
Axis Range Options for XY Line, 2D, and 3D Cartesian
Coordinates.................................................................................. 316
Axis Range Options for Polar Coordinates ................................. 319
Axis Grid Options ....................................................................... 322
Tick Mark Options ...................................................................... 324
Tick Mark Label Options ............................................................ 326
Axis Title Options ....................................................................... 331
Axis Line Options ....................................................................... 332
Grid Area Options ....................................................................... 335
Time/Date Format Options.......................................................... 336
Chapter 18
Text, Geometries, and Images ............................... 341
Text.............................................................................................. 341
Geometries .................................................................................. 354
Images ......................................................................................... 358
Text and Geometry Alignment .................................................... 361
Text and Geometry Links to Macros........................................... 362
Data Manipulation
Chapter 19
Blanking
................................................................................ 364
Blanking Settings for Derived Objects........................................ 365
Value Blanking ............................................................................ 365
7
IJK Blanking ............................................................................... 369
Depth Blanking ........................................................................... 372
Chapter 20
Data Operations
............................................................. 373
Data Alteration through Equations ............................................. 373
Data Smoothing........................................................................... 388
Coordinate Transformation ......................................................... 390
Two-dimensional Data Rotation ................................................. 392
Shift Pseudo Cell-centered Data ................................................. 392
Zone Creation.............................................................................. 393
Data Extraction from an Existing Zone ...................................... 400
Zone Deletion.............................................................................. 404
Variable Deletion......................................................................... 405
Data Interpolation ....................................................................... 405
Irregular Data Point Triangulation .............................................. 413
Data Spreadsheet......................................................................... 415
Chapter 21
CFD Data Analysis
...................................................... 419
Specifying Fluid Properties......................................................... 419
Specifying Reference Values ...................................................... 425
Identifying Field Variables.......................................................... 426
Setting Geometry and Boundary Options ................................... 427
Unsteady Flow ............................................................................ 432
Calculating Variables .................................................................. 435
Performing Integrations .............................................................. 440
Calculating Turbulence Functions .............................................. 456
Calculating Particle Paths and Streaklines.................................. 457
Analyzing Solution Error ............................................................ 470
Extracting Fluid Flow Features................................................... 473
Chapter 22
Probing
.................................................................................. 477
Field Plot Probing with the Mouse ............................................. 477
8
Field Plot Probing by Specifying Coordinates and Indices......... 479
Field Plot Probed Data Viewing.................................................. 481
Line Plot Probing with the Mouse............................................... 487
Data Editing................................................................................. 490
Final Output
Chapter 23
Output
..................................................................................... 496
Layout Files, Layout Package Files, Stylesheets ........................ 496
Plot Publishing for the Web......................................................... 503
Data File Writing......................................................................... 505
Chapter 24
Printing
.................................................................................. 507
Plot Printing................................................................................. 507
Setup............................................................................................ 508
Print Render Options................................................................... 512
Print Preview ............................................................................... 513
Chapter 25
Exporting
.............................................................................. 515
Vector Graphics Format .............................................................. 516
Image Format .............................................................................. 521
X3D Export ................................................................................. 530
Movie Format.............................................................................. 531
Clipboard Exporting to Other Applications ................................ 536
Antialiasing Images..................................................................... 537
9
Scripting
Chapter 26
Introduction to Scripting
Chapter 27
Macros ....................................................................................
.......................................... 540
541
Macro Creation ........................................................................... 541
Macro Play Back......................................................................... 544
Macro Debugging ....................................................................... 546
Macros Moved to Different Computers or Directories .............. 550
Chapter 28
Batch Processing
............................................................ 551
Batch Processing Setup............................................................... 551
Batch Processing Using a Layout File ........................................ 552
Multiple Data File Processing..................................................... 553
Batch Processing Diagnostics ..................................................... 554
Chapter 29
Working With Python Scripts
................................ 555
Combining Python scripts with macro commands ..................... 555
Using the Python Quick Scripts Panel ........................................ 556
Running an entire Python Module .............................................. 558
Modifying the Python Path ......................................................... 559
Python Installation Notes ............................................................ 559
Advanced Topics
Chapter 30
Animation .............................................................................
562
Animation Tools.......................................................................... 562
Movie File Creation Manually.................................................... 576
10
Movie File Creation with Macros ............................................... 578
Advanced Animation Techniques ............................................... 579
Movie File Viewing.................................................................... 581
Chapter 31
Customization
................................................................... 585
Configuration Files...................................................................... 585
Interactive Customization ........................................................... 591
Performance Dialog..................................................................... 593
Interface Configuration (UNIX).................................................. 599
Tecplot.phy .................................................................................. 600
Custom Character and Symbol Definition .................................. 601
Chapter 32
Add-ons
.................................................................................. 605
Add-on Loading .......................................................................... 605
Add-ons included in the Tecplot 360 distribution ....................... 607
Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons ............................................ 609
Appendices
Appendix A
Command Line Options ............................................. 640
Tecplot 360 Command Line ........................................................ 640
Using Command Line Options in Windows Shortcuts ............... 642
Additional Command Line Options in UNIX ............................. 644
Appendix B
Tecplot 360 Utilities
..................................................... 645
Excel Macro ................................................................................ 645
Framer ......................................................................................... 648
LPK View.................................................................................... 650
Preplot ......................................................................................... 652
11
Raster Metafile to AVI (rmtoavi) ................................................ 653
Pltview ........................................................................................ 654
Appendix C
Shortcuts
............................................................................... 657
Keyboard Shortcuts..................................................................... 657
Extended Mouse Operations ....................................................... 662
Appendix D
Glossary
Appendix E
PLOT3D Function Reference
................................................................................ 665
............................... 681
Symbols....................................................................................... 681
Scalar Grid Quality Functions..................................................... 682
Vector Grid Quality Functions .................................................... 686
Scalar Flow Variables.................................................................. 686
Vector Flow Variables ................................................................. 697
The Velocity Gradient Tensor ..................................................... 698
Appendix F
Limits of Tecplot 360
................................................... 699
Hard Limits ................................................................................. 699
Soft Limits................................................................................... 701
Limits When Working Remotely ................................................ 702
12
Part 1 Introduction to
Tecplot 360
Chapter 1
Introduction
Tecplot 360 is a powerful tool for visualizing a wide range of technical data. It offers line plotting,
2D and 3D surface plots in a variety of formats, and 3D volumetric visualization. The user documentation for Tecplot 360 includes these nine books:
• User’s Manual (this document) - This manual provides a complete description of
working with Tecplot 360 features.
• Getting Started Manual - New Tecplot 360 users are encouraged to work through the
tutorials provided in the Getting Started Manual. These tutorials highlight how to work
with key features in Tecplot 360.
• Scripting Guide - This guide provides Macro and Python command syntax and
information on working with Macro and Python files and commands.
• Quick Reference Guide - This guide provides syntax for zone header files, macro
variables, keyboard shortcuts, and more.
• Data Format Guide - This guide provides information on outputting simulator data to
Tecplot 360 file format.
• Add-on Developer’s Kit - User’s Manual - This manual provides instructions and
examples for creating add-ons for Tecplot 360.
• Add-on Developer’s Kit - Reference Manual - This manual provides the syntax for the
functions included in the add-on kit.
• Installation Instructions - These instructions give a detailed description of how to
install Tecplot 360 on your machine.
• Release Notes - These notes provide information about new and/or updated Tecplot
360 features.
• Tecplot Talk - A user-supported forum discussing Tecplot 360, Tecplot Focus, Python
scripting, Add-on development, TecIO and more. Visit www.tecplottalk.com for
details.
14
Interface
1 - 1 Interface
Five major sections make up the Tecplot 360 interface:
Menubar
Toolbar
Sidebar
Tecplot 360 Workspace
Status Line
1- 1.1 Menubar
The menu bar offers rapid access to most of Tecplot 360’s features.
Tecplot 360’s features are organized into the following menus:
• File - Use the File menu to read or write data files and plot layouts, print and export
plots, and set configuration preferences.
15
Introduction
• Edit - Use the Edit menu to select, undo, cut, copy, paste, and clear objects, open the
Quick Edit dialog, and change the draw order for selected items (push or pop).
Cut, Copy, and Paste work only within Tecplot 360.
To place a graphic image of your layout into another
program, use Copy Plot to Clipboard. This option is
available on Windows® and Macintosh® platforms.
• View - Use the View menu to manipulate the point of view of your data, including
scale, view range, and 3D rotation. You can also use the View menu to copy and paste
views between frames.
The View menu includes the following convenient sizing options:
• Fit Everything (3D Only) - This options resizes plots so that all data points,
text, and geometries are included in the frame.
• Fit Surfaces (3D Only) - This option resizes plots so that all surfaces are
included in the frame, excluding any volume zones.
• Fit to Full Size - This option fits the entire plot into the frame. This option does
not affect the axis ranges.
• Nice Fit to Full Size - This option sets the axis range to begin and end on major
axis increments (if axes are dependent, the vertical axis length is adjusted to
accommodate a major tick mark).
• Data Fit - This option fits the data points to the frame.
• Make Current View Nice - This option modifies the range on a specified axis
to fit the minimum and maximum of the variable assigned to that axis, and then
snaps the major tick marks to the ends of the axis. (If axis dependency is not set
as independent, this may affect the range on another axis.)
• Center - This option moves the plot image so that the data points are centered
within the frame. (Only the data is centered; text, geometries, and the 3D axes
are not considered.)
• Plot - Use the Plot menu to control the style of your plots. The menu items available
are dependent upon the active plot type (selected from the Sidebar).
• Insert - Use the Insert menu to add text, geometries (polylines, squares, rectangles,
circles, and ellipses), or image files. If you have a 3D zone, you may also use the
Insert menu to insert a slice. If the plot type is set to 2D or 3D Cartesian, you may
insert a streamtrace.
• Animate - Use the Animate menu to animate IJK Planes, IJK Blanking, iso-surfaces,
mappings, slices, streamtraces, time, and zones.
16
Interface
• Data - Use the Data menu to create, manipulate, and examine data. Types of data
manipulation available in Tecplot 360 include zone creation, interpolation,
triangulation, and creation or alteration of variables.
• Frame - Use the Frame menu to create, edit, and control frames.
• Options - Use the Options menu to control the attributes of your workspace, including
the color map, paper grid, display options, and rulers.
• Scripting - Use the Scripting menu to play or record macros, and to access the Quick
Macros Panel dialog.
• Tools - Use the Tools menu to launch the Quick Edit dialog or an add-on.
• Analyze - Use the Analyze menu to examine grid quality, perform integrations,
generate particle paths, extract flow features, and estimate numerical errors.
• Help - Use the Help menu to get quick help on features. By selecting About Tecplot
360 from this menu, you can obtain specific information about your license.
1- 1.2 Sidebar
The Sidebar provides easy access for frequently used plot controls. The functions available in the
Sidebar are dependent upon the plot type of the active frame. For 2D or 3D Cartesian plot types,
you can add or subtract zone layers, zone effects, and derived objects from your plot using the Sidebar. For line plots (XY and polar) you can add or subtract mapping layers using the Sidebar.
To customize your plot, simply:
• Select the desired Plot Types.
• Use the toggle switches to add or subtract Zone Surfaces, Zone Effects, or Derived
Objects. Use the Zone Style/Mapping Style dialogs to further customize your plot by
adding or subtracting zones from specific plot layers/mappings, changing the way a
zone or group of zones is displayed, or changing various plot settings.
17
Introduction
Plot Types Menu
Zone Surfaces
Figure1-1.
Zone
Effects
(3D Only)
Derived Objects
(Iso-surfaces
are 3D Only)
Transient
Controls
Placement Plane
(3D Only)
18
The Tecplot 360
Sidebar for a field plot
(left) and a line plot
(right). The features
available in the Sidebar
are dependent upon the
plot type. For 3D
Cartesian plots, you
may add and subtract
zone layers, derived
objects, and effects for
your plot. You may also
use the Placement Plane
for positioning some
3D objects (3D plots
only). For 2D Cartesian
plots (not shown), you
may add and subtract
zone layers and some
derived objects for your
plot. For field plots (3D
or 2D), you may
animate transient data
directly from the
Sidebar. For Line plots
you may add and
subtract map layers.
Interface
Plot Types
The Plot Type, combined with a frame’s dataset, active layers, and their associated attributes,
define a plot. Each plot type represents one view of the data. There are five plot types available:
• 3D Cartesian - 3D plots of surfaces and volumes.
• 2D Cartesian - 2D plots of surfaces, where the vertical and horizontal axis are both
dependent variables (i.e. x = f(A) and y = f(A), where A is another variable).
• XY Line - Line plots of independent and dependent variables on a Cartesian grid.
Typically the horizontal axis (x) is the independent variable and the y-axis a dependent
variable, y = f(x).
• Polar Line - Line plots of independent and dependent variables on a polar grid.
• Sketch - Create plots without data such as drawings, flow charts, and viewgraphs.
Zone Surfaces
Zone Layers
A layer is a way of representing a frame’s dataset. The complete
plot is the sum of all the active layers, axes, text, geometries, and
other elements added to the data plotted in the layers. The six zone
layers for 2D and 3D Cartesian plot types are:
• Mesh - A grid of lines connecting the data points within
each zone.
• Contour - Iso-valued lines, the region between these
lines can be set to contour flooding.
• Vector - The direction and magnitude of vector
quantities.
• Scatter - Symbols at the location of each data point.
• Shade - Used to tint each zone with a solid color, or to
add light-source shading to a 3D surface plot. Used in
conjunction with the Lighting zone effect you may set
Paneled or Gouraud shading. Used in conjunction with
the Translucency zone effect, you may create a
translucent surface for your plot.
• Edge - Zone edges and creases for ordered data and creases for finite element data.
19
Introduction
Zone Effects
For 3D Cartesian plot types, use the Sidebar to turn lighting and translucency on or off. Only
shaded and flooded contour surface plot types are affected. Refer to Chapter 12 “Shade Layer” and
Chapter 13 “Translucency and Lighting” for additional information.
Zone Style
Select the [Zone Style] button to launch the Zone Style dialog. The Zone Style dialog is used to
customize the zone layers that you have added to your plot. Refer to the chapter for each zone layer
for details on working with the Zone Style dialog.
Map Layers
A layer is a way of representing a frame’s dataset. The complete
plot is the sum of all the active layers, axes, text, geometries, and
other elements added to the data plotted in the layers.
The four XY Line map layers are:
• Lines - Plots a pair of variables, X and Y, as a set of line
segments or a fitted curve.
• Symbols - A pair of variables, X and Y, as individual
data points represented by a symbol you specify.
• Bars - A pair of variables, X and Y, as a horizontal or
vertical bar chart.
• Error Bars - Allows you to add error bars to your plot.
The two map layers for Polar Line are:
• Lines - A pair of variables, X and Y, as a set of line
segments or a fitted curve.
• Symbols - A pair of variables, e.g. X and Y, as
individual data points represented by a symbol you
specify.
Select the [Mapping Style] button to launch the Mapping Style
dialog. The Mapping Style dialog allows you to customize the
style settings for each of the plot layers and specify the points to
plot. The pages of the dialog are discussed in detail in Chapter 6 “XY and Polar Line Plots”.
20
Interface
Derived Objects
For Cartesian plot types (2D and 3D): Toggle-on Iso-surfaces,
Slices, or Streamtraces from the Sidebar to add any or all of these
elements to your plot. Their corresponding Details dialogs can be
accessed via the Details [...] button. Refer to Chapter 16 “Iso-surfaces”, Chapter 14 “Slices”, or Chapter 15 “Streamtraces” for
details on working with these objects.
Transient Controls
When working with transient data, simply press the Play
button in the Sidebar to animate over time. The active frame will be
animated from the Current Solution Time (circled in red) to the last
time step. You may also drag the slider to change the Current Solution Time of your plot.
The Animation Controls have the following functions:
•
– Jumps to the Starting Value.
•
– Jumps toward the Starting Value by one step.
•
– Runs the animation as specified by the ‘Operation’ field of the Time Details
dialog. The Play button becomes a Stop button while the animation is playing.
•
– Jumps toward the Ending Value by one step.
•
– Jumps to the Ending Value.
Use the Details [...] button to launch the Time Details dialog.
21
Introduction
Placement Plane
When you are using certain tools to add objects to your plot, toggle-on Use Placement Plane in the
Sidebar to place them along a given plane (3D Plots only). Use the [X],[Y], and [Z] buttons to
select the plane to use, and use the slider to reposition the Placement Plane. The Placement Plane
will appear as a gray slice in your plot. The Placement Plane is available for:
Placing streamtraces (using the Add Streamtrace Tool
Placing slices (using the Slice Tool
)
)
Adding Contour Levels (using the Add Contour Level Tool
Deleting Contour Levels (using the Remove Contour Level Tool
Probing (using the Probing tool
)
)
)
Snap Modes
Snap Modes allow you to place objects precisely by locking them to the nearest reference point,
either on the axis grid or on the workspace paper.
• Snap to Grid - Constrain object movement to whole steps on the axis grid. This can be
useful for aligning text and geometries with specific plot features.
• Snap to Paper - Constrain object movement to whole steps on the paper's ruler grid.
This can be useful for positioning frames precisely for printing, or for absolute
positioning of text, geometries, and other plot elements.
Details Button
The [Details] button is located immediately below the snap modes. It is context sensitive. Use this
button to call up the dialog most directly applicable to your current action. When the currently
22
Interface
selected tool is either the Selector
or the Adjustor
, but no objects are selected in the
workspace, the [Details] button is labeled [Quick Edit]. Otherwise, the button is labeled Object
Details when an object is selected and Tool Details when your mouse cursor is not in “selector”
mode and an object is not selected.
Object Details
The [Object Details] button in the Sidebar calls up the dialog that most closely reflects the current
state of the cursor. For example, if you select a legend and then [Object Details], the Legend dialog
will open.
Tool Details
[Tool Details] calls up the dialog related to the current state of the cursor. For example, if a rotate
tool is selected, [Tool Details] calls up the 3D Rotate dialog.
Redraw Buttons
The redraw buttons allow you to keep your plot up to date: [Redraw All] CTRL-D redraws all
frames (SHIFT-[Redraw All] completely regenerates the workspace); [Redraw] CTRL-R redraws
only the current frame.
Auto Redraw
Use Auto Redraw - When selected, the plot will be automatically redrawn, whenever style or data
changes. Some users prefer to turn this option off while setting multiple style settings and then
manually press the [Redraw] or [Redraw All] button on the Sidebar to see a full plot.
An auto-redraw can be interrupted with a
mouse click or key press at any time.
Cache Graphics
Tecplot 360 uses OpenGL® to render plots. OpenGL provides for the ability to cache graphic
instructions for rendering and can re-render the cached graphics much faster than if Tecplot 360
sends the instructions again. This is particularly true for interactive manipulation of a plot. However, this performance potential comes at the cost of using more memory. If the memory need is too
high, the overall performance could be less. There are three graphics cache modes: cache all graphics, cache only lightweight graphics objects, and do not cache graphics.
When “Cache Graphics” is selected in the Sidebar, Tecplot 360 assumes there is enough memory to
generate the graphics cache. Assuming this is true, Tecplot 360’s rendering performance will be
optimal for interactive manipulation of plots.
23
Introduction
When memory constraints are very limited, consider toggling-off “Cache Graphics”. If you intend
to interact with the plot, also consider setting the Plot Approximation mode set to “All Frames
Always Approximated”.
See Section “Graphics Cache” on page 595 for more information.
Plot Approximations
When Plot Approximation is selected and if the number of data points is above the point threshold,
an approximate plot for style, data, and interactive view changes is rendered. The approximate plot
is followed immediately by the full plot. This option provides for good interactive performance
with the final plot always displayed in the full representation.
See Section “Plot Approximation” on page 594 for more information.
1- 1.3 Toolbar
Each of the tools represented in the Toolbar changes the mouse mode and allows you to interactively edit your plot.
Double-click on a tool to launch the
Details dialog associated with the tool.
Selector Tool
Use the Selector tool to select objects in your workspace. The selected objects can be modified using the Quick Edit dialog and (in some cases) the Selector tool itself.
The following objects can be moved (translated) using the Selector tool:
• frames
• axis grid area
• text
• geometries
• contour labels
• streamtraces
• streamtrace termination line
• legends
24
Interface
• 3D frame axis
To select an object and open that object's attributes dialog, either double-click on any object or drag
the cursor to select groups of objects (calls up Group Select dialog). Select the [OK] button, then
select [Object Details].
Adjustor Tool
Use the Adjustor tool to perform any of the following modifications to your plot and data:
• Location of individual or groups of data points in the grid.
• Values of the dataset variables at a particular point.
• Length or placement of individual axes (2D Cartesian and XY Line plot types only).
• Spacing between an axis label and its associated axis (2D Cartesian and XY Line plot
types only).
• Shape of a polyline.
For all other scenarios, the behavior of the Adjustor mode is identical to that of the Selector tool.
The Adjustor tool can alter your data. Be sure
you want to use the Adjustor tool before dragging points in the data region.
To select multiple points - You can either SHIFT-click after selecting your initial point to select
additional points, or you can draw a group select band to select the points within the band. (In line
plots, you can select points from only one mapping at a time.)
Once you have selected all desired points, move the Adjustor over the selection handles of one of
the points, then click-and-drag to the desired location of the first data point. The other selected
points will move as a unit with respect to the chosen data point, maintaining their relative positions.
For XY Line plots, if several mappings are using the same
data for one of the variables, adjusting one of the mappings
will result in simultaneous adjustments to the others. You can
avoid this by pressing the H or V key on your keyboard while
adjusting the selected point. The H and V keys restrict the
adjustment to the horizontal and vertical directions, respectively.
25
Introduction
Group Select
The Group Select dialog is opened when you select a group of objects with the Selector or Adjustor tool.
The Group Select dialog allows you to specify the following object types (if the selection rectangle
does not include a specific object, its associated check box is inactive):
• Text
• Geometries
• Frames
• Zones or Mappings
• Axis Grid Area
• Contour Labels
• Streamtraces
The Group Select dialog offers the following attribute filters:
• Geoms of Type - Choose geometries of a particular type from the drop-down menu.
• Geoms with Line Pattern - Choose all geometries having a particular line pattern.
• Text with Font - Choose all text displayed in a particular font.
• Objects with Color - Choose all objects of a particular color. You choose the
appropriate color from the Select Color dialog.
Zoom Tool
Zoom into or away from the plot.
When a mouse-click occurs (without dragging), the zooming is centered at the location of your
click.
There are two zoom modes: plot zooming and paper zooming.
For plot zooming - drag the magnifying glass cursor to draw a box around the region that you want
to fit into the frame. The box may be larger than the frame. Making the box larger than the frame
zooms away from the plot. The region within the view box will be resized to fit into the frame.
If Snap to Grid (located in the Sidebar) is
selected, you cannot make the zoom box larger
than the grid area.
To return to the previous view, choose “Last” from the View menu (CTRL-L). To restore the original 2D view, choose” Fit to Full Size (CTRL-F)”.
26
Interface
The results of plot zooming for the 2D plot type are dependent upon the axis mode selected in the
Axis Details dialog (accessed via the Plot menu):
• 2D Independent Axis Mode - Allows the selected region to expand to exactly fit in
the frame. The axes are rescaled independently to fit the zoom box.
• 2D Dependent Axis Mode - In dependent mode, the axes are not fit perfectly to the
zoom box. The longest dimension from the zoom box is applied to an associated axis,
and the other axis is resized according to the dependency relation.
For paper zooming - SHIFT-drag the magnifying glass cursor to draw a box about the region that
you want to magnify. The plot is resized so that the longest dimension of the zoom box fits into the
workspace. You can fit one or all frames to the workspace by using the “Fit Selected Frames to
Workspace” or “Fit All Frames to Workspace” options from the View>Workspace menu. To return
to the default paper view, choose “Fit Paper to Workspace” from the View>Workspace menu.
Clicking anywhere in your plot while the
zoom tool is active will center the zoom
around your click. Alternatively, CTRLclick centers the plot on the point that was
clicked and zooms out.
Use the center mouse button and drag (or
hold down the rollerball and drag) to interactively zoom into or out of the plot.
Translate Tool
Use the Translate/Magnify tool to translate or magnify data within a frame or the paper
within the workspace.
While in Translate/Magnify mode, drag the cursor to move the data with respect to the frame, or
SHIFT-drag to move the paper with respect to the workspace.
Use the right mouse button to interactively translate objects. You can
rescale your image by pressing “+” to magnify, “-” to shrink. If you are
SHIFT-dragging to move the paper, the rescale buttons “+” and “-” will
magnify or shrink the paper, as long as you have the mouse button
depressed.
Three-dimensional Rotation
There are six 3D rotation mouse modes:
27
Introduction
Spherical
- Drag the mouse horizontally to rotate about the Z-axis; drag the mouse ver-
tically to control the tilt of the Z-axis.
Rollerball
- Drag the mouse in a direction to move with respect to the current orienta-
tion on the screen. In this mode, your mouse acts much like a rollerball.
Twist
- Drag the mouse clockwise around the image to rotate the image clockwise. Drag
the mouse counterclockwise around the image to rotate the image counterclockwise.
X-axis
- Drag the mouse to rotate the image about the X-axis.
Y-axis
- Drag the mouse to rotate the image about the Y-axis.
Z-axis
- Drag the mouse to rotate the image about the Z-axis.
Once you have selected a rotation mouse mode, you can quickly switch to any of the others using
the following keyboard shortcuts:
28
Drag
Rotate about the defined rotation origin with your current Rotate
tool.
ALT-drag
Rotate about the viewer position using your current Rotate tool.
Middle-click-and-drag/ALT-right
click-and-drag
Smooth zoom in and out of the data.
Right-click-and-drag
Translate the data.
CTRL-right-click-and-drag
This option can be used without first selecting a rotation mouse
mode. Simply hover over your intended point of origin, and then
CTRL-right-click-and-drag to translate the image.
C
Move rotation origin to probed point, ignoring zones.
Interface
O
Move rotation origin to probed point of data.
This shortcut can be used without first selecting a rotation mouse
mode. Simply hover over your intended point of origin, type O,
and then CTRL-right-click-and-drag to rotate the image.
R
Switch to Rollerball rotation.
S
Switch to Spherical rotation.
T
Switch to Twist rotation.
X
Switch to X-axis rotation.
Y
Switch to Y-axis rotation.
Z
Switch to Z-axis rotation.
Slice Tool
Use the Slicing tool to control your slice rendering interactively.
The following keyboard/mouse options are available when the Slice tool is active:
+
Primary Slices, Start End Slices Active - Turn on intermediate slices (if
not already active) and adds a slice.
Primary Slices active [ONLY] - Turns on Start/End Slices and adds a
slice.
Start/End Slices active [ONLY] - Turns on Start/End Slices and adds a
slice.
-
Primary Slices, Start End Slices Active - Removes start and end slices.
Primary Slices active [ONLY] - Removes the primary slice.
Start/End Slices active [ONLY] - Removes the Start and End Slices.
Click/Drag
Updates the position of the primary slice (if active). If only start and
end slices are visible, click updates the position of the starting slice.
ALT-click/ALT-drag
Determine the XYZ-location by ignoring zones and looking only at
derived volume objects (streamtraces, slices, iso-surfaces).
SHIFT-click
Switches from one Primary slice to Start/End Slices by adding a slice.
SHIFT-drag
Move the start or end slice (whichever is closest to the initial click
location). Show Start/End Slices is activated, if necessary.
I, J, K (ordered zones only)
Switch to slicing constant I, J, or K-planes respectively.
29
Introduction
X, Y, Z
Switch to slicing constant X, Y, or Z-planes respectively.
1-8
Numbers one through eight switch to the corresponding slice group.
Add Streamtrace
Select the Add Streamtrace tool to add a streamtrace interactively by clicking anywhere in
your plot. Select the number of streamtraces to include with each click (rake) using 1-9 on the keyboard.
Keyboard Shortcuts
D
Switch to streamrods
R
Switch to streamribbons
S
Switch to surface lines
V
Switch to volume lines
1-9 Change the number of streamtraces to be added when placing a rake of streamtraces
SHIFT - Draws a rake on concave 3D volume surfaces. These
rakes are normally not drawn, as they occur outside of the data
Refer to Chapter 15 “Streamtraces” for more information.
Streamtrace Termination Line
Select the Add Streamtrace Termination Line tool to add a streamtrace termination line
interactively.
To draw a Streamtrace Termination Line:
• Move the cursor into the data region.
30
Interface
• Click once at the desired starting point for the line.
• Click again at each desired break point.
• When the polyline is complete, double-click on the last point of the polyline, or press
ESC on your keyboard.
• The drawn polyline ends any streamtraces that pass through it.
Add Contour Level
Select the Add Contour Level tool to add a contour level by clicking anywhere in the current
data region. A new contour level, passing through the specified location, is calculated and drawn.
The following keyboard and mouse shortcuts are related to the Add Contour Level tool.
ALT-click
Place a contour line by probing on a streamtrace, slice, or iso-surface.
Click
Place a contour line.
CTRL-Click
Replace the nearest contour line with a new line.
Drag
Move the new contour line.
-
Switch to the Delete Contour Level tool.
Delete Contour Level
Select the Delete Contour Level tool to delete a contour level by clicking anywhere in the
current data region. The contour line nearest the specified location is deleted.
Use the “+” key to switch to the Add Contour Level tool and the “-” key to switch
back to the Delete Contour Level tool.
Add Contour Labels
Select the Add Contour Label tool to switch to the Contour Label mode, enabling you to add
a contour label by clicking anywhere in the current data region.
31
Introduction
A contour label is added to the plot at the specified location; its level or value information is taken
from the nearest contour line. This allows you to place labels at a slight offset from the lines they
label.
The Contour type must be lines or lines and flood in order for
this tool to be active. You can set the contour type on the Contour page of the Zone Style dialog.
Probe Tool
Select the Probe At Tool to probe for values of the dataset's variables at a particular point.
To obtain interpolated values of the dataset variables at the specified location, click at any point in
the data region.
To obtain exact values for the data point nearest the specified location, CTRL-click at the desired
location.
For XY plots, when you move into the axis grid area, the
cursor cross hair is augmented by a vertical or horizontal line,
depending on whether you are probing along the X-axis or the
Y-axis. You can change the axis to probe simply by pressing X
to probe the X-axis or Y to probe the Y-axis.
Insert Text
Select the Add Text tool to add text to any frame.
Insert Geometries
Use the corresponding geometry buttons in the Toolbar to insert geometries into your plot.
Polylines
Squares
32
Interface
Rectangles
Circle
Ellipse
Create New Frame
Select the Create Frame tool to create a new frame.
To add a frame:
• Click once in the workspace to anchor one corner of the frame.
• Drag the diagonal corner until the frame is the desired size and shape.
If you have data loaded before you create a new frame, you can
attach the existing dataset to the new frame by changing the
plot type.
Extract Discrete Points
Select the Extract Discrete Points tool to extract selected points to a data file or a new zone.
To select points:
• Click your left-hand mouse button at each location where you would like to extract a
point.
• To end extraction, either double-click on the last point, or right click, or press the ESC
key.
• The Extract Data Points dialog appears; use it to specify how many points to extract
and how to save the data.
33
Introduction
Extract Points along Polyline
Select the Extract Line tool to extract points along a specified polyline to a data file or a new
zone.
To select points:
• Click your left-hand mouse button at each location where you would like to extract a
point.
• To end extraction, either double-click on the last point, or right click, or press the ESC
key.
• The Extract Data Points dialog appears; use it to specify how many points to extract
and how to save the data.
Create Rectangular Zone
Select the Create Rectangular Zone tool to add 2D rectangular zones to the current dataset.
To create a rectangular zone:
• Click once in the current data region to anchor one corner of the zone.
• Drag the diagonal corner until the zone is the desired size and shape. The new zone
created is IJ-ordered.
To specify the maximum I-index and J-index, use the Create Rectangular Zone dialog (accessed
via Data>Create Zone).
The current frame must have a dataset
attached to it in order for this tool to be
active. This tool is available in 2D plots only.
Create Circular Zone
Select the Create Circular Zone tool to add new 2D circular zones to the current dataset.
To create a circular zone:
• Click once in the current data region to specify the center of the zone.
• Drag until the zone has the desired radius. The new zone created is IJ-ordered.
34
Interface
To specify the maximum I-index and J-index, use the Create Circular Zone dialog (accessed via
Data>Create Zone).
The current frame must have a dataset
attached to it in order for this tool to be
active. This tool is available in 2D plots only.
1- 1.4 Status Line
The status line, running along the bottom of the Tecplot 360 window gives “hover help.” When you
move the pointer over a tool in the Toolbar, a button on the Quick Edit dialog, or a menu item, a
description of the control appears. It also provides a progress bar and information during long calculations.
1- 1.5 Tecplot 360 Workspace
The workspace is the portion of your screen in which you create sketches and plots. Each sketch or
plot is created within a subwindow called a frame. The current state of the workspace, including the
sizing and positioning of frames, the location of the data files used by each frame, and all current
attributes for all frames, makes up a layout. By default, the workspace displays a representation of
where the paper plots are drawn, as well as a reference grid and rulers. The active frame, in which
you are currently working, is on top. All modifications are made to the current frame.
35
Introduction
1- 1.6 Quick Edit
The map and zone layer controls affecting how the individual layers are drawn can be altered using
controls on the Sidebar. You can also control many of these attributes using the Quick Edit dialog.
The Quick Edit dialog is accessed via the [Quick Edit] button located at the bottom of the Sidebar
when the mouse-mode is a standard arrow (i.e. you are using either the Selector Tool or Adjustor
Tool). If you are in a different mouse mode, or you have selected a Text or Geometry object, the
Object Details or Tool Details will be launched in lieu of the Quick Edit dialog.
To use the Quick Edit dialog, select one or more objects in the workspace, then select the appropriate button in the dialog to change the attributes of the selected object(s). The functionality of each
button is described in the following sections.
36
Interface
Mesh
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls whether the mesh is displayed for selected zones, and if
so, using which types of mesh. The following options are available:
• Y - Show the mesh for the selected zones. The first time you turn on the Mesh layer by
either the Quick Edit dialog or the Zone Style dialog, a dialog appears asking if you
wish it activated. Select [Yes] to confirm turning on the layer.
• N - Turn off the mesh for the selected zones.
•
Wire Frame - Mesh lines are drawn underlying all other field layers (i.e.,
Contour, Vector, Scatter, Shade); hidden lines are not removed.
•
Overlay - Mesh lines are drawn above all other field plot layers except vectors
and scatter symbols.
•
Hidden - Similar to Overlay, except that in the 3D Cartesian, plot type hidden
lines are removed from behind the mesh. In essence, the cells of the mesh are opaque.
Surfaces and lines that are hidden behind another surface are removed from the plot.
Contour
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls whether contours are displayed for selected zones, and
if so, using which plot type. The following options are available:
• Y - Show the contours for the selected zones. The first time you turn on the Contour
layer by either the Quick Edit dialog or the Zone Style dialog, a dialog appears
asking if you wish it activated. Select [Yes] to confirm turning on the layer.
• N - Turn off the contour for the selected zones.
•
Lines - Plots contour lines. If you choose this plot type, you can use the Cont
Color attribute to specify Multi-Color to make the line color vary with the contourvariable value.
•
Flood - Flood the area between adjacent contour lines with a color according to
the value of the contour variable, number of contour levels, and the Color Map.
37
Introduction
•
Both Lines and Flood - Contour lines are drawn with color flooding between
them.
•
•
Average Cell - Each cell or element is flooded with one solid color based upon
the average value of the contour variable at the data points of the cell or element.
Primary Value - Each cell or element is flooded with one solid color based upon
the primary cell value.
Vector
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls whether vectors are displayed for selected zones, and if
so, using which plot type. The following options are available:
• Y - Show the vectors for the selected zones. The first time you turn on the Vector layer
by either the Quick Edit dialog or the Zone Style dialog, a dialog appears asking if
you wish it activated. Select [Yes] to confirm turning on the layer.
• N - Turn off the vectors for the selected zones.
•
Tail at Point - Display regular vectors – a simple stick vector with length
proportional to the local magnitude. The tail of the vector is positioned at the data
point.
•
Head at Point - Display regular vectors – a simple stick vector with length
proportional to the local velocity magnitude (the square root of the sum of the squares
of the vector components). The head of the vector is positioned at the data point.
•
Anchor at Midpoint - Display regular vectors – a simple stick vector with
length proportional to the local velocity magnitude. The midpoint of the vector is
positioned at the data point.
•
Head Only - Display vectors as heads only, without the vector shaft.
Scatter
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls whether scatter symbols are displayed for selected
zones, and if so, whether to use plain or filled symbols. The following options are available:
38
Interface
• Y - Show the scatter symbols for the selected zones. The first time you turn on the
Scatter layer by either the Quick Edit dialog or the Zone Style dialog, a dialog
appears asking if you wish it activated. Select [Yes] to confirm turning on the layer.
• N - Turn off the scatter symbols for the selected zones.
•
Plain - Use un-filled symbols for the scatter plot.
•
Filled - Use filled symbols for the scatter plot.
Shade
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls whether shading is used for selected zones. This option
allows you to turn off just the Shade layer for specific zones, without completely deactivating the
zones. The following options are available:
• Y - Show light-source shading for the selected zones. The first time you turn on the
Shade layer by either the Quick Edit dialog or the Zone Style dialog, a dialog appears
asking if you wish it activated. Select [Yes] to confirm turning on the layer.
• N - Turn off light-source shading for the selected zones.
Edge Border
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls whether the zone edge border is displayed for selected
ordered zones, and if so, what edge type. The following options are available:
• Y - Show edges borders for the selected zones. The first time you turn on the Edge
layer by either the Quick Edit dialog or the Zone Style dialog, a dialog appears
asking if you wish it activated. Select [Yes] to confirm turning on the layer.
• N - Turn off edges for the selected zones.
•
Show Entire Border - Shows border lines on all boundaries of the selected
zone(s).
•
•
Show Border Line - Shows the edge border line closest to the selected point.
Hide Border Line - Hides the edge border line that is closest to the selected
point.
39
Introduction
•
Show Only Nearest Border Line - Shows only the edge border line that is
closest to the selected point and hides all others.
• The first time you turn on the Line layer by either the Quick Edit dialog or the
Mapping Style dialog, a dialog appears asking if you wish it activated. Select [Yes] to
confirm turning on the layer.
Symbols Mapping Layer
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls whether symbols are plotted at each data point, and
whether those symbols are filled or plain. The following options are available:
• Y - Show the symbol plots for the selected maps. The first time you turn on the
Symbols layer by either the Quick Edit dialog or the Mapping Style dialog, a dialog
appears asking if you wish it activated. Select [Yes] to confirm turning on the layer.
• N - Turn off the symbol plots for the selected maps.
•
Plain - Use un-filled symbols for the scatter plot.
•
Filled - Use filled symbols for the scatter plot.
XY Error Bars Mapping Layer
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls whether error bars are displayed for the selected mappings, and in which direction the error bars are drawn. The options are:
• Y - Show the error bars for the selected maps. The first time you turn on the Error Bars
layer by either the Quick Edit dialog or the Mapping Style dialog, a dialog appears
asking if you wish it activated. Select [Yes] to confirm turning on the layer.
• N - Turn off the error bars for the selected maps.
•
Top - Error bar extends upward for positive values (and downward for negative
values) of the error bar variable.
•
Bottom - Error bar extends downward for positive values (and upward for
negative values) of the error bar variable.
40
Interface
•
Left - Error bar extends to the left for positive values (and to the right for
negative values) of the error bar variable.
•
Right - Error bar extends to the right for positive values (and to the left for
negative values) of the error bar variable.
•
Horizontal - Error bar extends both left and right.
•
Vertical - Error bar extends both up and down.
•
Cross - Error bar extends up, down, left, and right.
Bars Mapping Layer
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls whether bars are plotted to represent each data point,
and whether those bars are filled or plain.
• Y - Show the selected maps as bar charts. The first time you turn on the Bars layer by
either the Quick Edit dialog or the Zone Style dialog, a dialog appears asking if you
wish it activated. Select [Yes] to confirm turning on the layer.
• N - Turn off bar charting for the selected maps.
•
Plain - Use un-filled bars for the bar chart.
•
Filled - Use filled bars for the bar chart.
Color
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls color options for filled objects, lines, and text.
• Object-type - Use the Fill, Line, and Text radio buttons to identify the object-type to
modify.
• Color - Select the [Color] button to activate the Select Color dialog. Multi color is not
available for line plots.
• X button - The behavior of the [X] button depends on the object-type selected.
41
Introduction
• Fill - [X] turns off the fill color.
• Line - [X] causes the line color to match the fill color. If no fill color is specified, the [X] button has no effect.
• Text - [X] has no effect.
Symbols
Use this region of the Quick Edit dialog to change the symbol for the Scatter Zone layer or
Symbols Map layer.
Use the [Size] button to specify the size of the scatter symbols as a percentage of the frame width
(in the 2D Cartesian plot type) or of the median-axis length (in the 3D Cartesian plot type).
Line Pattern
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls the line pattern, pattern
length, and line thickness for all selected objects.
• Line Pttrn - Choose the line pattern for the selected zones.
• Pttrn Lngth - Specify the pattern length for the selected line pattern,
as a percentage of the frame width.
• Line Thcknss - Specify the line thickness for the vectors as a
percentage of the frame width.
Arrows
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls arrowhead placement on polylines.
Arrowheads
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls the type, size, and angle of arrowhead
for both selected vectors and selected polylines and vectors. The following
options are available:
• Head Style - Choose the vector head style for the selected zones. The
following options are available:
42
Interface
• Plain - Display arrowheads as lines drawn from the head of the vector.
• Filled - Display arrowheads as filled triangles at the end of each vector.
• Hollow - Display arrowheads as hollow triangles at the end of each vector.
• Size - Specify the size of the arrowhead as a percentage of frame height.
• Angle (deg) - Specify the angle between the vector and the arrowhead.
• Enter Value - For both the [Size] and [Angle] buttons, you can choose “Enter” and
type in an exact percentage in the Enter Value dialog.
Font
This area of the Quick Edit dialog controls the font family and size used for selected text.
The following options are available:
• Font - Select the font family.
• Size (%) - Specify the height for the text in frame units (i.e. as a percentage of frame
height).
• Size (pt) - Specify the height for the text in points.
Order and Alignment
Use the Order and Alignment buttons of the Quick Edit dialog to align text within textboxes or the
alignment between selected geometries/textboxes.
•
Left,
Center, or
buttons to align text.
Right - Use the Left, Center, or Right alignment
•
Top or
Bottom - Use the Top or Bottom alignment buttons to align
selected geometries and text with respect to one another.
• Push - Use the Push button to push the selected geometries or text to the bottom of the
view stack.
• Pop - Use the Pop button to pop the selected geometries or text to the top of the
viewstack.
43
Introduction
1 - 2 Getting Help
Tecplot 360 features a fully integrated Help system. Quick help on menu items and Sidebar controls
is available from the status line or tool tips.
Detailed help is accessible by:
• Pressing the F1 key anywhere in the Tecplot 360 window. If the pointer is over the
Sidebar, Quick Edit dialog, or a menu, the F1 key provides context-sensitive help on
that control or menu. Otherwise, F1 calls up the Contents page of Help via your Web
browser.
• Selecting “Contents” from the Help menu.
• Selecting Help on any dialog.
The Help dialog supports text search, has hypertext links, and provides detailed information on all
menus and dialogs.
Your answer may be in Technical Support Notes at www.tecplot.com/support.
If you are covered by Tecplot’s Software Maintenance Service, help is also available from 6:30
A.M. to 5 P.M. Pacific Standard Time from Tecplot Technical Support at 425.653.9393.
You may also send an e-mail to [email protected] with your questions.
44
Chapter 2
Frames and the Workspace
This chapter discusses global commands that are independent of the data structure and plot layers
in use, including:
• Data Hierarchy - Treatment of data within Tecplot 360.
• Interface Coordinate Systems - Learn when and where Tecplot 360 uses different
coordinate systems.
• Frames - Plots are created in a frame: a boxed area in the workspace acting as a subwindow. You control the format of each frame.
• Workspace Management Options Menu - Workspace and paper controls determine the
color and orientation of your paper, as well as the ruler and grid, to precisely size and
position objects. For in-depth information on Display Performance, please refer to
Section 31 - 3 “Performance Dialog”.
• View Modification - Zoom, translate, and fit plots within frames.
• Edit Menu - Many plot elements may be cut or copied from the workspace and pasted
into other plot elements.
2 - 1 Data Hierarchy
Tecplot 360 structures data in two levels: datasets and zones. Dataset are contained within frames.
Each dataset is composed of a zone or group of zones, and each zone contains a variable or group
of variables. All zones within a dataset contain the same set of variables.
45
Frames and the Workspace
A chart of the data hierarchy is shown in Figure 2-1.
Figure 2-1.
Data Hierarchy in Tecplot 360. Frames 1 & 2 share Dataset 1, and Dataset 1
contains 3 zones from 1 data file. Frame 3 contains data set 2, which is
composed of 5 zones (2 from data file 2 and 3 from data file 3).
2- 1.1 Frames
You can create multiple plots simultaneously in Tecplot 360 using subwindows called “frames”. By
default, one frame is open when you launch Tecplot 360. You can add frames to the workspace
using the Frame menu. Datasets can be unique to the frame or shared between frames. Linking
data between frames allows you to generate unique plots of the same data. For more information on
working with frames, please refer to Section 2 - 3 “Frames”.
2- 1.2 Datasets
A dataset is defined as “all of the information data in a frame”. Starting with an empty frame, a
dataset is created and assigned to the active frame when you read one or more data files into
Tecplot 360, or when you create a zone.
46
Interface Coordinate Systems
2- 1.3 Zones
Zones are a subset of datasets. A dataset can be composed of a single zone or several zones. Zones
are either defined in the data file or created directly in Tecplot 360. The number of zones in a concatenated dataset is the sum of the number of zones in each of the data files that are loaded.
Typically, a data file is divided into zones based on its physical coordinates. For example, a dataset
of an airplane many consist of a zone for each wing, each wheel, the nose, etc. Alternatively, zones
may be defined based on the material. For example, a dataset of a fluid tank may have a zone for
the tank itself and additional zones for each fluid therein.
All zones in a given dataset must have the
same variables defined for each data point.
2 - 2 Interface Coordinate Systems
Tecplot 360 incorporates a number of coordinate systems, including the paper, frame, and the physical coordinate systems for the plot (2D, 3D, XY, or Polar). The origins of each coordinate system
and their relationship to one another is shown in Figure 2-2.
Figure 2-2.
Tecplot 360 Coordinate System. The physical coordinate system(s) of the
dataset (e.g. 3D Cartesian, 2D Cartesian, etc.) are encompassed in the
Frame Coordinate System.
The physical coordinate system (2D or 3D) is dependent upon the plot type of the current frame.
Two-dimensional physical coordinates are often referred to as grid coordinates. The Grid coordi-
47
Frames and the Workspace
nate system is aligned with the coordinate system used by the plot axes; the Frame coordinate
system is fixed to the frame and does not change when the plot is zoomed, translated, or rotated.
In 2D Cartesian plots, objects such as text labels and geometries are drawn in either the Frame or
the Grid coordinate system. In 3D Cartesian plots, these objects are drawn in either the Frame coordinate system, or in what is known as the Eye coordinate system. The eye coordinate system is
aligned with the Grid coordinate system; so objects drawn in the Eye coordinate system move with
the data as you zoom and translate, but remain fixed when you rotate the plot.
Figure 2-3 shows a 3D volume plot with streamribbons and a streamtrace termination line. This
figure illustrates how the termination points vary as the plot is rotated. Notice that the termination
line itself remains in place on the screen as the plot is rotated.
No Termination Line
Termination Line
0.6
0.6
-0.5
0.4
0.4
Z
Z
-0.5
0
X
0.2
0
Y 0.1 0.2
0.2
Z
X
0
0
Z
0.5
0
0.5
X
Y
0
0.1
Y
Termination Line
Y
X
0.2
Termination Line
0.6
0.6
0.4
Z
0.4
Z
-0.5
0.2
0.2
-0.5
0
Z
X
0
0
Y 0.1 0.2
Figure 2-3.
X
0
0.5
0.5
X
0
0.1
0Z
0.2
Y
Y
X
Y
Rotating Volume streamtraces with a
termination line in the eye coordinate
system.
2 - 3 Frames
All plots and sketches are drawn within frames. By default, the Tecplot 360 workspace contains
one frame maximized to the paper. You may add additional frames, resize and reposition frames,
48
Frames
modify background color, and specify border and header appearance. Tecplot 360 acts upon only
one frame—the current frame—at any given time (except when frames are linked).
Tecplot 360 uses the height of the frame for objects scaled by
frame units, such as font size. When you enter a frame unit
value into a dialog or you are setting frame size and position on
the paper, you may specify a different unit system (inches,
points, centimeters, or pixels). The values are automatically
converted into frame units.
See Section 23- 1.3 “Stylesheets” for additional frame options.
2- 3.1 Frame Creation
Create new frames interactively by drawing them in the workspace using the Frame>Create New
Frame command or selecting
from the Toolbar.
The new frame will be the active frame.
If printing plots, draw frames within the paper displayed in the workspace.The paper view is
turned-off by default in Tecplot 360. To view the paper coordinate system (for arranging frames for
printing), go to Options>Paper Setup and toggle-on “Show Paper on Screen”.
See Section 32- 3.4 “Create Multiple Frames” for information on simultaneously creating multiple
frames.
2- 3.2 Frame Deletion
Delete the active frame using either Frame>Delete Current Frame, Edit>Clear, or hitting the
Delete key.
To delete a group of frames: click and drag the mouse to encompass a group of frames, toggle-on
frames in the “Objects” area of the Group Select dialog, and use either Frame>Delete Current
Frame, Edit>Clear, or the Delete key to delete the selected group of frames.
2- 3.3 Edit Current Frame
The Edit Current Frame dialog (accessed via the Frame menu) allows you to adjust the dimensions and style of the current frame. When you are working with multiple frames, use the Push
49
Frames and the Workspace
Current Frame to Back option in the Frame menu or the Order Frames dialog to arrange the order
of your frames.
Frame Dimensions
You can size and position frames using “Edit Current Frame” from the Frame menu, or by choosing “Fit all Frames to Paper” (also from the Frame menu).
In the Edit Current Frame dialog, you may specify the exact location for the frame’s left and top
sides, along with width and height.
• Left Side - Start of the left side of the frame, relative to the workspace.
• Top Side - Start of the top side of the frame, relative to the workspace.
• Width - Width of the frame (coordinates are: left side to left side + width).
• Height - Height of the frame (coordinates are: top side to top side + height).
50
Frames
The units in the “Frame Dimensions” region of the dialog box are based on the units set for the
Ruler Spacing in Options>Ruler/Grid.
You may also use the mouse or the arrow keys to resize and
position frames. Click anywhere on a frame’s header or border to activate resizing handles for the frame. To scale frames
proportionally (maintaining the vertical to horizontal aspect
ratio) select the frames, then press “+” on your keyboard to
enlarge or “-” to reduce.
After selecting frames, you may position them using the arrow keys on your keyboard. You can
move frames up, down, left, or right in one-pixel increments for precise location.
To fit the current frame to the paper (portrait orientation), set Left Side = 0.0, Top Side = 0.0, Width =
8.5, and Height = 11.
Set Width = 11 and Height = 8.5 for landscape paper
orientation.
Frame Border and Header Controls
Use the Edit Current Frame dialog (accessed via the Frame menu) to adjust the frame border or
header.
Toggling-off “Show Border” results in an
invisible frame border. To show a dashed line
for invisible borders, go to Options>Show
Invisible Frame Borders. Use the Thickness
window to adjust the line-thickness of the
border.
The frame header is displayed when both
“Show Border” and “Show Header” are
toggled-on. If you turn off the border by deselecting the “Show Border” check box, the header turns off as well.
The frame header contains user-configurable information which defaults to:
"&(FrameName) | &(date) | &(DataSetTitle)"
where FrameName is the frame’s name, date is the date the frame was created or revised, and DataSetTitle is the title of the current dataset. These defaults can be changed in your configuration file;
see the $!GLOBALFRAME command in the Scripting Guide.
51
Frames and the Workspace
Frame Background Color Modification
Select the Color box in the Edit Current Frame dialog (accessed via the Frame menu) to adjust
the frame background color. Toggle-off “Show Background” to set the frame background to transparent.
When changing the background color, you will encounter a dialog that asks whether you would like
to modify all other basic color styles that match the frame background. Basic color styles include,
but are not limited to: Axis, Text, vector, and edges (layer, edges on slices, scatter). For example,
When inverting the background color from black to white (or white to black), you will be asked
whether to invert the colors for other objects as well (i.e. text or gridlines)
Selecting “Yes” in this dialog will modify the following features:
• For all line type basic colors that match the new basic frame color, the basic line color
will be set to the best show color of the basic frame color.
• For all fill type basic colors that match the new basic frame color, the fill color will be
set to the best show color of new frame color.
Exceptions:
• For geometries and text boxes - If the line and fill colors are the same and filling is
active, then both lines and fill follow the fill rules above.
• For zone, slice, iso-surface, and streamtrace object types - The basic color shading (i.e.
fill) only follows the fill rules above if lighting effects are not being used.
Frame Name Modification
Enter text in “Frame Name” region of Edit Current Frame dialog (accessed via the Frame menu)
to change the name of the active frame.
2- 3.4 Frame Pushing and Popping
There are times when you want to expose—pop—overlapping or overlaid frames. For partially
exposed frames, click on the exposed portion to pop it (in any mouse mode except Create Frame).
For completely obscured frames, pop underlying frames by selecting Push Current Frame to Back,
or by using the Frame menu’s Order Frames option.
52
Frames
Order Frames
Use the Order Frames dialog (accessed via the Frame menu) to rearrange the viewstack of
frames. [Pop] brings a frame to the front. [Push] moves a frame to the back. You can sort the frame
list by name or by the order in which the frames were created.
Push Current Frame to Back
To push a frame to the back of the plot, select “Push Current Frame Back” from the Frame menu.
If you have multiple overlaid frames, repeat these steps until the desired frame is on top, or pop a
specific frame using Order Frames.
2- 3.5 Fit all Frames to Paper
Resizes all frames proportionally so that one dimension, either horizontal or vertical, is exactly
filled. The relative size and position of all frames are preserved.
2- 3.6 Frame Linking
The frame linking feature allows you to link specific style attributes either between frames or
within a frame. Linking between frames allows you to quickly make changes in one frame and
propagate them through a number of other frames. Linking within frames links attributes between
similar objects within a frame.
53
Frames and the Workspace
Attribute Linking Between Frames
Use the Between Frames page of the Set Links for Current Frame dialog (accessed via
Frame>Frame Linking) to link the following attributes (shown below):
• Frame Size and Position - Use this option to overlay transparent frames. (See Section
“Frame Background Color Modification” on page 52.)
• X-axis Range, Y-axis Range (For XY Line and 2D plots) - Links the X-axis or Y-axis
range and the positioning of the left and right sides of the viewport.
• XY-axis Position (For XY Line and 2D plots) - Links the positioning of the X and Yaxes between frames, including the method used for positioning the axes, such as
aligning with an opposing axis value.
• Polar Plot View - Link views for frames using the Polar Line plot type.
• 3D Plot View - Link the 3D axes and 3D view.
• Slice Positions - Link slice positions and slice planes for active slices (but not slice
style).
• Iso-Surface Locations - Link iso-surface values (but not iso-surface plot style).
• Contour Levels - Link the values and number of contour levels for 2D and 3D plots.
54
Frames
• Value Blanking Constraints - Link all value-blanking attributes.
It is not necessary to close and reopen the dialog between
frames. Simply select another frame while the dialog is open
to change the current frame.
Frame Linking Groups
Frames can be segregated into groups so that changes in the linked attributes are propagated only to
members of that group. By default, all frames are added to Group 1. Add a frame to a group by
selecting the appropriate group number from the Frame is a Member of drop-down menu on the
Between Frames page. Frames can be assigned to groups 1-20. New frames added to a group take
on the characteristics of previous members of the group.
Figure 2-4.
Five frames in two groups with different linking
Propagating Between Frame Link Attributes to Other Frames
Once link attributes are set in a frame group, you must set these same attributes in other frames for
linking to occur. Each frame may have each of the attributes selected or not linked. If you want all
or a select group of frames to have the same link attributes, select the appropriate [Apply Settings
to All Frames] button to quickly propagate the link settings. The alternative is to select each frame
55
Frames and the Workspace
individually, making the same selections on the Set Links for Current Frame dialog for each
chosen frame.
When 2D or XY Line frames have dependent axes and these
axis ranges are linked, a “best-fit” attempt is made to match the
axis ranges between frames. Misalignments can occur when the
aspect ratios for the lengths of the axes is not the same between
two frames with linked X and Y-axes. Setting the X and Y-axes
to be independent allows a precise match.
Keep in mind, Within-Frame Linking only links attributes
between similar objects within a frame. These attributes are not
linked to other frames. The [Apply Settings] buttons turn on
the same Within-Frame Linking properties in other frames.
Attribute Linking Within A Frame
The Within Frame page of the Set Links for Current Frame dialog is shown below. It allows
you to link the following attributes:
56
Workspace Management Options Menu
• Axis Style - Link activation, colors, line styles, and font styles for objects associated
with axes.
• Gridline Style - Link activation, colors, and line styles for gridlines.
• Zone/Map Color between Plot Layers - Link the color of meshes, contour lines, and
other zone layers for Cartesian plots, or link the color of lines, symbols, and other map
layers for line plots.
• Zone Line Pattern between Plot Layers - Link line pattern style and length for
meshes, vector, and contour lines for Cartesian plots.
2 - 4 Workspace Management Options Menu
The workspace is the region in which you can create frames. The paper layout is a subset of the
workspace and is correlated to the printer settings.
The paper is turned off by default in Tecplot 360. Select “Show Paper on Screen” in
the Paper Setup dialog under the File
menu to include the paper.
2- 4.1 Paper Setup
Tecplot 360’s representation of paper in the workspace allows you to lay out plots precisely the way
you want them printed. If you place a frame on the paper and print the resulting plot, the frame
appears in the exact relative location on the printed paper.
57
Frames and the Workspace
You can control the size, orientation, and color of your paper by going to File>Paper Setup.
Paper Size Controls
Tecplot 360 offers the following six paper sizes:
• Letter - Standard U.S. letter size, 8 1/2 by 11 inches.
• Double - Standard U.S. ledger size, 11 by 17 inches.
• A4 - Standard European letter size, 21 by 29.7 centimeters.
• A3 - Standard European size, 29.7 by 42 centimeters.
• Custom 1 - Default is 8.5 by 14 inches.
• Custom 2 - Default is 8 by 10 inches.
All paper sizes may be customized using options in configuration or macro files. It is recommended
that you only change the dimensions of the Custom 1 and Custom 2 paper sizes. To change the
Custom sizes see the $!PAPER command in the Scripting Guide.
Paper Orientation Controls
Layouts can be landscape or portrait plots. In landscape (the default), the long axis of the paper is
horizontal, while in portrait, the long axis is vertical. Portrait orientation uses the width of the specified paper for the horizontal dimension, while landscape uses this for the vertical dimension. You
specify the orientation as part of paper set-up.
58
Workspace Management Options Menu
Screen Paper Controls
If you are creating plots for display on your screen, you can toggle-off the screen representation of
the paper and use the full workspace by deselecting “Show Paper on Screen”.
Dimensions (display only)
The units displayed in the “Dimensions” region of the Paper Setup dialog are determined by the
units established in Options>Ruler/Grid.
Paper Color Controls
You can set up your paper to show any color as a background color (the “paper fill color”) on your
screen, as well as use that color when printing to a color printer. When you are printing, the paper
can be flooded with your specified fill color. (By default, the paper fill color is ignored during printing.) To use the paper fill color when printing, select “Use Paper Fill Color when Printing” from the
Paper Setup dialog.
2- 4.2 Grid and Ruler Set-Up
The workspace grid provides a convenient guide for placing objects on your paper. When placing
text or geometric shapes, you can choose to snap the anchor points of the shapes to the grid. Rulers
provide a reference length for sizing objects.
Workspace Grid Controls
Tecplot 360 allows you to select grid spacing from several pre-set sizes in centimeters (cm), inches
(in), or points (pt) via a drop-down menu. You can also specify not to show the grid by toggling-off
“Show Grid”.
The grid is not shown if “Show Paper on
Screen” or “Show Grid” are deselected.
59
Frames and the Workspace
Workspace Ruler Controls
You can select the ruler markings from several pre-set sizes in centimeters (cm), inches (in), or
points (pt) via a drop-down menu. You can also specify not to show the grid by toggling-off “Show
Ruler”. When “Show Ruler” is toggled-on, rulers appear on the bottom and right-hand sides of the
workspace.
2- 4.3 Show Invisible Frame Borders
Select “Show Invisible Frame Borders” from the Options menu to temporarily turn-on dashed lines
at all invisible frame borders.
2- 4.4 Show Sidebar or Toolbar
You may turn off the Sidebar by going to Options>Sidebar>None. Similarly, you may turn the
Sidebar on by going to Options>Sidebar>Standard. You may turn off or on the Toolbar by selecting Options>Toolbar.
2 - 5 View Modification
Use the View menu to adjust the view of the current frame or to adjust the view of the entire workspace. The View menu is discussed in the following subsections.
2- 5.1 Redraw Frame
When “Auto Redraw” is toggled-off, go to View>Redraw Frame, select the [Redraw Frame]
button from the Sidebar or type CTRL-R to redraw the current frame.
2- 5.2 Redraw All
When “Auto Redraw” is toggled-off, go to View>Redraw All, select the [Redraw All] button from
the Sidebar or type CTRL-D to redraw all frames in the workspace.
2- 5.3 Zoom
There are two zoom modes: axis (dataset) zooming and paper zooming.
Plot Zooming
Activate plot zooming by selecting View>Zoom or the
button from the Toolbar. Drag the
magnifying glass cursor to draw a box. The region within the view box will be resized to fit into the
60
View Modification
frame according to the longest dimension of the view box. If “Snap to Grid” is selected (from the
Sidebar), you cannot make the zoom box larger than the grid area.
To return to the previous view: Select “Last”
(CTRL-L) from the View menu or “Undo” (CTRLZ) from the Edit menu.
Paper Zooming
SHIFT-drag the magnifying glass cursor to draw a box about the region that you want to magnify.
The plot is resized such that the longest dimension of the zoom box fits into the workspace.
Alternatively, you can fit one or all frames to the
workspace by using the “Fit Selected Frames to
Workspace” or the “Fit All Frames to Workspace”
options of the View>Workspace menu.
Mouse Zoom and Translation
The middle and right mouse buttons allow you to smoothly zoom and translate data. Your middle
mouse button zooms smoothly, and your right mouse button translates data. (Refer to the Quick
Reference Guide for additional functionality.)
2- 5.4 Fit Everything (3D Only)
View>Fit Everything (CTRL-E) resizes the plot so that all data points, text, and geometries are
included in the frame. Use “Fit Everything” to restore the initial view of your data after extensive
zooming, scaling, or translating. Use View>Data Fit to neglect text and geometry in the resizing.
2- 5.5 Fit to Full Size
View>Fit to Full Size (CTRL-E) resizes the plot so that all data points, text, and geometries are
included in the frame. Use “Fit to Full Size” to restore the initial view of your data after extensive
zooming, scaling, or translating. The “Fit to Full Size” operation is performed when your dataset is
first displayed. Use View>Data Fit to neglect text and geometry in the resizing.
2- 5.6 Fit Surfaces (3D Only)
View>Fit Surfaces (CTRL-F) resizes the plot so that all surfaces are included in the frame, excluding any volume zones. The “Fit Surfaces” operation is performed when your dataset is first displayed. If there are no surfaces plotted, View>Fit Surfaces reverts to View>Fit Everything
behavior and fits all data points, text, and geometries to the frame.
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Frames and the Workspace
2- 5.7 Data Fit
View>Data Fit resizes the plot so all data points are included in the frame. Text and geometries are
not considered. The text and geometries must be set to grid coordinates to be included in the resizing.
2- 5.8 Nice Fit to Full Size
View>Nice Fit to Full Size (CTRL-N) is available for 2D Cartesian, XY Line, and Sketch plot
types only. The command sets the axis range to begin and end on major axis increments. (If axes
are dependent, the vertical axis length is adjusted to accommodate a major tick mark.)
2- 5.9 Make Current View Nice
View>Make Current View Nice (CTRL-K) is available for 2D Cartesian, XY Line, and Sketch
plot types only. The command modifies the range on a specified axis to fit the minimum and
maximum of the variable assigned to that axis, then snaps the major tick marks to the ends of the
axis. (If axis dependency is not independent, this may affect the range on another axis.)
2- 5.10 Center
Centers the plot within the frame. Only the data is centered; text, geometry, and the 3D axes are not
considered. Neither the axes nor the plot is changed in size.
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View Modification
2- 5.11 Translate/Magnify
The Translate/Magnify dialog (accessed via the View menu), allows you to move and resize your
plot within a frame (shown below). Translating from this dialog box moves the image of your data
with respect to the current frame. You can translate plots in any direction within a frame.
The following options are available in the Translate/Magnify dialog:
• Up, Down, Left, Right - Use the arrows to translate the image.
• Magnification Factor - Change magnification using the up and down arrows to the
right of the text field, or enter a value in the text field.
• Step Size (%) - Control the step size for each arrow using pre-set ranges from the
drop-down, or enter your own value.
The Translate/Magnify tool
(located in the Toolbar) allows you to translate/magnify the data
within the frame or the entire workspace. Use the SHIFT key to translate/magnify the workspace
instead of the data.
63
Frames and the Workspace
When the Translate/Magnify tool is active, type +/- on your keyboard to increase/decrease the scale
of the image.
To use the Magnify tool on the workspace, hold the SHIFT
key and click on the workspace. Then, use the “+” or “-” keys
on the keyboard to change the magnification of the workspace. Single-click on the data to change the mode back to
dataset magnification.
2- 5.12 Last
View>Last (CTRL-L) restores the previous view. The “Last” command allows you to step backward through the resizings and repositionings of plots. Any time you change the view of a frame,
either by zooming, centering, translating, or fitting the plot, the previous view is placed in a view
stack. Each frame is allotted four view stacks, one for each plot type. Each view stack stores up to
sixteen views, including the current view.
2- 5.13 Rotate
(3D Cartesian plot type only) Calls up the Rotate dialog for image rotation. For further information, see Section “Three-dimensional Rotation” on page 27.
2- 5.14 3D View Options
(3D Cartesian plot type only): Calls up the 3D View Details dialog for setting the view position and
angle of 3D images. For further information, see Section “Three-dimensional Rotation” on
page 27.
2- 5.15 Copy View
Use the View>Copy View menu option to copy the current frame view to the frame view buffer,
where it can then be pasted to other frames having the same plot type. The copied view includes all
the attributes of the view that are affected by the View menu: the amount of zoom, translation and
scale, and (in 3D Cartesian plot type) the amount of rotation and perspective projection.
2- 5.16 Paste View
View>Paste View (CTRL-A) pastes a copied view onto the current frame. When you are working
with multiple frames attached to the same dataset, it is often useful to make your view changes to
one frame and then propagate those changes to the other frames.
2- 5.17 View>Workspace Options
• Fit Selected Frames to Workspace (CTRL-SHIFT-F) - Resizes all frames
proportionally so that the selected frame(s) fill the workspace either vertically or
horizontally.
64
Edit Menu
• Fit All Frames to Workspace (CTRL-SHIFT-A) - Resizes all frames proportionally
so that all frame(s) fill the workspace either vertically or horizontally.
• Fit Paper to Workspace (CTRL-SHIFT-P) - Resizes paper to fill the workspace.
• Last Workspace View (CTRL-SHIFT-L) - Restores the workspace to the previous
view. This command undoes the last:
• SHIFT-Magnify
• Fit Selected Frames to Workspace
• Fit All Frames to Workspace
• Maximize Workspace (CTRL-SHIFT-M) - Maximizes the work area view by
suppressing the menu bar, status bar, and Sidebar. To restore the normal view, click
anywhere in the maximized workspace.
2 - 6 Edit Menu
You can duplicate frames, text, and geometries with the copy and paste options of the Edit menu
(or their keyboard equivalents, CTRL-C, CTRL-V). You can also cut objects from one location and
paste them into another, or throw them away completely.
2- 6.1 Undo
All plot and mapping style modifications can be undone. In addition, you can undo a variety of
other plot alterations. As a rule, Tecplot 360 allows undo for reversible operations that can be
restored without significant impact on the operation’s performance. To undo an operation, select
“Undo” from the Edit menu, or press CTRL-Z in the workspace.
Specifically, the Undo option is allowed for the following conditions:
• All zone and map style changes.
• Some (though not all) frame control operations, push, and pop.
• Creating new frames.
• Moving and copying line maps.
• View operations.
• Some pick operations.
• Streamtrace actions.
• The following data alterations:
• Deleting zones and variables.
• Renaming datasets and zones.
• Creating rectangular or circular zones.
• Duplication zones.
65
Frames and the Workspace
• Processing Equations. (Except equations containing derivatives.)
Undo is unavailable for all data operations once an Undo operation
has been performed on an un-allowed item. In addition, once an
operation is performed that cannot be undone, the entire undo history for that frame is erased.
2- 6.2 Select All
To select all geometries, zones, text, or streamtraces in a frame, choose the “Select All” option from
the Edit menu. The Select All dialog box allows you to specify whether to select all frames, zones,
text, geometries, and/or streamtraces.
2- 6.3 Quick Edit
Refer to Section 1- 1.6 “Quick Edit”.
2- 6.4 Push
Push the selected item to the bottom of the current draw stack. The plot is drawn on your screen
from the bottom of the draw stack to the top; elements lying further down in the stack may be partially obscured by elements higher up. The following types of objects may be pushed: text, geometries, 2D or X-Y grid areas, and frames.
2- 6.5 Pop
Pop the selected item to the top of the current draw stack. The following types of objects may be
popped: text, geometries, 2D, or X-Y grid areas, and frames.
66
Edit Menu
2- 6.6 Cut
Edit>Cut or CTRL-X removes the selected item from the plot and the current dataset (if applicable), and stores the removed item in the Paste buffer.
In Windows and Macintosh platforms, the Cut, Copy, and
Paste options work only within Tecplot 360. However, the Edit
menu’s “Copy Plot to Clipboard” option allows you to copy
Tecplot 360 frames and paste them into other applications. See
Section “See also: Section 30 - 2 “Movie File Creation Manually” and Section 30- 5.3 “Raster Metafiles Viewing in
Framer”.” for a discussion of this feature.
2- 6.7 Copy
Edit>Copy or CTRL-C stores the selected item in the Paste buffer. The Paste buffer is specific to
Tecplot 360.
2- 6.8 Paste
Use Edit>Paste or CTRL-V to add the contents of the Paste buffer to the current plot. If the object
is being copied into the same frame, the new object will be overlaid directly over the original
object. Use the Selector or the Adjustor tool to move the copied item to different locations in the
frame.
Pasting from the Paste buffer is allowed only between compatible frames. Attempting to copy an object into a frame that does
not hold an appropriate data type results in an error message.
2- 6.9 Clear
Remove the selected item from the plot and from the current dataset. Cleared items are not stored in
the Paste buffer.
If you cut or clear the only Tecplot 360 frame in the workspace, another frame is automatically created to replace it.
67
Frames and the Workspace
68
Chapter 3
Data Structure
Tecplot 360 accommodates two different types of data: Ordered Data and Indexing Cell-centered
Ordered Data.
3 - 1 Connectivity List
A connectivity list is used to define which nodes are included in each element of an ordered or cellbased finite element zone. You should know your zone type and the number of elements in each
zone in order to create your connectivity list.
The number of nodes required for each element is implied by your zone type. For example, if you
have a finite element quadrilateral zone, you will have four nodes defined for each element. Likewise, you must provide eight numbers for each cell in a BRICK zone, and three numbers for each
element in a TRIANGLE zone. If you have a cell that has a smaller number of nodes than that
required by your zone type, simply repeat a node number. For example, if you are working with a
finite element quadrilateral zone and you would like to create a triangular element, simply repeat a
node in the list (e.g., 1,4,5,5).
In the example below, the zone contains two quadrilateral elements. Therefore, the connectivity list
must have eight values. The first four values define the nodes that form Element 1. Similarly, the
second four values define the nodes that form Element 2.
The connectivity list for this example would appear as follows:
ConnList[8] = {4,5,2,1,
/* nodes for Element 1 */
69
Data Structure
5,6,3,2};
/* nodes for Element 2 */
It is important to provide your node list in either a clockwise or
counter-clockwise order. Otherwise, your cell will twist, and
the element produced will be misshapen.
3 - 2 Ordered Data
Ordered data is defined by one, two, or three-dimensional logical arrays, dimensioned by IMAX,
JMAX, and KMAX. These arrays define the interconnections between nodes and cells. The variables can be either nodal or cell-centered. Nodal variables are stored at the nodes; cell-centered
values are stored within the cells.
• One-dimensional Ordered Data (I-ordered, J-ordered, or K-ordered)
Nodal Values are
Stored Here
Cell Centered Values
are Stored Here
A single dimensional array where either IMAX,
JMAX or KMAX is greater than or equal to one, and
the others are equal to one. For nodal data, the number
of stored values is equal to IMAX * JMAX * KMAX.
For cell-centered I-ordered data (where IMAX is
greater than one, and JMAX and KMAX are equal to
one), the number of stored values is (IMAX-1) - similarly for J-ordered and K-ordered data.
• Two-dimensional Ordered Data (IJ-ordered, JK-ordered, IK-ordered)
Nodal Values are
Stored Here
Cell Centered Values
are Stored Here
70
A two-dimensional array where two of the three
dimensions (IMAX, JMAX, KMAX) are greater than
one, and the other dimension is equal to one. For
nodal data, the number of stored values is equal to
IMAX * JMAX * KMAX. For cell-centered IJordered data (where IMAX and JMAX are greater
than one, and KMAX is equal to one), the number of
stored values is (IMAX-1)(JMAX-1) - similarly for
JK-ordered and IK-ordered data.
Ordered Data
• Three-dimensional Ordered Data (IJK-ordered)
Nodal Values are
Stored Here
A three-dimensional array where all IMAX,
JMAX and KMAX are each greater than one.
For nodal ordered data, the number of nodes is
the product of the I-, J-, and K-dimensions. For
nodal data, the number of stored values is equal
to IMAX * JMAX * KMAX. For cell-centered
data, the number of stored values is (IMAX1)(JMAX-1)(KMAX-1).
Cell Centered Value
Are Stored Here
3- 2.1 Indexing Nodal Ordered Data
For nodal ordered data, the n-dimensional array of values are treated as a one dimensional array.
For example, given an IJK-ordered zone dimensioned by 10x20x30. To access the value at I=3,
J=4, K=5 (one based) you would use:
IMax
= 10
JMax
= 20
KMax
= 30
I
= 3
J
= 4
K
= 5
NodeIndex = I + (J-1)*IMax + (K-1)*IMax*JMax
3- 2.2 Indexing Cell-centered Ordered Data
For cell-centered ordered data, the index that represents the cell center is the same as the nodal
index that represents the lowest indexed corner of the cell.
71
Data Structure
For example, the figure below shows an IJ-ordered zone dimensioned 3x4.
1,4
2,4
3,4
1,3
2,3
Cell Index = 7
1,3
Cell Index = 8
2,3
3,3
1,2
2,2
Cell Index = 4
1,2
Cell Index = 5
2,2
3,2
1,1
2,1
Cell Index = 1
1,1
Figure 3-1.
Cell Index = 2
2,1
3,1
An IJ-ordered zone dimensioned 3x4. Cell index
numbers are based on the point number in the lowest
corner of the the cell.
To access a cell-centered value for the cell in the upper right hand corner, use the following:
IMax = 3
JMax = 4
KMax = 1
I
= 2
J
= 3
K
= 1
CellIndex= I + (J-1)*IMax + (K-1)*IMax*JMax
You’ll notice that the equations are exactly the same as with nodal data. As a result there are gaps of
unused values at IMax, JMax, and KMax that must be left unassigned. NOTE: The above equation
is generic for 1D, 2D and 3D data. It simplifies for the lower dimensions.
3- 2.3 One-dimensional Ordered Data (I, J, or K)
Values for XY Line plots are usually arranged in a one-dimensional array indexed by one parameter: I for I-ordered, J for J-ordered, or K for K-ordered, with the two remaining index values equal
to one.
72
Ordered Data
At each node, N variables (V1, V2, ..., VN) are defined. If you arrange the data in a table where the
values of the variables (N values) at a node are given in a row, and there is one row for each node,
the table would appear something like that shown below.
V1
V2
V3
...
VN
(Values at node I = 1)
V1
V2
V3
...
VN
(Values at node I = 2)
V1
V2
V3
...
VN
(Values at node I = 3)
V1
V2
V3
...
VN
V1
V2
V3
...
VN
V1
V2
V3
...
VN
(Values at node I = IMax)
Table 3 - 1: Table of values for I-ordered Nodal Data (typical for XY plots).
IJK-ordered Data Plotting
In one or two-dimensional datasets, all data points are typically plotted. However, for IJK-ordered
data you can designate which surface will be plotted by using the Surfaces page of the Zone Style
dialog. You may choose to plot just outer surfaces, or you may select combinations of I, J, and Kplanes to be plotted. Refer to Section 7- 1.2 “Surfaces” for in-depth information.
3- 2.4 Logical versus Physical Representation of Data
A family of I-lines results by connecting all of the points with the same I-index, similarly for J-lines
and K-lines. For IJ-ordered data, both families of lines are plotted in a two-dimensional coordinate
system resulting in a 2D mesh. When both the I and J-lines are plotted in a three-dimensional coordinate system, a 3D surface mesh plot results. An example of both meshes is shown below. As you
can see, logical data points can transform into an arbitrary shape in physical space.
92000
P(N)
10
90000
8
88000
6
86000
15 10
0
5
ex
nd
J-i
0
5
10
15
x
de
I-in
x
de
I-in
0
-2
)
X (M )
2
Y (M
Y(M)
10
5
4
ex
ind
J-
0
X(M)
Figure 3-2.
Left, a 2D mesh of IJ-ordered data points. Right, a 3D mesh of IJ-ordered data
points.
73
Data Structure
3 - 3 Finite Element Data
While finite element data is usually associated with numerical analysis for modeling complex problems in 3D structures (heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and electromagnetics), it also provides an
effective approach for organizing data points in or around complex geometrical shapes. For example, you may not have the same number of data points on different lines, there may be holes in the
middle of the dataset, or the data points may be irregularly (randomly) positioned. For such difficult cases, you may be able to organize your data as a patchwork of elements. Each element can be
independent of the other elements, so you can group your elements to fit complex boundaries and
leave voids within sets of elements. The figure below shows how finite element data can be used to
model a complex boundary.
Figure 3-3.
This figure shows finite element data used to model a complex boundary.
This plot file, feexchng.plt, is located in your Tecplot 360 distribution
under the examples/2D subdirectory.
Finite element data defines a set of points (nodes) and the connected elements of these points. The
variables may be defined either at the nodes or at the cell (element) center. Finite element data can
be divided into three types:
• Line data is a set of line segments defining a 2D or 3D line. Unlike I-ordered data, a
single finite element line zone may consist of multiple disconnected sections. The
values of the variables at each data point (node) are entered in the data file similarly to
I-ordered data, where the nodes are numbered with the I-index. This data is followed
by another set of data defining connections between nodes. This second section is
often referred to as the connectivity list. All elements are lines consisting of two nodes,
specified in the connectivity list.
74
Finite Element Data
• Surface data is a set of triangular, quadrilateral, or polygonal elements defining a 2D
field or a 3D surface. When using polygonal elements, the number of sides may vary
from element to element. In finite element surface data, you can choose (by zone) to
arrange your data in three point (triangle), four point (quadrilateral), or variable-point
(polygonal) elements. The number of points per node and their arrangement are
determined by the element type of the zone. If a mixture of quadrilaterals and triangles
is necessary, you may repeat a node in the quadrilateral element type to create a
triangle, or you may use polygonal elements.
• Volume data is a set of tetrahedral, brick or polyhedral elements defining a 3D
volume field. When using polyhedral elements, the number of sides may vary from
element to element. Finite element volume cells may contain four points (tetrahedron),
eight points (brick), or variable points (polyhedral). The figure below shows the
arrangement of the nodes for tetrahedral and brick elements. The connectivity
arrangement for polyhedral data is governed by the method in which the polyhedral
facemap data is supplied.
N1
N4
N2
N3
Tetrahedral connectivity arrangement
Figure 3-4.
Brick connectivity arrangement
Connectivity arrangements for FE-volume datasets
In the brick format, points may be repeated to achieve 4, 5, 6, or 7 point elements. For
example, a connectivity list of “n1 n1 n1 n1 n5 n6 n7 n8” (where n1 is repeated four
times) results in a quadrilateral-based pyramid element.
Section 4 - 5 “Finite Element Data” in the Data Format Guide provides detailed information about how to format your FE data in Tecplot’s data file format.
3- 3.1 Finite Element Data Limitations
Working with finite element data has some limitations:
• XY-plots of finite element data treat the data as I-ordered; that is, the connectivity list
is ignored. Only nodes are plotted, not elements, and the nodes are plotted in the order
in which they appear in the data file.
75
Data Structure
• Index skipping in vector and scatter plots treats finite element data as I-ordered; the
connectivity list is ignored. Nodes are skipped according to their order in the data file.
3 - 4 Variable Location (Cell-centered or Nodal)
Add-ons must be aware of the data value location. Data values can be stored at the nodes or at the
cell centers.
• For finite element meshes, cell-centers are the centers (centroids) of elements.
• For many types of plots, cell-centered values are interpolated to the nodes internally.
Because the offset into the data is different for nodal values and cell-centered values, you must
know ahead of time how the values are stored when accessing data.
You can determine the value location by calling TecUtilDataValueGetLocation.
Example:
ValueLoction_e ValueLocation;
ValueLocation = TecUtilDataValueGetLocation(Zone,Var);
Switch (ValueLocation)
{case ValueLocation_Nodal :
{
....data is stored at the nodes.
....Access the data accordingly.
}
case ValueLocation_CellCentered :
{
....data is stored at the cell centers.
....Access the data accordingly.
}
}
76
Face Neighbors
3 - 5 Face Neighbors
A cell is considered a neighbor if one of its faces shares all nodes in common with the selected cell,
or if it is identified as a neighbor by face neighbor data in the dataset. The face numbers for cells in
the various zone types are defined below.
f4
f3
f2
f1
A
Figure 3-1.
B
C
A: Example of node and face neighbors for an FE-brick cell or IJK-ordered
cell. B: Example of node and face numbering for an IJ-ordered/ FEquadrilateral cell. C: Example of tetrahedron face neighbors.
The implicit connections between elements in a zone may be overridden, or connections between
cells in adjacent zones established by specifying face neighbor criteria in the data file. Refer to
Section “TECFACE112”on page 33 of the Data Format Guide for additional information.
3 - 6 Working with Unorganized Datasets
Unorganized datasets are loaded as a single I-ordered zone and will be displayed in XY Mode, by
default. An I-ordered zone is irregular if it is known to have more than one dependent variable. An
I-ordered dataset with one dependent variable (i.e. an XY or polar line) is NOT an irregular zone.
To check for irregular data, you can go to the Data>Dataset Info dialog (accessed via the Data
menu). The values assigned to: IMax, JMax, and KMax are displayed in the lower left quadrant of
that dialog. If IMax is greater than 1, and JMax and KMax are equal to 1, then your data is irregular.
It is also easy to tell if you have irregular data by looking at the plot. If you are looking at irregular
data with the Mesh layer turned on, the datapoints will be connected by lines in the order the points
appear in the dataset.
There are several ways to organize your dataset.
77
Data Structure
1. Manually order the data file using a text editor.
Use the “Label Points and Cells” feature from the
Plot menu to see if your dataset can be easily corrected using a text editor by correcting the values
for I, J, and/or K.
2. Use the Data>Triangulate feature (2D only). See Section 20 - 11 “Irregular Data
Point Triangulation”.
3. Use one of the Data>Interpolation options. See Section 20 - 10 “Data Interpolation”.
4. If you have multiple zones of irregular data that you would like to combine into one
finite element zone, use the Create Zone>Create Zone From Polylines from the
Data menu. Refer to Section 20- 6.6 “FE Surface Zone Creation (from Polylines)” for
more information.
5. Special Cases (use when interpolation results appear skewed):
• Well data - If points are closely positioned along the depth axis and far apart in
physical space, use the Tetra Grid add-on to create a new zone with all points
connected into 3D zones. See Section 32- 3.17 “Tetra-Grid”.
• Fluid Measurements - When measurements are taken of fluid properties or containments, and interpolating to a rectangular zone does not yield good results,
use the Prism Grid add-on to create a 3D volume zone. See Section 32- 3.12
“Prism-Grid”.
3- 6.1 Example - Triangulate a Dataset
One common source of finite-element surface data is the triangulation option. If you have 2D data
without a mesh structure, it is probably simplest to enter your data points as an I-ordered dataset,
then use the triangulation feature to create a finite-element dataset. You can then edit the file—particularly the connectivity list—to obtain the set of elements you want, rather than having to create
the entire connectivity list by hand.
We can triangulate a dataset as follows:
1. Create a simple ordered data file, as follows:
VARIABLES = "X", "Y", "P", "T"
0.0 1.0 100.0 1.6
1.0 1.0 150.0 1.5
3.0 1.0 300.0 2.0
0.0 0.0 50.0 1.0
1.0 0.0 100.0 1.4
3.0 0.0 200.0 2.2
4.0 0.0 400.0 3.0
2.0 2.0 280.0 1.9
78
Working with Unorganized Datasets
2. Save the file, with extension *.dat
3. Load the data file and switch the plot type to 2D Cartesian.
4. From the Data menu, choose “Triangulate”.
5. Select the simple ordered zone as the source zone, and select [Compute].
Irregular Data Point Triangulation
Figure 3-2 shows a plot of the resulting data. With triangulation, we obtain more elements (seven)
than when we created the dataset by hand (four), and the elements are triangles rather than quadrilaterals.
2
Y
1.5
1
0.5
0
0
1
2
3
4
X
Figure 3-2.
Triangulated data from Table 4 - 2 of the Data Format Guide.
3- 6.2 Example - Unorganized Three-Dimensional Volume
To use 3D volume irregular data in field plots, you must interpolate the data onto a regular,
IJK-ordered zone. (Tecplot 360 does not have a 3D equivalent for triangulation.) To interpolate
your data, perform the following steps:
1. Place your 3D volume irregular data into an I-ordered zone in a data file.
2. Read in your data file and create a 3D scatter plot.
3. From the Data menu, choose Create Zone>Rectangular. (Circular will also work.)
4. In the Create Rectangular Zone dialog, enter the I-, J-, and K-dimensions for the
new zone; at a minimum, you should enter 10 for each dimension. The higher the
dimensions, the finer the interpolation grid, but the longer the interpolating and plotting time.
5. Enter the minimum and maximum X, Y, and Z values for the new zone. The default
values are the minimums and maximums of the current (irregular) dataset.
6. Click [Create] to create the new zone, and [Close] to dismiss the dialog.
7. From the Data menu, choose Interpolate>Kriging. (Linear or Inverse distance
Interpolation also work.)
79
Data Structure
8. In the Kriging dialog, choose the irregular data zone as the source zone, and the
newly created IJK-ordered zone as the destination zone. Set any other kriging parameters as desired (see Section 20- 10.3 “Kriging” for details).
9. Select the [Compute] button to perform the kriging.
Once the interpolation is complete, you can plot the new IJK-ordered zone as any other 3D volume
zone. You may plot iso-surfaces, volume streamtraces, and so forth. At this point, you may want to
deactivate or delete the original irregular zone so as not to conflict with plots of the new zone.
Figure 3-3 shows an example of irregular data interpolated into an IJK-ordered zone, with iso-surfaces plotted on the resultant zone.
Z
X
Irregular 3D-Volume Data
Z
X
3
2
2
1
1
0
0
-1
-2
-3
3
-1
Y
-2
Y
Interpolated IJK-Ordered Data
-3
-2
-4
-2
-4
-4
-4
-1
-1
-3
0
-2
-1
1
-3
0
-2
-1
1
0
2
Figure 3-3.
80
1
0
2
1
Irregular data interpolated into an IJK-ordered zone.
Part 2 Loading your
data
Chapter 4
Data Loaders
Tecplot 360 allows you to load data in a number of formats with loaders that Tecplot 360 or third
parties have produced using the Add-on Developer’s Kit. Use the File>Load Data File(s)
command to load a data file. The Select Import Format dialog is shown below.
The Select Import Format dialog allows you to select from the following list of data loaders:
• CGNS Loader
• DEM Loader
• DXF Loader
• EnSight Loader
• Excel Loader
• FEA Loader
82
CGNS Loader
• FLOW-3D Loader
• FLUENT Loader
• General Text Loader
• HDF Loader
• HDF 5 Loader
• Kiva Loader
• PLOT3D Loader
• PLY Loader
• Tecplot-Format Loader
• Text Spreadsheet Loader
See also: the Data Format Guide and Section 4 - 17 “Overwriting Data Files”.
New data loaders are posted on our Website: www.tecplot.com, as they become available. You can
also build your own data loaders using the Add-on Developer’s Kit (refer to Chapter 1 “Introduction” in the ADK User’s Manual for details).
4 - 1 CGNS Loader
The CGNS Loader supports files created with CGNSLib Version 2.4 or earlier. You can choose to
load either all or specific bases, zones, and solutions into Tecplot 360 zones. You can also select
field variables individually, or define index ranges to load specific sub-zone blocks or planes for
structured-grid zones.
CGNS Boundary Conditions can be loaded for both structured and unstructured data with the
exception that unstructured boundaries will only be loaded if they have corresponding sections.
Only CGNS bases and zones with valid grids can be read by the CGNS Loader. For unstructured
grids, Version 2.1 of the CGNS Loader supports BAR_2, TRI_3, QUAD_4, TETRA_4, PYRA_5,
PENTA_6, HEXA_8, MIXED element types and their combinations on every section. However,
the CGNS Loader does not support higher-order element types. Unstructured sections that are cellcentered and have more cells than are declared in the CGNS Zone_t node will be ignored.
Only vertex and cell-centered field variable locations are supported. Cell-centered data is averaged
to the nodes when the file is read. For cell-centered structured grids, arithmetic averaging is used.
Rind data is used in the averaging (if available). For cell-centered unstructured grids, either Laplacian averaging or arithmetic averaging can be selected to average the cell data to the surrounding
nodes.
83
Data Loaders
The CGNS Loader dialog has the following options:
• File - Enter the name of the file to load.
• Specify Options - Active when a valid file is entered or selected. This option allows
you to control the data loaded from your CGNS file, including loading only particular
zones, field variables, or partial zones.
If “Specify Options” is not selected, every
base, zone, solution, and variable is
loaded into Tecplot 360.
• Load Cell-centered Data Directly - Toggle-on to load cell-centered data directly
[default]. When the option is toggled-off, cell-centered data will be averaged to the
nodes (using the averaging method specified below).
• Averaging - This option is available only if “Load Cell-centered Directly” is not
selected. When the field variables are stored at cell centers, either Laplacian averaging
or arithmetic averaging may be used to average the cell data to the nodes they
surround. This can result in a bias at the boundary nodes. Arithmetic averaging is
automatically used for ordered/structured zones. When available, Rind data is used in
the averaging.
• Select Zones - Launches the Load CGNS Options: Zones Dialog, which allows you to
select specific zones and partial zones to load.
• Select Variables - Launches the Load CGNS Options: Variables dialog, which allows
you to select specific field variables to load. Grid variables are always loaded
automatically.
84
CGNS Loader
• CGNS Section Mapping - CGNS files sometimes have multiple node-maps (referred
to as sections) for each finite element zone. A zone may contain sections with different
cell types and cell dimensions.
• One Tecplot zone per CGNS zone/solution (default) - All sections will be
combined with the zone cell dimension into one Tecplot 360 zone.
• Load each section/boundary as separate Tecplot zone - A separate Tecplot
360 zone will be created for each section or boundary regardless of cell dimension.
• Transient Options
• Assign Strand IDs to all zones - Toggle-on to assign Strand IDs to transient
zones. Refer to Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware” for more information on working
with transient data.
4- 1.1 Load CGNS Options: Zones Dialog
Tecplot 360 zones are not always equivalent to CGNS zones. The Load CGNS Options: Zones
dialog allows you to specify zones to load from CGNS data files.
Each solution for a CGNS zone is considered a unique Tecplot 360 zone. The CGNS base (B), zone
(Z), and solution (S) hierarchy orders the zones. The integer preceding the word Zone is the Tecplot
360 zone number assigned to that zone. The integer following Zone represents the order the zone
was found in the CGNS file.
Table 4 - 1 describes the zone description listed in the dialog box. The zone description includes the
CGNS hierarchy information. “CGNS B, Z, S =” followed by three integers representing the CGNS
order for the base, zone, and solution, respectively. “CGNS Z, S =” and two integers are displayed
if a single base is found. The description also indicates whether the zone is ordered (structured) or
85
Data Loaders
finite element (unstructured). I, J, and K-dimensions are provided for ordered zones; the number of
nodes and elements are provided for finite element zones.
int
Zone
int
{CGNS B, Z, S = x, y, z}
[Ordered, FE]
Tecplot Zone
number
“Zone”
order in CGNS
file
x = Base number
y = Zone number
z = Structure number
“Ordered”
or
“FE”
Table 4 - 1: Zone Description in the Load CGNS: Zones dialog
By default, all zones are selected for reading and displayed in Zones to Load. Use the [Move],
[Move All], [Remove], or [Remove All] buttons to edit the list.
CGNS Loader Options: Index Ranges Dialog
The Load CGNS: Index Ranges dialog allows you to specify a sub-set of the selected ordered/
structured zone(s) to be loaded, or define a block, plane, or line of points for extraction on loading.
To load a partial zone or sub-zone, highlight the zone of interest in Zones to Load region of the
CGNS Loader: Zones dialog, and select the [Index Ranges for Zone(s)] button.
Each index requires Start, End, and Skip values. Start and End points are always loaded. If multiple
zones are selected prior to calling up the CGNS Loader: Index Ranges dialog, “Mx” (the
maximum value for each zone) is the default value for End. You may enter any value for End. However, if the value is greater than the maximum index for a zone, End is replaced by the maximum
index.
For multi-dimensional zones, more than one point must be specified to load for the I and J-directions. If the inputs for Start, End, and Skip result in a single point in either direction, an error
message appears.
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CGNS Loader
4- 1.2 Load CGNS Options: Variables dialog
The CGNS Loader: Variables dialog includes the Variables from CGNS and Variables to Load
boxes.
The “Variables from CGNS” list includes all field variables in the CGNS data file, independent of
their zone(s). The “Variables to Load” list contains the field variables that have been selected to be
loaded into Tecplot 360. Initially, both lists are the same. A Tecplot 360 variable number is
assigned to each CGNS field variable that appears in the “Variables to Load” list.
Because Tecplot 360 requires every zone to have the same number of variables, each zone that is
loaded into Tecplot 360 will include every variable in the “Variables to Load” list (regardless of
whether the zone included that field variable in the CGNS file). The variables that were not originally in the zone will be set to zero. The field variables that do not appear in the “Variables to
Load” list will not have a Tecplot 360 variable number assigned to them.
Use the [Move], [Move All], [Remove], or [Remove All] buttons to edit the Variables to Load list.
4- 1.3 Macro Commands for the CGNS loader
You may also load CGNS data files with Tecplot 360’s macro language. The syntax is as follows:
$!READDATASET
‘ “STANDARDSYNTAX” “1.0”
“...any of the name value pairs in the following table...” ‘
DATASETREADER = ‘CGNS LOADER’
Each name/value pair should be in double quotes. Refer to the Scripting Guide for details on
working with Tecplot 360’s macro language.
Keyword
Available Value(s)
Notes
STANDARDSYNTAX
1.0
Must be the first instruction.
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Data Loaders
FILENAME_CGNSF
ILE
“filename”
Specify the name of the file to load.
AverageToNodes
“Yes”
“No”
Used to average the cell data to the nodes they surround.
AveragingMethod
“Laplacian”
“Arithmetic”
If AverageToNodes is set to “yes”, specify the AveragingMethod to use.
SectionLoad
“Combine”
“SeparateZones”
CGNS files sometimes have multiple node-maps
(referred to as sections) for each finite element zone. If
you specify “Combine”, all sections will be combined
with the zone cell-dimension into one Tecplot 360 zone.
If you specify, “SeparateZones”, a separate Tecplot 360
zone will be created for each section or boundary
regardless of cell dimension.
LoadBCs
“Yes”
“No”
Specify whether to load the boundary conditions.
AssignStrandIDs
“Yes”
“No”
Set to “Yes” to have Tecplot 360 assign the strandIDs to
your data file.
ZoneList
“Z1, Z2, Z3-Z7, ...”
Specify the zone number(s) of the zone(s) you wish to
load.
VarList
“V1, V2, V3-V7, ...”
Specify the variable number(s) of the variable(s) you
wish to load.
IIndexRange
“Zn, Min, Max,
Skip”
JIndexRange
“Zn, Min, Max,
Skip”
KIndexRange
“Zn, Min, Max,
Skip”
If you are loading a subset of zones, you may specify
the index ranges for each zone. Specify the zone number, minimum, maximum and skip value for each index.
Set Zn to “0” to apply the same index ranges to all
zones.
4 - 2 DEM Loader
The DEM Loader allows you to load Digital Elevation Map files that have the same file format as
the U.S. Geological Survey’s standard DEM format. The DEM Loader will not accept Spatial Data
Transfer Standard (SDTS) formatted data.
DEM files are available on the Web for a number of states within the U.S. For more information,
refer to the following references:
• General: http://edc.usgs.gov/geodata/samples.html
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DXF Loader
• User’s Guide: http://edc.usgs.gov/products/elevation/dem.html
The DEM Loader first launches a multi-file selection dialog. After choosing one or more DEM files
to load, you are presented with a simple dialog where you can set the I and J-skipping. Since DEM
files are quite large, you will likely want to set both of these to be 10 or more.
4 - 3 DXF Loader
The DXF Loader add-on can import AutoCAD® DXF™ (drawing interchange) files. When importing a file, Tecplot 360 creates an appropriate geometry for each of the following entity types:
• Text
• Lines
• Arcs
• Circles
• Points
• Solid
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Data Loaders
• 3D faces
When importing a DXF file, no zones are created.
Instead, the geometries representing each entity
type are simply added to the frame. Be aware that a
typical DXF file can contain several thousand
geometries, and these are all included when you
save a layout file.
4- 3.1 Load DXF File Dialog
The Load DXF File dialog has a variety of features, most of which are straightforward.
You can select any of the following:
• Import - Select any or all geometries to import: Text, Lines, Arcs, Circles, Points,
Solids, 3D Faces.
• Font - Select the font to use for text.
• Attach Imported Items to Zone - Specify a zone to which all imported geometries
will be attached. Clicking the [Select Zone] button produces a menu of zone options.
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EnSight Loader
• Polylines/Import as 2D - All lines and polylines are stored with three coordinates in
DXF files. If you select this option, the loader will add 2D line geometries for all lines
and polylines in the DXF file (the third coordinate will be ignored).
• Polylines/Import as 3D - If you select this option, the loader will add 3D line
geometries for all lines and polylines in the DXF file. To view a 3D DXF file, create or
load a 3D zone, import your DXF file, then choose “Fit Everything” from the View
menu.
• Hide Invisible Layers - If this option is checked, objects in layers that are “off” in the
DXF file will be imported with the background color.
4- 3.2 DXF Loader Limitations
The DXF Loader does not create any field data. Loading a DXF file only adds geometries to your
existing frame.
Since most geometries in Tecplot 360 are 2D, best results will be obtained by loading “flat” DXF
files, such as maps.
Binary AutoCAD® DWG™ are not supported in this release.
4 - 4 EnSight Loader
The EnSight Data Loader allows you to load EnSight Gold and EnSight 6 files with extensions:
case (.case), geometry (.geo), or variable (.*). Geometry and variable files can be in either ASCII or
binary format, although binary is recommended. Files from earlier versions of EnSight need to be
resaved in Gold format using File>Save>Geometric Entities. To determine what format the files
are in, view the case file and look under the FORMAT section.
EnSight data is stored in a case file, which contains references to all associated geometry and variable files. Loading the case file will load all of the files contained within it. EnSight parts are translated into Tecplot 360 zones with the caveat that unstructured parts with dissimilar element types
(i.e. a volume element and a surface element) will only load the primary element type. Unstructured
zone names will be prefixed by the type of zone they represent (point, line, surface, or volume).
Vector, tensor, and tensor9 variables are expanded into the appropriate number of variables with the
variable name followed by a suffix. Complex 'imaginary' variables will have an 'I' following the
name to distinguish them from the 'real' variable. The EnSight Data Loader dialog is shown
below.
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Data Loaders
Use the Case File tab to specify the name of the case file you wish to load. The Structured Index
Skips allow structured zones to be loaded with fewer nodes. A value of 1 (default) will read every
data point, 2 will read every other data point, and so on.
The Select Parts/Variables tab (shown above) allows you to load specific zones/parts and/or variables.
• Parts (zones in Tecplot) - Selectable list of zones, extracted from the description line
in the geometry file.
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EnSight Loader
• Variables - Selectable list of variables, named by the description name from the case
file. Spatial (x, y, z) and IBlank variables are always loaded and are not included in the
list.
• All zones - Loads all zones.
• All variables - Loads all variables.
• None - Loads no variables.
4- 4.1 Macro Commands for the EnSight Loader
The macro subcommands for $!READDATASET that are specific to the EnSight data loader are:
Keyword
Available
Value(s)
Notes
STANDARDSYNTAX
1.0
Must be the first instruction.
FILENAME_CASEFILE
“filename”
Specify the full or relative path of the case file name.
ISKIP
“n”
JSKIP
“n”
KSKIP
“n”
ZONECOUNT
“n”
ZONE
“Zn”
where n is
the zone
number.
Specify the I,J,K skip values. Use “1” to load all values.
If you would like to specify a subset of zones to load, use
ZONECOUNT to specify the number of zones to load and
ZONE to list the zone numbers to be loaded.
If ZONECOUNT is used, use ZONE to list of zone number
for each of the zones you would like to load. For example,
if you would like to load only zones 1 and 2, the syntax is
as follows:
ZONECOUNT “2”
ZONE “1”
ZONE “2”
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Data Loaders
Keyword
VARCOUNT
VAR
Available
Value(s)
“n”
“Vn”
where n is
the variable
number
Notes
If you would like to specify a subset of variables to load,
use VARCOUNT to specify the number of variables to load
and VAR to list the variable numbers to be loaded.
If VARCOUNT is used, use VAR to list the variable number for each variable you would like to load.
For example, if you would like to load only variables 1 and
2, the syntax is as follows:
VARCOUNT “2”
VAR “1”
“VAR” “2”e
You may also load EnSight data files with Tecplot 360’s macro language. The syntax is as follows:
$!READDATASET
‘ “STANDARDSYNTAX” “1.0”
“...any of the name value pairs in the following table...” ‘
DATASETREADER = ‘EnSight Loader’
Each name/value pair should be in double quotes. Refer to the Scripting Guide for details on
working with Tecplot 360’s macro language.
4 - 5 Excel Loader
The Excel Loader can read numeric data from .xls files for Microsoft® Excel® version 5.0 or higher.
The Excel Loader is available for Windows platforms ONLY.
The Excel Loader is useful for basic formats only. Your Excel file must contain only values (no
equations). Tecplot 360 recommends the use of the Excel add-on from the Util/Excel folder as an
easier method to open Excel data with Tecplot 360 (see Section B - 1 “Excel Macro”). Use the Text
Spreadsheet loader for delimited files (Section 4 - 16 “Text Spreadsheet Loader”).
If your spreadsheet is arranged as Table Format or Carpet Format, the Excel Loader is a point-andclick operation. Once you have selected an Excel file to load into Tecplot 360, the Excel Loader
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Excel Loader
leads you through a series of dialogs, prompting you to specify a variety of attributes, including the
data format in the Excel spreadsheet, the variables to read into Tecplot 360, and zone information.
Refer to Section B - 1 “Excel Macro” for
instructions on loading Excel data into
Tecplot 360 via the Excel interface.
4- 5.1 Spreadsheet Data Formats
The Excel Loader will automatically identify blocks of data in Table Format or Carpet Format. The
loader will list blocks of data in standard notation for Microsoft Excel. For example, a block found
on worksheet sheet1, cells A1-D8, is listed as follows: (sheet1! A1:D8).
If you select a user-defined format (or if the loader did not identify any carpet or table blocks), you
will be prompted to enter the names and number of variables, and one or more zones and associated
properties. You will also need to enter the location of the field data in the spreadsheet for each zone.
Table Format
Use Table format for data that will be plotted in line plots (i.e. data with an independent and one or
more dependent variables). Many spreadsheets containing data to be plotted in 2D or 3D Cartesian
plots will also satisfy the conditions of table format.
A table formatted dataset has the following characteristics:
• The dataset is arranged in one or more adjacent columns.
• Each column is the same length.
• Each cell contains numeric data.
• The first row is a header row containing the variable name for its corresponding
column.
• The spreadsheet dataset is imported as a single I-ordered zone in POINT format with
N variables, where N is the number of columns in the table.
The block of data must be surrounded by empty cells, textfilled cells, or table boundaries. The loader will not recognize
a block of data as being in table format if any cell adjacent to
the block is filled with a number
There must be no blank cells within the block of data. An
empty cell will prevent the loader from recognizing the block.
You can satisfy this condition by filling blank cells with 0.0.
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Data Loaders
Figure 4-1 shows a block of data in table format in Excel.
Figure 4-1.
A block of data in table format.
Carpet Format
Use carpet format for spreadsheet data to be plotted in a 2D or 3D Cartesian plot. The carpet formatted dataset, shown in Figure 4-2, has the following characteristics:
• The spreadsheet dataset is imported as an IJ-ordered zone. See Chapter 6 “XY and
Polar Line Plots”.
In Figure 4-2, the spreadsheet is imported as I=4 and J=4. The three variables are X, Y,
and V. In the spreadsheet cell 2B is index 1, 1, cell 3B is index 2, 1.
• The top row in the block contains the values of the X-variable, the first column of the
block contains the values of the Y-variable, and the V-values are the interior data. This
format is useful if your dataset was generated from a function f, such that f(X, Y) = V.
• The block is a rectangular arrangement of numeric data in the spreadsheet, with a
blank cell in the upper left hand corner.
• There must be no blank cells within the block of data. An empty cell will prevent the
loader from recognizing the block. You can satisfy this condition by filling blank cells
with 0.0.
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Excel Loader
• The block of data must be surrounded by empty cells, text-filled cells, or table
boundaries. The loader will not recognize a block of data as being in carpet format if
any cell adjacent to the block is filled with a number.
Figure 4-2.
The carpet table shows values
as a simple arithmetic function
Other Formats
The Other format option gives you a great deal of flexibility in loading data into Tecplot 360. A
series of dialogs leads you through the process of describing your data, similar to the way you
would specify this information in a Tecplot 360 ASCII file.
• Default format - The Excel Loader offers a semiautomatic option that requires only
that you specify the upper left and lower right corners of your data block. Once you’ve
specified those corners, it handles the data in the same way that Tecplot 360 handles an
unformatted block in an ASCII file. It assumes one zone of I-ordered data in POINT
format.
• Custom format - Using the Custom format option, you can specify characteristics of
your dataset. Custom format has the following features:
• It allows you to work with spreadsheets containing blank cells or text cells.
• For XY, IJ, and IJK-ordered data, specify the boundaries of the block to load,
and how many data points there are within that block (IMax, JMax, KMax).
• For finite element data, the number of data points is implied by the number of
nodes and number of elements.
• Allows you to load blocks of cells that you delimit interactively.
• It is the only option for loading finite element, IJK-ordered, or zone data from
Excel. If a user wants to read in data from an Excel spreadsheet into more than
one Tecplot 360 zone, the custom format must be used. The default assumes
that all data read should be put in a single I-ordered zone.
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Data Loaders
4- 5.2 Excel Loader Restrictions
A block of data is a rectangular group of numbers in the spreadsheet. The Excel Loader places the
following restrictions on blocks:
• Carpet and table format (which the loader detects and loads automatically) are
narrowly defined. All other formats must be loaded on the user-defined pathway.
• Numeric cells within each block should contain only numbers or numeric characters
such as +, -, and so forth. A cell containing “X=34” is interpreted by the loader as
text, because it begins with text.
• Cells containing formulas (therefore displaying calculated values) will be skipped by
the loader. You can convert the formulas to values within Excel, by pasting your table
using the “Paste Special” function, with “values only” selected.
• The spreadsheet file must have been written by Excel Version 5.0 or higher.
4 - 6 FEA Loader
Tecplot 360 includes the ability to load input and solution files from many popular finite element
analysis (FEA) solvers. Supported formats include:
98
Solver/File Format
File Name/Extension
3D Systems STL
.stl
ABAQUS Data
.fil
ABAQUS Input
.inp
ABAQUS Output Database
(Windows platforms only) .odb
ANSYS CDWRITE Input
.cdb
ANSYS Result
.rst,.rth,.rfl
ESI/PAM-CRASH DAISY
.dsy, .daisy
Fluent/FIDAP Neutral
.fdneut
LSTC-DYNA Input
.dyn,.k
LSTC-DYNA Taurus State
D3PLOT
MSC/NASTRAN Bulk Data
.bdf
MSC/NASTRAN Output2
.op2
MSC/PATRAN Neutral
.out
FEA Loader
Solver/File Format
File Name/Extension
PTC/Mechanica Design Study
.neu
SDRC IDEAS Universal
.unv
StarCCM Data
.ccm
Files of each of these formats may be loaded by selecting “Load Data File” from the File menu,
choosing the file format from the resulting dialog, and selecting [OK]. FEA formats have “(FEA)”
appended to the format names.
The StarCCM loader that is shipped with the released version
of Tecplot 360 is still in Beta form. This loader can now load
boundary conditions.
You can create boundary zones with the StarCCM loader, using
a name/value pair. See Section 4- 6.5 “Macro Commands for
the FEA loader” to learn how.
Choosing any one of these formats will display the main dialog for the corresponding FEA Loader.
The selected format will be displayed in the title bar.
The FEA Loader dialog for the ANSYS Result file format is shown here:
• Select the Browse [...] button to choose the file you wish to load.
• Subdividing Zones - Each zone loaded from an FEA file typically represents the
entire solution at a particular time step or load increment. Sometimes a solution will
consist of many components that you may wish to display individually. To activate this
option, choose the “Subdivide Zones” toggle and select the desired subdivision option
from the menu. Tecplot 360 provides you with two ways to subdivide zones: by
Component and by Element Type.
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Data Loaders
• Subdividing Zones by Component - Some FEA file formats include the ability to identify components or sub-regions. If this information is available, you
may direct Tecplot 360 to apply it by selecting the “by Componen”t option.
Components within each solution step will be identified by sequentially numbered zone names in Tecplot 360, for example, “Component 1 Step 1 Incr 1,”
“Component 2 Step 1 Incr 1,” and so on.
• Subdividing Zones by Element Type - If component information is not available in a solution file, the above option will produce only one component per
solution step and increment. In this case, it may still be possible to achieve the
desired effect if sub-regions in the solution are represented by different element
types, such as shell elements and brick elements. Selecting “by Element Type”
from the subdivision option menu creates a separate Tecplot 360 zone for each
element type present in the solution file. Tecplot 360 zone names will then represent each element type, for example, “Quadrilaterals Step 1 Incr 1" and “Tetrahedrals Step 1 Incr 1." This makes it easy to operate on individual
components or sub-regions in Tecplot 360's Zone Style dialog by selecting the
desired zones by name.
• Selecting Zones and Variables to Load - See Section 4- 6.1 “Selecting Zones and
Variables to Load” on page 100.
• Auto Assign Strand IDs for Zones - Regions or components of solutions throughout
an unsteady solution are tracked by Strand IDs. All zones that represent a particular
region or component are assigned the same Strand ID. Selecting this option directs
Tecplot 360 to assign Strand IDs to the loaded zones. This ensures that only the zones
representing the chosen solution time are displayed in Tecplot 360. Zones that do not
have Strand IDs assigned are displayed at all solution times. See also Section 7 - 2
“Time Aware”.
• Add Zones to Existing Strands - If you are appending data to an existing dataset,
select Auto Assign Strand IDs to Zones to append the new zones to existing strands.
This is appropriate where the new data represents the same regions or components as
are represented in the existing dataset, such as an additional solution time level of an
unsteady solution.
4- 6.1 Selecting Zones and Variables to Load
By default, Tecplot 360 will load all zones and variables present in the solution file, unless multiple
steps or increments are present. In this case, Tecplot 360 will not load step 0 increment 0 (which
normally has no solution data associated with it). If you wish to load step 0 increment 0, or a subset
of the available zones or variables, choose the “Select Zones and Variables” toggle in the main
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FEA Loader
loader dialog. When you then click OK, the FEA Loader Options dialog will be displayed, as
shown below:
Use the [Move All], [Move], [Remove], and [Remove All] buttons to add or subtract zones or variables from the list.
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Data Loaders
The Variables page is displayed above. The Zones page displays the zone list. If you elect to subdivide zones, the zones will be subdivided in the list. The figure below shows a zone list where
“Subdivide Zones by Component” has been chosen:
When you have selected the zones and variables you wish to load, select [OK].
The resulting Tecplot 360 zones for each step and increment in the file will be named accordingly
in Tecplot 360, beginning with Step 1 Incr 1. The precise meanings of “Step” and “Increment” are
solver and problem-dependent, but normally correspond to time steps in unsteady cases, load increments in steady-state cases, or frequencies or vibrational modes in harmonic analyses.
4- 6.2 Appending Finite Element Data to an Existing Dataset
If you wish to add a finite element solution to data you have already loaded, select “Add to current
data” set in the Load Data File Warning dialog. The Load Data File Warning dialog will appear
after you have selected the file and zones and/or variables to load.
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FEA Loader
Zones from the file will be added sequentially at the end of the current zone list, and new variables,
if any, will be appended to the current variable list. The new zones will not be plotted. Initially, to
plot the appended zones, select them in the Zone Style dialog, click the [Zone Show] button, and
choose “Activate”.
4- 6.3 Post-processing Finite Element Data
When you load an FEA solution into Tecplot 360, the FEA Post-processing1 dialog is displayed
(unless you are appending to an existing solution). You may re-display it at any time by selecting
“FEA Post-processing” from the Tools menu.
The three sections of this dialog allow you to: deform the plot using deformation read from the
solution file, animate the deformation, and derive new variables from the solution variables.
• Deforming the FEA Plot - Finite element solutions commonly include deformations
calculated from applied loads. When a solution is initially read in, the un-deformed
geometry is displayed. If the file contains deformation data, you can display the
deformed geometry by toggling-on “Deform Plots by Factor”. The deformation factor
is displayed to the right of this toggle. You may enter the deformation factor in this text
field, or use the up or down arrows next to it to change it. By default, the Deform Plot
by Factor toggle is checked and the field is set to “1”.
• Animating the FEA Plot - This feature is normally used only with steady-state
deformations after you have set the deformation factor as described above. If your
FEA solution file contains multiple steps of an unsteady solution, it is more likely that
you will animate your entire solution using Tecplot 360's zone or time animation
1. The StarCCM loader does not automatically display the FEA Post-Processing dialog.
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Data Loaders
features. For steady-state solutions, or for a single step of an unsteady solution, the
animation available via this dialog animates the deformation of that step by
sequentially applying positive or negative factors to the deformation. To use this
feature, choose whether to animate to the screen or to a file in the Animate
Deformation menu, enter the number of steps (frames) you wish to see in the
animation and the number of cycles, then click [Animate]. For one cycle, the
animation will begin at zero deformation, then step up to maximum deformation, then
down to the negative of that maximum, and then back to zero. Upon completion of the
animation, the plot will be restored to the previous deformed plot.
• Deriving New Variables from an FEA Solution - FEA solutions may consist of
various types of stress and strain, or gradients of scalar quantities such as temperature.
The lowest section of this dialog allows you to calculate certain other quantities of
interest that may be derived from these basic solution variables. For tensor quantities
such as stress and strain, the principal stresses or strains plus Von Mises stress are
available. For vector quantities, the vector magnitude may be calculated. Choose the
derivation you want in the Derive list, and a list of candidate source variables in the
solution will be displayed in the From list. Choose the source variable and click
[Calculate] to add the desired quantity to the dataset. If Tecplot 360's Calculate-ondemand feature is active, the variable will only actually be calculated when it is
displayed. In this case, you may notice no delay when you select [Calculate], but some
delay later when you choose to display the variable by selecting it, for example, as the
contour variable.
Animate Options
Select the [Animate] button from the FEA Post-processing dialog to launch the Animation
Options dialog. (See Chapter 30 “Animation” for more details on animation.)
This allows you to specify options for saving the deformation animation to a file. The following
options are available:
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FEA Loader
• Width (pixels) - Enter a value in the text field to designate your exported image’s
width. The image region is rendered to the image file to the exact Width by Height
specifications. This text field initially displays the frame’s actual width.
• Height (pixels) - Displays the height of the image based on the value entered for
Width, preserving the shape of the region to be exported. (Calculated by Tecplot 360.)
• Animation Speed (frames/sec) - Applicable only to AVI files. Enter a value in the
text field to set your speed in frames per second.
• Use Multiple Color Tables - Selecting this check box will create a color table for each
frame of the animation. If this check box is not selected, Tecplot 360 will scan each
frame in your AVI file and create an optimal color table from 256 colors for the entire
animation.
4- 6.4 Abaqus Files in Layout Files
The Abaqus loader now uses Abaqus 6.7. As such, .odb files from older versions will be converted
to the current format. However, this conversion will not occur automatically for files loaded with a
layout file or via a macro command. To work around this, you will need to convert the older .odb
file by loading it explicitly and saving the new .odb file. Then, replace the file names in their
layouts/macros with the new names.
4- 6.5 Macro Commands for the FEA loader
You may also load FEA data files with Tecplot 360’s macro language. The syntax is as follows:
$!READDATASET
‘ “STANDARDSYNTAX” “1.0”
“...any of the name value pairs in the following table...” ‘
DATASETREADER = ‘FEA LOADER’ See List below
The value for the DATASETREADER parameter may be one of:
• ANSYS® CDWRITE Input (FEA)
• ANSYS® Results (FEA)
• ESI/PAM-CRASH DAISY (FEA)
• FLUENT/FIDAP® Neutral (FEA)
• ABAQUS Input (FEA)
• ABAQUS .fil Data (FEA)
• ABAQUS Output Database (FEA)
• LSTC/DYNA Input (FEA)
• LSTC/DYNA Taurus State Database (FEA)
• MSC/NASTRAN Bulk Data (FEA)
• MSC/NASTRAN Output2 (FEA)
• MSC/Patran Neutral (FEA)
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Data Loaders
• PTC/Mechanica Design Study (FEA)
• SDRC/IDEAS Universal (FEA)
• 3D Systems STL (FEA)
• StarCCM (FEA)
Each name/value pair should be in double quotes. Refer to the Scripting Guide for details on
working with Tecplot 360’s macro language.
Keyword
Available Value(s)
Notes
STANDARDSYNTAX
1.0
Required as the first instruction.
Append
“Yes” or “No”
Specify whether to append the current dataset
with the FEA file(s).
FILENAME_File
“filename”
Specify the full or relative path of the file
name.
SubdivideZonesBy
“DoNotSubdivide”
“Component”
“ElementType”
Specify method of zone division.
AutoAssignStrandIDs
“Yes” or “No”
Set to “Yes” to have Tecplot 360 assign the
strand IDs.
AddToExistingStrands
“Yes” or “No”
Available only if Append is set to “Yes”.
ZoneList
“Z1,Z3,Z6-Z8,...”
Specify the list of zones to load. You may specify a comma-separated list or use a range (-).
VarNameList
“VarName1”+”VarName2
”+...
Specify the list of variables to load. Use the
“+” symbol between each variable name.
InitialPlotType
“Cartesian3D”
“Cartesian2D”
Set the initial plot type.
ShowFirstZoneOnly
“Yes” or “No”
Specify whether to show only the first zone.
CreateBoundaryZones
“Yes” or “No”
Creates boundary zones for the dataset.
Applies only to StarCCM data and when not
dividing zones. Enabled by default.
ReorderVarNames
“Yes” or “No”
Sorts variable names so that the most useful
variables are first. Applies only to StarCCM
data. Enabled by default.
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FLOW-3D Loader
Example
The following example loads “myfile.odb” with the Abaqus Output Database loader. Zones 1 & 2
are loaded, along with the following variables: external force, stress, material ID, and part ID.
$!READDATASET
'"STANDARDSYNTAX" "1.0”
"FILENAME_File" "myfile.odb"
"SubdivideZonesBy" "Component"
"AutoAssignStrandIDs" "Yes"
"ZoneList" "1-2"
"VarNameList" "External Force"+"Stress"+"Material ID"+"Part ID"
"InitialPlotType" "Cartesian3D"
"ShowFirstZoneOnly" "No"'
DATASETREADER = 'ABAQUS Output Database (FEA)'
4 - 7 FLOW-3D Loader
The FLOW-3D loader allows you to load restart and selected FLOW-3D data files into Tecplot 360.
When working with FLOW-3D data in Tecplot 360, we recommend linking the solution time between frames. Link
Solution Time (located in the Animate drop-down menu) is
activated by default. This menu item propagates the solution
time of the top frame to all other frames that contain transient
data. See http://www.tecplottalk.com/addons/timelink/ for
more information.
To load FLOW-3D data, select “Load Data File(s)” from the File menu. In the Select Import
dialog, select the “FLOW-3D data” option.
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Data Loaders
The FLOW-3D Loader dialog has the following options:
• File - Use the [...] browse button to launch the Read FLOW-3D Data File dialog
which will allow you to navigate to the data file you would like to load. You may load
data files with the flsgrf extension only. Alternatively, you may type the full path of the
data file in the File text field.
• Data Selection - Use the Data Selection region of the dialog to specify whether to load
restart or selected data. You may also opt to Include Particle Data or to select a Data
Subset.
• Load Restart Data - Select this option to load restart data into Tecplot 360.
Restart data contains every simulation variable at a small number of time steps.
• Load Selected Data - Select this option to load selected data. Selected data
typically includes fewer variables than restart data. However, it usually has a
larger number of time steps. Selected data is used to output variables of interest
at many time steps without bloating the output file with "uninteresting" variables.
Selected data is available in the file only
when you request it before the simulation
run.
• Include Particle Data - Toggle-on “Include Particle Data” to load the particle
data from your data file.
• Data View - Use the Data View region of the dialog to specify whether to view the
data as external or internal flow. This option affects how the solid surfaces are drawn
at block boundaries. For external flows, surfaces are drawn only at blocked boundaries
in the mesh. This option is recommended for solutions that involve flow around
obstructions in free space. For internal flows, surfaces are drawn around open space in
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FLOW-3D Loader
the mesh, and blocked surfaces are eliminated. This option is recommended for
solutions that involve flow into an enclosed volume, such as casting results.
• Specify Additional Options - Select the “Specify Additional Options” toggle to
launch the FLOW-3D Loader Options dialog after selecting [OK] on the FLOW-3D
Loader dialog. The FLOW-3D Loader Options dialog allows you to load a subset of
zones and/or variables from the data file. The Options page of the dialog allows you to
specify transient options, specify boundary cell options, and calculate the complement
of F.
4- 7.1 FLOW-3D Loader Options
The FLOW-3D Loader Options dialog is launched when you select the “Specify Additional
Options” toggle in the FLOW-3D Loader dialog.
Variables Page
Use the Zones page of the dialog to select which zones from your dataset to load into Tecplot 360.
The box on the left lists the available zones, and the box on the right lists the variables selected to
load into Tecplot 360.
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Data Loaders
Zones Page
Similarly, use the Variables page of the dialog to select which variables to load.
Other Page
Use the Other page of the dialog to specify transient options, boundary options, and whether to calculate the complement of F.
The page has the following options:
• Transient Options - Use the Transient Options region of the dialog to specify:
• Time Skip - Specify the interval between each loaded time step. A value of one
loads all time steps, a value of two loads every other time step, and so forth.
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FLOW-3D Loader
• Auto Assign Strand IDs - Select this option to allow Tecplot 360 to assign the
Strand IDs to your data. Regions or components of solutions throughout an
unsteady solution are tracked by Strand IDs. All zones that represent a particular region or component are assigned the same Strand ID. Selecting this option
directs Tecplot 360 to assign Strand IDs to the loaded zones. This ensures that
only the zones representing the chosen solution time are displayed in Tecplot
360. Zones that do not have Strand IDs assigned are displayed at all solution
times. See also Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware”.
• Add Zones to Existing Strands - If you are appending data to an existing
dataset, select Auto Assign Strand IDs to Zones in order for Tecplot 360 to
append the new zones to existing strands. This is appropriate where the new
data represents the same regions or components as are represented in the existing dataset, such as an additional solution time level of an unsteady solution.
For more information on working with transient data, refer to Section 7 - 2 “Time
Aware”.
• Calculate Derived Variables - Use the Calculate Derived Variables region of the
dialog to opt to include the Complement of F. The complement of F is calculated as:
Complement of F = {1 - f} • {vf}
where f is the fluid fraction and vf is the volume fraction.
The Fluid Surface, where Fluid Surface = {vf}*{f}, is always calculated and added to
the dataset.
• Include Boundary Cells On - Use the boundary cell region of the dialog to specify
whether to load boundary cells on the I, J, or K extrema. An additional layer of
boundary cells will be loaded on the given side of each block for each extremum
selected.
• Load on Demand - Toggle-on “Cache unloaded data in temporary directory” to
enable Tecplot 360 to create a temporary directory to cache the data. The data in the
temporary directory is formatted such that it may be quickly read back into Tecplot
360 as needed.
4- 7.2 FLOW-3D Macro Commands
The $!READDATASET macro command extended for the FLOW-3D loader with the following
options:
Keyword
Values
Default
StandardSyntax
1.0
None
FILENAME_File
Path to flow-3d
results file
none
Notes
Specifies the path to the file to load.
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Data Loaders
Keyword
Values
Default
Notes
DataGroup
"Selected" or
"Restart
“Restart”
"Specifies which data group to load from the
file.
IncludeParticleData
"Yes" or "No
“No”
"
DeriveCompOfF
"Yes" or "No
“No”
"
Append
"Yes" or "No
“No”
"
AutoAssignStrandIDs
"Yes" or "No
“Yes”
"
ZoneList
Set of zone numbers
to load from the file.
All
FLOW-3D refers to these as "blocks." Really,
they are a set of zones that will belong to the
same StrandID.
VarNameList
Set of variable
names to load from
the file
All
X, Y, X, and "Fluid Surface" are always loaded
DataView
“Internal” or
“External”
External
Specify whether to view the data as an internal
or external flow solution.
IncludeBoundaryCells
“YES/NO”
“YES/NO”
“YES/NO”
“YES/NO”
“YES/NO”
“YES/NO”
“Yes” for
all entries
Specify 6 boolean values for including
boundary cells. The values are use the
following order for the boundary cells:
IMIN, IMAX, JMIN, JMAX, KMIN, KMAX
Refer to Scripting Guide for additional information regarding Tecplot 360’s macro language.
4- 7.3 FLOW-3D Auxiliary Data
The following auxiliary data is added to the dataset by the loader:
Auxiliary name
Value
Common.UVar
Number of variable "U"
Common.VVar
Number of variable "V"
Common.WVar
Number of variable "W"
Common.VectorVarsAreVelocity
TRUE
Common.PressureVar
Number of variable "P"
Common.DensityVar
Number of variable "RHO"
Common.TemperatureVar
Number of variable "TN"
Common.StagnationEnergyVar
Number of variable "RHOE"
Common.TurbulentKineticEnergyVar
Number of variable "TKE"
Auxiliary Data can be viewed on the Auxiliary Data Page of the Dataset Information dialog
(accessed via the Data menu).
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FLUENT Loader
4 - 8 FLUENT Loader
The FLUENT® Data Loader allows you to read FLUENT Version 5 and newer case (.cas) and data
(.dat) files into Tecplot 360. To load files from earlier versions of FLUENT, you must first import
them into FLUENT 5 or newer, then save them as a newer FLUENT file.
The following options are available:
• Load Case and Data Files - Loads both a case and a data file. The grid comes from
the case file, and the solution comes from the data file.
• Load Case File Only - Loads the grid from a case file.
• Load Residuals Only - Loads the residual data (convergence history) from a data file.
The residuals are not scaled or normalized.
• Load Multiple Case and Data Files [DEFAULT] - Displays the File List form in the
dialog. You can load matched pairs of case and data files, or one case file and any
number of data files that match it (that is, that have the same zones).
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For all load options above, except Load Multiple Case and Data Files, the following controls are
available:
• Case File - Type the name of the case file you wish to load, or click [Select], then
select the name of the file from the resulting dialog.
• Data File - The data (.dat) file contains the solution and the residual (convergence
history) data. Type the name of the data file, or click Select, then select the name of the
file from the resulting dialog.
For the Load Multiple Case and Data Files load option, the following controls are available:
• Add Files - Choose case and data files to load from a file selection dialog. Selected
files are appended to the file list.
• Remove - Remove files you have selected in the file list.
• Remove All - Remove all files in the file list.
• Flow is Unsteady - Indicates that the set of case and data files represents an unsteady
solution. The loader adds a TIME auxiliary data item to each loaded zone. Tecplot 360
does not use this data, but other add-ons may.
• Flow Solution is Unsteady/Time Interval - The FLUENT data loader saves the
problem time of each solution as the solution time variable. There are two options for
determining the time to save for each one: (1) reading the flow-time entry from each
.dat file, or (2) applying a constant time interval to successive .dat files.
• Read Time from Data Files - If this option is selected, Tecplot 360 reads the
flow-data parameter from each .dat file. If no .dat files are included (i.e. only
.cas files are loaded), the solution time variable will not be created for the
zones.
• Apply Constant Time Interval - If this option is selected, Tecplot 360 applies
the time interval specified in the Time Interval text field to zones created from
successive .cas or .dat files. The zones from the first .cas/.dat files are given
time 0. Times for successive files are calculated by incrementing the time of the
previous files by the specified time interval.
• Assign Strand IDs for Zones - Toggle-on to have Tecplot 360 assign Strand
IDs to transient zones. Common strand IDs will be assigned to each cell or
boundary zone with matching FLUENT zone IDs.
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FLUENT Loader
• Add Zones to existing Strands - Toggle-on to add the appended zones to
StrandIDs in the current dataset.
Add Zones to existing Strands is available
only when the current dataset is being
appended and Assign Strand IDs for
Zones is toggled-on.
• Time Interval - If “Apply Constant Time Interval” is selected, the time interval
entered in the text field is included.
For the load options other than Load Residuals, some or all of the following controls are available:
• Load Cells and Boundaries - Loads the cell (solution) and boundary zones from the
case file. Each fluid or solid cell zone and each boundary zone will be displayed as a
separate zone in Tecplot 360.
• Load Cells Only - Loads only the cell (solution) zones. Each zone will be displayed as
a separate zone in Tecplot 360.
• Load Boundaries Only - Loads only the boundary zones. Each zone will be displayed
as a separate zone in Tecplot 360.
• Select Zones and Variables to Load - Select in a separate dialog which zones and
variables to load. The option requires the loader to pre-scan all files, which can be
time-consuming.
• Create All Zones As Polyhedral - Select this option to load all FLUENT zones as
Tecplot 360 polytope (polygonal or polyhedron) zones. We recommend you select this
option, as converting all zones to polyhedral zones eliminates the possibility of
hanging nodes and holes in your iso-surfaces or slices. In this case, the number of
faces per element is derived from the element-type, and the number of nodes per face
is derived from the face-type. The existence of hanging nodes (determined from the
existence of a cell-tree and/or face-tree section) adds to the number of faces in the
element and the number of nodes in the face that contains the hanging node. Since
polygons must have at least 3 nodes, line segment elements will not be converted.
When this option is not selected, only FLUENT polytope zones will become Tecplot
360 polytope zones. In this case, if hanging nodes are encountered, Tecplot 360 will
create larger faces, compress connectivity, and expand face neighbors.
• Include Particle Data - Some FLUENT simulations include the effects of discrete
particles, such as sand grains or water droplets. Select this option to load this particle
data along with the flow solution. All particles from a particular injection will be
displayed in a single Tecplot 360 zone (one zone per injection). If you have chosen to
select which zones and variables to load, this option is disabled, but the particle zones
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Data Loaders
and variables will be displayed in the selection lists, allowing you to load them with
the flow solution.
• Average to Nodes - Selecting this option directs the loader to average FLUENT's cellcentered data to the grid nodes. This can speed up subsequent operations in Tecplot
360, especially slicing. FLUENT stores solution data at cell centers (face centers for
boundary zones). By default, the FLUENT data loader loads the data cell-centered as
well. However, you have the option to average the data to the nodes using Arithmetic
or Laplacian averaging. Arithmetic averaging is faster, but calculates values at hanging
nodes (nodes in the center of a cell face or edge) only from those cells where the node
is a corner. This can lead to discontinuous contours. Laplacian averaging option takes
additional neighboring cells into account, and results in smoother contours when
hanging nodes are present. By default, non-grid variables are stored at cell centers,
consistent with FLUENT.
• Arithmetic - A simple, fast arithmetic averaging will be performed.
• Laplacian - A more accurate, much slower averaging will be performed that
accounts for hanging nodes and cell sizes.
If you chose the Select Zones and Variables to Load option, select only those zones and variables
you wish to load from the files Fluent Loader Options dialog.
This dialog has a Zones page and a Variables page. The left-hand list of each page shows, respectively, all zones and variables contained in the files you selected. The right-hand list of each page
shows the zones and variables that will be loaded when you select [OK]. Use the [Move], [Move
All], [Remove], or [Remove All] buttons to edit the Zones/Variables to Load lists.
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FLUENT Loader
4- 8.1 NOTES
• Tecplot 360 does not automatically calculate CFD variables from your existing
FLUENT data variables. You may add the variables to your plots by performing
calculations via the Analyze menu. Refer to Chapter 21 “CFD Data Analysis” for
details.
• Tecplot 360 does not perform the same wall-boundary calculations that are performed
by FLUENT. Instead, the cell-centered data will be extrapolated to the boundary.
• See also Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware” for information on working with transient
datasets in Tecplot 360.
4- 8.2 Macro Commands for the FLUENT loader
You may also load FLUENT data files with Tecplot 360’s macro language. The syntax is as follows:
$!READDATASET
‘ “STANDARDSYNTAX” “1.0”
“...any of the name value pairs in the following table...” ‘
DATASETREADER = ‘FLUENT DATA LOADER’
Each name/value pair should be in double quotes. Refer to the Scripting Guide for details on
working with Tecplot 360’s macro language.
Keyword
Available Value(s)
Notes
STANDARDSYNTAX
1.0
Must be the first instruction.
Append
“Yes”
“No”
Specify whether to append the current
dataset with the FLUENT file(s).
LoadOption
“CaseAndData”
“CaseOnly”
“ResidualsOnly”
“MultipleCaseAndData”
FILENAME_CaseFile
“filename”
Specify the full or relative path of the case
file name. Used if the LoadOption is CaseAndData or CaseOnly.
FILENAME_DataFile
“filename”
Specify the full or relative path of the data
file name. Used if the LoadOption is CaseAndData or ResidualsOnly.
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Data Loaders
Keyword
Available Value(s)
FILELIST_Files
“n” “file1” “file2”... “filen”
Specify the number of files, followed by
each file name. Only available if the LoadOption is MultipleCaseAndData.
UnsteadyOption
“TimeInterval”
“ReadTimeFromDataFiles”
“ApplyConstantTimeInterval”
Only available if LoadOption is MultipleCaseAndData. For “ApplyConstantTimeInterval”, the TimeInterval parameter
is required.
TimeInterval
“<double>”
Specify the value of the time interval. Only
available if the UnsteadyOption is set to
ApplyConstantTimeInterval.
AssignStrandIDs
“Yes”
“No”
Only available if LoadOption is MultipleCaseAndData.
AddZonesToExistingStrands
“Yes”
“No”
Only applicable when Append is set to
“yes”.
GridZones
“CellsAndBoundaries”
“CellsOnly”
“BoundariesOnly”
“SelectedZones”
If “SelectedZones” is specified, either the
ZoneList parameter, the VarList parameter
of both parameters are required.
“Z1,Z2,...Z3-37”
Specify the list of zones to load. You may
specify a comma-separated list or use a
range (-). This option is only available if
GridZones is set to SelectedZones.
VarList
“V1”+”V2”+”V3”+....
Specify the list of variables to load. Use the
“+” symbol between each variable number.
This option is only available if GridZones
is set to SelectedZones.
IncludeParticleData
“Yes”
“No”
Available only for CaseAndData and MultipleCaseAndData load options.
AllZonesArePoly
“Yes”
“No”
Not available if the load option is ResidualsOnly. Set to “Yes” to convert all zones to
Tecplot 360 polytope zones (polyhedral or
polygonal).
ZoneList
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Notes
General Text Loader
Keyword
Available Value(s)
Notes
AverageToNodes
“Yes”
“No”
Specify whether to average the cell-centered data to the grid nodes.
AveragingMethods
“Arithmetic”
“Laplacian”
Specify the averaging method to use. Available only if AverageToNodes is set to
“yes”.
4 - 9 General Text Loader
The General Text Loader add-on allows you to read ASCII text data files in a variety of formats.
You can specify variable and dataset title information or indicate specific places to read them from
in your data file. Instruction settings for reading a type of file can be saved and restored so they do
not have to be entered again each time a new file of the same type is loaded.
The following options are available:
• Titles - Launches the Dataset Title dialog, which allows you to specify dataset title
properties.
• Variables - Launches the Variable Import Instructions dialog which allows you to
specify dataset variable properties.
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• Data - Launches the General Text Loader: Data dialog which allows you to specify
dataset field properties.
• General Filters - Launches the General Text Loader: Filters dialog which allows you
to specify general filters when reading your file.
• Configuration File List - This list shows available configuration files. Configuration
files can be edited using a text editor, although this is not usually necessary and is not
recommended. The format of these files is listed on the Configuration page.
• Load - Loads a single configuration file from any location.
• Save - Saves a single configuration file to any location.
• Rename - Renames a configuration file.
• Delete - Deletes a configuration file.
• New - Creates a new, untitled configuration file.
• Data Preview
• View Raw Data - This displays the data exactly how it looks in the file without
any processing.
• View Processed Data - This displays the processed and filtered data that will
be loaded.
• View Options - Launches the General Text Loader: View Options that allows
you to select the viewing options.
4- 9.1 Dataset Title
The Dataset Title dialog allows you to specify options for General Text Loader titles.
• Use Title - Manually enter the dataset title, rather than have General Text Loader scan
the file for it.
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General Text Loader
• Use line number - Enter the line number of the dataset title in the file. The General
Text Loader skips white space on the line until text, and then reads until the delimiter
indicated is found. To include spaces in the title, enclose them in double quotes.
• Use first line containing keyword - Enter a keyword for the dataset title line. The title
will read the first line containing this keyword (case insensitive). General Text Loader
searches for a title on this line in the following order, (unless the delimiter is specified
as fixed):
a. First, it will look for any text enclosed in double quotes. If it finds this, then
the enclosed text will be read as the title.
b. If no text in double quotes is found, the first non-white space text after the
keyword ending with the indicated delimiter will be used.
• Text Delimiter - The text delimiter indicates when the end of text has been reached.
You can set it to one of the following:
• Auto - Space, tab, comma, semicolon.
• Fixed - Each width number of characters on the line is a token field.
White space is removed from the beginning and end of the field.
• Width - If the delimiter is fixed, enter the width of each field here.
4- 9.2 Variable Import Instructions
The Variable Import Instructions dialog of the General Text Loader allows you to scan for the
location of the variable names in the data file, and enter which variables to load.
• Scan for variable names - Specify the following:
• Start line - Enter the starting line of variable names in the file.
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Data Loaders
• End line - Enter the ending line of the variable names in the file. This is typically the same as the starting line.
• Delimiter - The delimiter indicates when the end of each variable name has
been reached.
You can set it to one of the following:
• Auto - Space, tab, comma, semicolon.
• Fixed - Each 'width=n' number characters on the line is a variable.
White space is removed from the beginning and end of the field. For
example, if the line length is 60 and the width is ten, the columns 1-10,
11-20, 21-30, and so forth, are variable names. Spaces are removed
from the beginning and end of the variable names.
• Width - If the delimiter is fixed, enter the width of each field here.
• Enter Variable Names - Select this option to enter a list of variable names in the
dialog box. Variable names should be separated by carriage returns.
• Select Variables to Load - Launches the Variable to Load dialog.
• Variables to Skip - Displays a list of variables that will be skipped.
• Variables to Load - Displays a list of variables that will be loaded.
Use the [Move], [Move All], [Remove], or [Remove All] buttons to edit the “Variables
to Load” list.
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General Text Loader
4- 9.3 General Text Loader: Data
The Data Import Instructions dialog of the General Text Loader allows you to specify the location of the data names in the data file, and what data to load.
• Start Identification
• First all-numeric line - Select if the data begins at the first line of a file that
contains only numbers. If you have specified multiple zones, all non-numeric
lines will be skipped at the beginning of each zone.
• First line after line with keyword - Select if the data begins at the first nonblank line after the line containing the specified keyword. The keyword is case
insensitive.
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Data Loaders
• Start at line number - Select to specify the line number where the data begins.
Blank lines are ignored in the data section.
• End Identification
• All lines up to first non-numeric line - Select if the data ends at the first nonblank line containing any text.
• Stop at line number - Select to specify the line number where the data ends.
• All lines up to line with keyword - Select if the data ends at the first line
before the line with the specified keyword. The keyword is case insensitive.
• End of file - Select if the data ends at the end of file.
• Data Identification
• Point format - In this format all values of all variables are given for the first
point, then the second point, etc.
• Block format - In this format all values for the first variable are given, then all
values for the second variable, etc.
• Data value delimiter - The data value delimiter indicates when the end of a
data value has been reached. You can set it to one of the following:
• Auto - Space, tab, comma, semicolon.
• Fixed - Each 'width=n' number characters on the line is a token field.
White space is removed from the beginning and end of the field. For
example, if the line length is 60 and the width is ten, the columns 1-10,
11-20, 21-30, and so on, are token fields.
• Width - If the delimiter is 'fixed', enter the width of each field here.
• Data Dimension - If the data dimensions are entered, General Text Loader adds zones
as necessary depending on the number of data points found in the file. There must be
an equal number of data points for each zone (equal to the product of the IJK
dimensions).
• Auto-Calculate IMAX - The I-dimension is calculated based on the number of
data points found. J and K-max are set to one.
• Specify Dimensions - Specify the I, J, and K-dimensions for the data. There
must be enough data points found in the file to match the indicated dimensions.
• Allow Multiple Zones - If checked, General Text Loader will attempt to read
more than one zone from the data file.
• Zone ends on line with keyword - If Allow multiple zones is selected and
Auto-calculate IMax is selected, then you must enter a keyword here to mark
the end of one zone and the beginning of the next. Zones are ended when a line
containing this text is found.
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General Text Loader
• Ignore non-numeric tokens - If checked, then any non-numeric information in the
data sections is ignored. If not checked, General Text Loader displays an error if any
non-numeric data is found in the data section.
4- 9.4 General Text Loader: Filters
Use the General Filters dialog of the General Text Loader to filter the data file.
• Ignore All Lines Starting With - If checked, all lines beginning with the entered
string are ignored.
• Ignore All Lines Containing - If checked, all lines containing the indicated text are
ignored.
• Ignore Character Column Position(s) - If checked, then the entered columns are
ignored when scanning the file. Columns are entered as a single number or a
hyphenated range, one or more of which may be separated by commas.
If there are tabs in the data file, they are not
expanded in this filter. For example, if column 1 is
a tab and you wish to skip column 2, you should
enter 2, even though a text editor will show more
than one space after expanding the tab.
• Ignore Specific Lines - If checked, entered lines are ignored when scanning the file.
Lines are entered as a single number or a hyphenated range, one or more of which may
be separated by commas. You may also use “end” to specify the last line of the file.
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Data Loaders
• Specify Values for Blanked Cell - If checked, you can specify a value which the
loader uses for blank cells.
This option is only available if the data delimiter is
a comma or semicolon. You can change the data
value delimiter using the Data Import Instructions dialog.
4- 9.5 General Text Loader: View Options
The View Options dialog of the General Text Loader allows you to specify the data display.
General Options
• Limit lines displayed - Limits the number of lines displayed in the preview window.
For large files, you may want to set this to a number less than the total number of lines.
The fewer number of lines, the faster the preview display.
• Do not limit - If you select this toggle, the entire file will be displayed in preview
mode.
• Auto Process - If selected, General Text Loader automatically refreshes all
information about the file whenever any loader settings are changed. For very large
files (multi-megabyte), this option is not recommended, since re-scanning a large file
can be time consuming.
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General Text Loader
Processed Data
• Show variable names and data - If selected, variable names and processed data will
be displayed in the preview window.
• Show variable names only - If selected, only variable names will be displayed in the
preview window.
• Show all non-processed lines - If selected, all lines which will not be loaded will be
displayed in the preview window.
• Show data in columns - Shows the data in columns where each column is a variable.
• Show data in blocks - Shows the data in blocks where each block is a variable.
4- 9.6 General Text Loader Configuration File
A configuration file contains all of the instructions that tell General Text Loader how to load a particular type of text file. This information is collected from the dialog fields and written to a file
when you click [Save] on the main dialog. The configuration file format is similar to the Tecplot
360 macro language format. Configuration files for the general text loader are ASCII text files
which use a command set that can describe all loading instructions. Normally you do not need to
edit these files, as they are automatically written by the loader when you select New on the main
dialog.
Editing these configuration files by hand
is not recommended.
General Text Loader CONFIGFNAME Command
When reading a dataset using General Text Loader, instead of specifying individual parameters in
$!READDATASET, you may use the CONFIGFNAME command.
This consists of:
CONFIGFNAME = <string>
VERSION = <integer>
# version of the template file (default is 100)
# Note: changing the version number may cause unpredictable behavior
TITLE
{
SEARCH = [NONE|LINE|KEYWORD] # default = NONE
NAME = <string>
# default = “New Dataset”, ignored if SEARCH is not NONE
LINE = <integer> # 1-based, ignored if SEARCH is not LINE
KEYWORD = <string> # ignored if SEARCH is not KEYWORD
DELIMITER = [AUTO|TAB|SPACE|SEMICOLON|COMMA|FIXED]
WIDTH = <integer> # Valid only if DELIMITER = FIXED
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Data Loaders
}
VARIABLES
{
SEARCH = [NONE|LINE]
NAMES = <string> # ignored if SEARCH is SCAN
# <string> is a comma separated string
LOADED = <all|n1,n2,...nn> # list of variables to be loaded
STARTLINE = <integer> # 1-based, ignored if SEARCH=NONE, default = 1
{
STARTID = [FIRSTNUMERICLINE | LINE | KEYWORD]
{
KEYWORD = <string> # ignored if STARTID is not KEYWORD
ENDLINE = <integer> # 1-based, ignored if SEARCH=NONE, default = 1
DELIMITER = [AUTO|TAB|SPACE|SEMICOLON|COMMA|FIXED]
WIDTH = <integer> # Valid only if DELIMITER = FIXED
}
DATA
{
IGNORENONNUMERICTOKENS = <boolean> # default = TRUE
IMPORT
LINE = <integer>
# 1-based, ignored if STARTIDENTIFICATION is not LINE
}
ENDID = [FIRSTNONNUMERICLINE | LINE | KEYWORD]
{
KEYWORD = <string> # ignored if ENDID is not KEYWORD
LINE = <integer> # 1-based, ignored if ENDID is not LINE
}
FORMAT = [POINT|BLOCK] # default POINT
DELIMITER = [AUTO|TAB|SPACE|SEMICOLON|COMMA|FIXED]
WIDTH = <integer> # Valid only if DELIMITER = FIXED
}
DIMENSION
{
AUTO=<boolean> # default = TRUE
IMAX=<integer> # ignored if AUTO = TRUE, default = 1
JMAX=<integer> # ignored if AUTO = TRUE, default = 1
KMAX=<integer> # ignored if AUTO = TRUE, default = 1
USEMULTIPLEZONES = <boolean> # ignored if AUTO = TRUE, default
false
KEYWORD=<string> # ignored if USEMULTIPLEZONES = FALSE
}
}
GLOBALFILTERS # filters are applied cumulatively, so lines matching
# any of the criteria are filtered
{
COMMENT = <string> # ignore lines beginning with <string>
NUMBER = <integer> # ignore all lines starting with line number
<integer>
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General Text Loader
KEYWORD = <string> # ignore all containing <string> (case
insensitive)
COLUMNS = <list> #<list> is a UNIX-style comma separated list of
number ranges
# example: “1-80,100-end”, etc. Must be in double quotes
ROWS = <list> # same as above
USEBLANKCELLVALUE = <boolean> # if TRUE, then the value of blank
cells is BLANKCELLVALUE
BLANKCELLVALUE = <double> # blank cell value. Ignored if
USEBLANKCELLVALUE is FALSE
}
Where <string> is a file name or file path. Settings will be loaded from the file name specified in
<string>. This command is only allowed in conjunction with the $!READDATASET command as
described below. It may not be used inside a configuration file.
For example, instead of:
$!READDATASET '"C:\test.txt” “VERSION=100 FILEEXT=\"*.txt\"
FILEDESC=\"general text\" "+""+"TITLE{SEARCH=NONE NAME=\"New
Dataset\" LINE=1 DELIMITER=AUTO WIDTH=10
}"+""+"VARIABLES{"+"SEARCH=LINE LOADED= All STARTLINE=1 ENDLINE=3
DELIMITER=SEMICOLON WIDTH=5
}"+""+"DATA"+"{"+"IGNORENONNUMERICTOKENS=TRUE
IMPORT"+"{"+"STARTID=LINE {"+"LINE=4
}"+""+"ENDID=FIRSTNONNUMERICLINE {"+"LINE=1
}"+""+"FORMAT=IJKPOINT DELIMITER=AUTO WIDTH=1
}"+""+"DIMENSION"+"{"+"AUTO=TRUE CREATEMULTIPLEZONES=FALSE
}"+"}"+"GLOBALFILTERS{"+"USEBLANKCELLVALUE=TRUE
BLANKCELLVALUE=0.000000 }"'
DATASETREADER = 'General Text Loader'
Using the CONFIGFNAME command, you can write:
$!READDATASET ' “myfile.dat”
“CONFIGFNAME=c:\config_files\myconfig.lgc” ' # contains all of
the instructions in the example above DATASETREADER='General Text
Loader'
Components of the Configuration File
• All General Text Loader configuration files must start with the line:
• #!TECPLOT_LOADGEN
• Instruction Syntax - Each instruction file contains commands which describe the
loading instructions.
• Comments - Any text following '#' to the end of the line is ignored.
• String Format - The <string> parameter must be enclosed in double quotes. You can
include a double quote character in the string by preceding it with a backslash '\.' For
example:
• “This is a normal string”
• “This is a \"quote\" inside a string”
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Data Loaders
• List Format - The <list> parameter type is defined as one or more number ranges,
separated by commas, enclosed in double quotes. A number range may be a single
number or two numbers separated by a dash. Optionally, you may use “end” to
indicate the last valid number. For example:
• “1”
• “1,2-7,3”
• “10-end,3,2-5”
• Command List - The commands in the file may appear in any order, and any
command may be divided into any number of lines (that is, all white space, including
carriage returns, is ignored).
4 - 10 HDF Loader
The Tecplot HDF Loader add-on can load 1D, 2D, and 3D Scientific Data Sets (SDS) from HDF
files1. When a dataset from an HDF file is imported, the file is scanned and a list of all SDS in the
file is displayed in the Scientific Data Sets to load portion of the HDF Loader dialog. Select one or
more SDS to import. Every SDS that you select must have the same dimension. A rectangular I,
IJ, or IJK-ordered zone (for 1, 2, or 3D data, respectively) is created for each SDS that you select to
load.
The HDF Loader dialog has the following options:
• Scientific Data Sets to load - Select one or more SDS's
to load. Each SDS that you select must have the same
rank (dimension).
• I-Skip - Select the I-Skip value. A skip value of one
loads every data point, a skip value of two loads every
second data point, and so on.
- Select the J-Skip value.
• K-Skip - Select the K-Skip value.
• Select File - Select an HDF file.
• Attributes - Displays attributes of each SDS found,
• J-Skip
such as number type, rank, label, and so on.
4- 10.1 HDF Loader Limitations
The HDF Loader can import only Scientific Data Sets from HDF files, and these are imported in a
manner similar to NCSA’s own HDF viewer. The way in which the data file is interpreted cannot be
1. The HDF Loader uses the public-domain HDF API code library from the National Center for Supercomputing
Applications (NCSA), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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HDF 5 Loader
altered in this release of the loader. However, it is possible to write a Tecplot 360 add-on (using the
NCSA code library) that loads HDF data in a manner more suited to your particular use of the HDF
format. See the ADK User’s Manual for more information on writing add-ons.
4 - 11 HDF 5 Loader
The HDF5 loader add-on allows you to import general HDF5 files into Tecplot 360. The loader
provides a mechanism for importing generic data from multiple HDF5 datasets or groups. The
HDF5 loader will load datasets within user selected groups, load one or more user selected datasets
to one zone, load multiple user selected datasets to multiple zones, execute macros after data has
been loaded, create implicit X, Y, and Z grid vectors as needed, sub-sample loaded data, and reference user selected vectors for X, Y, and Z grids. Datasets must be ordered data.
For information regarding HDF5 format refer to: http://hdf.ncsa.uiuc.edu/HDF5/.
4- 11.1 Data Selection
HDF5 files may be viewed and selected by pressing the [Select File] button in the HDF5 Loader
dialog. One or more files may be selected if all selected files have an identical hierarchy. Hierarchy
information for the selected HDF5 files is displayed in the Available Datasets window in the form:
/group/[group]…/dataset - the dimension of each dataset is displayed immediately following the
dataset name. In this window, one or more datasets or groups may be selected for loading.
4- 11.2 Importing/Loading Data
Datasets may be loaded using one of three methods: 1) Loading Multiple Datasets to One Zone
(default), 2)Loading Multiple Datasets to Separate Zones, or 3)Loading Datasets by Group.
Loading Multiple Datasets to One Zone (default)
Loading multiple datasets to one zone is the default method of importing HDF5 files. Using this
method, the HDF5 loader will create one zone with N variables, where N is the number of HDF5
datasets selected in the Available Datasets window. Selected datasets may have one to three
dimensions. The dimension of loaded Tecplot 360 variables will match the I, J, and K values of the
selected datasets. Variable names are assigned the corresponding names of selected datasets - all
selected datasets must have equivalent dimensions.
To import your data, select one or more datasets from the Available Datasets window. All selected
datasets must be identical in dimension; dataset dimensions are shown immediately to the right of
dataset names in the Available Datasets window.
Loading Multiple Datasets to Separate Zones
Using this method, the HDF5 loader will create N zones, where N is the number of datasets
selected in the Available Datasets window. Each zone contains one variable per selected dataset
where each dataset must have one to three dimensions. The I, J, and K values of each Tecplot 360
zone will match the dimensionality of each selected dataset. Variable and zone names are automatically assigned. Dimensionality may vary between selected datasets.
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Data Loaders
To import your data using this method, select the “Load to Separate Zones” toggle. Select one or
more datasets from the Available Datasets window. One zone will be created for each selected
dataset and each zone will contain exactly one variable (unless you selected Create Implicit Grid
Values or Reference Data Grids).
Loading Datasets by Group
Using this method, the HDF5 loader will create N zones with M variables, where N is the number
of groups selected in the Available Datasets window and M is the number of datasets in each
group. The I, J, and K indices of the Tecplot 360 variables will be equivalent to the respective
dimension of selected datasets. Datasets in any selected group must be equal in dimension; however, datasets may be unequal in dimension between groups. When selecting multiple groups, all
groups must contain an equal number of datasets and dataset names must be identical between
groups. The HDF5 loader will only load datasets within the root directory or within a subgroup,
i.e., the HDF5 loader will not load data within nested groups.
To import your data using this method, select the “Load Datasets by Group” toggle. Press [Select
File] to open a HDF5 file. Select one or more groups from the Available Datasets window; all
groups must contain an equal number of datasets where all datasets have identical names between
groups. The number of selected groups determines the number of zones that load into Tecplot 360.
Zone names will match the name of the corresponding group. Variable names will match the
respective dataset name. Each zone will include as many variables as datasets per selected groups.
4- 11.3 Additional Options
Additional options may be specified when loading HDF5 data into Tecplot 360. These options
include: Using Macros, Sub-Sampling Data, Referencing Data Grids, and Grid Generation.
Using Macros
Macros may be defined within a HDF5 vector and placed in any group. Each character string in the
selected vector must be a valid one-line Tecplot 360 macro. Macros are executed in the order
encountered after all data are loaded.
To run a macro defined as a character vector in your HDF5 file, select the “Run Macros in Selected
Group” toggle. Select the macro you want to execute from the Select Macro pull-down menu. Your
macro will run after your data has been successfully loaded into Tecplot 360.
Sub-Sampling Data
The HDF5 loader will sub-sample the first, second, and third dimensions of loaded datasets respectively as defined by the user. The default skip-value is 1. When specifying non-unitary skip values,
the dimensionality of all selected datasets must be equivalent. Datasets will be sub-sampled using
the user defined I-Skip, J-Skip, and/or K-Skip values – skip values must be whole numbers.
To sub-sample data in the first, and/or second, and/or third dimensions of selected datasets, change
the respective I-Skip, and/or J-Skip, and/or K-Skip values located in the HDF5 loader dialog. If the
skip-values are non-unitary then selected datasets must have equivalent dimensions.
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Kiva Loader
Referencing Data Grids
The HDF5 loader allows users to specify X, and/or Y, and/or Z grid vectors. Selected vectors are
used for plotting all zones. Vectors are of dimension 1 and length M. The X grid vector length must
be equal to the first dimension of selected datasets, the Y grid vector length must be equal to the
second dimension of selected datasets, and the Z grid vector length must be equal to the third
dimension of selected datasets. The number of selected grid vectors must equal the rank of selected
datasets.
To define the grid vectors you may choose them from a drop-down menu. Begin by deselecting the
Create Implicit Grid Values option and select the [Reference Data Grids] button. A child dialog will
appear (Fig. 2), from the X, Y, and Z menus select the vector you want to use as the corresponding
grid. You MUST select the toggle “Use Data Grids”. The number of grid vectors you specify must
equal the rank of selected datasets.
Grid Generation
The HDF5 loader can automatically create X, Y, and Z grid vectors as necessary for selected
datasets. Grid vectors will be of length equal to the corresponding dimension.
To automatically create X, Y, and Z grid vectors, accept the default setting of “Create Implicit Grid
Values” in the HDF5 loader dialog – this is selected by default. The grid vectors will be created
upon loading your data into Tecplot 360.
4 - 12 Kiva Loader
The Kiva loader imports GMV format files that were exported from Kiva.
• Select Input Files – From this button, multiple files can be selected in the Read Kiva/
GMV File dialog. Those that are in GMV format will be added to the list of Kiva/
GMV files. Once files are added to this list, they will remain in the list throughout the
Tecplot 360 session, unless the [Clear List] button is selected.
• File Selections - Use the File Selection options for long file lists. Identify the first file
to load by entering a number in the Start field, and the last file to load by entering a
number in the Stop field.
Enter a value of 2 in the Skip field to load every other file, or 3 or greater to skip more
files. To see the list selections updated according to the values in the Start, Stop, and
Skip fields, click the [Apply Skip] button. At any time, you can choose to Select All or
Deselect All files.
• Velocity Vector – Identify the naming convention for your velocity vectors.
• Loading Options:
• IsDouble - Allows greater precision for your data values.
• LoadParticleData - Adds a zone for any files containing particle data.
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Data Loaders
4- 12.1 Select Variable to Load
After clicking the [OK] button with one or more files selected, the Select Variables dialog
appears. Clear All allows only variables X, Y, and Z to be loaded. You can use the [Select All]
button to load all variables, or you can highlight variable names in the list.
4 - 13 PLOT3D Loader
The PLOT3D Loader add-on can import data files formatted for the PLOT3D program developed
by Pieter Buning at the NASA Ames Research Center. Some extensions such as unstructured data
that are now available in FAST, the successor to PLOT3D, are also supported.
4- 13.1 File Combinations
Use the File Selection page of the PLOT3D Loader dialog to specify whether to load just the grid
file, both the grid and solution files, or just solution files.
Choosing both will allow you to optionally specify a name file as well. The name file contains
names to replace either the function or solution variable names on a 1-to-1 basis for as many names
as are in either file. If a boundary file exists, it must have the required syntax 'gridfilenamewithextension.fvbnd' and will be automatically loaded.
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PLOT3D Loader
The following table describes what the PLOT3D loader does in all six scenarios:
Load
Not Appending
Appending
Grid Only
Existing dataset is deleted and zones
(one per grid) are loaded.
New zones are added (one per grid). Solution
variables in new zones are zeroed out.
Grid and
Solution
Existing dataset is deleted and zones
(one for each grid in each solution file)
are loaded. Each set of zones loaded
shares spatial variables with the first
set of grids loaded.
Same as “Not Appending” except original
dataset is preserved. Existing dataset must have
at least as many variables as the number needed
by the incoming data.
Solution
Only
A dataset must already be present. The
existing dataset is reduced to contain
the same number of zones as there are
grids in each incoming solution file.
Solution variables in the first solution
file replace the solution variables in the
original zones. Subsequent solution
files create new sets of zones with spatial variables shared with the first set of
zones.
Same as “Not Appending” except original
dataset is preserved. Existing dataset must have
at least as many variables as the number contained in incoming solution file. Spatial variables
are shared with last n original zones where n is
the number of grids in each incoming solution
file.
4- 13.2 PLOT3D File Structure
The File Structure page of the PLOT3D Loader dialog allows you to choose to have the PLOT3D
Loader auto detect the file structure, or override and manually describe the structure.
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Data Loaders
The PLOT3D Loader can auto detect most PLOT3D file variants. ASCII files are the most difficult
to auto detect as there are a few combinations that have the exact same signature. Pure binary files
also have some combinations that have the same signature. If the auto-detect fails, use the manual
settings to load in the files.
To enhance performance when loading multiple solution/function files, the primary solution/function file can be chosen to represent the structure of all subsequent files. To activate this option,
toggle-on “Assume all Solution/Function Files have the same structure”. You must determine if this
is appropriate.
Special File Conditions
Unstructured Data Files
The following ASCII file conditions require special attention:
Condition
Notes
Double Precision
You must tell the loader if the incoming file is single or double precision.
I-Blanking
You must tell the loader if the incoming file contains I-blanking.
3D Planar
There are some cases where these files can appear exactly the same if they
are 3D Whole. The PLOT3D loader always favors 3D Whole. If you need to
load 3D Planar in 3D Planar ASCII files you must specify the data structure
manually.
Pure Binary Files
The following pure binary files (binary files without record markers) require special attention:
Condition
3D Planar
Notes
There are some cases where these files can appear exactly the same if they
are 3D Whole. The PLOT3D loader always favors 3D Whole. If you need to
load in 3D Planar pure binary files you must specify the data structure manually.
4- 13.3 PLOT3D Data Subsets
The Data Subset page of the PLOT3D Loader allows you to: read subsets of ordered zones within
the files, specify the desired beginning and ending index values to read, and enter a skip value for
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PLOT3D Loader
each index direction. A skip value of one results in every value in the specified index range being
read. A skip of 2 reads every second value, and so on.
4- 13.4 Plot3D Time Aware Options
The Transient Options page of the PLOT3D Loader dialog allows you to choose the PLOT3D
Loader to automatically assign Strand IDs for transient zones. This option is toggled-on by default.
An option to add zones to current strands can be used if you are appending zones to existing transient data. This option is toggled-off by default.”
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Data Loaders
If some zones are static and some are time-aware, load the static zones and then append the timeaware zones.
Transient options do not apply to Plot3D
equation files since these do not contain
time.
4- 13.5 Macro Language Commands for the Plot3D Loader
The macro language syntax for the PLOT3D Loader that is shipped with the current version of
Tecplot 360 has changed from that of previous versions. Layouts created with previous versions
can still be read, but will be saved with the newer syntax.
New Instruction Syntax
The new loader uses the Standard syntax so layouts can be saved that automatically use relative
paths for file names. The following table lists the standard syntax name-value pairs used by the
PLOT3D Loader:
Keyword
Value(s)
Notes
STANDARDSYNTAX
1.0
FILELIST_SOLUTIONFILES
“n” “file-1” “file-2”....
“file-n”
FILENAME_GRIDFILE
“filename”
FILENAME_NAMEFILE
“filename”
IINDEXRANGE
“indexrange”
Start, End, Skip
JINDEXRANGE
“indexrange”
Start, End, Skip
KINDEXRANGE
“indexrange”
Start, End, Skip
APPEND
“Yes” or “No”
ASCIIISDOUBLE
“Yes” or “No”
ASCIIHASBLANK
“Yes” or “No”
AUTODETECT
“Yes” or “No”
138
Must be the first instruction.
PLOT3D Loader
Keyword
Value(s)
Notes
DATASTRUCTURE
“1D”, “2D”, “3DP”,
“3DW”,
or
“UNSTRUCTURED”
Required if AUTODETECT is “No,”
otherwise ignored.
ISMULTIGRID
“Yes” or “No”
Required if AUTODETECT is “No,”
otherwise ignored.
STYLE
“PLOT3DCLASSIC”
“PLOT3DFUNCTION”
or
“OVERFLOW”
Required if AUTODETECT is “No,”
otherwise ignored.
AUTOASSIGNSTRANDS
“Yes” or “No”
ADDTOEXISTINGSTRANDS
“Yes” or “No”
4- 13.6 PLOT3D Auxiliary Data
The following auxiliary data is created by the PLOT3D Loader:
Auxiliary Name
Assigned To
Common.ReferenceMachNumber
Dataset and Individual Zones a
Common.AngleOfAttack
Dataset and Individual Zones a
Common.ReynoldsNumber
Dataset and Individual Zones a
Common.IsBoundaryZone
Individual Zones
Common.BoundaryCondition
Individual Zones
Common.DensityVar
Dataset
Common.UVar
Dataset
Common.VVar
Dataset
Common.WVar
Dataset
Common.StagnationEnergyVar
Dataset
Common.GammaVar
Dataset
Common.TurbulentKineticEnergyVar
Dataset
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Data Loaders
Auxiliary Name
Assigned To
Common.TurbulentDissipationRateVar
Dataset
Common.VectorVarsAreVelocity
Dataset
Common.SpeedOfSound
Dataset
Gb
Individual Zones
Bb
Individual Zones
Tb
Individual Zones
Ib
Individual Zones
Hb
Individual Zones
H1b
Individual Zones
H2b
Individual Zones
a. Auxiliary data assigned to both zones and the dataset assign the value from the last zone processed to the dataset.
b. Overflow specific constants.
4- 13.7 PLOT3D Loader Limitations
The -ip, -jp, -kp options in older PLOT3D Loaders are not supported in the initial release.
Tecplot 360 handles I, J, and K-planes well, so loading 3D planar files as a single zone is typically
sufficient. Refer to Section 7- 1.2 “Surfaces” for additional information.
4 - 14 PLY Loader
Use this loader1 to load 3D triangular surface files with the .ply extension. This format is often used
to store surfaces generated from tessellation of 3D range measurement data. Files may be either
ASCII or binary, but must contain both vertex and face elements (sections). This loader is included
in your Tecplot 360 installation.
1. Copyright for Third Party Library. This loader utilizes a modified version of a library written by Greg Turk while
at Stanford University. The copyright for this library is: Copyright © 1994 The Board of Trustees of The Leland
Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved. Permission to use, copy, modify and distribute this software and its
documentation for any purpose is hereby granted without fee, provided that the above copyright notice and this
permission notice appear in all copies of this software and that you do not sell the software. The software is provided “as is” and without warranty of any kind, express, implied or otherwise, including without limitation, any
warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
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Tecplot-Format Loader
4 - 15 Tecplot-Format Loader
This section describes the process for loading Tecplot-format data files. Tecplot 360 uses the standard extensions .dat for ASCII files and .plt for binary files. Refer to the Data Format Guide for
information on outputting your data into Tecplot 360 file format.
There are four ways to work with Tecplot-format data files:
• Generate a Tecplot-format ASCII data file - Read the file into Tecplot 360 and work
without conversion. If the dataset is altered, save it as an ASCII data file. This method
works for smaller datasets where the convenience of an ASCII file outweighs any
inefficiencies.
• Generate a Tecplot-format ASCII data file - Read it into Tecplot 360, then save it as
a binary data file, then work with the binary file. Once you have saved a binary
version, you can delete the ASCII version. This works well for large datasets where
ASCII inefficiencies are noticeable. See Section 23 - 3 “Data File Writing”.
• Generate a Tecplot-format ASCII data file, then convert it to a binary file with
Preplot - (Preplot, a utility program included with Tecplot 360, converts ASCII and
PLOT3D to binary Tecplot-format data files.) Once the binary file is created, delete
the ASCII version to save space. This works well for identifying problems with data
files, since Preplot’s error messages include precise details. This method also works
well in batch processing, or if the ASCII data files are generated on another machine.
(See Section “Polyhedral - complex example” in the Data Format Guide for a
description of Preplot.)
• Generate a Tecplot-format binary data file - Read the binary data file into Tecplot
360 and work without conversion. You must use routines provided by Tecplot 360 to
write Tecplot-format binary files from C or FORTRAN programs. See Chapter 3
“Binary Data” in the Data Format Guide for complete details.
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Data Loaders
4- 15.1 Tecplot Data File Loading
The Tecplot Data Loader (accessed via File>Load Data File(s)) allows you to load ASCII (.dat)
and Tecplot-format (.plt) files.
For both ASCII and binary data files, Tecplot 360 supports full data files, grid files, and solution
files, where the file types are defined as follows:
• Full - Full files contain both grid and solution data. Data files produced for Tecplot
360 Version 2006 and earlier are treated as full data files. Full files can be loaded in
any order.
• Grid - Grid files contain static data for all zones. They have at least one variable or FE
connectivity; they may contain both variables and connectivity simultaneously.
• Solution - Solution files contain time-varying data for all zones in the file.
Use the [Multiple Files] button to load more than one Tecplot 360 file simultaneously. This is
required when loading solution data because the grid file must be loaded first.
Tecplot 360 allows you to specifically control what is loaded from your data files by toggling-on
“Specify Options”. After you select the file(s) to load and select the [Open Files] button, use the
Load Data File Options dialog to specify the information to load from your data file.
Loading Grid and Solution Data Files
When you are loading grid and/or solution files, please keep the following in mind:
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Tecplot-Format Loader
• Solution files must be read in after the grid file it is associated with is loaded.
• If you load multiple grid and solution files into Tecplot 360, the order the files are
listed will be used to determine which grid is used for which solution file(s). For
example, if you load a set of grid and solution files in the following order:
• Grid A
• Solution A
• Solution B
• Solution C
• Grid B
• Solution D
Grid A will be shared for Solution Files A, B, and C. Grid B will be used for Solution
File D.
On Windows operating systems, you may select multiple files to
load by using the SHIFT key. However, the order is not always
preserved with this method. We strongly recommend that you
use the [Multiple Files] button when loading grid and solution
data.
• You may load a grid file with variables or variables and connectivity without loading a
solution file. However, you may not load a grid file that contains only FE connectivity
data.
Appending Data Files
You may append your dataset at any time by going to File>Load Data File(s). After you select the
data file(s), the Load Data File: Simple Warning will be launched. Select the “Add to current
dataset” option to append your data.
You cannot append a grid file that contains only FE connectivity data without appending a solution
file along with it. In addition, to append a solution file you must also append a grid file at the same
time. In this case, the grid file must come before the solution file in the file loading list.
You may also load Tecplot 360 data files via the macro language. Refer to Section “$!READDATASET” in the Scripting Guide for details.
4- 15.2 Load Data File Options
The Load Data File Options dialog has three pages—General, Zones, and Vars (Variables).
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Data File Loading General Options
On the General page, you have the option to load a subset of record types or load only portions of
the data.
To load specific record types from the data file, select the desired record types by choosing the
appropriate check boxes:
Field Data
Load zone records (the actual data). If not selected, the Zones and Vars pages of
the dialog are inactive.
Text
Load text records.
Geometries
Load geometry records.
Custom Labels
Load custom label records.
The toggles are available only if those records exist in the data files. By default, all of the records in
the data files are selected.
If you want to load a portion of the data points, specify skip factors for the I, J, and K-dimensions in
the corresponding text fields. Each skip factor n tells Tecplot 360 to read in every nth point in the
specified direction. By default, all the skip factors are set to one, so every data point is loaded.
If data being loaded into Tecplot 360 has time associated with one or more of the zones but is
missing explicit strand ID assignments, you can direct Tecplot 360 to assign strand ID's by toggling-on “Assign Strand IDs for Zones”. This calls a simple algorithm that groups together solutions.
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Tecplot-Format Loader
Additionally, if you are appending data, you can direct Tecplot 360 to either add the zones from the
new data to matching strands in the dataset or simply append the new strands.
Data File Loading Zone Options
The Zones page allows you to select specific zones to load from data files and, if appropriate,
whether to collapse the zone list. To specify which zones to load, select them in the “Select Zones
to Load” box. By default, all zones are selected to be loaded.
If you have selected to only load specific zones and want them renumbered upon loading, select
“Collapse Zone List”. (If you are loading variables by position, the check box reads Collapse Zone
and Variable Lists.) See Section “Zone and Variable List Collapsing” on page 147 for more information.
Data File Loading Variable Options
Use the Variables page to load variables by name (default) or position. When loading variables by
name, Tecplot 360 creates variables based on the variable names in the data files. When loading
variables by position, Tecplot 360 creates variables based on their order in the data files. If you are
loading multiple data files, the order of variables will be based on their order in the first data file.
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Variable Loading by Name
Using the “Load Variables By Name” area of the Load Data File Options dialog’s Vars page, you
may select specific variable names to load from the data files.
When loading variables by name, variables are associated by name then loaded into Tecplot 360.
Variable names can be combined; two variables with different names in different files can be loaded
into a single Tecplot 360 variable. When a variable name is missing, the variable is set to zero for
all zones loaded from that file.
The Show Variables From box displays variable names from the data files. Filter the list with the
drop-down menu above the list. Choosing All Data Files shows variable names from all data files
in order by data file and then in order by name. Identical variable names from more than one file
appears only once in the list. An asterisk (*) next to a variable name indicates the variable name
does not exist in all the files. A number next to a variable name indicates the Tecplot 360 variable
number to be assigned to the variable.
The Variables to Load box displays variables to be loaded into Tecplot 360. By default, it shows
only variable names existing in all of the data files selected. If no matching variable names exist,
the list is empty. An asterisk (*) next to a variable name indicates the name does not exist for all
files. If you load a file with an asterisk, the file’s zones are set to zero for that variable. Duplicate
variable names are not allowed. Use the [Move], [Move All], [Remove], or [Remove All] buttons
to edit the “Variables to Load” list.
You have limited options in changing” Variables to Load” when appending data files to the current
dataset or replacing the current dataset while retaining the plot style. The list is partially determined
by the current dataset. You can add names or combine new names, but you cannot remove any variable names.
When appending data files to the current dataset by adding names to ‘Variables to Load”, adding a
new name which exists in the current dataset, but which was not loaded initially, forces Tecplot 360
to reload the original data files to include the variable name.
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Tecplot-Format Loader
Variable Loading by Position
The Load “Variables By Position” option of the Load Data File Options dialog’s Vars page allows
you to select specific variables to load from data files, and to collapse the zone and variable lists
when possible.
To specify variables to load from data files, select them in the “Select Variables to Load” box. This
multiple selection box allows you to click-and-drag, CTRL-click, or SHIFT-click to choose variables. The variable names listed come from the first data file. If variable names in the other files do
not match those in the first, an asterisk (*) appears next to the name. The number of variables listed
is limited to the minimum number in all of the files. By default, all of the variables are selected to
be loaded.
If you have chosen to load specific variables and want them renumbered, select the “Collapse Zone
and Variable Lists” check box. See Section “Zone and Variable List Collapsing” on page 147 for
more information.
When appending files to the current dataset or replacing the current dataset while retaining the plot
style, you cannot select the variables to load. These are determined by the variables currently
loaded in Tecplot 360. When appending files to the current dataset, the new files must have at least
as many variables as are currently loaded in Tecplot 360.
Zone and Variable List Collapsing
When loading files, you have the option of reading only selected zones (and variables when loading
by position). You may either preserve existing zone and variable numbering, or “collapse” the data
read so zones and variables are renumbered according to their positions in Tecplot 360.
For example, zones 2 and 5 of a five zone data file are loaded. If the zones and variables are not collapsed (the default), Tecplot 360 reads them in as zones 2 and 5. Writing this dataset to an ASCII
file, it has five zones; zones 1, 3, and 4 have no data (“Zombie” zones). Selecting the collapse
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Data Loaders
option, Tecplot 360 reads them in as zones 1 and 2. Writing this dataset to a file yields only two
zones.
In most cases collapsing zones and variables is unnecessary. All dialogs showing zones or variables
list the zones read in, though they may not be numbered sequentially. Do not collapse zones and
variables when:
• You have a large dataset and read a portion of the data to reduce the amount of
memory used in processing. You then create a stylesheet to use at a later time with a
different sub-set of the data.
• You have many zones and variables and you are familiar with certain ranges of them.
(For example, you may know that zones 150-200 represent a known portion of the
data.) If you partially read the data and do not collapse it, these zones continue to be
designated with their familiar numbers.
Load Multiple Data Files
Select the [Multiple File] button in Load Data File(s) dialog to load more than one .plt or .dat file
into Tecplot 360.
Load Data File: Simple Warning
A warning dialog opens when you try to load a new Tecplot 360 file and the current frame has a
dataset attached.
If the current dataset is used only by the current frame, there are three options:
• Replace Dataset and Reset Frame Style - Select this to read in the new dataset in a
frame with style sheet attributes redefined to the new frame defaults.
• Replace Dataset and Retain Frame Style - Select this to read in the new dataset, but
keep the style sheet attributes in the current dataset.
• Add to Current Dataset - Select this to keep the current dataset and add to add the
new specified data file into the current data, in the current frame.
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Tecplot-Format Loader
Load Data File: Complex Warning
A warning dialog opens when you try to load a new Tecplot 360 file and the current frame has a
dataset attached to it that is also attached to other frames.
The Load Data File Warning dialog has the following options:
• Create a New Dataset and Reset Current Frame Style - Select this to create a new
dataset in the current frame with the style sheet attributes redefined to new frame
defaults. The other frames will retain the original dataset and style.
• Create a New Dataset and Retain Current Frame Style - Select this to create a new
dataset and keep the style sheet attributes in the current frame. The other frames will
retain the original dataset and style.
• Add to the Current Dataset - Select this to attach the new specified data file into the
current data, in the current frame. The other frames will retain the original dataset and
style.
• Completely Replace Current Dataset with New Dataset - Select this to substitute the
new dataset everywhere the current dataset is used while retaining the current dataset's
style sheet attributes.
Select Initial Plot Type
Once you have loaded your file(s), the Select Initial Plot dialog will appear with the following
options:
• Initial Plot Type - Set the plot type (2D or 3D, XY, Polar, Sketch, or Automatic).
When Automatic is chosen, Tecplot 360 attempts to match the data to the best plot
type using the following parameters:
• 3D Cartesian - If any finite element volumes or IJK-zones are present.
• 2D Cartesian - If finite element surfaces or IJ-zones are present.
• XY Line - All other data structures.
• Show First Zone Only - Loads all zones, but displays only the first zone of a plot.
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Data Loaders
• Use These Settings for All Datasets - Applies your selections to any additional plots
loaded.
4 - 16 Text Spreadsheet Loader
The Text Spreadsheet Loader add-on is both an example of how to write a loader add-on and a
utility that allows you import simple data from ASCII files. The complete source code for the Text
Spreadsheet Loader is included in the ADK Samples directory (located in your Tecplot 360 installation directory). Select the delimiter and I-skip (if necessary) from the Simple Spreadsheet File
Loader dialog.
the Text Spreadsheet Loader dialog has the following options:
• Filename - Enter the path to the file you would like to load.
• Delimiter - Choose whether your data is separated by a comma, space, or tab.
• I-Skip - Select an I-skip value. A value of 1 loads all values, a value of 2 loads every
other value, and so on.
The Text Spreadsheet Loader can read ASCII files of the following format (blank lines are
ignored):
Variable 1, Variable 2, ..., Variable N
datapoint1,datapoint2, ..., datapoint N
.
.
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.
datapoint1,datapoint2, ..., datapointN
Here is an example of a valid ASCII spreadsheet file:
Month, Rainfall
1, 15.0
2, 21.0
3, 21.0
4, 32.0
5, 10.3
6, 5.1
7, 2.3
8, 0.2
9, 1.4
10, 8.3
11, 12.2
12, 15.4
Text Spreadsheet Loader Limitations
The first line must contain all of the variable
names.
4 - 17 Overwriting Data Files
Tecplot 360 creates a tight bond between itself and a loaded datafile, by using a concept called
load-on-demand. With load-on-demand, after you load a data file, the actual loading of individual
variables may be delayed until the variables are needed. Some variables may experience repeated
cycles of being loaded, then unloaded, and then loaded again.
If you are supplying data to Tecplot 360 via your own specialized add-on that can access and
update Tecplot 360 field data directly, then this is not an issue for you. In this case, Tecplot 360 will
take care of the read/write and load-on-demand issues for you (assuming your add-on has solved its
own data overwrite issues).
If you have a workflow that requires a Tecplot 360 datafile be overwritten while it is in use (most
likely to simulate real-time data acquisition or a similar process) and you do not have the luxury of
doing so via an add-on, the following is suggested as a possible solution.
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.
Data Producing
Application
Tecplot
Action requiring
reload of flow.plt
Copy new solution
to flownew.plt
Pause briefly
N
N
read.lock
exists
read.lock
exists
Y
Y
Brief Pause
• Copy flownew.plt to flow.plt
• reload flow.plt
• Delete read.lock
read.lock
Do Processing to
obtain a new solution
flownew.plt
flow.plt
In this example, the cycle on the top illustrates the method used for Tecplot 360 to update flow.plt
and the cycle on the bottom illustrates the method used by the application that generates the data to
update flow.plt. Both systems are checking for the existence of read.lock. If you are using a macro
in Tecplot 360 to do this, then you can use the extended macro command, query.fileexists, to
determine if the file exists. If the file exists, Tecplot 360 will disconnect from flow.plt, copy
flownew.plt to flow.plt, and delete read.lock. If read.lock exists and the application that generates
the data has an update for flow.plt, the application should either wait a few seconds and try-again or
skip the data set (this is determined by the application, not Tecplot 360). If the file does not exist,
the application that generated the data is free to copy new data to flownew.plt.
Note that if you use a macro in Tecplot 360, you can use the capabilities of extendmcr to query for
file existence (refer to the readme.txt file in $TEC_360_2008/adk/samples/extendmcr for additional
information). Disconnecting from flow.plt can be done in a number of ways, one of which is to
issue a $!NEWLAYOUT command. This will completely disconnect Tecplot 360 from the dataset
and thus from the associated datafile.
The file read.lock is like a baton. If it exists, then flownew.plt is said to be “owned” by Tecplot 360.
If it does not exist, then flownew.plt is said to be “owned” by the data producing application.
flow.plt is always owned by Tecplot 360.
One minor issue not addressed in the above example is what the data producing application should
do if the data is being read by Tecplot 360. It can either block (i.e. Wait) until Tecplot 360 is finished or discard the current solution and go back to generating another one.
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Part 3 Creating Plots
Chapter 5
Creating Plots
5 - 1 Creating Plots
The basic steps for creating a plot in Tecplot 360 are:
1. Define your dataset using one of the following methods:
a. This is typically accomplished by using the “Load Data File(s)” command
from the File menu. Please refer to Chapter 4 “Data Loaders” for information
on working with a specific data loader.
b. Use the “Open Layout” command from the File menu to load linked layout or
layout package files. (See Section 23 - 1 “Layout Files, Layout Package Files,
Stylesheets” for more information on layout files.)
c. Use any combination of the options in the Create Zone submenu of the Data
menu or the Insert menu to create your datasets directly within Tecplot 360.
Section 20 - 6 “Zone Creation” and Chapter 18 “Text, Geometries, and
Images” for more information.
2. Select the Plot Type (3D, 2D, XY Line, Polar Line, or Sketch) from the Sidebar. Refer
to Chapter 7 “Field Plots” for information regarding 3D and 2D plots, Chapter 6 “XY
and Polar Line Plots” for information on XY Line and Polar Line plots, and Chapter
18 “Text, Geometries, and Images” for information on sketch plots.
3. Toggle-on any mapping or zone layers from the Sidebar. The following mapping and
zone layers are available:
• Mesh Layer
• Contour Layer
• Vector Layer
• Scatter Layer
• Shade Layer
• Edge Layer
• Line Map Layer
• Symbols Map Layer
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• XY Line Error Bars
• XY Line Bar Charts
The layers available in the Sidebar are dependent upon the active plot type. Use the
Details buttons [...] where available to customize zone layers.
In order to view surfaces on your plot, open the Zone
Style dialog, select the Surfaces tab, and use the [Surfaces to Plot] drop-down menu to choose an available
surface plotting option.
The Zone Style dialog is available by either doubleclicking on your plot, selecting the [Zone Style] button from the Sidebar, or selecting Plot>Zone Style
from the Menubar.
4. Use the options in the Plot menu (such as Blanking or Axis Details) to customize how
your data is displayed. Refer to Section 7 - 4 “Three-dimensional Plot Control” or
Chapter 17 “Axes” for additional information.
5. Use the options in the Data menu (such as Equations or Interpolation) to alter the
dataset. Refer to Chapter 20 “Data Operations” and Chapter 21 “CFD Data Analysis”
for additional information.
6. [3D only] toggle-on zone effects (translucency and lighting). Refer to Chapter 13
“Translucency and Lighting” for details.
7. Use the Zone Style or Mapping Style dialogs to opt zones in and out of plot layers or
the entire plot. Refer to Section 7 - 1 “Field Plot Modification - Zone Style Dialog”
and Section 6 - 1 “Mapping Style and Creation”, respectively, for details.
8. [2D or 3D only] add derived objects (Slices, Streamtraces or Iso-surfaces). Use their
respective Details buttons [...] to customize any derived objects.
You are not limited to working with only one plot at a time. You can create multiple files at one
time using frames and frame linking. See Section 2 - 3 “Frames” for more information.
5 - 2 Data Journaling
On occasion you may modify data prior to making a final plot. Some (but not all) of the data operations mentioned in this chapter modify data. Tecplot 360 simultaneously “journals” the corresponding instructions. If you then save a layout file, the layout file can reference the original data and
include the instructions necessary to reconstruct the final data.
If you perform an operation that Tecplot 360 is unable to journal, then you are prompted to save the
dataset to a new file when you save a layout file. This is necessary for the layout to reproduce
exactly what you have in your plot.
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The following operations are included in the data journal:
• Data alteration (except for derivatives).
• Creation of rectangular zones, circular zones, and 1D zones.
• Zone duplication.
• Zone deletion.
The Data Journal is displayed on the Journal page of the Dataset Information dialog (accessed via
the Data menu). See Section 5- 4.4 “Journal Page” for more information.
5 - 3 Data Sharing
In order to conserve computer memory and disk space, Tecplot 360 shares variables between zones
whenever possible. Variable sharing typically occurs with any of the following scenarios:
• When a variable is calculated for two or more zones, Tecplot 360 determines if the
results will be the same in the different zones, and shares the variable where
appropriate. See Section 20- 1.1 “Equation Syntax” and Section 20- 1.7 “Variable
Sharing Between Zones”.
• When zones are duplicated, all variables are shared between the source zones and their
duplicates. See Section 20- 6.4 “Zone Duplication”.
• When mirrored zones are created. See Section 20- 6.5 “Mirror Zone Creation”.
• When a data loader supporting data sharing (Tecplot, Plot3D, FLUENT, CGNS, etc.)
loads a variable that is identified for two or more zones. This often occurs with time
dependent data, where the physical coordinates are typically the same for all time
steps.
If a zone is altered (independently of zones it is sharing
data with), any variable that is changed will no longer be
shared.
Variable sharing and connectivity sharing (for finite element zones) can also be established in a
Tecplot 360 data file using the TECZNE parameter. See Section “TECZNE112” on page 53 of the
Data Format Guide. In addition, multiple Tecplot 360 solution files can share the same grid file.
The Sharing page of the Dataset Information dialog allows you to determine which variables are
currently shared in your dataset. See Section 5- 4.3 “Data Sharing Page”.
Refer to the Data Format Guide for more information on data sharing.
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Dataset Information
5 - 4 Dataset Information
The Dataset Information dialog, accessed from the “Data Set Info” option on the Data menu, gives
summary information about the current dataset, including the dataset title, zone and variable names,
and the minimum and maximum values of a selected variable. You can modify the dataset title,
zone and variable names of any dataset.
5- 4.1 Zone/Variable Info Page
The following information is provided on the Zone/Variable Info page:
• Zone(s) - Lists all zones by number, with their titles. Select one zone to display its
name in the Zone Name field, where the zone name can be modified.
• Zone Name - Enter a new name for a selected zone.
• Zone Type (Ordered or FE data) - Displays the type of zone selected in the Zone(s)
listing. For ordered data, it is followed by the index values for IMax, JMax, and KMax
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Creating Plots
(shown below). For finite element data, it is followed by the element type, number of
points, and number of elements:
• IMax (ordered data) - Displays the IMax value of the zone selected in the
Zone(s) listing.
• JMax (ordered data) - Displays the JMax value of the zone selected in the
Zone(s) listing.
• KMax (ordered data) - Displays the KMax value of the zone selected in the
Zone(s) listing.
• Pts (finite element data) - Displays the number of data points in the zone
selected in the Zone(s) listing.
• Elem (finite element data) - Displays the number of elements in the zone
selected in the Zone(s) listing.
• Solution Time (Read-only) - Displays the solution time for the selected zone (see also
Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware”).
• Strand-ID (Read-only) - Displays the Strand-ID for the selected zone (see also
Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware”).
• Variable(s) - Lists all variables by number, with their names. Select one variable to
display its name in the Variable Name field, where the name can then be modified.
• Variable Name - Enter a new name for a selected variable.
• Var Type - Displays the type of data of the selected variable in the Variable(s) field.
• Var Location - Indicates if variables are located at nodes or cell-centers.
• Var Status - Use the Var Status field in the dialog to determine the status of the current
variable. The variable status can indicate the variable passivity, lock state, and
additional system state information.
• Var Range-Selected Zone - Displays the Min and Max values for the selected
variable in the selected zone.
• Var Range - Active Zone - Displays the Min and Max values for the selected variable
for all active zones.
• Load Variables - If a variable was not initially loaded, “Not Loaded” will be
displayed in Var Range portions of the dialog. Use the [Load Variables] button to load
any variables from your dataset that were not initially loaded. See Section “Load On
Demand” on page 598 for more information.
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Dataset Information
5- 4.2 Data Set Page
The Data Set page provides information about your data set, including: title, filenames, number of
zones, variables, elements, and lock status.
The following information can be found on the Data Set page:
• Data Set Title - Enter a title for the current dataset, or edit an existing title. The default
is the result of concatenating the titles specified in each Title record encountered in
the data files making up the dataset.
• Data File(s) - Lists the names and paths of all external data files making up the current
dataset.
• Num Zones - Number of zones in the dataset.
• Num Vars - Number of variables in the dataset.
• Total Elements - Total number of elements in the dataset.
• Total Points - Total number of points in the dataset.
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Creating Plots
• Locked By - This field will inform you if the current dataset has been locked by an
add-on. Add-ons can lock a dataset which in turn prevents you from deleting zones or
deleting the last frame associated with the dataset.
5- 4.3 Data Sharing Page
The Data Sharing page of the Data Set Information dialog provides options for shared zone variables and connectivity lists:
The following options are provided on the Data Sharing page:
• Zone - Use the drop-down to select which zone to display its shared variables.
• Variable - Use the drop-down to select the appropriate variable.
• Variable is Shared in Zone(s) - This box displays and allows you to select individual
shared variables.
• Connectivity Shared with Zone(s) - This box displays and allows you to select
specific connectivity lists.
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Dataset Information
5- 4.4 Journal Page
The Journal page of the dialog displays the macro commands required to recreate your current plot.
You may save these command to a file by selecting “Save Layout” from the File menu.
The Journal page has the following options:
• Journaled Data box - Lists currently journaled data.
• List Commands - Briefly summarizes actions in Tecplot 360 as they apply to the
dataset.
• Expand Commands - Displays the commands above in detail, including such things
as the zone number, variable, and value.
Refer to 23 - 1 “Layout Files, Layout Package Files, Stylesheets” for additional information.
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Creating Plots
5- 4.5 Auxiliary Data Page
Auxiliary data is metadata attached to zones, datasets, or frames. Auxiliary data is added to the plot
via the data file.
The Auxiliary Data page has the following information:
• Show Auxiliary Data - Use the drop-down to display auxiliary data for zones,
datasets, frames, or names.
• Data Name/Value - Displays the names and values of any auxiliary data.
Refer to the Data Format Guide for information on creating Tecplot 360 data files that include auxiliary data.
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Select Color
5 - 5 Select Color
Each attribute of your plot can be set to a different color or color type using the Select Color
dialog. Use the Select Color dialog to apply contour groups, a basic color palette, or RGB coloring
to the selected plot attribute.
There are three types of color assignments:
• Contour Groups - The Contour Variables (Multi 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) are defined in
the Contour Details Dialog, and the coloring is defined by the Global Color Map. The
Contour Variables are typically used for coloring mesh, contour, vector, and scatter
layers.
• Global Color Map - Select RGB to use RGB coloring established in Plot>RGB
Coloring>Variables/Range. RGB coloring is used to illustrate the relationship
between two or three variables in your dataset, by setting R, G, and B to each of the
variables.
• Basic Color Palette - Use the basic color palette to apply a single, constant color to a
plot attribute.
For example, you can create a 3D field plot with a contour layer (with colors defined by a contour
variable), an edge layer (with colors from the basic color palette), and a vector layer (with colors
defined by RGB vectors).
5- 5.1 Global Color Map
The colors used to display contour variables are determined by the global color map, controlled in
the Options menu. By default, Tecplot 360 uses the color map “Small Rainbow”, which is a
rainbow of colors from blue to cyan to green to yellow to red. You can use the Select Color dialog
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to assign specific colormaps to your different contour groups. Refer to Section 9- 2.3 “Contour Coloring” for details.
The color map is used by all frames; if you change the color map to
modify the look of one frame, all frames with contour flooding or
any form of multi-coloring are modified as well.
To select or modify a color map, select “Color Map” from the Options menu.
You can modify any color map, except the Raw User-Defined color map, using the controls in the
Color Map dialog.
The Color Map dialog has the following options:
• Link All Color Maps Together - When on, each color map group (1-8) uses the same
settings. When off, each color map group can have different attributes. If “Link All
Color Maps Together” is toggled-on when different color map groups are set, all color
maps inherit the settings of the current color map displayed in the dialog.
• Color Map Number - Color maps can be set for up to eight groups. The attributes for
each group are established by selecting a color map number and making changes in the
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Color Map dialog. The Color Map Number buttons ([1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], and
[8]) are available when “Link All Color Maps Together” is toggled-off.
• Base Color Map - Select one of the following color maps:
• Small Rainbow - Five point color spectrum from blue to cyan to green to yellow to red.
• Large Rainbow - Seven point color spectrum from blue to cyan to green to
yellow to red to purple to white.
• Modern - Seven point color spectrum; within each color band, colors change in
intensity from dark to light.
• Gray Scale - Color spectrum from black to white.
• Wild - Random Color spectrum. Wild is different each time you select it.
• Two Color - A two-color spectrum.
• User-Defined - A version of one of the first four options above that can be customized by the user. You can add or delete control points, as well as change
RGB values for each control point.
• Raw User-Defined - A version of one of the first four options above that can
be customized by the user. To customize the color map, however, you must
save your Raw User-Defined map to a file using the “Copy Color Map to File”
option in the Options menu. Then edit the resulting file, which consists of
RGB triplets for every color in the spectrum. You can modify these RGB triplets as you want, using any ASCII text editor. See also Section “Color Map
Files” on page 166.
You can have only one raw user-defined
color map at a time.
• Color Spectrum - Altering the position of the control points allows you to alter the
proportions of colors in the spectrum. Click-and-drag control points to adjust the range
of the color spectrum. CTRL+click-and-drag the control points to adjust the positions
of the control points.
• RGB Values for control point x - In lieu of manually adjusting the control points,
specify precise RGB values for control point “x” using the RGB sliders. Modifying the
RGB values of the control points changes the spectrum itself.
• Right RGB same as Left - Toggle-on to define smoothly varying color maps for each
two-sided control point (any control point except the first or last). Toggle-off to define
sharp demarcations between color bands.
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• Number of Control Points - Available for the User Defined Color Map only, use this
field to adjust the number of control points. If you enter a number less than the current
value, the control points are removed from right to left.
• Color Standard Color Map (user-defined and raw user-defined only) - Use this
button to reset the color spectrum to either Small Rainbow, Large Rainbow, Modern,
or Grayscale.
• Redistribute Control Points - Select this button to return the control points to their
original positions.
• Reset - Select this button to reset the RGB values to their original values (and also
reposition the control points in their original locations).
Color Map Files
The position of color map control points and their RGB values can be stored in color map files; you
can then edit the color map files to modify either the position or RGB values of the control points.
To create a color map file, select “Copy Color Map to File” from the Options menu. The resulting
file includes the RGB triplet values for each point in the color spectrum and can be edited with any
ASCII editor.
To use the saved color map in a new plot, choose “Paste Color Map from File” from the Options
menu. The color map file is a Tecplot 360 macro file with a limited set of commands (only $!COLORMAP and $!COLORMAPCONTROL commands are allowed).
5- 5.2 RGB Coloring
RGB coloring occurs when Red, Green, and Blue values are supplied at each vertex. It may be used
to create special flooding such as for Oil/Water/Gas or vector direction plots. RGB coloring may be
used for each field plot object: zone layers, the mesh or contour layer for streamtraces or iso-surfaces, or any of the layers for slices. This affects multi-coloring for that object as well as any
contour flooding. With RGB coloring, multi-colored objects such as vectors or scatter symbols
have their color determined based on the RGB components of the field variables at their location.
Multi-colored mesh and contour lines use the average value across the mesh line.
Exported Vector-based Files Limitation in RGB Coloring
Vector-based export files such as WMF cannot show continuous
RGB flooding. Objects that use RGB flooding are reduced to
contain average cell flooding where each cell is flooded a solid
color based on the averages of the RGB values at each vertex.
The user is warned before such output is generated.
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Select Color
RGB Coloring Options
If your data has only two RGB variables, or if the sum of the variables is not normalized, you can
adjust the settings using the RGB Coloring Options dialog (accessed via Plot> RGB Coloring>Variables/Range). The RGB Coloring Options dialog (shown below) has the following
options:
• RGB Mode - You can either specify all three variables or specify two of the three
variables and calculate the third. The third variable is calculated using the following
formula f(R)+f(G)+f(B)=1.0 (assuming f() is a function that maps R,G,B values into
[0,1.0]).
• Channel Variables - Assign the variables which supply the values for the color
components, as specified in the RGB Mode.
• Channel Variable Range - By default, it is assumed that the minimum value for any
of the Channel Variables is zero, the maximum is one, and the sum of the three
variables is one at every point. If the sum is not normalized, you can set a new
minimum and maximum. For example, if your variables sum to 100 at every point, you
can enter 100 in the field for Value at Maximum Intensity.
RGB Legend
To create an RGB legend, select RGB Coloring>Legend from the Plot menu. The RGB Legend is
not available unless RGB coloring is in use. The RGB Legend dialog has the following options:
• Show RGB Coloring Legend - Toggle-on to include a RGB legend in your plot.
• X(%), Y(%) - Specify the position of the anchor point as percentages of the frame
width and height. (You can also move the legend interactively.)
• Height (%) - Specify the height of the legend in frame units.
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Creating Plots
• Orientation - Select the order of the coloring channels (i.e. RGB, GBR, BGR etc.).
The first channel listed is shown on the lower left corner, the second on the lower right,
and the third at the top.
• Anchor - Select the [Anchor] button to call up the Anchor Alignment dialog and
specify which part of the legend is anchored to the position specified in X(%) and
Y(%).
• Show Text Labels - Toggle-on to include text labels in the legend. Use the [Color] and
[Font] buttons to modify the labels.
• Red, Green, and Blue Label - Each channel can be labeled by the name of the
assigned variable, or by text you enter. To choose a new label for a channel, click
[Specify], and type in the alternate label. When a channel has been calculated (no
variable assigned), no label is shown unless the user enters text.
• Legend Box - Select which kind of box you want drawn around the legend (No Box,
Filled, or Plain). If you choose Filled or Plain, format the box using the following
controls:
• Line Thickness - Specify the line thickness as a percentage of frame height.
• Box Color - Choose a color for the legend box outline.
• Fill Color (Filled only) - Choose a color for the legend box fill.
• Margin - Specify the margin between the legend text and legend box as a percentage of the text height.
5- 5.3 Basic Color Palette
Figure 5-3.
The Basic Color Palette region of the Select Color dialog.
Use the Basic Color Palette to define a constant color to the selected plot attribute(s). You may
redefine a color in the Basic Color Palette with the Color Preferences Dialog, accessed via
File>Preferences>Colors.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
Chapter 6
A line plot is the simplest type of graph produced by Tecplot 360. A line plot includes a dependent
variable (typically the vertical axis, for XY plots) and an independent variable (typically the horizontal axis, for XY plots). Each line on the line plot represents one series of data points, where each
data point is defined by its independent and dependent variable values. A series of data points is
referred to as a mapping (or map, for short).
Tecplot 360 supports two types of line plots, XY plots and Polar plots. XY plots are plotted on Cartesian coordinates using X & Y as the independent and dependent variables (See Section 17 - 2
“Axis Variable Assignment”). XY plots can include line, symbols, bar and/or error bar layers. Polar
plots are plotted on polar coordinates using Theta and R values. Polar plots can include line and/or
symbol layers.
An example of XY and Polar Line plots is shown in Figure 6-1.
90
1000
120
60
800
150
30
Speed
600
Angle
180
400
0
200
400
600
800
0
Speed
200
210
330
0
240
-200
-60
-40
-20
0
Angle
Figure 6-1.
20
40
60
300
270
A plot of speed versus angle in Tecplot 360’s XY Line
(left) and Polar Line (right) plot types.
Line plots are usually created from one-dimensional, I-ordered data. The data used for line plots
must have at least two variables defined at each data point. The same number of variables must be
defined at each data point.
You can also create line plots from two or three-dimensional data in the IJ or IJK-ordered structure,
or from finite element data by selecting “XY Line” from the plot type menu in the Sidebar. If “XY
Line” is selected, finite element data sets will be treated as I-ordered (the connectivity list is
ignored), IJ-ordered datasets will be treated as a family of J-sets of I-ordered data, and IJK-ordered
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XY and Polar Line Plots
datasets will be treated as K-planes of J-families of lines. Use the Indices page of the Mapping
Style dialog to select different ranges and skip intervals for the I, J, and K-indices. See Section 6 - 6
“I, J, and K-indices” later in this chapter for more information.
When you create a line plot, colors, symbol types, and line patterns are assigned to each mapping.
These and other line plot attributes can be changed using the pages of the Mapping Style dialog. To
bring up the Mapping Style dialog, go to the Plot menu and select “Mapping Style”, or select the
[Mapping Style] button on the Sidebar.
6 - 1 Mapping Style and Creation
Line plots are composed of the graphs of one or more pairs of variables (XY pairs in XY Line plots
or Theta-R pairs in Polar Line plots). These pairs and their dependency relations are referred to as
mappings. Mappings are defined for each frame; the same dataset can have a different set of mappings in each frame it is attached to.
Mappings can include any combination of the following mapping layers:
• Lines - Can be drawn as linear segments or curve that fit the data points.
• Symbols - Each data point is represented by a symbol.
• Bars (XY only) - Each data point is represented by a vertical or horizontal bar.
• Error Bars (XY only) - Error bars are drawn for each data point. The error bar value
is determined by a third variable.
XY Line plots can have up to five x-axes and five y-axes simultaneously. Polar Line plots can have
only one Theta-axis and only one R-axis.
Use the Mapping Style dialog to set attributes for lines and symbols; and in XY Line plots, bar
charts and error bars. You can also make many of these changes using the Quick Edit dialog
(accessible from the Edit menu or the Sidebar). You can set the style of any mapping independently
of all other mappings.
The options in the first three columns (Map Num, Map Name, and Map Show) are globally applied
to the active frame and independent of the page of the dialog box.
6- 1.1 Mapping Definitions
Existing mappings are edited with the Plot menu’s Mapping Style dialog. From the Definitions
page of the Mapping Style dialog, you can: modify names, activate and deactivate mappings,
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Mapping Style and Creation
assign axis variables, assign zones, sort data points in a mapping, control the mappings appearance
in the line plot legend, and assign particular X and Y-axes to XY-line plots.
In general, select mappings you want to change, and then select the appropriate button above the
list of mappings. Some buttons call up drop-downs, others call up dialogs. You may change mappings whether they are shown on the plot or not (activated or deactivated).
• Map Num - Use the [Map Num] button to select one or more maps according to their
map number(s).
• Map Name - Use the [Map Name] button to access on of the following options:
• Select by Name - Use the Enter Text String dialog to select mapping(s) by
name. You may use wildcards (*) and partial names to select a grouping of
mappings at once.
• Edit Name - Use the Enter Mapping Name dialog to change the name of the
selected mapping.
• Map Show - Each mapping can be opted in and out of a plot using one of the
following options:
• Activate - Turns selected mappings on (denoted with “Yes” in the Map Show
column).
• Deactivate - Turns selected mappings off (denoted with “No” in the Map Show
column).
• Show Selected Only - Turns on selected mappings, and turns off all other mappings.
• Invert - Switches the current activation settings for the selected map(s).
• A-axis Variable (where A = X,Y, Theta or R) - The choice of variables is the heart of
the mapping. Each mapping is defined by two variables: X and Y in XY Line plots and
Theta and R in Polar Line plots. You may change the variables assigned to a mapping
using the Mapping Style dialog.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
• Zone Selection - Each mapping uses variable values from a specified zone. If your
dataset has multiple zones, specify the zone for each mapping by selecting the [Zone]
button.
• Data Point Sorting - By default, mappings are sorted by the order in which they occur
in the data file. You can change this order with the Sort option on the Definitions page
of the Mapping Style dialog.
Choose from one of the following Sort options:
• None - Default behavior of sorting by the order in the data file.
• By Independent Variable - Points are sorted in ascending order of the values
of the independent variable.
• By Dependent Variable - Points are sorted in ascending order of the values of
the dependent variable.
• By Specific Variable - Select a variable from the Select Variable dialog. The
points of the selected mappings are sorted in ascending order of the values of
this variable.
Only Line Segment and ParaSpline are affected by the Sort
options. Splines are always sorted by the independent variable. See Section 6- 2.2 “Curve Types” for more information on curve types.
• XY Line Plot Axis Assignment - XY Line plots support five X-axes (X1-X5) and five
Y-axes (Y1-Y5). Newly created mapping use the X1 and Y1-axes. You can change
these assignments, using the Which X-axis and Which Y-axis fields on the Mapping
Style dialog.
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Mapping Style and Creation
The ranges and scales for each axis are defined in the Axis Details dialog (accessed
via the Plot menu).
4.5
0.45
4
0.35
3
0.3
2.5
0.25
2
1.5
Error 2
Seattle Rainfall
0.4
3.5
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
0.2
12
Month
Figure 6-2.
An XY Line plot using two Y-axes.
This file, rainfall.lpk, is located in
your Tecplot 360 distribution under
the examples/XY subdirectory.
By default, the X1 axis is placed at the bottom of your axis grid area, and subsequent X
axes at the top. Similarly, it places axis Y1 at the left of your axis grid area and subsequent Y-axes at the right. Thus, in Figure 6-2, the Seattle rainfall observations are
shown along axis Y1 at the left of the axis grid area, while the error observations are
shown along Y2 at the right.
You can also use multiple axes to cycle through mappings with different ranges or axis
settings. You may find it convenient to assign different mappings to different axes so
that you can set axis ranges, axis positions, or other axis attributes independently for
each mapping.
• Show in Legend - By default, all active mappings appear in the line legend. However,
the legend only lists mappings with identical entries once. (See Section 6 - 7 “Line
Legend” for details on the Line Plot Legend.) The [Show in Legend] button has three
options:
• Always - The mapping appears in the legend even if the mapping is turned off
(deactivated) or its entry in the table looks exactly like another mapping’s entry.
• Never - The mapping never appears in the legend.
• Auto - The mapping appears in the legend only when the mapping is turned on.
If two mappings would result in the same entry in the legend, only one entry is
shown.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
Select Mapping Zone
Each mapping uses variable values from a specified zone. If your dataset has multiple zones,
specify the zone for each mapping using the [Zone] button.
6- 1.2 Map Creation
To define a new mapping, select the [Create Map] button in Mapping Style dialog. The Create
Mappings dialog for each line plot type is shown in Figure 6-3.
Figure 6-3.
Create Mappings dialogs for XY Line plots (left) and for Polar Line plots
In XY Line plots, you have the following options:
• X-axis Var versus Y-axis Var for One Zone (default) - Add a single mapping with
one X and one Y-variable for one zone.
• X-axis Var versus Y-axis Var for All Zones - Define one map for each zone, with the
specified X-axis and Y-axis variables. If you choose this option, you specify only the
X-axis and Y-axis variables.
• X-axis Var versus All Other Variables - Create a new set of mappings using one
variable as the X-variable and each of the other variables as Y-variables.
• Y-axis Var versus All Other Variables - Create a new set of mappings using one
variable as the Y-variable and each of the other variables as X-variables.
The options for polar line plots are the same as above, but with respect to the
Theta-axis and R-axis variables.
Once you have selected a mapping option, you have the option to specify a mapping name and the
axis variables.
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Mapping Style and Creation
• Mapping Name - Enter a name for the mapping in the Mapping Name text field. The
default name is “Map n,” where n is the number of the mapping to be created.
When you first load an ordered dataset, some mappings are automatically created for you. If your
dataset has more than two variables, mappings are created that associate the first variable with each
of the other variables for the first zone only.
6- 1.3 Enter Mapping Name
Tecplot 360 assigns each mapping a name. The nature of the name varies with the type of data used
to create the mapping. If your data has only one dependent variable, the default is to use the zone
name for the mapping. If your data has multiple dependent variables, then the default is to use the
dependent variable name for the mapping. You can modify any mapping’s name using the Enter
Mapping Name dialog. This dialog is accessible from the Mapping Style dialog by selecting “Edit
Name” from the Map Name drop-down. The Enter Mapping Name dialog is shown below.
Enter a new name for the selected mappings, or construct a new name by entering text combined
with one or more of these pre-defined options:
• Zone Name - Adds the string “&ZN&” to the Map Name field, which is then replaced
with the actual name of the zone assigned to that mapping.
• Zone Number - Adds the string “&Z#&” to the Map Name field, which is then replaced
with the actual number of the zone assigned to the mapping.
• Independent Var - Adds the string “&IV&” to the Map Name field, which is then
replaced with the actual name of the independent variable assigned to that mapping.
• Independent Var Number - Adds the string “&I#&” to the Map Name field, which is
then replaced with the actual number of the independent variable assigned to the
mapping.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
• Dependent Var - Adds the string “&DV&” to the Map Name field, which is then
replaced with the actual name of the dependent variable assigned to that mapping.
• Dependent Var Number - Adds the string “&D#&” to the Map Name field, which is
then replaced with the actual number of the dependent variable assigned to the
mapping.
• Map Number - Adds the string “&M#&” to the Map Name field, which is then replaced
with the actual number of the mapping.
• X-axis Num - Adds the string “&X#&” to the Map Name field, which is then replaced
with the actual number of the X-axis assigned to that mapping for XY Line plots. For
Polar Line plots, this option is not available.
• Y-axis Num - Adds the string “&Y#&” to the Map Name field, which is then replaced
with the actual number of the Y-axis assigned to that mapping for XY Line plots. For
Polar Line plots, this option is not available.
In addition to the above items, any dynamic text item
can be added to the Map Name field. See Section 181.4 “Dynamic Text” for more information on Dynamic
Text.
6 - 2 Line Map Layer
The Line map layer is available for both XY and polar line plots. Activate the layer by toggling-on
“Lines” in the Sidebar. When the Lines map layer is on, the dataset is represented by a connected
line for each mapping, which may be either a simple collection of line segments connecting all the
data points, or a curve fitted to the original data.
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Line Map Layer
6- 2.1 Line Attributes
The Lines page of the Mapping Style dialog (accessed via the Sidebar or Plot>Mapping Style) is
shown below.
The first two columns, Map Num and Map Name, list the mapping number and the mapping name.
The Map Show field lists which mappings are currently active. The remaining columns of the Lines
page of the Mapping Style dialog contain specific line attributes.
In order for the changes made in the Lines page to be
visible in your plot, the Lines mapping layer must be
toggled-on in the Sidebar.
• Line Show - This option allows you to turn off lines for selected mappings, while
keeping both the selected mappings and the Lines map layer active overall.
• Line Color - Set line color for line plots.
• Line Pattern - Set line patterns for line plots.
• Pattern Length - Set the pattern length for patterned lines. Pattern length is measured
as a percentage of the frame height for one complete cycle of the pattern.
• Line Thickness - Set the thickness of lines.
6- 2.2 Curve Types
Tecplot 360 offers a variety of curve-fits and spline fits. By specifying the curve type, you control
how the data points are connected. Set the type of curve plotted for a mapping using the Curve
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XY and Polar Line Plots
Type drop-down on the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog, or by using the corresponding
Line button on the Quick Edit dialog.
Tecplot 360 offers the following curve types (the names are as shown under the Curve Type dropdown and the buttons as shown in the Quick Edit dialog):
•
Line Segments (No Curve-fit) - A series of linear segments connect adjacent data
points. In XY Line plots, these will be line segments. See Section 6 - 8 “Polar Drawing
Options” for a discussion of Line Segments in Polar Line plots.
• Linear Fits: A linear function is fit to the data points. In XY Line plots, this will be a
straight line. (Linear fit is not available on Quick Edit dialog.)
•
Polynomial Curve-fits - A polynomial of order N is fit to the data points (where 1
<= N <= 10, for N=1 a Linear Fit is done).
•
Exponential Curve-fits - An exponential curve-fit that finds the best curve of the
b*X+c
b*X
c
form Y=e
(equivalent to Y=a*e , where a = e ). To use this curve type, Y-values
for this variable must be all positive or all negative. If the function dependency is set to
X=f(Y) all X-values must be all positive or all negative.
•
Power Curve-fits - A power curve fit that finds the best curve of the form Y=e
b*
ln X + c
(equivalent to Y=a*Xb, where a = ec). To use this curve type, Y-values for this
variable must be all positive or all negative; X-values must be all positive. If the
function dependency is set to X=f(Y), X-values must be all positive or all negative, and
the Y-values must all be positive.
•
178
Splines - A smooth curve is generated that goes through every point. The spline
is drawn through the data points after sorting the points into increasing values of the
independent variable, resulting in a single-valued function of the independent variable.
The spline may be clamped or free. With a clamped spline, you supply the derivative
of the function at each end point; with a non-clamped (natural or free) spline, these
Line Map Layer
derivatives are determined for you. In XY Line plots, specifying the derivative gives
you control over the initial and final slopes of the curve.
•
•
Parametric Splines - Creates a smooth curve as with a spline, except the
assumption is that both variables are functions of the index of the data points. (For
example in XY Line plot, ParaSpline fits x=f(i) and y=g(i) where f() and g() are both
smooth.) No additional sorting of the points is performed; the sorting specified on the
Definitions page of the Zone Style dialog is used for the order of the data points. This
spline may result in a multi-valued function (of either or both axis variables).
Extended Curve-fit - Uses a curve-fit supplied by an add-on. These curve-fits
may be provided by Tecplot 360, a third party, or written by users. The functionality of
each extended curve-fit is defined by its creator. If you wish to write an extended curve
fit add-on, see the ADK User’s Manual for more information.
Linear Fit, Polynomial Fit, Exponential Fit, and Power Fit are all determined by using a least
squares algorithm. Examples of each curve-fit type are shown in Figure 6-4.
300
200
100
LineSeg
PolyFit
Exp. Fit
0
Power Fit
Spline
ParaSpline
0
Figure 6-4.
5
10
15
Tecplot 360’s curve-fit types.
The Curves page also contains fields for controlling the following attributes:
• Dependent Variable - The Dependent Variable drop-down controls how curve fits and
splines are interpreted. Dependent Variable has no effect on mappings of the Line
Segment curve type.
• Curve Points - Controls the number of points used to draw curve fits and splines.
Raising the number of points increases the accuracy of curve but also increases
plotting time and the size of print files.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
• Curve Settings - Control options specific to the curve type. For example, weighting
for curve fits or starting derivatives for splines.
The coefficients used to draw curve fits and splines may be output to a file, as can the actual points
used to draw curve fits and splines.
Linear Fits
Tecplot 360 fits the data to a linear function using the standard least-squares algorithm. It calculates
the function for which the sum of the squared differences from the data points is a minimum. For
the XY Line plot type, the linear function is a straight line.
To fit a linear function to your data: select “Linear Fit” from the Curve Type drop-down on the
Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog.
Use the Curve Fit Settings dialog (accessed via the [Curve Settings] button) to specify different
settings. The dialog is shown below.
• Polynomial Order is shown on the dialog, but should always be “1” for a linear fit. If
you change this from 1, the curve type is changed to Polynomial Curve-fits.
• To limit the points used in the mapping(s): select “Use Only Points Within Range”,
and enter minimum and maximum values.
• To assign a curve weighting variable: select “Use Weighting Variable”, and select
the variable from the drop-down. For more information on curve weighting, see
Curve-fit Weighting Variables.
Polynomial Curve-fits
Tecplot 360 uses a standard least-squares algorithm to fit data to a polynomial function. You
specify the order of the polynomial (from one to ten), and the polynomial for which the sum of the
squared differences from the data points is a minimum is calculated.
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Line Map Layer
To fit a polynomial function to your data: select “Polynomial Fit” from the Curve Type drop-down
on the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog.
By default, this option fits a cubic polynomial, using all the points in the mapping and weighting
them equally. Use the Curve Fit Settings dialog (accessed via the Curves page of the Mapping
Style dialog) to specify different settings.
• Polynomial Order drop-down. Select the desired polynomial order (1 to 10). An order
of 2 is a quadratic polynomial, an order of 3 is a cubic polynomial, etc. If you select 1,
the curve type is set to Linear Fit, as a polynomial of order 1 is a linear function. (See
Linear Fits.)
• To limit the points used in the mapping(s) - Select “Use Only Points Within Range”,
and enter minimum and maximum values.
• To assign a curve weighting variable - Select “Use Weighting Variable”, and select
the variable from the drop-down. For more information on curve weighting, see
Curve-fit Weighting Variables.
Exponential Curve-fits
Tecplot 360 fits the data to an exponential function using the standard least-squares algorithm.
The dependent-variable values must be either all
positive or all negative.
For XY plots (where X is the independent variable): Tecplot 360 finds the best curve of the
form:
Y=eb*X+c (equivalent to Y=a*eb*X where a=ec).
Similarly, when Y is the independent variable.
For Polar plots (where Theta is the independent variable): Tecplot 360 finds the best curve of
the form:
R = ±e
( bθ + c )
or
R = ± ae
bθ
Similarly when R is the independent variable.
To fit an exponential function to your data: select “Exponential Fit” from the Curve Type dropdown on the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
By default, this option uses all the data points in the mapping, weighting them equally. Use the
Exponential Fit Settings dialog (accessed via the [Curve Settings] button on the Curves page of
the Mapping Style dialog) to specify different settings. The dialog is shown below.
To specify different settings:
• To limit the points used in the mapping(s) - Select “Use Only Points Within Range”,
and enter minimum and maximum values.
• To assign a curve weighting variable - Select “Use Weighting Variable”, and select
the variable from the drop-down. For more information on curve weighting, see
Curve-fit Weighting Variables.
Power Curve-fits
Tecplot 360 fits a power function to data using the standard least-squares algorithm. The dependent-variable values must be either all positive or all negative, and the independent values should
be all positive. Data points with zero or negative independent values are ignored.
For XY plots (where X is the independent variable): Tecplot 360 finds best curve of the form:
Y=eb*lnX+c (equivalent to Y=a*Xb where a=ec).
Similarly, when Y is the independent variable.
For Polar plots (where Theta is the independent variable): Tecplot 360 finds the best curve of
the form:
R = ±e
182
bln ( θ ) + c
or
R = ± aθ
b
Line Map Layer
Similarly, when R is the independent variable.
To fit a power-curve function to your data: select “Power Curve” from the Curve Type drop-down
on the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog.
By default, this option uses all the data points in the mapping, weighting them equally. Use the
Power Fit Settings dialog (accessed via the [Curve Settings] button) to specify different settings.
The dialog is shown below.
• To limit the points used in the mapping(s) - Select “Use Only Points Within Range”,
and enter minimum and maximum values.
• To assign a curve weighting variable - Select “Use Weighting Variable”, and select
the variable from the drop-down. For more information on curve weighting, see
Curve-fit Weighting Variables.
Splines
A spline is a mathematical function defined to link a specified set of points with a function that is
continuous and smooth (differentiable) at every point. The most common type of spline, the cubic
spline, is defined using a set of cubic polynomials, one for each interval between the data points.
Splines can be natural or clamped: natural splines are twice-differentiable at the end points and the
second derivative is zero at those points, while clamped splines need have known first-derivatives
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XY and Polar Line Plots
at the boundary points. Before plotting the spline, the data points are sorted in increasing value
along the independent axis.
The Sort option of the Definitions page of the
Mapping Style dialog has no effect on splines.
To fit a spline function to your data: select “Spline” from the Curve Type drop-down on the Curves
page of the Mapping Style dialog.
By default, this option fits a natural cubic spline. To specify a clamped spline:
1. Select the [Curve Settings] button on the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog.
2. In the Spline Settings dialog (shown below), select “Clamp the Spline”, and enter
values for the derivative at the start and end of the spline.
Parametric Splines
The cubic spline fit assumes that the spline function is a single-valued function of the independent
variable.
Sometimes, however, you have data that curves back upon itself, but you would still like to have a
spline-like curve fit to it. Parametric splines solve this problem by presuming that both variables
(X&Y or Theta&R) are functions of the data-point index. The spline is then defined by two singlevalued functions of the data-point index.
Unlike cubic splines, parametric splines are plotted in the order set in the Sort option of the Definitions page of the Mapping Style dialog. By default, the points are unsorted, and thus the spline is
drawn in the order the data points appear in the data file. See Section 6- 1.1 “Mapping Definitions”
for a discussion of sorting.
To fit a paraspline function to your data: select “ParaSpline” from the Curve Type drop-down on
the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog.
By default, this option fits two natural cubic splines to the data point index. To specify a clamped
spline:
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Line Map Layer
1. Select Para Spline from the Curve drop-down menu, and then select Curve Settings.
2. In the Parametric Spline Settings dialog (shown below), select “Clamp the Spline”,
and enter values for the derivative at the start and end of the spline.
For the XY Line plot type, the derivatives are either dy/dx or dx/dy depending on the Function
Dependency for the mapping. Tecplot 360 calculates dx/ds and dy/ds from these values (where s is
the parametric variable). For the Polar Line plot type, the derivatives are either dR/dTheta or
dTheta/dR (depending on the Function Dependency for the mapping), and dR/ds and dTheta/ds are
calculated from these values (where s is the parametric variable). See Section “Dependent and
Independent Variables” on page 189 for a full description of the Function Dependency option.
Extended Curve-fit
Tecplot 360 add-ons can provide new curve-fit types. These curve types are called extended curvefits. These curve-fits may be provided by Tecplot 360, a third party, or written by users. The functionality of each extended curve-fit is defined by its creator. (If you wish to write an extended
curve-fit add-on, see the ADK User’s Manual for more information.)
To fit an extended curve to your data:
1. Use the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog to select the mappings for which
you want to apply an extended curve-fit.
2. Select Curve Type, and select “Extended” from the drop-down.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
3. Select the desired curve fit from the Choose Extended Curve Fit dialog (shown
below).
Three extended curve fit add-ons are supplied with Tecplot 360:
• Akima - The Akima spline is an alternative that exhibits less dramatic overshoots and
undershoots than the classical spline. The slopes at the end of each segment are
computed using a nonlinear average of the segment slopes1. The Akima spline is
always unclamped. There are currently no options available for the Akima spline.
• Extended Curve Fit - General
• Extended Curve Fit - Stineman
1. For details, see: Lancaster, Peter and Salkauskas, Kestutis “Curve and Surface Fitting, An Introduction”, 1986,
Academic Press.
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Line Map Layer
Extended Curve Fit - General
The General Curve Fit add-on fits an equation composed of a linear combination of user-specified
sub-functions to the data in the specified map. The optional parameters can be accessed by selecting the Curve Settings option on the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog.
The curve fit computes (least squares) the optimal curve fit coefficients by multiplying these subfunctions.
The following options are available:
• Number of Coefficients - Specify the number of coefficients (and number of subfunctions) for the desired curve fit. The default is three. You must specify a subfunction for each coefficient in the text fields labeled f1(x) through fn(x), where n is
the number of coefficients.
• f1(x) through f8(x) - Enter the sub-functions for the curve fit using the syntax
described in Section 20 - 1 “Data Alteration through Equations”.
In these equations use the variable x as the independent variable, even if x is specified as the
dependent variable in the Curves Fit Attributes
dialog.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
• Normalize X - Causes the curve to be fit using a normalized independent variable. In
particular, the independent variable will be translated and scaled to vary from zero at
the smallest value of the independent variable to one at the largest value of the
independent variable. For most curves other than polynomials, this option will alter
the shape of the curve fit. It is useful when you get the “Rank reduced for at least one
curve fit” warning message, but otherwise is not recommended.
• Normalize Y - Causes the curve to be fit using a normalized dependent variable. In
particular, the dependent variable will be translated and scaled to vary from zero at the
smallest value of the dependent variable to one at the largest value of the dependent
variable. For most curves other than polynomials, this option will alter the shape of the
curve fit. It is useful when you get the “Rank reduced for at least one curve fit”
warning message, but otherwise is not recommended.
Extended Curve Fit - Stineman
This method of interpolation generates a curve that will never have more inflection points than are
clearly required by the given set of data points. The interpolating curve passes through the data
points and exactly matches the computed slopes at those points1.
The optional parameters can be accessed by selecting the Curve Settings option on the Curves page
of the Mapping Style dialog.
Line Segments (No Curve-fit)
By default, a series of linear segments are drawn between each set of points for the XY Line plot
type. (See Section 6 - 8 “Polar Drawing Options” for a discussion of Line Segments in Polar Line
plots.)
To turn off curve fits for your data and use linear segments between points:
1. From the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog, select the mappings you want to
show as linear segments.
2. Select “Curve Type”. Select Line Segments from the drop-down.
1. For more information see Russell W. Stineman’s “A Consistent Well-behaved Method of Interpolation” in the July,
1980, issue of Creative Computing.
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Line Map Layer
Line Segments are plotted in the order set in the Sort option of the Definitions page of the Mapping
Style dialog. By default, the points are unsorted, and lines segments are drawn in the order the data
points appear in the data file. See Section 6- 1.1 “Mapping Definitions” for a discussion of sorting.
Dependent and Independent Variables
Every mapping has a dependent variable and an independent variable. The dependency relationship
determines the shape of your plot for most curve types. This dependency has no effect on line
segment curve types, and for parametric splines, the dependency is only used to determine starting
derivatives for clamped parametric splines. Extended curve-fits are free to use or not use this
dependency depending on the type of curve-fit supplied.
You specify the dependency relationship between your axis variables using the Dependent Variable drop-down on the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog.
For the XY Line plot type, the default setting is y=f(x) (you may change the value to x=f(y)). With
y=f(x), the X-axis variable is the independent variable and the Y-axis variable is the dependent variable. With x=f(y), the Y-axis variable is the independent variable and the X-axis variable as the
dependent variable. Two polynomial curve-fits of the same data using different dependency settings are shown in Figure 6-5.
1
0
Y
-1
y=f(x)
x=f(y)
-2
-3
-4
-1.5
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
X
Figure 6-5.
An XY Line plot type dependencies. This
file, line_plots_ind_v_dep_var.lpk, is located
in your Tecplot 360 distribution under the
examples/XY subdirectory.
Similarly for Polar Line plots, the default setting is R=f(Theta) (you may change the value to
Theta=f(R)). With R=f(Theta), the Theta-axis variable is the independent variable and the R-axis
variable is the dependent variable. With Theta=f(R), the R-axis variable is the independent variable
and the Theta-axis variable is the dependent variable.
To change the dependency setting:
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XY and Polar Line Plots
1. From the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog, select the mappings to change.
2. Select “Dependent Variable” and choose either R=f(Theta) or Theta=f(R).
For the XY Line plot type, the dependency setting determines the direction of bar charts. To create a vertical bar
chart, set the dependency to y=f(x); to create a horizontal bar
chart, set the dependency to x=f(y). See Section 6 - 5 “XY
Line Bar Charts” for information on bar charts.
Curve-fit Weighting Variables
Linear, polynomial, exponential, and power fits allow you to specify a weighting variable. By
default each data point is weighted equally. With the weighting variable, individual points can be
given more or less weight. Relatively larger numbers in the curve weighting variable mean more
significance for a given point. If the curve-weighting variable is zero at a data point, that data
point has no effect upon the resulting curve.
The weighting coefficients must be integers in the range of zero to 9,999. Weighting coefficients
defined as floating-point numbers are truncated. That is, a weighting coefficient of 1.99 is truncated
to 1.0.
For example, consider the distance-temperature data in the example data file simpxy.dat (found in
the examples/dat directory in your Tecplot 360 home directory). There is a small cluster of points
centered about Distance=0.1 and Temperature=550. If we add the following weighting variable to
the original data file sympxy.dat, we can omit this cluster from our analysis:
1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
The data file sympxy2.dat (also found in the examples/dat directory in your Tecplot 360 home
directory) contains this additional variable as variable 6, Weight4.
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Line Map Layer
The left side of Figure 6-6 shows an XY-line plot with weighted linear fit with the cluster of points
omitted. For comparison, the original data points and the un-weighted least-squares fit are also
plotted. The right side shows the same data in a Polar Line plot.
1
Distance
800
1.5
0.5
Temperature
600
2
0
200
400
600
0
Temperature
400
200
2.5
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
Distance
Figure 6-6.
3.5
1.2
3
Weighted linear fits.
Curve Information
You can view information about curve-fits and
splines using the Curve Information dialog
(accessed via the Data menu) (shown here). The
information presented in the Curve Details
section and in the coefficient file is dependent on
the curve type selected. For example, the dialog
shown here shows the information for a linear
fit. For extended curve-fits, the documentation
for the extended curve-fit add-on supplies any
necessary information on the format used.
In general, the Curve Information dialog provides the following:
• Mapping - Select the map from the dropdown for which you want information, or from
which you want to extract coefficients or data
points.
• X-axis Var - Number and name of the X-axis
variable for the chosen map.
• Y-axis Var - Number and name of the Y-axis
variable for the chosen map.
• Zone - Number and name of the zone for the
chosen map.
• Curve Details - Detailed list of coefficients
used in the equation to draw the line.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
• Goodness of Fit - Measurement of the success of the curve-fit in modeling the
variation of the data (where 1 is a perfect fit and zero is no fit).
• Goodness of Fit (Residual Degrees of Freedom Adjustment) - Same as above, with
degrees of freedom taken into consideration.
• Write Curve Details to File
• Write Data Points to File
Goodness of Fit
R2 is displayed in Curve Details region of the Curve Info dialog for linear, polynomial, exponential, and power curve fits. It is statistical calculation that measures the success of the curve-fit in
modeling the variation of the data. R2 is defined as the ratio of the sum of the squares of the regression (SSR) and the total sum of the squares (SST).
n
∑
SSR =
W i ( y curvefit – y mean )
i
i=1
n
SST =
∑ Wi ( yi – ymean )
i=1
2
SSR
R = ---------SST
Where:
SSR = sum of the squares of the regression
SST = total sum of the squares
Wi = the value of the weight variable at index i
yi = the value of the dependent variable at index i
ymean= the mean value of the dependent variable y
192
2
2
Line Map Layer
ycurvefit_i = is the value computed using the curve-fit at the i-index value of the independent
variable (xi).
i = current index number
n = total number of data points
R-square can take any value between zero
and one, with a value closer to one indicating a better fit.
A fundamental error term in least-squares curve fits is the sum of the squares residual (SSE),
defined by
n
SSE =
∑
W i ( y curvefit – y i )
i
2
i=1
This is the number that is minimized when computing the curve-fit coefficients. Using the equation
SST = SSE + SSR, R2 can be related to SSE:
2
SSE
R = 1 – ---------SST
Using this form to compute R2, it is easier to see that an R2 closer to one (SSE=0) indicates a better
curve-fit.
Goodness of Fit (Residual Degrees of Freedom Adjustment)
One problem with R2 is that it will always indicate a good curve-fit when the number of data
points, n, equals the number of degrees-of-freedom, m. (For example, a quadratic curve-fit through
three data points.) In this case, the curve passes through all data points so SSE=0 and r-square=1.
However, there are no other data points so, in reality, no estimate can be made on the quality of the
curve fit away from the specified data points. In general, any time m (degrees-of-freedom) is close
193
XY and Polar Line Plots
to n (number of data points), r-square will overstate the quality of the curve fit. For this reason, we
include the second goodness-of-fit parameter: degrees-of-freedom adjusted R2:
2
SSE ( n – 1 )
R dof = 1 – ---------------------------SST ( m – n )
Like the standard R2, R2dof will vary from zero to one with values closer to one indicating a better
curve fit. R2dof will be less than R2 when the degrees-of-freedom are close to the number of data
points, but will be nearly equal to R2 when the number of data points is significantly greater than
the degrees-of-freedom.
Write Curve Details to File
Using the Curve Information dialog (accessed via the Data menu), you can save the coefficients
for each curve fit or spline for further analysis in later sessions.
To create an ASCII data file of the coefficients of the curve fits or splines:
1. From the Data menu, select “Curve Info”.
2. From the Curve Information dialog, select a mapping from the Mapping dropdown.
3. Select “Write Curve Info to File”.
Write Data Points to File
Using the Curve Information dialog (accessed via the Data menu), you can save the calculated
data points along the curve for further analysis in later sessions.
To create an ASCII data file of the points of the curve fits:
1. From the Data menu, select “Curve Info”.
2. From the Curve Information dialog, select a mapping from the Mapping dropdown.
3. Select “Write Data Points to File”.
The data file contains one zone for each line in the mapping. For mappings made from I-ordered
zones, there is one zone. See Section 6 - 6 “I, J, and K-indices” for details on mappings using IIJK
and IJK-ordered data.
Each zone in the data file is I-ordered with the number of points equal to the active curve points
setting (set via the Curve Points option on the Curves page of the Mapping Style dialog). The data
file has two variables: one for the independent variable and one for the dependent variable. The
resulting file is a valid Tecplot 360 ASCII data file that can be read into another frame.
194
Symbols Map Layer
6 - 3 Symbols Map Layer
The Symbols map layer is available for both XY and polar line plots. Activate the layer by toggling-on “Symbols” in the Sidebar. When the Symbols map layer is on, each data point is represented by a symbol on the plot. For each mapping, you may choose the plotting symbol used, and
whether to use filled or plain symbols.
6- 3.1 Symbol Attributes
Use the Symbols page of the Mapping Style dialog (shown below) to modify the attributes of the
Symbols layer.
The first two columns list the mapping number and name. The Map Show field lists currently
active mappings. The remaining columns of the Symbols page of the Mapping Style dialog contain
specific attributes: Symb Show, Symb Shape, Outline Color, Fill Mode, Fill Color, Symb Size, Line
Thck, Symb Spacing. Each of these attributes can also be modified using the Quick Edit dialog.
In order for the changes made on the Symbols page to
be visible in your plot, the Symbols mapping layer
must be toggled-on in the Sidebar.
• Symb Show - This option allows you to turn off symbols for selected mappings, while
keeping both the selected mappings and the Symbols map layer active overall.
• Symbol Shape - Select the symbol type for each mapping. In addition to the
predefined symbols, you may use any ASCII character in the following Tecplot 360
fonts: Helvetica-bold, Math, Greek, User-defined by selecting Other. Enter the ASCII
195
XY and Polar Line Plots
character to use as a symbol in the Enter ASCII Character dialog (shown below),
and select a font from which to display the symbol.
• Outline Color - Symbols can be filled or unfilled (default).
• Fill Mode - The Fill Mode options are:
• None - The symbols are not filled.
• Use Line Color - The symbols are filled with the same color specified in Outline Color and appear as a solid color.
• Use Back Color - The symbols are filled with background color of the grid
area, and appear hollow, blotting out objects behind the symbol (such as grid
lines or other mappings).
• Use Specific Color - The symbols are filled with the color specified in Fill
Color.
• Fill Color - If the Fill Mode is set to “Use Specific Color”, use the [Fill Color] button
to set the color.
• Symbol Size - Select the symbol size for your line plotting symbols. Symbol size is
measured as percentage of the frame height.
• Symbol Line Thickness - Specify the thickness of lines used to draw the plotting
symbols.
• Symb Spacing - Specify the spacing between symbols. The spacing is specified either
as a percentage of the frame height or as a number of indices to skip. You may either
enter a value or use one of the following pre-set values:
• Draw All - All symbols are drawn at every data point.
• ISkip=2, 3 or 4 - Symbols are drawn every second, third, or fourth data point.
• Distance=1, 2 or 3% - Symbols are drawn at the first data point and subsequently at data points that are at least one, two, or three percent of the frame
height distant from the previously plotted data point.
• Enter Index - Enter an index skip between symbols (other than 2, 3, or 4).
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XY Line Error Bars
• Enter Distance - Enter a distance between symbols in frame units (other than
1%, 2%, or 3%).
6- 3.2 Enter ASCII Character
Use the Enter ASCII Character dialog to specify an ASCII character to use as a plotting symbol
in either a field scatter plot or an XY symbol plot. You enter the desired character, and then choose
the character set from which to draw the character.
This dialog has one text field for specifying the ASCII character and four option buttons representing the available character sets, as follows:
• Enter Character to use as a Symbol - Enter the desired ASCII character in this text
field.
• Base - Select this to use the English-text character set as the source of the plotting
character.
• Math - Select this to use the math character set as the source of the plotting character.
• Greek - Select this to use the Greek character set as the source of the plotting
character.
• User-defined - Select this to use the user-defined character set as the source of the
plotting character.
6 - 4 XY Line Error Bars
In the XY Line plot type, you can assign one or more variables to be used to compute error bars for
another variable. Each mapping can be associated with only one error bar variable. If you want to
assign multiple error bar variables to a mapping, create a copy of the mapping for each error bar
variable.
197
XY and Polar Line Plots
An example plot with error bars is shown in Figure 6-7.
5
4.5
Seattle Rainfall
4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Month
Figure 6-7.
An XY Line plot with symbols and error bars. This file, rainfall.plt,
is located in your Tecplot 360 distribution under the examples/XY
subdirectory.
You can use any variable in your dataset as an error bar variable. However, for them to be meaningful, they should have the same units as the axis along which they are drawn.
If error bar values are not included in your original dataset,
you may create error variables using Tecplot 360’s data
manipulation utilities. For example, if you know that the values of some measured variable are accurate only to within
ten percent, you may create a new variable to use as the error
bar variable by multiplying the measured variable by “0.10”
via Data>Alter>Specify Equations. See Chapter 20 “Data
Operations”.
6- 4.1 Select Variable
Use the Select Variables dialog to choose:
• A single variable, as when assigning a variable to the X or Y-axis in an mapping. The
text and labels will vary with the particular action being performed, but the operation
of the dialog is the same in all cases. Select a variable from the drop-down of the
dataset's variables and select [OK].
198
XY Line Error Bars
• Two variables, as when assigning 2D axis variables or choosing 2D vector
components. The text and labels will vary with the particular action being performed,
but the operation of the dialog is the same in all cases. For each of the two variables
required, select a variable from the drop-down of the dataset's variables.
• Three variables, as when assigning 3D axis variables or choosing 3D vector
components. The text and labels will vary with the particular action being performed,
but the operation of the dialog is the same in all cases. For each of the three variables
required, select a variable from the drop-down of the dataset's variables.
6- 4.2 Error Bar Attributes
You can modify most of the attributes with which error bars are drawn—their color, their thickness,
their spacing, and the width of the endpoint crossbars. You can make these changes from the Error
Bars page of the Mapping Style dialog (shown below), or for some settings you can use the Quick
Edit dialog.
In order for the changes made on the Error Bars page
to be visible in your plot, the Error Bars mapping
layer must be toggled-on in the Sidebar.
• EBar Var - Select the error bar variable.
• EBar Type - There are seven types of error bars:
• Top - Extends upward for positive values (and downward for negative values)
of the error bar variable.
• Bottom - Extends downward for positive values (and upward for negative values) of the error bar variable.
• Left - Extends to the left for positive values (and to the right for negative values) of the error bar variable.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
• Right - Extends to the right for positive values (and to the left for negative values) of the error bar variable.
• Horizontal - Extends left and right.
• Vertical - Extends up and down. (This is the default value.)
• Cross - Extends up, down, left, right.
Although the values are called Left, Right, Up and Down, the
direction is determined by the direction of positive values in
your plot. If you reverse the direction of an axis (using the
Reverse Axis Direction option on the Range page of the Axis
Details dialog), the error bars point in the opposite direction.
• EBar Color - Specify the error bar line color.
• Ebar Size - Specify the size of the crossbar. Crossbar size is measured as a percentage
of frame height.
• Line Thck - Specify the line thickness of the error bars. The error bar line thickness is
measured as a percentage of frame height.
• EBar Spacing - Specify the spacing between error bars. The spacing is specified
either as a percentage of the frame height or as a number of indices to skip.
You may either enter a value or use one of the following pre-set values:
• Draw All - Error bars are drawn at every data point.
• ISkip=2, 3 or 4 - Error bars are drawn every second, third or fourth data point.
• Distance=1, 2, or 3% - Error bars are drawn at the first data point and subsequently at data points that are at least one, two or three percent of the frame
height distant from the previously plotted data point.
6 - 5 XY Line Bar Charts
A bar chart is an XY Line plot that uses vertical or horizontal bars placed along an axis to represent
data points. You can create bar charts by activating the Bars map layer on the Sidebar.
200
XY Line Bar Charts
6- 5.1 Bar Chart Attributes
The style of the bar chart is controlled on the Bars page of the Mapping Style dialog, shown below.
Use the [Bar Dir] button to change between vertical or horizontal bars.
Changing the direction of the bars changes the dependent variable attribute used for line curves
(either y=f(x) or x=f(y)), and vice versa. By default, all mappings use y=f(x) and appear as vertical
bar charts. If a mapping uses horizontal bars, the mapping will also use x=f(y) for curve fits. Of
course, this only matters if you plot bars and curve-fits for the same mapping. For more information
about dependency, see Section “Dependent and Independent Variables” on page 189.
To modify other attributes (Bars Show, Outline Color, Fill Mode, Fill Color, Bar Size, Line Thck),
use the Bars page, follow the same procedures used to set Section 6- 3.1 “Symbol Attributes”.
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XY and Polar Line Plots
6 - 6 I, J, and K-indices
Each mapping can show either I, J, or K-varying families of lines. By default, Tecplot 360 displays
the I-varying family of lines. Figure 6-8 shows the family of I-varying lines for Zone 1 of the data.
3
2
Y(M)
1
0
-1
-2
-2
-1
0
X(M)
Figure 6-8.
A family of I-varying lines for the cylinder data.
You can change the family of lines using the Indices page of the Mapping Style dialog as shown
below.
You can also choose which members of the family are drawn (and using which data points), by
specifying index ranges for each of I, J, and K. The index range for the varying index tells Tecplot
360 which points to include in each line, and the index ranges for the other indices tell Tecplot 360
which lines in the family to include. Thus, you may use this option for selecting a subset of an Iordered zone to plot.
• Varying Index - To choose the varying index, and thus specify the family of lines to
be drawn, select Varying Index on the Indices page of the Mapping Style dialog, and
202
Line Legend
choose the desired family (I, J, or K-varying). K-varying is only available if the
mapping is using an IJK-ordered zone.
• Index Ranges - By default, the entire range of points is plotted in your mapping. For
IIJK and IJK-ordered data, you may want to specify an index range to limit the number
of lines drawn. Or, for any type of data, you may want to limit the points drawn to a
select range.
Enter a starting index in the Begin field, an ending index in the End field, and a skip
factor in the Skip field. A skip of one means “use every point in the range,” a skip of
two means “use every other point,” and so on.
Use the Enter Index Skipping dialog to enter the respective skips for the I, J, and K-indices. A
value of one means show all indices, two means show every other index, three means show every
third, and so on.
6 - 7 Line Legend
You can generate a legend that shows the line and symbol attributes of the mappings. In XY Line
plots, this legend includes the bar chart information. The legend can be positioned anywhere within
the line plot frame.
The mappings that are shown in the legend are selected on the Definitions page of the Mapping
Style dialog. By default, all mappings are shown, but Tecplot 360 removes redundant entries.
To include the line plot legend, open that Line Legend dialog (accessed via the Plot menu) and
toggle-on “Show Line Legend”.
The Line Legend dialog has the following options:
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XY and Polar Line Plots
• Show Mapping Names - Toggle-on or off to
include mapping names in the legend.
• Text - Format the text for the legend by
choosing a color, font, text height, and line
spacing between entries in the dialog.
• Position - The legend is automatically placed
for you. You may specify the position of the
legend by entering values in the X (%) and Y
(%) text fields. Enter X as a percentage of the
frame width and Y as a percentage of the frame
height.
• Anchor - You may also specify the anchor
location of the legend using the Anchor
Alignment dialog. By default, the legend is
anchored in the top right.
• Legend Box - If the legend is Plain or Filled,
the box attributes may be changed with the
following controls:
• Line Thickness - Specify the line thickness as
a percentage of frame height.
• Box Color - Choose a color for the legend box
outline.
• Fill Color - Choose a color for the legend box
fill.
• Margin - Specify the margin between
the legend text and legend box as a percentage of the text height.
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Line Legend
6- 7.1 Specify Number Format
• Format - Choose the format for numbers in the contour legend from the drop-down:
• Integer - Display the number as an integer; if the exact value is not an integer,
it is truncated.
• Float - Display the number as a floating-point number. The value is shown to
the number of decimal places specified in the Precision field.
• Exponent - Display the number using FORTRAN exponential format (for
example, 1.0125E + 02). The number of decimal places is specified using the
Precision field.
• Best Float - Display the number as a floating-point number, with its exact form
determined by Tecplot 360.
• Range Best Float - Tecplot 360 selects the best floating-point representation of
the tick mark labels, taking into account the range of values on the axis. (Available only for axis labels.)
• Superscript - Display the number in scientific notation, using a number times a
power of ten. The number of decimal places shown is specified using the Precision field.
• Custom - Not a number format at all, Custom specifies that a set of custom
labels (specified by number in the Custom Set field) should be used in the contour legend. The first label in the set is used for the value one, the second label
for two, and so on. All non-integer numbers are rounded to the nearest integer.
If the number of levels exceeds the number of custom labels, the labels are
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XY and Polar Line Plots
reused cyclically as needed. For example, if you have defined the custom labels
Mon., Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, and Sun, then a value of eight would display
Mon, nine would display Tue, and so on.
• Time/Date - You can specify a Time/Date format for your labels by selecting
Time/Date from the Format drop-down menu. See Section 17 - 11 “Time/Date
Format Options” for more information on specifying your labels in Time and/or
Date format.
• Precision (Float, Exponent, or Superscript only) - Enter the number of decimal places
each number is to show.
• Custom Set (Custom only) - Enter the number of the set of custom labels. You define
custom label sets as records in standard Tecplot 360 data files.
• Show Decimal on Whole Numbers - When this toggle is checked, whole numbers
include a trailing decimal (that is, the number 2 is displayed as 2).
• Remove Leading Zeros - When this toggle is checked, leading zeros are removed
from numbers (that is, 0.25 is displayed as .25).
• Show Sign on Negative Numbers - When this toggle is checked, negative numbers
show the negative sign. When unchecked the negative sign will be removed (that is, 1.43 is displayed as 1.43). This is useful if you have specified a special prefix or suffix
for negative values.
• Prefix and Suffix - You can specify a custom prefix and/or suffix for numbers in
Tecplot 360 using the Prefix/Suffix text fields. Tecplot 360 allows you to specify
separate prefixes and suffixes for zero values and negative values as well.
6 - 8 Polar Drawing Options
In the Polar Line plot type, a line between two points may be drawn in one of two ways: it may be
drawn as a straight line between the two points, or it may be drawn as an interpolation of the ThetaR values. In the latter case, the connection between the two points is a smooth curve. By default,
lines are drawn straight. This works for plots where the angular differences between consecutive
points are small. Use the Polar Drawing Options dialog (accessed via the Plot menu) to adjust the
drawing mode.
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Polar Drawing Options
The Polar Drawing Options dialog has the following options:
• Curved Lines (Theta-R Interpolation) - The connection between two points is a
curve. This may slow plotting speed for large datasets.
Tecplot 360 will stop drawing a line that involves too many revolutions around the circle. For example, if adjacent points have angle values of 0 degrees and then 36000
degrees, the plot would involve 100 complete revolutions around the origin. If this is
the case, Tecplot 360 will draw only ten revolutions. If you need that many revolutions, create a new zone that has points interpolated in between the two points.
• Straight Lines (X-Y Interpolation) - The connection between two points is a straight
line.
• Angle to Approximate Curved Lines (deg) - All arcs are drawn as a series of lines
with the maximum angular difference specified in this field. This includes the axes,
grid lines, and lines drawn in Curved Line mode.
The settings in the Polar Drawing Options dialog apply to all mappings in the frame.
The difference between the two Polar Line Drawing Modes is shown in Figure 6-9.
Curved Lines (Theta-R Interpolation)
Straight Lines (X-Y Interpolation)
90
90
120
60
120
150
30
180
0
5
10
210
330
240
300
270
Figure 6-9.
150
0
15
60
30
180
0
5
10
210
0
15
330
240
300
270
The Polar Drawing Modes: Curved lines are shown on the
left and straight lines are shown on the right.
207
XY and Polar Line Plots
208
Field Plots
Chapter 7
Field plots are 2D Cartesian or 3D Cartesian plots. The axes in a field plot are all independent variables. In Tecplot 360, field plots can be created using any combination of the following zone layers:
• Mesh Layer
• Contour Layer
• Vector Layer
• Scatter Layer
• Shade Layer
• Edge Layer
By default, 2D and 3D field plots are initially displayed with Mesh and Edge zone layers (Figure
7-1).
5
4
Y(M)
3
2
1
0
-1
-2
-3
Figure 7-1.
0
5
X(M)
10
15
A 2D mesh and edge plot of sample file cylinder.plt. This
file is located in your Tecplot 360 distribution under the
examples/2D subdirectory.
3D field plots may be enhanced with lighting effects and translucency (see Chapter 13 “Translucency and Lighting”).
Field plots may also contain any combination of the following objects (which are derived from the
values in the dataset):
• Iso-surfaces (3D ONLY)
209
Field Plots
• Slices (3D ONLY)
• Streamtraces
This chapter discusses the plot attributes that are common to all of the plot layers.
7 - 1 Field Plot Modification - Zone Style Dialog
Once you have loaded your data, you can modify your field plot attributes using the Zone Style
dialog or the Quick Edit dialog. The Zone Style dialog is accessible via the [Zone Style] button in
the Sidebar and the Plot menu.
Field plots containing transient data are modified slightly
differently in the Zone Style dialog than static datasets.
See Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware” for more information on
working with transient datasets.
The following pages are available in the Zone Style dialog:
• Mesh - See Chapter 8 “Mesh Layer and Edge Layer”.
• Contour - See Chapter 9 “Contour Layer”.
• Vector - See Chapter 10 “Vector Layer”.
• Scatter - See Chapter 11 “Scatter Layer”.
• Shade - See Chapter 12 “Shade Layer”.
• Edge - See Chapter 8 “Mesh Layer and Edge Layer”.
• Points - See Section 7- 1.1 “Points”
• Surfaces - See Section 7- 1.2 “Surfaces”.
• Volume - See Section 7- 1.3 “Derived Volume Object Plotting”. (3D only)
• Effects Attributes - See Chapter 13 “Translucency and Lighting”.
The following attributes in the Zone Style dialog are independent of the active plot layer:
• Zone Num - Use the [Zone Num] button above the zone list to select a zone or group
of zones according to zone number. Choose from “Select One”, “Select Range”, or
“Select All”. Strands are indicated by an “*” after their Zone Num.. You can also
select your zones from the list by using either [Ctrl]-click ( to select one-by-one) or
[Shift]-click (to select a range).
• Zone Name - Choose “Select by Name” from the [Zone Name] button to open the
Enter Text String dialog. Enter a text string to select a zone or group of zones
according to zone name. Strands are indicated by an “*” after their Zone Name. If
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Field Plot Modification - Zone Style Dialog
none of the zones in the active strand are displayed at the current time step, the entire
line is grayed-out. See also Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware”.
For transient data, the first zone of the strand applicable to the current time step is displayed in the
Zone Name and Zone Number columns.
• Group Num - Use the [Group Num] button to select a zone or group of zones
according to their group number. By default, all zones are assigned to group 1. You
can change the group number by selecting “Edit Group Number” from the Group
Num menu.
• Zone Show - By default, all zones are displayed. Turn zones or groups of zones on or
off by selecting: Activate, Deactivate, Show Selected Only, or Invert from the Zone
Show menu.
The remaining columns in the Zone Style dialog are dependent upon the active page are discussed
in their corresponding sections.
Each page of the Zone Style dialog is divided into 2
regions (separated by a thick vertical line). Options
located in the columns in the left-hand region apply
universally to all active layers in the plot. Options
located in the right-hand region of any page are specific to the corresponding plot layer.
7- 1.1 Points
You may select the source for the data points used to plot vectors and scatter symbols from the
Points page of the Zone Style dialog (shown below).
211
Field Plots
Figure 7-2 shows a plot where zone 1 is plotting scatter symbols only on one plane (J=5) and zone
2 is plotting all symbols.
Z
Y
X
Zone 1
Zone 2
Figure 7-2.
A plot showing two zones set to show only J-planes equal to five, with
scatter symbols plotted on the surface in zone 1 and all symbols in zone
2. This file, field_plot_scatter_example.lpk, is located in your Tecplot
360 distribution under the examples/3D subdirectory.
• Points to Plot - Select how the points are plotted:
• Nodes on Surfaces - Draws only the nodes that are on the surface of the zone.
• All Nodes - Draws all nodes in the zone.
• All Connected - Draws all the nodes that are connected by the node map.
Nodes without any connectivity are not drawn.
• Cell Centers Near Surfaces - Draws points at the cell centers which are on or
near the surface of the zone.
• All Cell Centers - Draws points at all cell centers in the zone.
• Index Skip - Specify the skip intervals for the I, J, and K-indices. The menu options
are as follows:
• No Skip - Set the I, J, and K-skip intervals to one; plot all vectors.
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Field Plot Modification - Zone Style Dialog
• Enter Skip - Specify I, J, and K-skip intervals on the Enter Index Skipping
dialog.
For irregular and finite element data, only
the I-Skip has an effect. I-skip will allow you
to skip through nodes in the order they are
listed in the data file.
7- 1.2 Surfaces
There are many ways to divide volume data for plotting. One way to view volume data is to select
surfaces from part of the data. In Tecplot 360 you may choose which surfaces to plot for volume
zones from the Surfaces page of the Zone Style dialog (accessed by double-clicking on a zone via
the Sidebar, or via Plot>Zone Style.
The [Surfaces to Plot] button allows you to choose one of the following:
• None - None of the volume zone surfaces are plotted (edges still appear). This is the
default Surfaces setting for your plot.
• Boundary Cell Faces - Plots all surfaces on the outside of the volume zone. This
includes:
• IJK-ordered data - The minimum and maximum I, J, and K-planes are plotted.
• Finite element volume data - All faces that do not have a neighbor cell
(according to the connectivity list) are plotted.
213
Field Plots
If blanking is turned on, the boundary cells in the blanked region will not be
drawn and you will be able to see the interior of the volume zone. Figure 7-3
shows plots of a volume zone with Surfaces to Plot set to “Boundary Cell
Faces”: without blanking, with value blanking, and with IJK-blanking. See
Chapter 19 “Blanking” for information on working with Blanking.
Z
Z
X
X
Y
Y
With Value blanking
Without blanking
Z
Y
X
With IJK blanking
Figure 7-3.
Boundary Cell Face plotting without blanking, with
value-blanking, and with IJK-blanking. This file,
field_plots_boundary_cell_faces_ex.lpk, is located in
your Tecplot 360 distribution under the examples/3D
subdirectory.
• Exposed Cell Faces (default) - This setting is similar to the “Boundary Cell Faces”
setting, unless value blanking is active. When value blanking is used, the outer cell
faces between blanked and non-blanked cells and the outer surfaces of the data are
drawn. Figure 7-4 shows a plot of a volume zone with Surfaces to Plot set to “Exposed
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Field Plot Modification - Zone Style Dialog
Cell Faces” with and without value blanking. See Chapter 19 “Blanking” for
information on working with Blanking.
Z
Z
X
X
Y
Y
With Value blanking
Without blanking
Figure 7-4.
Examples of plots where Surfaces to Plot has
been set to “Exposed Cell Faces” with (left) and
without (right) value-blanking.
• Planes Settings (I, J, K, IJ, JK, IK, and IJK-planes) - Plots the appropriate
combination of I, J, and/or K-planes. The planes are determined by the Range for each
plane, which can be set using the [Range] buttons to the right of the [Surfaces to Plot
button]. These settings are available only for IJK-ordered data. Figure 7-5 shows a
number of examples of plotting I, J, and K-planes.
Z
Z
Y
X
I planes only
J and K planes
Z
Z
X
X
Y
Y
I and J planes
Figure 7-5.
Y
X
I planes only
Examples of plotting I, J, and K-planes.
215
Field Plots
• Every Surface (Exhaustive) - This setting will plot every face of every cell in volume
data. It is not recommended for large datasets. Unless the surfaces are translucent, the
plot will appear the same as the Exposed Cell Faces setting.
7- 1.3 Derived Volume Object Plotting
The Volume page of the Zone Style dialog allows you to specify whether or not to show
streamtraces, iso-surfaces, or slices for the selected zone(s). Figure 7-6 shows a plot with two
zones where streamribbons and an iso-surface have been excluded from zone 2.
Figure 7-6.
A plot where streamribbons and an isosurface have been excluded from zone
2. This file, jetflow.plt is available in
your Tecplot 360 distribution under the
examples/3D_Volume subdirectory.
7 - 2 Time Aware
For transient datasets, you can use the Tecplot 360 interface to display your data at a given time or
to animate your data over time. The zones loaded into Tecplot 360 can be linked to a specific solution time, and the active solution time is used to determine which zones are displayed.
For the following definitions, consider the following fictitious dataset:
Table 7 - 1: Sample Time Aware Dataset
216
Zone
Time
StrandID
1
n/a
n/a
Time Aware
Table 7 - 1: Sample Time Aware Dataset
2
0.0
2
3
0.18
3
4
0.22
1
5
0.25
2
6
0.28
1
7
0.32
3
8
0.38
2
9
0.42
1
10
0.52
1
11
0.57
2
12
0.58
3
13
0.62
1
14
n/a
n/a
• Transient zones - Zones associated with time. The transient zone(s) displayed in the
current frame are dependent upon the current solution time. Zones 2-13 in Table 7 - 1
are transient zones.
• Static zones - Zones not associated with time. They are displayed regardless of the
current solution time. Zones 1 and 14 from Table 7 - 1 are static.
• Current Solution Time - The value that determines which transient zones are
displayed in the current frame. The value of Current Solution Time is specified on the
Settings page of the Time Details dialog (see Section 7- 2.1 “Time Details Dialog Settings Page”).
• Strand - A series of transient zones that represent the same part of a dataset at
different times. Zones 2, 5, 8, and 11 in Table 7 - 1 all have the same StrandID and
therefore, they are part of the same strand.
• StrandID - An integer value defined for each transient zone. The StrandID of a given
zone is determined by the data loader.
Changes made in the Zone Style dialog to any
zone in a given StrandID are propagated to all
zones with that StrandID. See also Section 7 - 1
“Field Plot Modification - Zone Style Dialog”.
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Field Plots
• Relevant Zone - Only “relevant zones” are plotted at a given solution time. A relevant
zone is defined as a zone for a given strand used for a certain solution time. If the
strand exists at solution time n, the relevant zone is either the transient zone on that
strand defined explicitly at solution time n, or the zone defined immediately prior to
solution time n. If the strand does not exist at solution time n, there are no relevant
zones for that strand at that time. Static zones are always considered relevant. Refer to
Figure 7-7.
Figure 7-7.
An illustration of how relevant zones are determined (based on the data in Table
7 - 1). For a given solution time, the relevant zones ONLY are displayed in the
plot. NOTE: static zones are always considered relevant zones.
t = .2s - The red-colored transient zones and both static zones are plotted. NOTE: no
zones from the first strand are represented because the strand is not defined at that time.
t = .4s - The green-colored transient zones and both static zones are plotted.
t = .6s - The blue-colored transient zones and both static zones are plotted. NOTE: no
zones from the second and third strands are represented because the strands are not
defined at that time.
218
Data Point and Cell Labels
7- 2.1 Time Details Dialog - Settings Page
Use the Settings page of the Time Details dialog to change the Current Solution Time of the plot.
The Time Details dialog can be accessed via the Plot menu or by selecting the Details [...] button
next to “Time” in the Sidebar. The page has the following options:
• Solution Time - Use the slider or spin control to interactively change the Current
Solution Time.
• Min - Displays the minimum solution time in the data.
• Max - Displays the maximum solution time in the data.
7- 2.2 Time Details Dialog - Animate Page
See Section 30- 1.1 “Time Animation”.
7 - 3 Data Point and Cell Labels
Field Plots - You can label all or some of the data points or nodes in your field plots with either the
index value(s) of the data point or the value of some specified variable at each point. You can also
label each cell or element of the data with its index (which for finite element data is its element
number).
219
Field Plots
Line Plots - You can label all or some of the data points or nodes in your line plots with either the
index of the data point, the value of the dependent variable at the point, or both the values (X&Y or
Theta & R) for the data point. For example, Figure 7-8 shows an XY Line plot with each data
point labeled with its X-Y value pair.
Station 1
SNOW DEPTH (INCHES)
25
Station 2
Station 3
5,21.5
20
1,20.5
0,19.5
2,17.3
3,17.5
4,18.5
4,17.2
5,16
15
0,12.3
10
5
0,5
0
1,5.5
2,6
5,6.5
3,6
2
4
TIME (DAYS)
Figure 7-8.
220
An XY-line plot with data labels. This
file, field_plot_labeled.lpk, is located in
your Tecplot 360 distribution under the
examples/XY subdirectory.
Data Point and Cell Labels
To add data labels to your plot, go to Plot>Label Points and Cells dialog (accessed via the Plot
menu). The Label Points and Cells dialog has the following options:
• Show Node Labels - Toggle-on to show node labels. Select either Index Value or
Variable Value.
• Show Cell Labels - Toggle-on to show cell labels. Select either Index Value or
Variable Value.
• Index Skip - If labeling by index values, select an index skip.
• Color Text by Zone/Map - For line plots, the color is set on the Symbols page of the
Mapping Style dialog. For field plots, the color is set on the Scatter page of the Zone
Style dialog.
• Include Text box - Toggle-on “Include Text Box” to include a box around each label.
7- 3.1 Two-dimensional Plotting Order
In 2D plots, by default, each zone layer is drawn for all zones before the next layer is drawn. To plot
the data zone-by-zone instead of layer-by-layer (default), toggle-on “By Zone” in the Plot>2D
Draw Order dialog box.
221
Field Plots
7 - 4 Three-dimensional Plot Control
You can view any type of data as a 3D plot by selecting 3D Cartesian from the plot type drop-down
menu in the Sidebar. By default, only IJK-ordered data and finite element volume data are displayed in 3D.
Three-dimensional plots can be manipulated with the following controls that can be accessed via
the Plot menu:
• Reset 3D Axes - Reset the 3D axis sizes and the 3D origin of rotation.
• Three-dimensional Axis Limits - Control the data and axis aspect ratios for 3D
plotting.
• Three-dimensional Orientation Axis - Control the optional 3D orientation axis, which
displays the current orientation of the three axes in the workspace.
• Light Source - Control the light source position, as well as the intensity of the light,
the background light, and the surface color contrast. See Section 13 - 3 “Threedimensional Light Source” for more details.
• Advanced 3D Control - Specify the default lift fraction for 3D lines, symbols, and
tangent vectors, as well as the 3D sorting algorithm for the plot.
The following controls can be accessed via the View menu.
• The Rotate Dialog - Control the 3D orientation of the plot.
• Three-dimensional View Details - Set the specifications for parameters affecting the
3D display of your plot, including the perspective, field of view, angular orientation of
the plot, and view distance.
7- 4.1 Reset 3D Axes
By default, the 3D axes are calculated to fit the data. If you alter your data to expand or contract the
overall data size, the axes will not automatically adjust to the new size. Use the Reset 3D Axes
option (accessed via the Plot menu) to reset the axes to fit the data.
The Reset 3D Axes option also resets the 3D origin. If you have
modified your 3D origin using the 3D Rotate dialog (see Section 74.5 “The Rotate Dialog” for details), the Reset 3D Axes option will
reset it to approximately the centroid of the data.
7- 4.2 Three-dimensional Axis Limits
In a 3D plot, whenever you read a data file, manipulate the values of variables assigned to the axes,
or change variables assigned to the axes, Tecplot 360 examines the data and determines how to plot
it. The data may require scaling in one or more axis directions, a change of the axis dependency, an
222
Three-dimensional Plot Control
adjustment of the space between the data and the axis box, and/or an adjustment of the shape of the
axis box.
Because there are many valid forms in which the data could be plotted, by using the 3D Axis
Limits dialog (accessed via the Plot menu), you can input information to help Tecplot 360 determine how to automatically configure the plot the way you want.
Aspect Ratio - Ratio of the range of the variable
assigned to one axis (multiplied by the axis size factor) and the range of the variable assigned to another
axis (multiplied by the axis size factor).
• Data Aspect Ratio Limit - When the data aspect ratio of any two axes exceeds the
Data Aspect Ratio Limit, Tecplot 360 automatically rescales the longer axis so that the
new data aspect ratio is equal to the Data Aspect Ratio Reset value.
If your plots are usually unscaled (such as plots of real physical objects), you should
set the data aspect ratio maximum to a large number like 30. Use a smaller number for
evenly scaled axes.
• Axes Aspect Ratio Limit - Works similarly to the Data Aspect Ratio Limit, except
Axes Aspect Ratio Limit attends to the shape and size of the axes box.
7- 4.3 Three-dimensional Orientation Axis
The 3D orientation axis is a representation of your axes that immediately shows you the orientation.
By default, all 3D plots show the 3D orientation axis in the upper right of the frame. Using the 3D
Orientation Axis dialog under the Plot menu, you can control whether the 3D orientation axis is
shown in your plot, and if so, its color, size, line thickness, and the position of the axis origin. You
can also position the 3D orientation axis by simply clicking on it and dragging the axis to the
desired location in the frame.
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Field Plots
7- 4.4 Advanced 3D Control
• Lift Fractions - The lift fraction is the fraction of the distance from the 3D origin of
the object to your eye. If you specify lift fractions for 3D lines, tangent vectors, or
scatter symbols, plotted objects of the appropriate type are lifted slightly towards you
so that they lie on top of surface elements.
• Perform Extra 3D Sorting - For some 3D plots (i.e. plots with translucency), Tecplot
360 uses a painter’s algorithm. A quick sorting algorithm is used by default. The data
objects are divided into smaller objects. The smallest object is usually a cell, finite
element, vector, or scatter symbol. These objects are sorted based upon the distance
from viewer, starting with the objects farthest from the viewer and working forward.
This does not detect problems such as intersecting objects. If the “Perform Extra 3D
Sorting” check box is selected, a slower, more accurate approach is used to detect
problems for you.
There are instances when Tecplot 360 cannot sort correctly. For example, consider elements A, B, and C, where element A overlaps part of element B which overlaps part of
element C which overlaps part of element A. Since Tecplot 360 draws only whole elements, one of these elements will be drawn last and each will cover (incorrectly) a portion of another element. If this occurs while printing or exporting, choosing an image
format will often resolve the problem
All of the settings in the Advanced 3D Control dialog are specific to the current frame.
224
Three-dimensional Plot Control
7- 4.5 The Rotate Dialog
You may rotate your plots using the 3D Rotate dialog under the View menu. The 3D rotation tools
located in the toolbar are discussed in Section “Three-dimensional Rotation” on page 27.
The Rotate dialog has the following options:
• Rotation Mode
• XYZ-Axis - Rotation about one of the three axes: X, Y, or Z. To move around
any of these axes, use the controls in this dialog. Click on the “+” (up) or “-”
(down) arrows on either side of the axis that you want to rotate the plot around.
• Spherical - Spherical rotation about the Z axis. There are four arrows in a
cross: “+” (up) and “-” (down) are the vertical, top and bottom arrows of the
cross; Right and Left are the horizontal, right and left arrows of the cross. There
225
Field Plots
are also two twist arrows diagonal to the cross that twist about the Eye/Origin
ray: one that does a twist up to the left and one that does a twist over to the
right.
To tilt the plot in a vertical, spherical manner around the Z-axis, click the vertical “+” (up/top) or “-” (down/bottom) arrows. To rotate the plot in a horizontal,
spherical manner around the Z-axis, click on the horizontal “+” (Right) or “-”
(Left) arrows. To twist the plot about the Eye/Origin ray, click on the twist up to
left or twist over right diagonal arrows.
• RollerBall - Rotation like a roller ball, that is, horizontal movements are right
and left from the current position; vertical movements rotate up or down from
the current position; and twist is about the current screen Eye/Origin ray.
To tilt the plot in a vertical manner in respect to current screen orientation, click
and hold on the vertical “+” (up/top) or “-” (down/bottom) arrows. To rotate the
plot in a horizontal manner in respect to current screen orientation, click and
hold on the horizontal “+” (right) or “-” (left) arrows. To twist the plot about the
current screen Eye/Origin ray, click and hold on the twist up to the left or twist
over to the right diagonal arrows.
• Rotation Step Size (deg) - Determines the amount of rotation per click on rotation
buttons. To change the step size, either enter a new value between 0.001 and 180 in the
text field, or select one of the following default values from the drop-down: 1, 5, 15.
These default values are set and modified in the Step Size column in the Size
Preferences dialog (accessed via File>Preferences>Sizes).
• Center of Rotation
• X - Rotation of the eye/origin ray about the X-axis. Enter a value in the text
field, or use the increase or decrease arrows at the right to specify a value.
• Y - Rotation of the eye/origin ray about the Y-axis. Enter a value in the text
field, or use the increase or decrease arrows at the right to specify a value.
• Z - Rotation of the eye/origin ray about the Z-axis. Enter a value in the text
field, or use the increase or decrease arrows at the right to specify a value.
• Reset Center of Rotation - Use this drop-down to set the center of rotation to
be the Center of Data (the center of the bounding box of the data) or Center of
View (the point hit by a probe at frame coordinates 50%, 50%).
Center of View can result in an error if there is no data
in the center of the frame. If this is the case, the center
of rotation will not move.
• Plot Orientation - Eye origin view. The angular orientation of the plot is defined by
three spherical rotation angles:
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Three-dimensional Plot Control
• y (Psi) - Tilt of eye origin ray away from Z-axis. (Range –720 to 720.)
• q (Theta) - Rotation of the eye origin ray about the Z-axis. (Range –720 to
720.)
• a (Alpha) - Twist about the eye origin ray. (Range –720 to 720.)
The eye origin ray is a line from the origin of the 3D object to your eye. The eye origin
ray is perpendicular to the plane of the computer screen. These angles define a unique
view. These angles are shown in Figure 7-9
Screen Distance
Screen Projection Surface
Z
Y
Eye
Coordinate
System
E
X
Z
α
ψ
Y
θ
θ
X
Ey
eD
ist
an
ce
Figure 7-9.
ψ
α
θ
E
Z-Axis Tilt Angle (PR)
Twist Angle about Eye/Origin Ray (AR)
Rotation Angle about Z-Axis (TR)
Location of Viewer’s Eye
The 3D angles and 3D projection.
• Preset Views - Specify one of three pre-defined orientations: the XY-Plane, the YZPlane, the XZ-Plane; or a default orientation with a Psi=60, Theta=225, and Alpha=0).
Rotate About the Viewer Position
In addition to the rotation capabilities described above, you may also use the [Alt] key and mouse
to rotate about the viewer (instead of rotating the object). Although you may use this feature while
in orthographic projection, it is best suited for when perspective projection is being used. The [Alt]
key and your middle mouse button may be used to simulate fly-through type motion. You may
move closer to the object using the [Alt] key and middle mouse button, then turn your head using
the [Alt] key and left mouse button.
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Field Plots
7- 4.6 Three-dimensional View Details
Use the 3D View Details dialog (accessed via the View menu) to control a variety of parameters
affecting the display of 3D plots.
• Use Perspective - Sets Tecplot 360’s projection type. If selected, Tecplot 360 draws
the current frame with perspective projection. If not selected, Tecplot 360 draws the
current frame with orthographic1 projection. (Range is 0.1 to 179.9.)
• Field of View (deg) - Sets the amount of the plot (in terms of spherical arc) in front of
the viewer that may be seen. Zooming in or out of a 3D perspective plot changes this
number and the viewer’s position.
• Maintain Object Size During Field of View Changes - If selected, Field of View
changes result in the viewer’s position being moved so that approximately the same
amount of the plane is visible after the change.
If not selected, Field of View changes do not change the viewer’s position and result in
the entire plot appearing to grow or shrink.
1. With orthographic projection,- the shape of the objects is independent of distance. This is sometimes an “unrealistic” view, but it is often used for displaying physical objects when preserving the true lengths is important (such as
drafting).
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Three-dimensional Plot Control
• View Width - Sets the amount of the plot (in X-axis units) in front of the viewer that
may be seen. Zooming in or out of a 3D orthographic plot changes this number, but not
the viewer’s position.
• Viewer Position - Change the viewer’s relation to the image by resetting the X, Y, or
Z-location, or by changing the view distance.
7- 4.7 Three-Dimensional Zooming and Translating
Just as in all other plots, you may zoom and translate your plot using the mouse. This may be done
using either the Zoom or Translate tools. For most tools, you may also use your middle and right
mouse buttons (or [Ctrl]+right mouse button) to zoom and translate.
When the plot projection is orthographic, zooming with the middle mouse button magnifies the
plot. When the plot projection is perspective, zooming with the middle mouse button changes the
viewer angle, making the plot appear larger or smaller. If you want to change the viewer’s position
by moving closer to or further away from an object, hold the [Alt] key down while using the middle
mouse button.
Working with very large datasets may result in
slow zooming, rotating, and translating. See
Section 31 - 3 “Performance Dialog” for further
information on plot approximation if zoom, rotate,
or translate performance is poor.
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Field Plots
230
Mesh Layer and Edge
Layer
Chapter 8
When working with two or three-dimensional field plots, Tecplot 360 allows you to interactively
add or subtract any combination of plot layers. These layers can be applied to any set of zones in
the active data set. This chapter discusses the Mesh Layer and the Edge Layer.
8 - 1 Mesh Layer
Toggle-on “Mesh” in the Sidebar to add a mesh layer to your plot. The mesh plot layer displays the lines
connecting neighboring data points within a zone. For I-ordered data, the mesh is a single line connecting all of the points in order of increasing I-index. For IJ-ordered data, the mesh consists of two
families of lines connecting adjacent data points of increasing I-index and increasing J-index. For
IJK-ordered data, the mesh consists of three families of lines, one connecting points of increasing Iindex, one connecting points of increasing J-index, and one connecting points of increasing Kindex. For finite element zones, the mesh is a plot of every edge of all of the elements that are
defined by the connectivity list for the node points. See Chapter 3 “Data Structure” for an in-depth
description of ordered (IJK) and finite element data structures.
8- 1.1 Mesh Layer Modification
Once you have loaded your data, you can modify your mesh plot attributes using either the Mesh
page of the Zone Style dialog (accessed via the Sidebar or Plot>Zone Style) or the Quick Edit
dialog. As discussed in Section 7 - 1 “Field Plot Modification - Zone Style Dialog”, the changes
made using the first four columns to the left of the black line apply to the entire plot, while changes
from the columns to the right of the divider apply to the active plot layer.
In order for the changes made on the Mesh page to be visible in your
plot, the Mesh layer must be turned on. You can turn on the Mesh layer
by any of three methods: by toggling-on the Mesh layer in the Sidebar,
by using the Quick Edit dialog, or by selecting “Yes” from the [Mesh
Show] button drop-down menu on the Mesh page of the Zone Style dialog. The first time you activate this layer by either the Zone Style dialog
or the Quick Edit dialog, a confirmation dialog will appear to confirm
whether you wish to activate the Mesh layer.
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Mesh Layer and Edge Layer
8- 1.2 Mesh Layer Types
Tecplot 360 has three distinct mesh types:
• Wire Frame - Wire frame meshes are drawn below any other zone layers on the same
zone. In 3D Cartesian plots, no hidden lines are removed. For 3D volume zones (finite
element volume or IJK-ordered), the full 3D mesh (consisting of all the connecting
lines between data points) is not generally drawn because the sheer number of lines
would make it confusing. The mesh drawn will depend upon your choice of “Surfaces
to Plot” on the Surfaces page of the Zone Style dialog. See Section 7- 1.2 “Surfaces”
for further details. By default, only the mesh on exposed cell faces is shown.
• Overlay - Similar to Wire Frame, mesh lines are drawn over all other zone layers
except for vectors and scatter symbols. In 3D Cartesian plots, the area behind the cells
of the plot is still visible (unless another plot type such as contour flooding prevents
this). As with Wire Frame, the visibility of the mesh is dependent upon your choice of
“Surfaces to Plot” on the Surfaces page of the Zone Style dialog. See Section 7- 1.2
“Surfaces” for further details.
• Hidden Line - Similar to Overlay, except hidden lines are removed from behind the
mesh. In effect, the cells (elements) of the mesh are opaque. Surfaces and lines that are
hidden behind another surface are removed from the plot. For 3D volume zones, using
this plot type obscures everything inside the zone. If you choose this option for 3D
volume zones, then choosing to plot every surface (using the Surfaces page of the
Zone Style dialog) has the same effect as plotting only exposed cell faces, but is much
slower.
The opaque surfaces created by Hidden Line are not affected
by the Lighting Zone effect (there is no light source shading).
However, it is affected by translucency.
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Edge Layer
Figure 8-10 shows the available mesh plot types, along with the effects of choosing Overlay and
Wire Frame in combination with contour flooding.
Overlay
Hidden Line
None
Zone Boundary
Wire Frame
Contour Flooding
(With Flood Cutoff)
Figure 8-10. Mesh plot types. This file, spaceship.lpk, is located in your Tecplot 360
distribution under the examples/3D subdirectory. To view the mesh
layer, toggle-off Contour in the Sidebar, and toggle-on Mesh.
8 - 2 Edge Layer
An edge plot layer displays the connections of the outer lines (IJ-ordered zones), finite element
surface zones, or planes (IJK-ordered zones). The Edge layer allows you to display the edges
(creases and borders) of your data. Zone edges exist only for ordered zones or 2D finite element
zones.
Three-dimensional finite element zones do not have boundaries, although you may use the Extract
FE Boundary dialog to create a zone that is the outer boundary or surface of a finite element zone.
See Section “Boundary Extraction of Finite Element Zones” on page 403 for details.
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Mesh Layer and Edge Layer
8- 2.1 Edge Layer Modification
You can control any of the following attributes from the Edge page of the Zone Style dialog:
In order for the changes made on the Edge page to be visible in your plot, the Edge layer must be turned on. You can
turn on the Edge layer by any of three methods: by toggling-on the Edge layer in the Sidebar, by using the Quick
Edit dialog, or by selecting “Yes” from the [Show Edges]
button drop-down menu on the Edge page of the Zone
Style dialog. The first time you activate this layer by either
the Zone Style dialog or the Quick Edit dialog, a confirmation dialog will appear to confirm whether you wish to
activate the Edge layer.
• Show Edges - Whether the edges are visible for each active zone.
• Edge Type - Borders and/or creases. See Section 8- 2.2 “Edge Type” below.
• I, J, or K-index Border - Select whether to show the corresponding index border:
None, Min, Max, or Both (Min and Max).
• Edge Color - The edge color.
• Line Thck - The edge line thickness.
8- 2.2 Edge Type
There are two types of edges in Tecplot 360: creases and borders. An edge border is the boundary
of a zone. An edge crease appears when the inside angle between two cells is less than a userdefined limit. The inside angle can range from 0-180 degrees (where 180 degrees indicates copla-
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Edge Layer
nar surfaces). The default inside angle for determining an edge crease is 135 degrees. You can
change the crease angle by going to Plot>Edge Details.
For 2D plots, only edge borders are available, and for
FE-volume zones, only edge creases are available.
You can change the Edge Type using the Edge Type column on the Edge page of the Zone Style
dialog.
8- 2.3 Edge Display
For IJ-ordered zones, the available edges are the lines I=1, I=IMax, J=1, and J=JMax.
When the Surfaces to Plot option is set to “Boundary Cell Faces”, “Exposed Cell Faces”, or “Every
Surface” for IJK-ordered zones, the edges of the surface areas form a “box” that contains the data.
Surfaces to Plot can be set on the Surfaces page of the Zone Style dialog.
When the Surfaces to Plot option is set to one of the planes options, such as I, J, or K-planes, for
IJK-ordered zones the edges are the edges of each plane (I, J, or K-plane). By default, all available
edges are drawn when the Edge layer is active. You can specify which of the available edges are
plotted using either the Zone Style dialog or the Quick Edit dialog.
235
Mesh Layer and Edge Layer
236
Chapter 9
Contour Layer
Contour plots can be used to show the variation of one variable across the data field. To add a
contour layer to your plot, toggle-on “Contour” in the Sidebar.
Contour plots can only be plotted with organized data, such as IJordered, IJK-ordered, or FE-data. Refer to Section 3 - 6 “Working
with Unorganized Datasets” for information on organizing your
dataset.
Additional options can be set on the Contour Details Dialog (accessed via the Details [...] button to
the right of Contour in the Sidebar or Plot>Contour/Multi-Coloring) and the Contour page of the
Zone Style dialog.
An example of each contour plot type is shown in Figure 9-11.
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Contour Layer
Both Lines and Flood
None
Average Cell
Corner Cell
Lines
Flood
Figure 9-11. Contour plot types. This file,
contour_plot_type.lpk, is located in your Tecplot
360 distribution under the examples/2D
subdirectory.
Contour plots for streamtraces, iso-surfaces, and slices are
controlled by their respective details dialogs and are not discussed here. (Refer to Section 15- 1.3 “Rod/Ribbon Page”,
Section 16 - 3 “Iso-Surface Style” and Section 14- 1.3 “Contour Page”, respectively.)
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Contour Layer Modification
9 - 1 Contour Layer Modification
You can modify the attributes of your contour plot using either the Contour page of the Zone Style
dialog or the Quick Edit dialog. You can control any of the following attributes from the Contour
page of the Zone Style dialog.
In order for the changes made on the Contour page to be visible in your
plot, the Contour layer must be turned on. You can turn on the Contour
layer by any of three methods: by toggling-on the Contour layer in the
Sidebar, by using the Quick Edit dialog, or by selecting “Yes” from the
[Cont Show] button drop-down menu on the Contour page of the Zone
Style dialog. The first time you activate this layer by either the Zone
Style dialog or the Quick Edit dialog, a confirmation dialog will appear
to confirm whether you wish to activate the Contour layer.
• Contour Show - Select whether or not to show the contour for the highlighted zone(s).
• Contour Type - Tecplot 360 allows you to create contour plots of five different types:
• Lines - Draws lines of constant value of the specified contour variable.
• Flood - Floods regions between contour lines with colors from the global color
map.
The distribution of colors used for contour flooding may be banded or continuous. When banded distribution is used for flooding, a solid color is used
between contour levels. If continuous color distribution is used, the flood color
will vary linearly in all directions. See “Color Distribution Methods” on
page 245 for details regarding Tecplot 360’s color distribution methods.
• Both Lines and Flood - Combines the above two options.
• Average Cell - Floods cells or finite elements with colors from the global color
map according to the average value of the contour variable over the data points
bounding the cell.
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Contour Layer
If the variables are located at the nodes, the values at the nodes are averaged.
If the variables are cell-centered, the cell-centered values are averaged to the
nodes and the nodes are then averaged.
• Primary Value - Floods cells or finite elements with colors from the global
color map according to the primary value of the contour variable for each cell.
If the variable is cell centered, the primary value is the value assigned to the
cell. If the variable is node located, the primary value comes from the lowest
index node in the cell.
If the variables are located at the nodes, the value of the lowest indexed node in
the cell is used. When plotting IJK-ordered, FE-brick or FE-tetra cells, each
face is considered independently of the other faces. You may get different colors on the different faces of the same cell.
If the variables are cell-centered, the cell-centered value is used directly. When
plotting I, J, or K-planes in 3D, the cell on the positive side of the plane supplies the value, except in the case of the last plane, where the cell on the negative side supplies the value.
Go to Data> Data Set Info to determine whether the variables are nodal or
cell-centered.
• Flood By - Select either a contour group (C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, or C8) or assign
variables to the RGB color map. See Section 9- 2.1 “Contour Groups” and Section 55.2 “RGB Coloring” for more information.
• Lines By - Select which contour group identifies the contour lines (applicable only
when the contour type is 'lines' or 'both lines and flood').
• Use Lighting (3D only) - Turn on or off the lighting effects. See Chapter 13
“Translucency and Lighting” for more information on lighting effects.
Options such as contour labels, contour legends, and special settings for contour bands or contour
lines are set by the selected contour group (see Section 9- 2.1 “Contour Groups”). The color map is
set globally (see Section 5- 5.1 “Global Color Map”).
9 - 2 Contour Details Dialog
Use the Contour Details dialog to specify:
• Contour Groups
• Contour Levels
• Contour Coloring
• Contour Bands
• Contour Lines
• Contour Labels
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Contour Details Dialog
• Contour Legend
9- 2.1 Contour Groups
The Contour Details dialog in its condensed form is shown in Figure 9-12.
Figure 9-12. The Contour Details dialog in its condensed form.
• 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 - Use the [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], and [8] buttons to specify
attributes for a specific contour group. Each contour group has its own settings for the
contour attributes established in the Contour Details dialog.
• Var - Assign a variable from your dataset to the active Contour Group (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
7, or 8).
The Contour Group Variables (1-8) can be used to color contour, mesh, scatter, or vector zone
layers, as specified in the Select Color dialog and the [Flood By] and [Lines By] buttons on the
Contour page of the Zone Style dialog.
9- 2.2 Contour Levels
A contour level is a value at which contour lines are drawn, or for banded contour flooding, the
border between different colors of flooding. Adjust contour levels using the Levels page of the
Contour Details dialog (accessed via the Sidebar or the Plot menu).
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Contour Layer
From the Levels page of the dialog, you can add, subtract, and rearrange contour levels.
Contour Level Addition
You can add new levels in any of three ways:
• Add a new range of contour levels to the existing set by selecting [Add Levels] on the
Levels page of the Contour Details dialog, then using the Enter Contour Level
Range dialog as described in Section “New Contour Level Specification” on
page 243.
• Enter a value in the Level To Add text field in the Levels page of the Contour Details
dialog and then select [Add Level] to propagate it to the Levels list on the left.
• Choose
from the Toolbar, then click at any location in the contour plot where you
would like to add a new contour level. Tecplot 360 adds a new contour level that goes
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Contour Details Dialog
through the specified point. By holding down the mouse button you can drag and
interactively position the new contour level until you release the button.
Contour Level Removal
You can remove contour levels by:
• Selecting one or more contour levels on the Levels page of the Contour Details
dialog, then selecting [Remove Selected Levels].
• Selecting
from the Toolbar, then select any contour line in your contour plot.
Tecplot 360 deletes the specified contour level, or the nearest contour level to the
specified point.
Contour Level Adjustment
You can interactively adjust a contour level with the
tool from the Toolbar. Hold down the
CTRL key, then click-and-drag the contour level you want to adjust. Move the contour to the
desired location and release the mouse button. The new value of the contour level can be viewed on
the Levels page of the Contour Details dialog.
New Contour Level Specification
You may specify a new set of contour levels via the [Reset Levels] or [New Levels] options on
Levels page of the Contour Details dialog. The Reset Levels dialog asks you to supply an approximate number of levels to use, and Tecplot 360 will estimate a starting point, an end point, and the
spacing between contour levels.
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Contour Layer
If you want more control over the exact values generated for contour levels, select [New Levels].
This calls up the Enter Contour Level Range dialog.
You can specify the range and number of levels in any of three ways:
• Min, Max, and Number of Levels (default) - Enter a minimum and maximum level
value, together with the number of levels to be distributed equally throughout the
range.
• Min, Max, and Delta - Enter a minimum and maximum level value together with a
delta (step-size between levels).
• Exponential Distribution - Enter a minimum and maximum level value together with
the number of levels to be distributed exponentially throughout the range.
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Contour Details Dialog
9- 2.3 Contour Coloring
Although the color map is global (affecting all frames), there are some adjustments you can make
that apply only to a contour group in the current frame by using the Coloring page of the Contour
Details dialog.
Use Color Map - Select the color map group to use for contour coloring. The option is sensitive
when “Link All Color Maps Together” is inactive in the Color Map dialog (accessed via
Options>Color Map or the Details [...] button to the right of the Use Color Map drop-down
menu). See Section 5- 5.1 “Global Color Map” for more information on color map groups.
• Color Distribution Methods
• Banded - A solid color is assigned for all values within the band between two
levels. (See Section 9- 2.4 “Contour Bands”.)
• Continuous - The color distribution assigns linearly varying colors to all multicolored objects or contour flooded regions. You can vary the default assignment of colors by entering a “Min” or “Max” value for Color Map Endpoints.
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Contour Layer
• Use Approximate Continuous Flooding - Causes each cell to be flooded
using interpolation between the RGB values at each node. When the transition
from a color at one node to another node crosses over the boundary between
control points in the color spectrum, approximate flooding may produce colors
not in the spectrum. Leaving this option unchecked is slower, but more accurate.
• Color Cutoff - Lets you specify a range within which contour flooding and multicolored objects (such as scatter symbols) are displayed.
• Color Map Adjustments
• Reversed Color Map - You can reverse the color map by toggling on
“Reverse”. Two plots, one with the color map going in the default direction and
one with the color map reversed, are shown in Figure 9-13.
B
A
Figure 9-13. Sample contour plots created using demo file cylinder.plt. This file is located in
your Tecplot 360 distribution under the examples/2D subdirectory. A) Flooded
contour plot with default settings. B) Flooded contour plot with a reversed
colormap.
• Color Map Cycles - You may choose to cycle the color map. This is useful if
you have data where there is a great deal of activity in multiple ranges of the
contour variable, and you want to cycle through all colors in each region. A
plot with the color map cycled twice is shown in Figure 9-14.
A
B
Figure 9-14. Sample contour plots created using demo file cylinder.plt. A) Flooded contour plot
with default settings. B) Flooded contour plot with the color map cycled two times.
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Contour Details Dialog
9- 2.4 Contour Bands
When Coloring Distribution for a group is set to “Banded” (via the Colors page of the Contour
Details dialog), you may customize the color bands on the Bands page of the dialog.
The Bands page of the Contour Details dialog has the following options:
• Include Zebra Shading - This effect colors every other band with a specific color (or
no color at all).
• Override Band Colors - Specific contour bands can be assigned a unique basic color.
This is useful for forcing a particular region to use blue, for example, to designate an
area of water. You can define up to 16 color overrides.
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Contour Layer
9- 2.5 Contour Lines
The contour line settings determine how contour lines are drawn for all zones in the current frame’s
dataset. The settings are established on the Lines page of the Contour Details dialog.
• Use Zone Line Pattern - For each zone, draw the contour lines using the line pattern
and pattern length specified in the Contour page of the Zone Style dialog.
If you are adding contour lines to polyhedral zones, the patterns will not be continuous from one cell to the next. The pattern
will restart at every cell boundary.
• Skip to Solid - Draw n dashed lines between each pair of solid lines, where n is an
integer you enter in the text field Number of Dashed Lines to Draw between Solid
Lines.
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Contour Details Dialog
• Dashed Negative Lines - Draw lines of positive contour variable value as solid lines
and lines of negative contour variable value as dashed lines.
9- 2.6 Contour Labels
Contour labels are labels that identify particular contour levels either by number or by value. You
can place contour labels interactively, or have Tecplot 360 create them for you automatically. You
can also have Tecplot 360 create and save a set of contour labels automatically, then interactively
add contour labels to this saved set.
The contour plot type must be lines or lines and
flood in order to use Contour labels.
Customize contour labels with the Labels page of the Contour Details dialog (accessed via the
Plot menu or the Sidebar), and with the Add Contour Label mouse mode tool from the Toolbar.
To add contour labels to your plot, you can use the Add Contour Label tool from the toolbar (see
Section “Add Contour Labels” on page 31) or the Labels page of the Contour Details dialog.
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Contour Layer
You can modify the following options using the Labels page of the Contour Details dialog.
• Show Labels - Toggle-on “Show Labels” to include contour labels in your plot. You
can label the contour levels by selecting either:
• Use Contour Number
• Use Contour Value
• Number Format - Use the [Number Format] button to specify the number formatting
of the Contour labels. See Section 6- 7.1 “Specify Number Format” for more details.
• Label Format - Use the midsection of the dialog to customize label color, font, and
fill settings.
• Generate Automatic Labels (with each Redraw) - At each Redraw, Tecplot 360
creates a new set of contour labels. At any time, you can deselect the “Generate
Automatic Labels” (with each Redraw) check box, and Tecplot 360 retains the last set
of labels generated.
• Align Labels with Contour Line - Use the Spacing field to specify the spacing of the
contour labels along the contour line, as a percentage of the frame. Use the Level Skip
field to specify a skip value between the contour levels to be labeled.
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Contour Details Dialog
• Align Next User-Positioned Label - If the “Align Next User-Positioned Label” is
selected, the next label is aligned with the contour line. Otherwise, the label is written
with normal, upright text.
• Clear All Contour Labels - When “Generate Automatic Labels” is deselected, you
can select [Clear All Contour Labels] to erase the current set of contour labels.
9- 2.7 Contour Legend
To include a contour legend, select the Legend page of the Contour Details dialog for the appropriate contour group.
The following options are available:
• Show Contour Legend.- Select this option to show the contour legend on your plot.
• Show Header - Includes the name of the contour variable.
• Separate Color Bands - Select this check box to separate the color bands in the
legend with black lines. Use this option to visually separate similar colors. If this box
is not selected, similar adjacent colors may tend to blur together.
• Alignment - Select Vertical or Horizontal.
• Position - X (%) and Y (%) as percentages of the frame width and height. (You can
also move the legend interactively.)
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Contour Layer
• Anchor - Specify which part of the legend is anchored in the selected position using
the Anchor Alignment dialog.
• Label Placement - If you have selected “Continuous Color Distribution” on the
Coloring page of the Contour Details dialog, you have three options for placement of
labels on the legend:
• Label at Contour Levels - This option places one label for each contour level.
See Section 9- 2.2 “Contour Levels”.
• Label at Specified Increment - Enter a value in the Increment text field when
selected.
• Label at Color Map Divisions - Places one label for each control point on the
global color map. See Section 5- 5.1 “Global Color Map”.
• Resize Automatically - Automatically skips some levels to create a reasonably sized
legend.
• Include Cutoff Levels - Color bands and labels for levels affected by Color Cutoff are
shown in the legend.
• Level Skip - Enter the number of levels between numbers on the legend. This also
affects the number of levels between contour labels on the plot. Skipping levels on the
contour legend compresses the color bar (if one appears); it does not change the
spacing between text entries on the legend.
• Line Spacing - Enter the spacing between contour legend numbers. This does not
change the number of entries in the legend, so a large value here creates a large legend.
Use Level Skip to reduce the number of entries in the legend.
• Header Format - Adjust the font and height for the legend header or the legend labels.
• Color - Affects the color of all text in the legend.
• Number Format - Adjust the font and format of numbers in the legend. See Section 67.1 “Specify Number Format” for more details.
• Legend Box (No Box, Filled, Plain) - If you choose Filled or Plain, format the box
using the following controls:
• Line Thickness - Specify the line thickness as a percentage of frame height.
• Box Color - Choose a color for the legend box outline.
• Fill Color (Filled only) - Choose a color for the legend box fill.
• Margin - Specify the margin between the legend text and legend box as a percentage of the text height.
Anchor Alignment
Available through the Legend page of the Contour Details dialog, the Anchor Alignment dialog
allows you to specify the anchor point, or fixed point, of the object. As the box grows or shrinks,
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Extract Contour Lines
the anchor location is fixed while the rest of the box adjusts to accommodate the new size. There
are nine possible anchor points, corresponding to the left, right, and center positions on the headline, midline, and baseline of the box.
9 - 3 Extract Contour Lines
Go to Data>Extract>Contour Lines to extract plotted contour lines as zones. Your data will be
altered by the creation and naming of new zones.
Using the Extract Contour Lines dialog, you have the following options:
• Create a separate zone for each contour level - A new zone will be created for each
contour line plotted. The number of new zones will equal the number of contour
levels.
• Create a separate zone for each independent line segment in each zone - With this
option you may create many more zones than there are contour levels. New zones are
created in each source zone for each topologically independent contour line.
The created zones are FE-line segment type zones. After generating the zones, we recommend you
use the Mesh Layer when plotting the new zones.
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Contour Layer
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Vector Layer
Chapter 10
Y(M)
You can create vector plots by activating the Vector layer in the Tecplot 360 Sidebar, and specifying
the vector component variables. Vector plot attributes can be modified using the Vector page of the
Zone Style dialog.
4
3
2
1
0
-1
-2
-3
0
5
10
15
X(M)
Figure 10-15. A vector plot of the cylinder data (with the edge layer also active). This
file, cylinder.plt, is located in your Tecplot 360 distribution under the
examples/2D subdirectory.
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Vector Layer
10 - 1 Vector Variables
When you activate the Vector zone layer (via the Sidebar), Tecplot 360 checks to see whether
vector components have been assigned for the current dataset in the current plot type. If you have
not assigned vector components, the Select Variables dialog will be launched (Figure 10-16).
Figure 10-16. Select Variables dialog for the 3D Cartesian plot type. The dialog
box for 2D Cartesian vector variables does not include W.
Choose variables by selecting the desired U, V, and W (3D only) variables from their respective
drop-downs. You may select any of the current dataset’s variables as any component. You can
change the component variables at any time by choosing “Vector Variables” from the Vector
submenu of the Plot menu.
Once you have selected the Vector check box and have chosen your vector components, your vector
plot will appear. If vectors are not visible, refer to Section 10 - 4 “Vector Length”.
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Vector Plot Modification
10 - 2 Vector Plot Modification
You can modify your vector plot attributes using either the Vector page of the Zone Style dialog or
the Quick Edit dialog. You can control any of the following attributes from the Vector page of the
Zone Style dialog.
In order for the changes made on the Vector page to be visible in
your plot, the Vector layer must be turned on. You can turn on the
Vector layer by any of three methods: by toggling-on the Vector
layer in the Sidebar, by using the Quick Edit dialog, or by selecting
“Yes” from the [Vect Show] button drop-down menu on the Vector
page of the Zone Style dialog. The first time you activate this layer
by either the Zone Style dialog or the Quick Edit dialog, a confirmation dialog will appear to confirm whether you wish to activate
the Vector layer.
• Vector Show - Select whether or not to show the vector for the highlighted zone(s).
• Vector Type - Select from the following options:
• Tail at Point (default) - Draws the tail of the vector at the data point.
• Head at Point - Draws the head of the vector at the data point.
• Anchor at Midpoint - Positions the midpoint of the vector at the data point.
• Head Only - Draws the head of the vector at the data point and does not draw a
tail.
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Vector Layer
Figure 10-17 shows examples of each of the vector plot types.
Tail at Point
Head at Point
Anchor at Midpoint
Head Only
Figure 10-17. The Vector plot types: tail at
point, head at point, anchor at
midpoint, and head only.
• Head Style - Figure 10-18 displays the available arrowhead styles.
• Plain (default) - Line segments drawn from the head of the vector.
• Filled - Filled isosceles triangles with apex at the head of the vector.
• Hollow - Hollow isosceles triangles with apex at the head of the vector.
3
Plain
Filled
Hollow
Y(M)
2
1
0
-1
0
1
2
X(M)
Figure 10-18. Arrowhead types for vector
plots (plain, filled and hollow).
• Line Color - The vector color.
• Vect Tang - Select whether to display the vectors as 3D vectors with both the normal
and tangent components or just the tangents components. Tangent vectors are drawn
on 3D surfaces only where it is possible to determine a vector normal to the surface. A
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Vector Arrowheads
plot where multiple surfaces intersect each other using common nodes is a case where
tangent vectors are not drawn because there is more than one normal to choose from.
An example of this would be a volume IJK-ordered zone where both the I and J-planes
are plotted. If tangent vectors cannot be drawn, then regular vectors are plotted instead.
Figure 10-19. Comparison of the Vect Tang options. A) vectors are
drawn with both the normal and tangent components.
B) vectors are drawn with only the tangent
• Line Pttrn - The vector line pattern.
• Pttrn Lngth - The vector line pattern length.
• Line Thck - The vector line thickness.
The following attributes are assigned on a frame-by-frame basis, rather than zone-by-zone:
• Vector lengths. See Section 10 - 4 “Vector Length”.
• Arrowhead angle and size. See Section 10 - 3 “Vector Arrowheads”.
• The reference vector. See Section 10 - 5 “Reference Vectors”
If your data consists of a dense mesh of points, a vector
plot may be too crowded to be of much use. You can
“thin” the plot by plotting only a certain subset of the data
points with the Index Skip attribute from the Points page
of the Zone Style dialog.
10 - 3 Vector Arrowheads
You can specify arrowhead sizes as either a fraction of the vector length or in frame units (that is, as
a percentage of the frame height). Arrowhead size is a global attribute; it applies to all arrowheads
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Vector Layer
in all zones in the current frame. By default, Tecplot 360 specifies size as a fraction of the vector
length.
To modify the arrowhead size select “Arrowheads” from the Vector sub-menu of the Plot menu.
The Vector Arrowheads dialog has the following options:
• Angle (deg) - The arrowhead angle is the angle that one side of the arrowhead makes
with the vector, i.e. the apex angle is twice the arrowhead angle. To specify the
arrowhead angle, enter a value from 1 to 90, or choose a value from the drop-down,
indicated by the down-arrow button.
• Set Size Based On:
• Fraction of Length - Enter a decimal value from zero to ten.
• Frame Units (%) - Enter a percentage value from zero to 100.
10 - 4 Vector Length
Vector length is a global attribute—it applies to all zones in the current frame. To specify the vector
length, select “Length” from the Vector sub-menu of the Plot menu.
The Vector Length dialog has the following options:
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Vector Length
• Relative (Grid Units/Magnitude) - Specify the vector length as the number of grid
units per unit of vector magnitude.
• Relative (Cm/Magnitude) - Specify the vector length as the number of centimeters
per unit of vector magnitude.
• Uniform (%) - Specify the vector length as a percentage of frame height.
• Recalculate Length - The default vector length is based on the size of the longest
vector. Select [Recalculate Length] to change the vector length to a relative vector
length with the scale factor expressed in grid units per unit of vector magnitude.
For either of the “Relative” options, the value you specify is a scale factor that is multiplied by the
vector magnitude to determine the length of the vector.
Since 3D vectors are plotted in the plane of the screen, a 3D
vector’s length will depend on both the vector length settings and the orientation of the vector. The length may be
distorted even further if the vector length setting is Relative
and the 3D projection is Perspective.
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Vector Layer
10 - 5 Reference Vectors
A reference vector is a vector of specified magnitude placed on the plot as a measure against all
other vectors. To display a reference vector, select “Reference Vector” from Vector sub-menu of
the Plot menu.
The Reference Vector dialog has the following options:
• Show Reference Vector - Toggle-on to include a reference vector in your plot.
• Origin (%) - Enter the coordinates of the starting point of the reference vector, as a
percentage of the frame width (X) and frame height (Y).
• Color - Choose a color from the Select Color dialog. Multi-color and RGB coloring
are not available.
• Angle (deg) - Enter the orientation of the vector in degrees from horizontal, or choose
a value from the drop-down.
• Line Thickness (%) - Enter the desired line thickness, or choose a value from the
drop-down.
• Magnitude - Enter the magnitude of the reference vector. The units correspond to
those of the vector components.
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Reference Vectors
• Include Magnitude Label - Toggle-on to include the magnitude of the reference
vector in the label. Select and modify any of the following options:
• Text Color - Choose a color from the Select Color dialog. Multi-color and
RGB coloring are not available.
• Font - Select the [Font] button to choose the font typeface and size from the
Select Font dialog, or select the up and down arrows to adjust the size alone.
• Number Format - Select the [Number Format] button to specify how the number will be formatted. See Section 6- 7.1 “Specify Number Format” for a discussion of this dialog.
• Offset - Choose the spacing between the label and the reference vector as a percentage of frame height.
Figure 10-20 shows a plot with a reference vector
Figure 10-20. An example of a vector plot with a reference vector included. The label
for the reference vector was included using Insert>Text.
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Vector Layer
264
Chapter 11
Scatter Layer
Scatter plots are plots of symbols at the data points in a field. The symbols may be sized according
to the values of a specified variable, colored by the values of the contour variable, or may be uniformly sized or colored. Unlike contour plots, scatter plots do not require any mesh structure connecting the points, this allows you to make scatter plots of irregular data.
To add a scatter layer to your plot, activate the “Scatter” toggle in the Sidebar. You can modify your
Scatter plot using the Scatter page of the Zone Style dialog and the Scatter submenu of the Plot
menu.
11 - 1 Scatter Plot Modification
Once you have loaded your data, you can modify your scatter plot attributes using either the Scatter
page of the Zone Style dialog or the Quick Edit dialog. You can control any of the following
attributes for a zone or group of zones from the Scatter page of the Zone Style dialog
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Scatter Layer
.
In order for the changes made on the Scatter page to be visible
in your plot, the Scatter layer must be turned on. You can turn
on the Scatter layer by any of three methods: by toggling-on
the Scatter layer in the Sidebar, by using the Quick Edit dialog,
or by selecting “Yes” from the [Scat Show] button drop-down
menu on the Scatter page of the Zone Style dialog. The first
time you activate this layer by either the Zone Style dialog or
the Quick Edit dialog, a confirmation dialog will appear to
confirm whether you wish to activate the Scatter layer.
• Scat Show - Select whether or not to show the scatter layer for the highlighted zone(s).
• Symbol Shape - Select one of the following symbols shapes:
266
•
Square (default)
•
Delta
•
Gradient
•
Left Triangle
•
Right Triangle
•
Diamond
•
Circle
•
Point
•
Cube (rendered as a square in 2D)
•
Sphere (rendered as a circle in 2D)
•
Octahedron (rendered as a diamond in 2D)
Scatter Plot Modification
• [...] Other - Plot with a specified ASCII character (as specified in the Enter
ASCII Character dialog.) In the dialog, enter a character to use as a symbol,
and then specify the Tecplot 360 character set from which to obtain the symbol:
Base (English Font), Greek, Math, or User Defined. See also: Figure 18-2.
3D scatter symbols should only be used if
your dataset is on the order of thousands of
points. If your dataset is large, (millions of
points), try using 2D scatter symbols
instead.
• Outline Color - Select from either the color palette or one of the contour groups.
• Multi-color - Each plotting symbol is colored according to the value of the
selected contour variable at that data point.
• RGB coloring - Each plotting symbol is colored according to the values at that
data point for the variables assigned to RGB.
• Fill Mode - The 3D symbol shapes, Cube, Sphere, and Octahedron are filled with the
line color, but the other shapes have several optional fill modes:
• None (default)
• Use Line Color - Matches to outline color.
• Use Back Color - Matches to frame color.
• Use Specific Color - Select a specific Fill Color from the [Fill Mode] button.
• Fill Color - Select from either the color palette or one of the contour groups.
• Scat Size - Scale the symbol size by either a percentage of the frame width or a
variable in the dataset. (See Section 11 - 2 “Scatter Size/Font” for complete
instructions for sizing scatter symbols by variable.)
• Line Thck - Select the thickness of the scatter outlines for each highlighted zone(s).
Spheres, Cubes, and Octahedrons are always light-source
shaded. Spheres are Gouraud shaded, and Cubes and Octahedrons are Panel shaded. Cube edges are aligned with X, Y, and
Z-axes. Octahedrons are oriented so one vertex points in the Zdirection and one vertex points in the X-direction. For best
appearance of 3D shapes, adjust the Light Source to use Specular Highlighting. Scat Size and Line Thck are not available for
the point symbol. Points are always one pixel in size.
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Scatter Layer
If your data consists of a dense mesh of points, a scatter plot
may be too crowded to be of much use. You can “thin” the
scatter plot by plotting only a certain subset of the data points
with the Index Skip attribute from the Points page of the
Zone Style dialog.
The Point scatter symbol allows for quick viewing and panning in 3D
plots. It is also a useful tool for identifying features in volume zones.
11 - 2 Scatter Size/Font
Use the Scatter Size/Fonts dialog (accessed via Plot>Scatter>Size/Font) to control the base font
used for ASCII character symbols and the scatter-size variable that can be used to scale scatter
symbols. The Scatter Size/Font dialog is shown below:
The following options are available:
• Base Font for ASCII Symbols - Select a font from the drop-down.
• Scatter-size Variable - Select a variable from the drop-down of the dataset's variables.
If the Scat Size field is set to “Size by Variable” on the Scatter page of the Zone Style
dialog, this variable is used to calculate the scatter symbol size at each data point. The
actual size of each symbol is determined by multiplying the value of the variable at
each point by the Size Multiplier. If the Scat Size field is not set to “Size by Variable”,
this field has no effect.
• Size Multiplier - Enter the scale factor that multiplies the values of the Scatter-size
Variable to size the scatter symbols. If the Scat Size field on the Zone Style dialog is
not set to “Size by Variable”, this field has no effect. The Size Multiplier multiplied by
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Reference Scatter Symbols
the scatter variable value gives the size of the scatter symbol at a point, in units,
specified by the following option buttons:
• Grid Units/Magnitude - Select this to express the Size Multiplier in terms of
grid units per unit of variable magnitude.
• Cm/Magnitude - Select this to express the Size Multiplier in terms of screen
centimeters per unit of variable magnitude.
• Recalculate Size - Select to reset the Size Multiplier to Tecplot 360's initial value.
11 - 3 Reference Scatter Symbols
If you are using a scatter-size variable, it is sometimes useful to create a reference scatter symbol
that shows the size at which a data point of a given magnitude will be represented. Figure 11-1
shows a scatter plot with a reference scatter symbol.
= 2E-14
0.050
Y (meters)
0.040
0.030
0.020
0.020
0.030
X (meters)
0.040
0.050
Figure 11-1. Scatter plot with reference scatter symbol.
The text label was added using Insert>Text.
You create the reference scatter symbol using the Reference Scatter Symbol dialog (accessed via
Plot>Scatter). The dialog will open only if a scatter size variable is defined; if you have not yet
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Scatter Layer
created one, select one by choosing Scatter Font/Size from the Plot menu, then choosing a “Scatter Size Variable” from the drop-down. The Reference Scatter Symbol dialog is shown below:
• Show Reference Scatter Symbol - Toggle-on to include a reference symbol in your
plot.
• Origin - Choose the position of the reference symbol.
• Magnitude - Specify the size of the reference symbol.
• Formatting - Modify the color, fill mode, line thickness, and shape as desired.
11 - 4 Scatter Legends
To include the scatter legend, select “Scatter Legend” from the Scatter sub-menu of the Plot menu.
Select the following options in the Scatter Legend dialog.
• Show Scatter Legend - Toggle-on to include a scatter legend in the plot.
• Show Zone Names - Toggle-on to include zone names in the legend.
• Text - Format the text for the legend by choosing a color and font, and specifying the
text height as a percentage of the frame height or in units of points. Enter the desired
line spacing in the Line Spacing text field.
• Position - Specify the location of the anchor point of the legend by entering values in
the X (%) and Y (%) text fields. Enter X as a percentage of the frame width and Y as a
percentage of the frame height.
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Scatter Legends
• Legend Box - Select the type of box to draw around the legend (No Box, Filled, or
Plain).
If you choose Filled or Plain, format the box using the following controls:
• Line Thickness - Specify the line thickness as a percentage of frame height.
• Box Color - Choose a color for the legend box outline.
• Fill Color - (Filled only) Choose a color for the legend box fill.
• Margin - Specify the margin between the legend text and legend box as a percentage of the text height.
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Scatter Layer
272
Chapter 12
Shade Layer
Although most commonly used with 3D surfaces, shade plots can also be used to flood 2D plots
with solid colors, or light source shade the exterior of 3D volume plots. In 3D plots, zone effects
(translucency and lighting) cause color variation (shading) throughout the zone(s). Shading can
also help you discern the shape of the plot.
Toggle-on “Shade” in the Sidebar to add shading to your plot. Use the Shade page of the Zone
Style dialog to customize shading. Refer to Chapter 13 “Translucency and Lighting” for information on translucency and lighting zone effects.
Shade plots require IJ or IJK-ordered, or finite
element data. I-ordered, or irregular data cannot
be used to create shade plots.
12 - 1 Shade Layer Modification
You can modify your shading attributes using the Shade page of the Zone Style dialog (accessed
via the Sidebar or Plot>Zone Style).
In order for the changes made on the Shade page to be visible in your
plot, the Shade layer must be turned on. You can turn on the Shade layer
by any of three methods: by toggling-on the Shade layer in the Sidebar,
by using the Quick Edit dialog, or by selecting “Yes” from the [Shade
Show] button drop-down menu on the Shade page of the Zone Style
dialog. The first time you activate this layer by either the Zone Style
dialog or the Quick Edit dialog, a confirmation dialog will appear to
confirm whether you wish to activate the Shade layer.
You can control any of the following attributes from the Shade page of the Zone Style dialog:
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Shade Layer
• Shade Show - Select whether the shade layer is visible for each active zone.
• Shade Color - select the shade color. In 2D Cartesian plots, only solid zone flooding is
available (i.e. no lighting effects).
• Use Lighting - (3D only) Turns the lighting zone effect off or on. When “no” is
selected, the shade color is used to uniformly color the zone. Refer to Chapter 13
“Translucency and Lighting” for information on translucency and lighting zone
effects.
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Chapter 13
Translucency and Lighting
For 3D plots, shade and contour zone layers can be enhanced using Translucency and Lighting
Effects (referred to collectively as the “3D zone effects”). The 3D zone effects for streamtraces,
slices, and iso-surfaces can be activated using their respective dialogs (accessed via the Plot menu
or the Sidebar or via the Plot menu). The Effects page of the Zone Style dialog is shown below.
In order for changes related to lighting or
translucency to be visible, the desired effect
must be toggled-on in the Sidebar.
13 - 1 Translucency
Turn-on the translucency zone effect by toggling-on “translucency” in the Zone Effects region of
the Sidebar. When a zone is translucent, you may view objects inside or beyond the zone. You can
control the translucency of a zone using the Surface Translucency attribute in the Effects page of
the Zone Style dialog. The level of translucency may be set to a value between 1 (nearly solid) and
99 (nearly invisible). There are nine pre-set percentages ranging from 10 to 90. You may also use
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Translucency and Lighting
the “Enter” option to define a percentage of your own. An example of a translucent plot is shown in
Figure 13-1.
Figure 13-1. An example of a plot using translucency.
All surfaces in 3D Cartesian plots may be made translucent. A different translucency may be
assigned to individual zones, and may also be assigned to derived objects such as slices,
streamtrace ribbons or rods, and iso-surfaces. Use the Effects page of the Zone Style dialog to
change translucency settings for zones.
13 - 2 Lighting Effects
There are two types of lighting effects: Paneled and Gouraud.
• Paneled - Within each cell, the color assigned to each area by shading or contour
flooding is tinted by a shade constant across the cell. This shade is based on the
orientation of the cell relative to your 3D light source.
• Gouraud - This plot type offers a more continuous and much smoother shading than
Paneled shading, but it also results in slower plotting and larger print files. Gouraud
shading is not continuous across zone boundaries, unless face neighbors are specified1.
Gouraud shading is not available for finite element volume zones when blanking is
included. A finite element volume zone set to use Gouraud shading will revert to
Paneled shading when blanking is included.
If IJK-ordered data with Surfaces to Plot is set to Exposed Cell Faces, faces exposed
by blanking will revert to Paneled shading.
1. Refer to Section “TECFACE112” in the Tecplot Data Format Guide for details regarding face neighbors.
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Three-dimensional Light Source
Figure 13-2 shows two shade plots. The one on the left uses a Paneled lighting effect and the one on
the right uses a Gouraud lighting effect.
Paneled
Gouraud
Figure 13-2. A comparison of the paneled (left) and Gouraud (right) lighting effects.
13 - 3 Three-dimensional Light Source
The light source is a point of light infinitely far from the drawing area. You can open the Light
Source dialog (shown below) by selecting the Details [...] button next to “Lighting Zone” effect
toggle the Sidebar, or by selecting “Light Source” from the Plot menu.
The Light Source dialog has the following options:
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Translucency and Lighting
• Light Source Position - The 3D light source position is indicated by a dot over the
origin of the 3D orientation axes in the Light Source Position region of the dialog. The
3D light source is a point of light infinitely far from the drawing area. The 3D light
source applies to all objects within a frame and may be different among frames in the
workspace.
You can specify its location by clicking-and-dragging the point with your mouse in the
Light Source Position region on the Light Source dialog. When the light source position moves away from the eye-origin ray, its representation changes from a point to an
arrow. The length of the arrow indicates the distance between the eye-origin ray and
the light source position.
• Intensity (%) - Controls the amount of lighting effect produced by the directional
light source. An intensity of 100 produces the maximum contrast between lit and unlit
areas, and fully lit areas use the full surface color. Lesser values produce less contrast
between lit and unlit areas, and fully lit areas use darker colors. An intensity of zero
means the light source produces no contrast between lit and unlit areas, and all areas
are black.
• Background Light (%) - Controls the amount of lighting effect applied to all objects
regardless of the light source position. A background light of zero means that areas
unlit by the directional light source receive no lighting at all and are entirely black,
while areas lit by the directional light source get only the effect of that light. Larger
values produce more lighting effect in areas not lit by the directional light source,
making these areas show some of the surface color. A background light of 100 means
that all areas are lit by the maximum amount, and areas unlit by the directional light
source use the full surface color.
Intensity and Background Light are cumulative; they can
add up to more than 100 and result in colors lightened
beyond the base surface color. For example, reds will
become pink and grays will become white.
• Surface Color Contrast (%) - Controls the contrast of the color of the light source
shaded surfaces before applying lighting effects. A surface color contrast of 100 means
that light source shaded surfaces use the full surface color for applying lighting effects.
Lesser values mean that the surface color is blended with progressively more white,
making light source shaded surface colors lighter. A surface color contrast of zero
means that colors are pure white before applying lighting effects (the plot will only be
shades of gray).
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Three-dimensional Light Source
• Include Specular Highlighting - Turns on/off specular highlight for all light-source
shaded objects in the plot. Specular Highlighting adds the semblance of reflected light
to 3D shaded or flooded objects.
• Intensity (%) - Controls intensity of specular highlights (that is, the amount of
reflected light, which controls the amount of whiteness at the peak of the highlight).
• Shininess - Controls shininess of specular highlight (that is, roughly the size
and spread of specular highlight).
• Lighting Optimizations - Some combinations of lighting type and plot style may
result in very slow redrawing of plots. Tecplot 360 provides lighting optimizations to
avoid such conditions and instead draws a similar, but less intensive plot. These
optimizations are on by default. Turn them off if you need to see the exact effects you
have specified. You may want to turn off the graphics cache before turning off those
optimizations for plots with large amounts of data. (See Section “Graphics Cache” on
page 595 for information on the graphics cache.)
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Translucency and Lighting
280
Chapter 14
Slices
You can add slices to your plot in order to view X, Y, or Z planes within your data. With IJKordered data, slices can also be placed on I, J, or K planes. Slices can include lighting effects, contours, meshes, and more. By default, slice translucency is toggled-on at 10 percent when your plot
is loaded. Slice attributes can be customized using the Slice Details dialog (accessed via the
Sidebar or the Plot menu).
There are two types of slices:
1. Slices that are derived from the dataset - These slices are created by toggling-on
“Slices” in the Sidebar and using either the Slice tool
or the Position page of the
Slices Details dialog (accessed via the Plot menu) to define the location of the slice.
The Slice Details dialog is discussed in the following section. Refer to Section “Slice
Tool” on page 29 for information on working with the Slice tool.
Slices that are derived from the dataset are defined by a constant X, Y, or Z location or
constant I, J, or K index for IJK ordered zones. This type of slice is part of the style of
your plot and does not add to the dataset unless you extract it to a zone (using
Data>Extract>Current Slices).
2. Slices that are extracted directly to zones - These slices are created using the Slice
from Plane option (accessed via Data>Extract). This option allows you to slice
through 3D surfaces as well as 3D volume zones.
These operations are separate, and each has unique advantages. The resulting slices are always 3D
surfaces.
14 - 1 Slices Derived from the Dataset
Use the Slice Details dialog to customize slices derived from your dataset. Select the Details [...]
button to launch the Slice Details dialog from the Sidebar or select “Slices” from the Plot menu. To
add slices to your plot, toggle-on “Show Group n” in the Slice Details dialog.
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Slices
The Slice Details dialog includes the following pages: Position Page, Contour Page, Vector Page,
Other Page, and Animate Page.
You must toggle-on “Show Group n” in order for the changes
made in the Slice Details dialog to be visible in your plot.
14- 1.1 Slice Groups
Up to eight different slice groups can be set. Each slice group can use different slice planes or different ranges for the same slice plane. Changing the settings in the Slice Details dialog allows you
to make the appearance of each slice group unique. The slice group is specified using the numbers
at the top of the Slice Details dialog.
You must toggle-on “Show Group n” (where n = 1-8) in
order to include the Slice group in your plot.
14- 1.2 Position Page
Use the Position page of the Slice Details dialog to customize the position of the active slice group
(accessed via the Sidebar or Plot>Slices).
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Slices Derived from the Dataset
Toggle-on “Show Start/End Slices” and use the Start slider to move the start slice, or you may type
in the slice position. Activate the end slice and move it with the End slider.
The following options are available:
• Slice Location - Select which plane the slice is drawn on (X,Y,Z, I, J, or K).
• Show Primary Slice - Toggle-on to include the primary slice (first slice placed) in
your plot. Use the slider or the text field to specify the position of the primary slice.
• Show Start/End Slices - Toggle-on to include start and end slices in your plot. Use the
corresponding sliders or text fields to position the slices.
• Show Intermediate Slices - Toggle-on to show intermediate slices between the start
and end slices. Intermediate slices are distributed evenly between the start and end
slices.
• Num Slices - Enter the number of intermediate slicing planes in the text field.
(Range 1-5000.)
• Range for all Sliders - Limit the range for the sliders.
• Min, Step Size, Max - Specify the start, end, and step for the slider range.
• Reset Slider Range - Sets the slider range based on the range of the Slice Plane
Location variable in the active zones.
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Slices
• Show Full Slice While Dragging - Toggle-on to include a full image of the slice as
you drag it to a new position. When “Show Full Slice While Dragging” is toggled-off,
a solid-colored slice is shown during the dragging of slices or sliders. NOTE: Show
Full Slice While Dragging is a global setting and is not specific to a Slice Group.
The Show Full Slice While Dragging option is
not available if the slice plane is I, J, or K.
14- 1.3 Contour Page
Use the Contour page to control the contour attributes of the active slice group (determined by the
number buttons on the top of the page).
The following options are available:
• Show Contours - Select this check box to show contours.
• Contour Type - Select the contour type from the drop-down. Lines, Flood, Lines and
Flood, Average Cell Flood, and Primary Value Flood are available.
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Slices Derived from the Dataset
• Flood by - If you chose contour flooding, select the contour group by which to flood,
or RGB flooding.
• [...] - Use this button to bring up the Contour Details dialog. See Section 9 - 2
“Contour Details Dialog” for details.
• Contour Lines by - If you chose contour lines or lines and flood, select the contour
group by which to draw the lines.
• [...] - Use this button to bring up the Contour Details dialog.
• Line Color - Choose the line color from the Select Color dialog. Multi-Color
will color the slice contour lines based on the contour group variable.
• Line Thickness - Specify the line thickness as a percentage of the frame width.
You may enter a value in the text field, or choose one of the values in the dropdown.
• Use Lighting Effect - Select this check box to enable the lighting effect drop-down
menu where you may choose “Paneled” or “Gouraud” shading. See Section Chapter
13 “Translucency and Lighting” for more details on lighting effects.
• Use Surface Translucency - Select this check box to enable the surface translucency
text field, where you may set the surface translucency from one (opaque) to 99
(translucent).
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Slices
14- 1.4 Vector Page
Use the Vector page of the Slice Details dialog to control the vector attributes of the active slice
group (determined by the group number buttons on the top of the page).
The following options are available:
• Show Vectors - Select this check box to show vectors.
• Tangent Vectors - Select to use tangent vectors for your slices. See Section 10 - 2
“Vector Plot Modification” for more information.
• Line Color - Choose the line color from the Select Color dialog. Multi-color will
color vectors based on the contour group variable. If no contour variable is set for the
selected contour group, the Contour Details dialog will appear.
• Line Thickness - Specify line thickness as a percentage of the frame width. You may
enter a value in the text field, or choose one of the values in the drop-down.
• Vector Type - Use this drop-down to set the vector type for your slices. Choose from
Tail at Point, Head at Point, Anchor at Midpoint, and Head Only.
• Vector Head Style - Use this drop-down to set the vector head style for your slices.
Choose from Plain, Filled, and Hollow.
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Slices Derived from the Dataset
14- 1.5 Other Page
Use the Other page of the Slice Details dialog to control the mesh, shade, and edge attributes of the
active slice group (determined by the group number buttons on the top of the page).
The following options are available:
• Show Mesh - Select this check box to show mesh lines.
• Color - Choose the line color from the Select Color dialog. Multi-color will
color meshes based on the contour group variable. If no contour variable is set
for the selected group when selecting Multi-color, the Contour Details dialog
will appear.
• Line Thickness - Specify the mesh line thickness as a percentage of the frame
width. You may enter a value in the text field, or choose one of the values in the
drop-down.
• Show Shade - Select this check box to show shading on the slice when Show Contour
has not been selected or is set to Lines on the Contour page of this dialog.
• Color - Choose the shade color from the Select Color dialog. Multi-color and
RGB coloring are not available—use flooded contours for multi-color or RGB
flooding.
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Slices
• Use Lighting Effect - Select this check box to enable the lighting effect dropdown, where you may choose “Paneled” or “Gouraud” shading.
• Use Surface Translucency - Select this check box to enable the surface translucency text field, where you may set the surface translucency from one
(opaque) to 99 (translucent).
• Show Edge - Select this check box to show selected edge lines on all slices.
• Color - Choose the edge color from the drop-down of Tecplot 360’s basic colors. Multi-color and RGB coloring are not available.
• Line Thickness - Specify the edge thickness as a percentage of the frame
width. You may enter a value in the text field, or choose one of the values in the
drop-down.
• Obey Source Blanking - When active slices are subject to any blanking used in for the
data. When inactive, slices are generated for blanked and unblanked regions. See also
Chapter 19 “Blanking”.
14- 1.6 Animate Page
See Section 30- 1.6 “Slice Animation”.
14 - 2 Slices Extracted Directly to Zones
Use the Slice from Plane option (accessed via Data>Extract) to customize slices extracted directly
to zones. In most cases it is not necessary to extract slices to zones. Most existing slice features
allow you to set almost any style. There are cases where you may need to display multiple sets of
slices in various directions, so it is necessary to extract at least some of the slices to zones. It is also
possible to generate arbitrarily oriented slices when extracting to a zone.
14- 2.1 Pre-defined Slice Extraction
To extract slices that you have pre-defined with the Slice tool or the Slice Details dialog, choose the
“Current Slices” option from the Extract sub-menu of the Data menu. This option will create a
separate zone for each slice plane. The created zones are FE quadrilateral, regardless of the source
zone types.
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Slices Extracted Directly to Zones
14- 2.2 Arbitrary Slice Extraction
To extract a slice at an arbitrary orientation, or to slice a 3D surface instead of a volume, use the
“Slice from Plane” option from the Extract sub-menu of the Data menu.
Specify any of four different types of cutting planes, as follows:
• Arbitrary - An arbitrary cutting plane. You may specify the position and orientation
of the cutting plane using three points or an origin and a normal vector, or you can
interactively place and rotate the cutting plane using the controls in the Extract Slice
From Plane dialog. If you choose “Arbitrary” as your cutting plane, you can either use
the Position sliders and Rotate About buttons to position the cutting plane, or choose
one of the following buttons:
• Three Points - Launches the Enter Three Points dialog, in which you specify
the cutting plane by entering the X, Y, and Z-coordinates of three points on the
cutting plane. These points must form a triangle; they cannot be coincident or
collinear.
• Origin and Normal - Launches the Enter Slice Origin and Normal dialog, in
which you specify the cutting plane by entering the coordinates of a point and
the components of a normal vector. Using this option, you enter six numbers to
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Slices
specify the cutting plane- the X, Y, and Z-coordinates of a point on the cutting
plane (called the slice origin), and the X, Y, and Z-components of a vector normal to the cutting plane (called the slice normal).
• Constant X, Y, or Z - A cutting plane of constant value. You may specify the value
either by entering a value, or using a position slider.
• Position - Enter the exact coordinate for the X, Y, and Z-coordinates of the origin of
the cutting plane, or use the slider to specify each coordinate as a percentage of their
respective axis ranges.
• Rotate About (Arbitrary ONLY) - Use the increase button to rotate the cutting plane
clockwise about the respective axes. Use the decrease button to rotate counterclockwise.
• Show Trace - To see a “trace” of the current slice, toggle-on “Show Trace”.
If Show Trace is selected, Tecplot 360 draws an approximation of the intersection of
the slicing plane with the active 3D zones. For finite element zones, the trace in fact
draws all line segments of the intersections of the slicing plane with the cells in the
zone. For IJK-ordered data, the trace is simply the line resulting from the intersection
of the slicing plane and the outer surface of the zone.
If Show Trace is not selected, Tecplot 360 simply draws the intersection of the slicing
plane within the axis box.
• Force Extraction to Single Zone - Choose this option to force the resulting object to
be placed in a single zone. If “Force Extraction to Single Zone” is not selected, one
zone per contiguous region is created.
• Create Slice From - Choose to Create Slices From volume zones, surface zones, or
surfaces of a volume zone. A slice from a volume zone will create a plane. A slice
from a surface zone, or the surface of a volume zone, will be a line or curve.
Once you have created the slice zone, you may plot it using the Zone Style Dialog,
write it out to a data file, delete it, etc. It is the same as any zone that was read into Tecplot 360. If you slice volume zones, the resulting slice zones are finite element surface,
quadrilateral element-types. If you slice surface zones, the resulting zones are finite
element line segment element types.
290
Slices Extracted Directly to Zones
See Figure 14-1 for an example of a zone created by a slice.
Y
Z
X
Source zone
Slice zone
0.2
Y
0.5
0.1
X
0
0.6
0
0.4
0.2
-0.5
Z
0
Figure 14-1. Zone extracted by slicing 3D volume
zone. This file, jetflow.plt is available in
your Tecplot 360 distribution under the
examples/3D_Volume subdirectory.
291
Slices
292
Chapter 15
Streamtraces
A streamtrace is the path traced by a massless particle placed at an arbitrary location in a steadystate vector field. Streamtraces may be used to illustrate the nature of the vector field flow in a particular region of the plot. See Section 21 - 9 “Calculating Particle Paths and Streaklines” for information on adding streaklines and particle paths to your plot.
Because streamtraces are dependent upon a vector field, you must define vector components before
creating streamtraces in Tecplot 360. However, it is not necessary to activate the Vector zone layer
to use streamtraces.
To add streamtraces to your plot, toggle-on “Show Streamtraces” in the Streamtrace Details and
use either the Add Streamtrace tool
or the [Create Stream(s)] button on the Position page of
the Streamtrace Details dialog (accessed via the Sidebar or the Plot menu) to specify the location
of your streamtraces.
To create streamtraces with a format other than Surface Line, select a format from the “Create
Streamtrace with Format” drop-down menu on the streamtrace(s) Position page of the Streamtrace
Details dialog.
Use the 3D Placement Plane (available in
the Sidebar) when positioning volume
streamtraces (Section “Placement Plane”
on page 22).
There are two main categories of streamtraces:
• Surface line streamtraces (or streamlines) - Surface streamtraces are confined to the
surface on which they are placed. They can only be placed in zones displayed as a 2D
or 3D surface. If you try to place streamlines in a zone displayed as a 3D volume, an
error dialog appears, and no streamlines are drawn. See Section 15- 1.2 “Line Page”.
When surface streamtraces are placed on a no-slip boundary surface, they will
propagate according to the flow field very near the surface (see Section 15 - 3 “Surface
Streamtraces on No-slip Boundaries” for more information).
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Streamtraces
• Volume streamtraces - Volume streamtraces can be created in 3D volume zones only
(IJK-ordered or FE-volume zones). See Section 15- 1.3 “Rod/Ribbon Page”. Volume
streamtraces are subdivided into three categories:
• Volume Lines, or volume streamlines.
• Volume Ribbons, or streamribbons.
• Volume Rods, or streamrods.
If you have added streamtraces to your plot, but
cannot see them, go to the Volume page of the Zone
Style dialog and verify that Show Streamtraces is
set to “Yes”. Refer to Section 7- 1.3 “Derived Volume Object Plotting” for details.
15 - 1 Streamtrace Details dialog
You can control the style of your streamtraces using the Streamtrace Details dialog (accessed via
the Plot menu or the Details [...] button to the right of Streamtraces in the Sidebar). These style
attributes affect all streamtraces in the current frame, including those already placed. They do not
affect extracted streamtrace zones, discussed in Section 15 - 4 “Streamtrace Extraction as
Zones”,because these are now ordinary ordered zones, and not streamtraces.
In order for the changes made on the Streamtrace
Details dialog to be visible in your plot, “Show
Streamtraces” must be toggled-on.
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Streamtrace Details dialog
15- 1.1 Position Page
Use the Position page of the Streamtrace Details dialog (accessed via the Sidebar or
Plot>Streamtraces) to control the next streamtrace or streamtrace rake to be placed.
Alternatively, you can add streamtraces using the Add Streamtrace
tool
. See also Section “Add Streamtrace” on page 30.
The following options are available:
• Create Streamtraces with Format - Choose the format for the next streamtrace from
the drop-down. The options are as follows:
• Surface Line - Two-dimensional and 3D surface streamlines. Surface lines are
confined to the surface upon which they are placed. If placed in a 3D volume
zone, these streamtraces are not plotted.
• Volume Line - Three-dimensional volume streamline plotted through 3D
space. The streamline path is integrated in three dimensions within the 3D volume field.
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Streamtraces
• Volume Ribbon - Three-dimensional volume streamtrace with a defined thickness that twists in accordance with the local stream-wise vorticity of the vector
field: a streamribbon. When you select this option, you should also check the
ribbon width on the Rod/Ribbon page of the Streamtrace Details dialog. The
width affects all streamtraces, including those already placed. The default
width is often too large, but it is automatically calculated based upon the extent
of your data. The center of the streamribbon is a 3D volume streamline. The
streamribbon rotates about this streamline in accordance with the local vector
field. Streamribbons have an orientation at each step.
• Volume Rod - Three-dimensional volume streamtrace with a defined thickness
and a polygonal cross-section: a streamrod. The cross-section of a streamrod
rotates around a volume streamline in accordance with the local stream-wise
vorticity. The center of the streamrod is a regular 3D volume streamline.
Streamrods have an orientation at each step. As with streamribbons, you should
check the rod width on the Rod/Ribbon page of the Streamtrace Details dialog, as well as the number of rod points (three, by default). The number of
points indicates the cross-sectional shape of the rod. Three is an equilateral triangle; four, a square; five, a regular pentagon; and so forth. Like the width
parameter, the number of points applies to all streamrods, including those
already placed.
D - Switches to streamrods
R - Switches to streamribbons
S - Switches to surface lines
V - Switches to volume lines
• Direction - Select the stream integration direction from the following options:
• Forward - Select for forward integration from the starting point.
• Backward - Select for backward integration from the starting point. When the
streamlines are calculated backwards, the arrowheads still point in the forward
direction.
• Both - Select for both forward and backward integration from the starting
point. (For streamribbons and streamrods, you should avoid this option.)
• Enter IJK Positions - Select to specify the streamtrace starting point (and rake ending
positions, if applicable) using the mesh indices I, J, and K.
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Streamtrace Details dialog
• Enter XYZ Positions - Select to specify the streamtrace starting point (and rake
ending positions, if applicable) using the spatial coordinates X, Y, and Z.
• Zone (only if Enter IJK Positions is selected) - Select from the drop-down the zone for
which the I, J, (and K) indices are being specified.
• Create Rake - Select to identify the starting position as the start of a rake, and to
activate the Rake Ending Position fields. A rake is a group of streamtraces. If you are
drawing a rake on concave 3D volume surfaces, hold down the SHIFT key to draw the
rake outside of the data.
• Streamtrace Start Position - Specify the starting position for a single streamtrace, or
(if “Create Rake” is selected) the beginning of a rake of streamtraces. There are two or
three fields, labeled either X, Y, (and Z) or I, J, (and K). Enter the desired value in each
field, or use the up and down arrows to increase or decrease the values.
• Rake End Position (Only if Create Rake is selected) - Specify the end position for a
rake of streamtraces. There are two or three fields, labeled either X, Y, (and Z) or I, J,
(and K). Enter the desired value in each field, or use the up and down arrows to
increase or decrease the values.
• Create Streamtrace - Select this button to place the streamtrace or rake of
streamtraces.
• Streamtraces per Rake - Enter an integer in the text field to specify the number of
streamtraces on each rake, where a rake is a group of streamtraces.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - When the Streamtrace
tool is selected, enter 1-9 to change the number
of streamtraces to add when placing a rake of
streamtraces.
• Number of Streamtraces (Information only) - The number of streamtraces currently
placed.
• Delete All - Select to delete all streamtraces in the current plot.
• Delete Last - Select to delete the last streamtrace placed.
15- 1.2 Line Page
Surface streamtraces or streamlines are confined to the surface on which they are placed. They can
only be placed in zones displayed as a 2D or 3D surface. If you try to place streamlines in a zone
displayed as a 3D volume, an error dialog appears, and no streamlines are drawn. The following
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Streamtraces
attributes may be set with the Line page of the Streamtrace Details dialog. You cannot customize
streamtraces using the Line page until after at least one streamtrace has been drawn.
• Show Streamtraces - Toggle-on to include streamtraces in your plot.
• Line Color - Enter the color for all streamtraces. You may set the color to Multi-color
to color the streamtraces by the chosen contour group variable in the same manner as
color flooding. (If the contour variable is not currently defined, the Contour Variable
dialog appears so that you can define it.) You can use the Multi-color option, for
example, to color the streamtraces by the local temperature or by the velocity
magnitude. You can also specify RGB coloring.
The following attributes affect surface and volume streamlines:
• Line Thickness - Enter a value, or choose a pre-set value for the streamline thickness
(as a percentage of the frame height for 2D lines and as a percentage of the median
axis length for 3D surface lines and volume lines), or choose a pre-set value from the
drop-down menu.
• Arrows - Toggle-on “Show Arrowheads on Lines” to display arrowheads along all
streamlines (surface and volume) in the current frame. Arrows are not shown on
volume ribbons or volume rods. You can also control the following attributes of the
displayed arrows:
298
Streamtrace Details dialog
• Arrowhead Size - Either enter a value for the arrowhead size (as a percentage
of the frame height), or choose a pre-set value from the drop-down menu.
• Arrowhead Spacing - Enter the distance between arrowheads in terms of Yframe units. A value of ten percent will space arrowheads approximately ten
percent of the frame height apart from each other along each streamline.
15- 1.3 Rod/Ribbon Page
The following attributes may be set with the Rod/Ribbon page of the Streamtrace Details dialog.
They affect volume ribbons and volume rods only. You cannot customize streamtraces using the
Rod/Ribbon page until after at least one streamtrace has been drawn.
• Rod/Ribbon Width - Enter a width for the volume ribbons and volume rods. The
width is expressed in grid units. If you want two sets of streamtraces with different
widths, you must create them individually by creating a set of streamtraces with a
specific width, extracting the set as a zone, and then configuring a new set of
streamtraces with the second width.
• Rod Points - Volume rods have a polygonal cross-section; this parameter tells Tecplot
360 what that cross-section should be. (Three is an equilateral triangle, four is a
square, five is a regular pentagon, and so on.) If you want two sets of volume rods with
different cross-sections, you must create one set and then extract the set as a zone, then
299
Streamtraces
configure a new set of streamtraces with the second cross-section. See Section 15 - 4
“Streamtrace Extraction as Zones”.
• Show Mesh - Toggle-on to display a mesh.
• Mesh Color - Select a mesh color from the drop-down menu, or choose a custom color or multi-color.
• Mesh Line Thickness - Select a line thickness from the drop-down menu, or
enter your own number in the text field.
• Show Contour Flood - Toggle-on to display contour flooding.
• Flood by - Select the contour group to flood.
• [...] - Use this button to bring up the Contour Details dialog.
• Show Shade - Toggle-on to display shading.
• Shade Color - Select a shade color from the Select Color dialog. Multi-color
and RGB coloring are not available (use contour flooding instead).
• Use Lighting Effect - Toggle-on to enable the lighting effect drop-down menu.
From this menu you can select “Paneled” or “Gouraud” shading.
• Use Surface Translucency - Toggle-on to enable the surface translucency text
field, where you can set the surface translucency from one (opaque) to 99
(translucent).
15- 1.4 Timing Page
Use the Timing page of the Streamtrace Details dialog (accessed via the Sidebar or
Plot>Streamtraces) to control timed markers for streamlines, and timed dashes for all types of
streamtraces. Stream markers are drawn at time locations along streamlines. The spacing between
stream markers is proportional to the magnitude of the local vector field.
300
Streamtrace Details dialog
Stream markers are symbols plotted along streamtrace paths to identify the positions of particles at
certain times. Figure 15-1 shows a plot with both streamtrace markers and dashes.
3
StartTime = 0.0
TimeDelta = 0.01
0
-3
-3
0
3
6
9
12
15
3
StartTime = 0.0
TimeDelta = 0.01
0
-3
-3
0
3
6
9
12
15
3
StartTime = 0.01
0
TimeDelta = 0.01
-3
-3
0
3
6
9
12
15
Figure 15-1. Streamtrace markers (top), dashes (bottom),
and both (middle). This file, cylinder.plt is
available in your Tecplot 360 distribution
under the examples/2D subdirectory.
The spacing between stream markers is proportional to the magnitude of the local vector field. You
can adjust the spacing between stream markers by specifying the time interval (or delta) between
stream markers. Increasing the delta time will increase the space between stream markers and vice
versa. The actual spacing is the product of the local vector magnitude and the specified delta.
You may also select the shape of your stream marker using the pre-set list under the Shape dropdown menu on the Timing page of the Streamtrace Details dialog. Selecting “Other” from the list
activates the Enter ASCII Character option, where you may enter an ASCII character to be used as
your stream marker.
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Streamtraces
To place stream markers or dashes along your streamtraces, open the Timing page of the
Streamtrace Details dialog (accessed via the Sidebar or the Plot menu).
The Timing page has the following options:
• Show Markers [default = spheres (3D) /circles (2D)] - Toggle-on to include stream
markers. Stream markers are only available for streamlines (surface and volume).
Specify the size, color, and shape of the markers in the fields provided.
• Show Dashes - Toggle-on to include stream dashes. The lengths of the dashes and the
spaces between the dashes are controlled by the value of Delta. Enter a value into the
dash skip factor to control the number of time deltas are used for the “off” sections of
the streamtraces.
• Time Start - Enter the time at which the first marker should be drawn. A start time of
zero means that the first marker is drawn at the starting point. A start time of 2.5 means
that the first stream marker is drawn 2.5 time units downstream of the starting point.
• Time End - Enter the time after which no more stream markers are drawn.
• Time Delta - Enter the time interval that measures the time between stream markers.
The actual distance between markers is the product of this number and the local vector
magnitude.
• Time Anchor - Enter the time that a dash is guaranteed to start, provided the start and
end time surround the dash.
302
Streamtrace Details dialog
15- 1.5 Termination Line Page
A streamtrace termination line is a polyline that terminates any streamtraces that cross it. The termination line is useful for stopping streamtraces before they spiral or stall. Figure 15-2 shows the
cylinder data with some streamtraces terminated by a 2D streamtrace termination line.
5
Streamtrace Termination Line
4
Y(M)
3
2
1
0
-1
-2
0
5 X(M)
10
15
Figure 15-2. A streamtrace termination line drawn through surface streamlines. This figure
was created with demo file cylinder.plt. This file is located in your Tecplot 360
distribution under the examples/2D subdirectory.
Streamtraces are terminated whenever any of the following occur:
• The maximum number of integration steps is reached.
• Any point where the streamtrace passes outside the available data.
• The streamtrace reaches a point where the velocity magnitude is zero.
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Streamtraces
You control the streamtrace termination line from the Term Line page of the Streamtrace Details
dialog.
From the Term Line page, you can control the following attributes of the termination line:
• Active Termination Line - Toggle-on to activate the termination line and terminate
any streamtraces that cross it. Toggle-off this option and redraw the plot to view
unterminated streamtraces.
• Show Termination Line - Toggle-on to display the termination line. Toggle-off this
option and redraw the plot to display terminated streamlines, but not the termination
line.
You can select a termination line with the Selector or Adjustor tool. This allows you to interactively
move the line (with the Selector), modify the line (with the Adjustor), or delete the line (with either
tool).
Only one termination line can exist at any one
time in a given frame. If you draw a second
termination line, the first one is automatically
deleted.
304
Streamtrace Details dialog
Termination Lines in the Eye Coordinate System
The streamtrace termination line is drawn in the grid coordinate system, which in 2D Cartesian
plots moves with the data as you zoom and translate. In 3D Cartesian plots, the termination line is
drawn in what is known as the eye coordinate system. Grid coordinates align with the eye coordinate system, therefore the termination line moves with the data as you zoom and translate, but
remains fixed when you rotate the plot.
When you rotate a 3D dataset after drawing a streamtrace termination line, streamtraces previously
terminated by the termination line may be terminated at different places, or not terminated at all if
the rotated streamtrace no longer intersects the termination line. Figure 15-2 shows a 3D volume
plot with streamribbons and a streamtrace termination line. This figure illustrates how the termination points vary as the plot is rotated. Notice that the termination line, being rendered in the eye
coordinate system, remains in place on the screen as the plot is rotated.
No Termination Line
Termination Line
0.6
0.6
-0.5
0.4
0.4
Z
Z
-0.5
0
X
0.2
0
Y 0.1 0.2
0.2
Z
X
0
0
Z
0.5
0
0.5
X
Y
0
0.1
Y
Termination Line
Y
X
0.2
Termination Line
0.6
0.6
0.4
Z
0.4
Z
-0.5
0.2
0.2
-0.5
0
Z
X
0
0
Y 0.1 0.2
X
0
0.5
0.5
X
0
0.1
0Z
0.2
Y
Y
X
Y
Figure 15-3. Rotating Volume streamtraces with a
termination line in the eye coordinate
system.
15- 1.6 Integration Page
Tecplot 360 uses an adaptive step-size, trapezoidal integration algorithm to calculate streamtraces.
This creates the streamtrace by moving it in a series of small steps from the starting point in the
direction of (or in opposition to) the local vector field. Each step is only a fraction of a cell or element. Tecplot 360 automatically adjusts the step size based on the local cell shape and vector field
variation.
305
Streamtraces
You can control the streamtrace integration by modifying the following parameters in the Integration page of the Streamtrace Details dialog:
• Step Size - Enter the initial and maximum step size Tecplot 360 uses while integrating
through the vector field as a decimal fraction of the local cell or element width. A
typical value (and the default) is 0.25, which results in four integration steps through
each cell or element. The value for Step Size affects the accuracy of the integration.
Setting Step Size too small can result in round-off errors, while setting it too large can
result in truncation errors and missed cells.
• Max Steps - Enter the maximum number of steps before the streamtrace is terminated.
This prevents streamtraces from spinning forever in a vortex, or from wandering into a
region where the vector components are very small, very random, or both. If you
choose a small Step Size, you should enter a larger Max Steps.
• Minimum Step Size - The smallest step size for Tecplot 360 to use. Setting this too
small results in integration problems. Setting this greater than or equal to the Step Size
results in a constant step size.
• Obey Source Blanking - When active, streamtraces are generated for non-blanked
regions only. When inactive, streamtraces are generated for blanked and unblanked
regions.
During the integration, a streamtrace is terminated if any of the following conditions occur:
306
Streamtrace Animation
• The maximum number of integration steps (Max Steps) have been taken.
• Any point the streamtrace passes outside the available data.
• The streamtrace reaches a point where the velocity magnitude is zero.
• The streamtrace crosses the stream termination line.
Streamtraces may terminate at a zone boundary even if there is an adjacent zone into which the
streamtraces should proceed. This can happen if there is a small gap between the zones. Specifying
face neighbors in the data file to connect the zones can reduce this issue. Increasing the minimum
integration step size can also eliminate this problem. Refer to Section 3 - 5 “Face Neighbors” for
more information on Face Neighbors.
15 - 2 Streamtrace Animation
See Section 30- 1.7 “Streamtrace Animation”.
15 - 3 Surface Streamtraces on No-slip Boundaries
When surface streamtraces are placed on a no-slip boundary surface, they will propagate according
to the normal gradient of tangential velocity (proportional to shear stress) near the surface. This
velocity gradient is computed from the data in the 3D volume parent zone, as identified by the
ParentZone parameter. The ParentZone value identifies the volume zone to which the surface zone
is bound (i.e. from which velocity data will be taken) and is read from the data file itself. Refer to
Section “Zone Header” on page 154 of the Data Format Guide for information on specifying the
ParentZone in ASCII data files. In addition, the wall boundary surfaces must be identified by the
following auxiliary data variables:
Common.IsBoundaryZone = TRUE
Common.BoundaryCondition = Wall.
The parent zone must be volume and be
coincident with the no-slip boundary zone
for this feature to work.
15 - 4 Streamtrace Extraction as Zones
To extract your streamtraces as zones select Extract>Streamtraces from the Data menu.
If you want all streamtraces of a given format extracted to a single zone, select the toggle-on “Concatenate Common Streamtraces into One Zone” in the Extract Streamtraces dialog. If you select
this option, Tecplot 360 extracts all surface lines into one zone, all volume lines into another, all
volume ribbons into a third, and all volume rods into a fourth. Tecplot 360 uses value-blanking to
blank out the intervals between streamtraces (and between stream dashes). If you do not select this
option, each streamtrace is extracted into its own zone.
307
Streamtraces
After you have extracted your streamtraces, you will still see the original streamtraces, which may
obscure the plotted streamtrace zones. Once you have extracted the zones, you can delete the original streamtraces by selecting [Delete All] on the Position page of the Streamtrace Details dialog.
If timed dashes are active, all extracted streamtraces will be finite element zones. Otherwise, all
extracted streamline zones are I-ordered, and extracted volume ribbon and volume rod zones are
IJ-ordered.
15 - 5 Streamtrace Errors
Streamtraces will not appear under the following conditions:
• Unorganized data (I-ordered zones). Refer to Section 3 - 6 “Working with
Unorganized Datasets” for information on organizing unorganized data.
• Zero-valued vectors. Refer to Chapter 10 “Vector Layer” for information on working
with vectors.
• The streamtrace was placed outside of the data. If you are drawing a rake on a concave
3D volume surfaces, hold down the SHIFT key to draw the rake outside of the data.
• Inappropriate integration step size. Refer to Section 15- 1.6 “Integration Page” for
information on integrating streamtraces.
308
Chapter 16
Iso-surfaces
An iso-surface is a surface that has a constant value for the contour variable. Iso-surfaces require
that your data contains volume zones (IJK-ordered, finite element brick, polyhedral, or finite
element tetrahedral zones). In Tecplot 360 you can modify iso-surfaces from the Iso-Surface
Details dialog accessed via the Plot menu or the Details [...] button to the right of Iso-surfaces in
the Sidebar.
In order for the changes made in the Iso-surface
Details dialog to be visible in your plot, Iso-surfaces
must be toggled-on in the Sidebar.
16 - 1 Iso-Surface Groups
You can work with up to eight different iso-surface groups in Tecplot 360. Zone layers or other
objects that reference the same group for an attribute show the same plot style for that attribute.
Each iso-surface group has its own settings for the attributes set in the Iso-surface Details dialog.
Refer to the following sections for details on each attribute. For each group, toggle-on “Show
Group η” to include the corresponding iso-surface group in your plot (where η can be valued at one
through eight).
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Iso-surfaces
16 - 2 Iso-Surface Definition
Use the Definition page of the Iso-Surface Details to control Tecplot 360’s rendering of iso-surfaces. The attributes set on this page (and every page of the dialog) are applied to the Iso-Surface
group that is selected (specified on the top of the page).
The following options are available:
• Show Group n - Select this check box to display iso-surfaces, where n can be Groups
1-8.
If you have added iso-surfaces to your plot, but cannot
see them, go to the Volume page of the Zone Style dialog and verify that Show Iso-surfaces is set to “Yes”.
Refer to Section 7- 1.3 “Derived Volume Object Plotting” for details.
• Define Iso-Surfaces using - Use this drop-down menu to select the appropriate
contour group.
• [...] - Use this button to bring up the Contour Details dialog.
• Draw Iso-Surfaces at - Use this drop-down menu to have Tecplot 360 draw isosurfaces at:
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Iso-Surface Style
• Contour Group Levels - Go to the Contour Details dialog (accessed via the
Details [...] button) to alter the Contour Levels. Refer to Section 9- 2.2 “Contour Levels” for details.
• At Specified Value(s) - Specify up to three values of the contour variable at
which to draw iso-surfaces.
• Contour Variable Min - Indicates the minimum value of the contour variable.
• Contour Variable Max - Indicates the maximum value of the contour variable.
• Subdivide all volume cells (to resolve saddle point issues) - Select this toggle to
eliminate holes in iso-surfaces near saddle points. If selected, all cells are subdivided
for the purpose of contouring, slicing, and iso-surface generation. This layout property
applies to all frames and iso-surface groups. NOTE: This option applied to IJ-Ordered,
IJK-Ordered, FE-Quad and FE-Brick zone types only.
16 - 3 Iso-Surface Style
Style settings for all iso-surfaces are handled through the Style page of the Iso-Surface Details
dialog. (These are independent of the style assigned to zones by the Zone Style dialog.) The
attributes set on this page (and every page of the dialog) are applied to the Iso-Surface group that is
selected (specified at the top of the page).
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Iso-surfaces
The following options are available:
• Show Mesh - Select this check box to display the mesh on iso-surfaces.
• Mesh Color - Select a mesh color from the color palette.
• Mesh Line Thickness - Select a mesh line thickness from the drop-down
menu, or enter your own number in the text field.
• Show Contour - Select this check box to display contours on iso-surfaces.
• Contour Type - Select the contour display type.
• Flood by - If you chose contour flooding, select the contour group by which to
flood the contours, or select RGB flooding.
• [...] - Use this button to bring up the Contour Details dialog.
• Contour Lines by - If you chose contour lines, select the contour group by
which to draw lines.
• [...] - Use this button to bring up the Contour Details dialog.
• Contour Line Color - If you chose contour lines, select this button to display
the Select Color dialog, and choose the line color.
• Line Thickness - If you chose contour lines, select a contour line thickness
from the drop-down menu, or enter your own number in the text field.
• Show Shade - Toggle-on to display shading on iso-surfaces.
• Shade Color - Select a shade color from the Select Color dialog.
• Use Lighting Effect - Toggle-on to enable the lighting effect drop-down menu,
where you can select Paneled or Gouraud shading.
• Use Surface Translucency - Toggle-on to enable the surface translucency text
field, where you may set the surface translucency from 1 (opaque) to 99 (translucent).
• Obey Source Blanking - When active, iso-surfaces are generated for non-blanked
regions only. When inactive, iso-surfaces are generated for blanked and unblanked
regions.
16 - 4 Iso-Surface Animation
Refer to Section 30- 1.4 “Iso-surfaces Animation”.
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Iso-Surface Extraction
16 - 5 Iso-Surface Extraction
Iso-surfaces are derived from the dataset and do not append the dataset. To extract existing iso-surfaces to Tecplot 360 zones and retain these surfaces after making changes to the contour variable,
select Extract>Iso-Surfaces from the Data menu.
In the Extract Iso-Surfaces dialog, select the [Extract] button to create the new iso-surface zones,
one zone for each plotted iso-surface. All of the variables in the dataset are interpolated from the
3D volume zones to the data points of the iso-surfaces.
Iso-surface zones are FE-surface quadrilateral element-type zones, regardless of the original 3D
volume zone types. The mesh of the iso-surfaces is derived from the mesh of the original zones so
that, in regions where the original mesh was coarse, the iso-surface mesh is coarse, and where the
original mesh was fine, the iso-surface mesh is fine.
After creating the new iso-surface zones, it is often a good
idea to turn off or reconfigure the current settings for iso-surfaces because the new zones will occupy the same physical
space as the original iso-surfaces.
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Iso-surfaces
314
Chapter 17
Axes
Tecplot 360 automatically enables the axes for 3D, 2D, XY, and Polar plot types. Tecplot 360 maintains five distinct sets of axes, one for each plot type. When the axes are generated, the axis labels,
position, spacing, and tick mark labels are created. You can adjust any of these settings by using
the Axis Details dialog (accessed via the Plot menu). Each page of the Axis Details dialog controls a different aspect of the axis, and each page is available for each axis.
17 - 1 Axis Display
Use the “Show Axis” toggle in the Axis Details dialog to turn on an axis display. By default, displaying an axis shows the axis line, tick marks, tick mark labels, and title for the axis. It is possible
to disable any of these components separately, including the axis line.
To edit an axis from the Axis Details dialog, use the axis buttons ([X1], [Y1], [R], etc.) at the top of
the dialog to indicate which axis you are working with. To edit a different axis, select a different
axis button.
17 - 2 Axis Variable Assignment
For 2D and 3D Cartesian plots, Tecplot 360 initially assigns the first and second variables in the
dataset to the X and Y axes, respectively. For 3D axes, the third variable in the dataset is assigned to
the Z-axis.
To change variable assignments for 2D and 3D axes, select “Assign XY” or “Assign XYZ” from
the Plot menu. For line plots, assigning axis variables is part of defining the mappings. See Chapter
6 “XY and Polar Line Plots” for more information.
The axis range may be modified using the Range page of the Axis Details dialog, accessed via the
Plot menu.
When working with axis ranges, please keep the following definitions in mind:
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Axes
• Axis Range - Specifies the minimum and maximum data values displayed along the
axis. The range for an axis fits the value of the first variable assigned to that axis. If
you deactivate the current layer and activate another layer, it may be necessary to reset
the axis range.
• Axis Length - Specifies the physical length of the axis on the screen or paper.
• Axis Scale - Specifies the ratio of the axis length to the axis range.
17 - 3 Axis Range Options for XY Line, 2D, and 3D Cartesian Coordinates
This section discusses the options for XY Line, 2D, and 3D Cartesian Coordinates that can be
found on the Range page of the Axis Details dialog.
The Range page has the following options:
• Show n-Axis - Toggle-on this checkbox to show the selected axis (n) on the plot. Use
the buttons [X1], [Y1], etc. to the right of this checkbox to select the axis to show.
• Min - Enter the minimum value of the axis range.
• Max - Enter the maximum value of the axis range.
• Reset Range - Reset the Max and Min fields by selecting one of three options:
• Reset to Nice Values - Sets the range to slightly larger than the current axis
variable range in order to begin and end the axis at major axis increments.
• Set to Var Min/Max - Sets the range to the minimum and maximum variable
values.
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Axis Range Options for XY Line, 2D, and 3D Cartesian Coordinates
• Make Current Values Nice - Rounds the axis range to the nearest major axis
increment.
• Number Format - You can choose several numeric formats for your tick mark labels,
or specify a set of text strings to use as custom labels. The following numeric formats
are available:
• Integer - Tick marks are labeled in integer format (for example, 12). If this format is selected, tick mark labels with a decimal part are truncated.
• Float - Tick marks are labeled with floating-point numbers (for example, 10.2).
• Exponent - Tick marks are labeled using numbers in exponential format (for
example, 1.02E-03).
• Best Float - Tecplot 360 selects the best floating-point representation of the
tick mark labels.
• Range Best Float - Tecplot 360 selects the best floating-point representation of
the tick mark labels, taking into account the range of values on the axis.
• Superscript - Tick marks are labeled with numbers in scientific notation (for
example, 1.2x10-3).
• Custom - Uses the specified custom label set to label the axes.
Custom labels are text strings defined in your data file that allow you to print
meaningful labels for variables that do not contain numeric data. Custom labels
are defined using the CUSTOMLABELS record, where each CUSTOMLABELS record corresponds to one custom set. When you choose custom labels
for an axis, you also choose which custom set should be used for that axis.
An example of using custom formatting can be found at the end of this section.
• Time/Date - Tick marks are labeled in time/date format (for example, Sat-Jan05-2008). See Section 17 - 11 “Time/Date Format Options” for details.
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Axes
To modify the axis range for non-polar coordinates, the following options can be found on the
lower portion of the Range page.
• Use Log Scale (Available for XY and Polar plot types only) - The X and Y axes of
XY Line plot types and the R-axis of Polar Line plot types can have a linear scale
(default) or a logarithmic scale. When “Auto Spacing” is selected with logarithmic
scale, large numbers are displayed in scientific notation (i.e., 3.48x105). It is strongly
recommended that you use “Auto Spacing” with log axes. Navigate to the Ticks or
Labels page of the dialog, and toggle-on “Auto Spacing” to use this option.
• Dependency - Select whether to set the axes as dependent upon or independent of
each other. For XY Line or 2D Cartesian, select “Independent” or “Dependent”. For
3D Cartesian, select from one of the following options:
• Independent - All axes are independent.
• XY Dependent - The X and Y axes are dependent upon each other. The Z axis
is independent.
• XYZ Dependent - Changing the scale on any axis results in a proportional
change in scale on the other two axes, so that the specified X to Y Ratio and X
to Z Ratio are preserved.
• Ratios (For 2D and 3D plots only)
• 2D Plots - If “Dependent” is selected, enter the X to Y Ratio.
• 3D Plots - If “XY Dependent” is selected, enter the X to Y Ratio.
• 3D Plots - If “XYZ Dependent” is selected, enter the X to Y Ratio and the X to
Z Ratio.
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Axis Range Options for Polar Coordinates
• Automatically Adjust Axis Range to Nice Values - Automatically adjusts the axis
ranges to the nearest major axis increments.
• Size Factors (For 2D and 3D plots only) - If the axes are XY-dependent, changing
the X or Y size factor changes the other. If the axes are XYZ-dependent, changing one
size factor changes the other two.
If “Preserve Length when Changing Range” is selected and your axes
are Independent, changes to the X to Y Ratio will affect the axes
range, but not scale. Deselect “Preserve Length when Changing
Range” to change both the axis range and axis scale simultaneously.
Figure 17-4 depicts the effect of toggling-on or off the “Preserve Length when Changing Range” option.
90
120
60
3
Changing the range
on X to go from
-3.0 to 0.0, without
ORIGINAL VIEW
preserving axis length
1
30
Theta
180
0
90
120
210
60
330
-2
2
0
0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
R
0
-1
3
150
Changing the range of Theta
to go from 0 to 330, without
preserving axis length
2
150
240
30
300
270
1
-3
-2
-1
0
Theta
180
0
0
0
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
R
-1
210
-2
90
330
60
120
0
240
-2
0
300
30
270
2
150
Theta
-1
Changing the range of Theta
to go from 0 to 330, with
preserving axis length
Preserving axis length
while changing the range
-2
0
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
0
R
180
300
on X to go from
210
-3.0 to 0.0
270
-3
-2
-1
0
240
Figure 17-4. Preserving length versus preserving scale while changing range
(left); preserving length versus preserving scale while changing
range in a Polar Line plot (right).
17 - 4 Axis Range Options for Polar Coordinates
Polar axes are different than any other axis type due to their cyclical nature. Polar axes are composed of the Theta and R-axis. Each axis has very different settings, unlike XY or XYZ axes. For
the Theta-axis you can change the Theta Mode, Theta Period, and Theta Value on Circle Right; for
the R-axis you can change the origin; and for both axes you can clip the data to the axes.
The following options for Polar Coordinates can be found on the Range page of the Axis Details
dialog.
• Show n-Axis - Toggle-on this checkbox to show the selected axis (n) on the plot. Use
the buttons [X1], [Y1], etc. to the right of this checkbox to select an axis.
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Axes
• Min - Enter the minimum value of the axis range.
• Max - Enter the maximum value of the axis range.
• Reset Range - Reset the Max and Min fields by selecting one of three options:
• Reset to Nice Values - Sets the range to slightly larger than the current axis
variable range in order to begin and end the axis at major axis increments.
• Set to Var Min/Max - Sets the range to the minimum and maximum variable
values.
• Make Current Values Nice - Rounds the axis range to the nearest major axis
increment.
To modify the axis range for polar coordinates, the following options can be found in the lower
portion of the Range page.
• Clip Data to Axes - For Polar Line plots, it is possible to have data that extends
beyond the edges of the axes. Use this feature to eliminate data drawn outside of the
range of the axes. Clipping data can be set independently for each axis. To activate or
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Axis Range Options for Polar Coordinates
deactivate clipping, toggle “Clip Data to Axis” on or off. This feature is illustrated in
Figure 17-5.
Data clipped to the axis
Data not clipped to the axis
80
80
60
60
Theta
Theta
40
40
20
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
R
0
0.6
20
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0
0.6
R
Figure 17-5. An example of clipping polar data to an axis.
• Theta Mode - By default, the Theta-axis is expressed in degrees mode with a range of
0 to 360. For the Theta axis, you can plot the angles in units of Radians, Degrees, or
Arbitrary (where arbitrary sets the Theta range to the maximum and minimum values
of the Theta-axis variable).
• To set the Theta Mode, choose from the following options:
• 0 - 360 Degrees
• -180 – 180 Degrees
• 0 – 2Pi Radians
• Pi-Pi Radians
• Fit to Var Min/Max
Selecting any of these options changes the Theta Mode, resets the Theta-axis range,
and resets the Theta Period. When the Theta Mode is Radians, Tecplot 360 draws
Theta labels as fractional units of Pi.
• Theta Period - The Theta Period specifies the Theta range that is required to create a
complete circle. If your Theta Mode is “Degrees”, the Theta Period is forced to 360;
for “Radians”, the period is 2 Pi; for “Fit to Var Min/Max”, the period can be set to any
value.
• Theta Value on Circle Right - The “Theta Value on Circle Right” setting changes the
orientation of the Theta-axis. By default, this value is zero, which means that the value
zero (or equivalent value, 360 degrees, 720 degrees, and so forth) is displayed on the
right hand side of the circle. You can change this value to change the orientation of the
axis.
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Axes
• R-origin - The R-origin specifies what value of R is represented at the center of the
axis. The effect of changing the R-origin is displayed in Figure 17-6.
R-Origin = 0
100
R-Origin = 0.3
80
120
100
60
80
120
140
40
160
60
140
20
40
160
20
Theta
180
0.4 0.5
0
Theta
180
0.3
0.4
R
R
200
340
220
320
240
300
260
280
0
0.5
200
340
220
320
240
300
260
280
Figure 17-6. An example of changing the R-origin from a range of 0.3 to
0.6 on a polar plot.
17 - 5 Axis Grid Options
You control the gridlines and precise dot grid from the Grid page of the Axis Details dialog, as
shown below. On this page, you can customize the line pattern, pattern length, line thickness, and
gridline color. The spacing of the gridlines is controlled by the tick mark spacing; see Section 17 6 “Tick Mark Options” for more information.
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Axis Grid Options
• Gridlines and Minor Gridlines - To activate Gridlines or Minor Gridlines, toggle-on
“Show” under these headings on the Grid page. Both Gridlines and Minor Gridlines
have the following options:
• Line Pattern - From the Line Pattern drop-down menu, choose one of the following line patterns: Solid, Dashed, DashDot, Dotted, LongDash, or DashDotDot.
• Pattern Length (%) (Theta axis only) - Select a pattern length from the dropdown menu, or enter in your own.
• Line Thickness (%) - Select a line thickness from the drop-down menu, or
enter in your own.
• Gridline Color - Select the color of your gridlines.
• Gridline Cutoff (R%) (Theta axis only) - Select the point along the R-axis
where you want to stop drawing Theta lines.
In a Polar Line plot, the abundance of gridlines at the center may obscure data. You
can specify a gridline cutoff along the Raxis of Polar plots on the Grid page of the
Axis Details dialog for the Theta-axis.
• Gridline Draw Order - For all axes except 3D, you may specify a gridline draw
order. Gridlines may be drawn either first, before any of the other plotting layers, or
last, so they overlay any plotting layers. You can also specify the gridline draw order
by “pushing” or “popping” the axis grid area from the Edit menu. To “push” or “pop”
your gridlines, select the axis grid area by clicking on a gridline, then choose “Push”
from the Edit menu to plot the gridlines first, or choose “Pop” to plot the gridlines last.
Drawing an object “Last” brings it to the
front of your plot, and drawing an object
“First” puts it at the back of your plot.
• Show Precise Dot Grid - The precise dot grid is a set of small dots drawn at the
intersection of every minor gridline. In line plots, the axis assignments for the first
active mapping govern the precise dot grid. The precise dot grid option is disabled for
the 3D Cartesian plots and Line plots when either axis for the first active line mapping
uses a log scale.
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Axes
17 - 6 Tick Mark Options
Tick marks can be placed on each axis and labeled with either numbers or text strings. You can
define your tick marks and their placement using the Ticks page of the Axis Details dialog. You can
define the tick mark labels using the Label page of the Axis Details dialog.
• Show Ticks On - For each plot type, you can display tick marks at different sections
of the axis. (This description also applies to Labels and Titles.)
Sketch, XY Line, and 2D Cartesian axes allow tick marks to be displayed in the following areas:
• Axis Line - The line that represents the specified axis.
• Grid Border Bottom - By default, the axis line and grid border left/bottom are
in the same position. Grid Border Bottom is the lower left-most position of the
grid as defined by the viewport settings on the Area page of the Axis Details
dialog.
• Grid Border Top - Grid Border Top is the top right-most position of the grid as
defined by the viewport settings on the Area page of the Axis Details dialog.
3D Cartesian axis tick marks can be displayed in the following areas:
• Axis Line - The line that represents the specified axis.
• Opposite Edge - The complimentary line that is opposite the axis line.
Polar R-axis tick marks can be displayed in the following areas:
• Axis Line - The line that represents the R-axis.
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Tick Mark Options
• All R-axes - Only available if “Draw Axis in Both Directions” or “Draw Perpendicular Axis” is toggled-on for the R-axis. The All R-axes setting will draw
tick marks on the additional axes that are drawn.
• Grid Border Start - Start point of the polar grid area.
• Grid Border End - End point of the polar grid area.
Grid Border Start and Grid Border End are only available if the polar plot does not form a complete circle.
If the data forms a complete circle, there is no start or
end point on which to draw the ticks.
Polar Theta-axis tick marks can be displayed in the following areas:
• Axis Line - The line that represents the Theta-axis.
• Inner Circle - Only available if the minimum (Min) value on the R-axis is
greater than the R-origin (Max) value. The Min and Max values are located on
the Range page of the Axis Details dialog. When this is the case, the center of
the polar plot is a circle rather than a single point; therefore, ticks can be drawn
on the inner circle.
• Outer Circle - The outer edge of the polar grid area.
• Tick Mark Length and Thickness - Tick mark length and thickness can be set
independently for major and minor tick marks using the Length and Thickness fields
on the Ticks page.
• Number of Minor Ticks - To specify the number of minor tick marks, you must first
toggle-off “Auto Spacing” at the bottom of the page. The number of minor tick marks
can be set in the “Number of Minor Ticks” text field on the Ticks page of the Axis
Details dialog.
There is not a separate control for showing minor tick
marks. To hide minor tick marks, enter zero in the
“Number of Minor Ticks” text field.
• Tick Mark Direction - The following options are available to specify the direction
that the tick marks are drawn:
• In - Major and minor tick marks are drawn from the axis toward the center of
the plotting region.
• Out - Major and minor tick marks are drawn from the axis away from the center of the plotting region.
• Center - Major and minor tick marks are centered on the axis line.
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Axes
• Tick Mark and Label Spacing - You can control tick mark and label spacing directly,
or use “Auto Spacing” (the default) to calculate an optimal spacing for tick marks and
tick mark labels. As you change views, particularly in zooming, Tecplot 360
recalculates the spacing. With “Auto Spacing” selected, Tecplot 360 also calculates the
number of minor tick marks for you.
Spacing values are shared between tick marks and tick labels. You can change the
spacing by adjusting the Auto Spacing, Spacing, and Anchor controls at the bottom of
the page under “Tick Mark and Label Spacing”.
17 - 7 Tick Mark Label Options
From the Labels page of the Axis Details dialog, you can specify the label attributes for the tick
marks of each axis.
• Show Labels On - Toggle-on the appropriate options for label display. The available
options are dependent on plot type.
For Sketch, XY line, and 2D Cartesian line plots, choose from:
• Axis Line - When toggled-on, axis labels will display on the selected axis line.
• Grid Border Bottom - When toggled-on, axis labels will display on the bottom of the grid.
• Grid Border Top - When toggled-on, axis labels will display on the top of the
grid.
For 3D Cartesian line plots, choose from:
• Axis Line - When toggled-on, axis labels will display on the selected axis line.
• Opposite Edge - When toggled-on, axis labels will display on the opposite
edge of the plot.
For Polar Line plots, choose from:
• Axis Line - When toggled-on, axis labels will display on the selected axis line.
• Inner Circle - When toggled-on, axis labels will display on the inner edge of
the polar grid area. (Only available if the minimum value on the R-axis is
greater than the R-Origin value.)
• Outer Circle - When toggled-on, axis labels will display on the outer edge of
the polar grid area.
• Color and Font - Select the color and font in which you want your labels to appear.
• Number Format - You can choose several numeric formats for your tick mark labels,
or specify a set of text strings to use as custom labels. The following numeric formats
are available:
• Integer - Tick marks are labeled in integer format (for example, 12). If this format is selected, tick mark labels with a decimal part are truncated.
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Tick Mark Label Options
• Float - Tick marks are labeled with floating-point numbers (for example, 10.2).
• Exponent - Tick marks are labeled using numbers in exponential format (for
example, 1.02E-03).
• Best Float - Tecplot 360 selects the best floating-point representation of the
tick mark labels.
• Range Best Float - Tecplot 360 selects the best floating-point representation of
the tick mark labels, taking into account the range of values on the axis.
• Superscript - Tick marks are labeled with numbers in scientific notation (for
example, 1.2x10-3).
• Custom - Uses the specified custom label set to label the axes.
• Custom labels are text strings defined in your data file that allow you to print
meaningful labels for variables that do not contain numeric data. Custom labels
are defined using the CUSTOMLABELS record, where each CUSTOMLABELS record corresponds to one custom set. When you choose custom labels
for an axis, you also choose which custom set should be used for that axis.
• An example of using custom formatting can be found at the end of this section.
• Offset from Line (%) - Enter the offset of the tick mark labels from the axis.
• Orient Labels - Select from the following additional options for label display:
• At Angle - Labels oriented at the angle specified in the Angle drop-down
menu.
• Parallel to Axis - Labels are parallel to the axis.
• Perpendicular to Axis - Labels are perpendicular to the axis.
• Angle (deg) - If Orient Labels is set to “At Angle”, specify the orientation of
the tick mark labels relative to the axis. The angle is measured in degrees
counter-clockwise from the axis.
• Show Label as Axis Intersection [2D, XY, and Polar Only] - Toggle-on to draw a
label at the point where two axes intersect. Use this toggle if you have axis labels that
are colliding, or are stacked on top of one another at the intersection of two axes.
• Erase Behind Labels - Toggle-on to include a rectangle (with the color of the frame
background) behind the label to increase the visibility of the label.
• Label Skip - Specify the interval between tick mark labels.
• Tick Mark and Label Spacing - You can control tick mark and tick mark label
spacing directly, or use Auto Spacing (the default) to calculate an optimal spacing for
tick marks and tick mark labels. As you change views, particularly in zooming,
Tecplot 360 recalculates the spacing. With Auto Spacing selected, Tecplot 360 also
calculates the number of minor tick marks for you.
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Axes
Spacing values are shared between the tick marks and tick labels. You can change the
spacing by adjusting the Auto Spacing, Spacing, and Anchor controls at the bottom of
the Ticks or Label pages of the Axis Details dialog.
17- 7.1 Creating Custom Labels
As a simple example of using custom labels, consider the following data file containing data about
attendance at two schools:
VARIABLES= "SCHOOL", "ATTENDANCE"
CUSTOMLABELS "Cleveland", "Garfield"
ZONE T="1991"
1 950
2 640
ZONE T="1992"
1 1010
2 820
The numbers 1 and 2 represent the school number, and the CUSTOMLABELS record defines
Cleveland as school 1 and Garfield as school 2. Once you assign custom labels in Tecplot 360, the
School axis is labeled with Cleveland and Garfield rather than 1 and 2.
To create a plot with custom labels:
1. Create a data file with one or more CUSTOMLABELS records and one or more variables with ordered integer values 1, 2, 3, and so forth. The first string in the CUSTOMLABELS record corresponds to a value of 1, the second string to 2, and so on.
Load the data file into Tecplot 360.
2. Create a plot. XY Line plots are the most likely to use custom labels, but you can use
labels anywhere.
3. From the Plot menu, choose “Axis”, and select the Label page of the Axis Details
dialog.
4. Choose the axis to which you want to assign custom labels, and select the [Number
Format] button.
5. In the Specify Format dialog, select “Custom” from the Format drop-down menu.
Choose a set of custom labels for the axis from among all the CUSTOMLABELS
records in the data file. For this example, toggle-on “Show Axis”, select the X-axis,
and choose custom set 1.
6. Go to the Ticks page of the Axis Details dialog. Toggle-off “Auto Spacing”, then set
the spacing to one. (You may also want to set the number of minor ticks to zero.)
7. Go to the Range page of the Axis Details dialog. Set the Min and Max value to 0.5
and 2.5 respectively.
8. Close the Axis Details dialog.
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Tick Mark Label Options
9. In the “Mapping Layers” area of the Sidebar, toggle-on “Bars”, and toggle-off
“Lines”.
The attendance data are plotted in Figure 17-7.
Attendance 1991
Attendance 1992
1000
1000
900
900
800
800
700
700
600
600
500
500
400
400
300
300
200
200
100
100
0
Cleveland
Garfield
0
Cleveland
Garfield
Figure 17-7. Bar charts with custom labels.
As another example, consider the following data file containing temperature and rainfall data:
VARIABLES= "MONTH", "TEMPERATURE", "RAINFALL"
CUSTOMLABELS "Jan", "Feb", "Mar", "Apr", "May", "Jun",
"Jul", "Aug", "Sep", "Oct", "Nov", "Dec"
CUSTOMLABELS "Cold", "Cool", "Warm", "Hot"
CUSTOMLABELS "Dry", "Average", "Wet"
1 1 1
2 1 2
3 2 3
4 2 3
5 3 3
6 3 2
7 4 1
8 4 1
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Axes
This data file adds custom labels to a 3D plot of weather data. See Figure 17-8 below.
Wet
Average
Dry
Jan
Feb
Hot
Mar
Apr
Warm
May
Jun
Cool
Jul
Aug
Cold
Figure 17-8. A 3D plot with custom labels on each axis.
Custom labels are used cyclically. That is, if the variable assigned to the axis using custom labels
goes over the number of custom labels, Tecplot 360 starts with the first label again. This is useful
for days of the week, months of the year, or other cyclical data. In the weather dataset above, a
value of 13 for the MONTH variable yields a tick mark label of “Jan”. Similarly, a value of five for
TEMPERATURE yields a tick mark label of “Cold”.
330
Axis Title Options
17 - 8 Axis Title Options
An axis title is a text label that identifies the axis. By default, Tecplot 360 labels each axis with the
name of the variable assigned to that axis.
• From the Title page of the Axis Details dialog, you can specify the following attributes
for each axis title: Show Title On - For any plot type, you can specify where to show
the axis title. Toggle-on “Axis Line” to show the axis title directly on the
corresponding axis. The remaining available options are dependent upon plot type.
• For 3D - Opposite Edge.
• For 2D, XY Line or Sketch - Grid Border Bottom or Grid Border Top.
• For Polar Line plots - Inner Circle or Outer Circle.
• Color and Font - Select the color and font in which you would like your axis to
appear.
• Offset from Line - Prevents Tecplot 360 from printing your axis title directly on top of
the axis. You may specify a positive or negative offset from one side or the other of the
axis. An offset of zero prints the edge of the axis title on the axis.
(OPTIONAL) - You may also adjust the axis title offset using the Adjustor
from the Toolbar (not available for 3D Cartesian plots).
tool
• Position along Line - Specify the start position of the axis title as a percentage of axis
length.
• Title - Choose one of the following display options:
331
Axes
• Use Variable Name - Use the axis variable name as the title.
• Use Text - Enter the desired axis title in the appropriate text field.
17 - 9 Axis Line Options
The actual axis line is shown by default whenever the axis is shown. However, you can hide the
axis line without turning off the axis as a whole.
To show or hide the axis line, select the Lines page of Axis Details dialog (accessed via the Plot
menu).
• Show Axis Line - Toggle-on or off to display or hide an axis line.
• Color - Select the color of your axis line.
• Thickness - Select the thickness of your axis line.
• Show Line on Opposite Edge (3D Cartesian only) - Toggle-on or off to draw a line on
the opposite edge from the selected axis line.
• Show Grid Border - Turning on the grid border draws a border around your grid.
Toggle-on or off to display or hide the borders of your grid.
• Color - Select the color of your grid border.
• Thickness - Select the thickness of your grid border.
• Align Axis With - Select what part of your plot with which you would like to align
your axis.
Sketch and 2D Cartesian line plots, choose from Y Value, Bottom, Top, or Viewport.
332
Axis Line Options
XY line plots, choose from Y1 Value, Bottom, Top, or Viewport.
Polar plots (Theta-axis), choose from R Value, Inner Circle, or Outer Circle. When
aligning with an R Value, you may enter an R-axis Value to specify the position of the
axis line. When aligning with the inner or outer circle, specify an offset. With a zero
offset, the axis line is on the inner or outer circle, a positive offset moves the axis line
outside the grid area. A negative offset moves the axis line within the grid area.
Polar plots (R-axis), choose from Theta Value, Inner Circle, or Outer Circle. When
aligning with a Theta Value, you may enter a Theta axis value to specify the position of
the axis line. When aligning with the inner or outer circle, specify an offset. With a
zero offset, the axis line is on the inner or outer circle, a positive offset moves the axis
line outside the grid area. A negative offset moves the axis line within the grid area.
• Theta Value - Align the R-axis with a specific Theta B=Value. The axis is limited to the grid area.
• Grid Border Start - Align the R-axis with the start of the grid border. The axis
is limited to the grid area.
• Grid Border End - Align the R-axis with the end of the grid border. The axis is
limited to the grid area.
• Specific Angle - Align the R-axis with a specific screen angle. The axis is limited to the grid area.
• Top of Grid Area - Align the R-axis with the top of the grid area. The axis may
be drawn outside the grid area.
• Bottom of Grid Area - Align the R-axis with the bottom of the grid area. The
axis may be drawn outside the grid area.
• Left of Grid Area - Align the R-axis with the left side of the grid area. The
axis may be drawn outside the grid area.
• Right of Grid Area - Align the R-axis with the right side of the grid area. The
axis may be drawn outside the grid area.
• Theta-Axis Value - Specify a Theta-axis value to specify the position of the axis line.
• Offset (%) - Enter the offset of the line from the axis.
• Angle - Enter the angle of the line from the axis.
• Draw Axis in Both Directions - In addition to setting the alignment of the R-axis, you
may choose to extend the R-axis by drawing an axis line perpendicular or parallel to
the existing axis line.
Toggle-on ”Draw Axis in Both Directions” to extend the axis line so that it spans the
width of the grid area.
• Draw Perpendicular Axis - Toggle-on “Draw Perpendicular Axis” to draw an axis
line perpendicular to the main axis line.
333
Axes
• Show Viewport Border (Polar line plots only) - Toggle-on “Show Viewport Border”
to show the viewport border. The viewport border is defined on the Area page of the
Axis Details dialog.
• Color - Select the color of your viewport border.
• Thickness - Select the thickness of your viewport border.
• Show Grid Border (2D, XY, Polar, and Sketch plots) - Toggle-on “Show Grid
Border” to draw a complete border around your grid.
• Show Line on Opposite Edge (3D Cartesian only) - When toggled-on, axis lines will
display on the opposite edge of the plot.
• Color - Select the color of your grid border.
• Thickness - Select the thickness of your grid border.
• Show Axis Box (3D Cartesian only) - Toggle-on “Show Axis Box” to display all edges
of all axes.
• Auto 3D Edge Assignment (3D Cartesian only) - Toggle-on “Auto 3D Edge
Assignment” to place the three axis lines so they will not interfere with the drawing of
the plot. If toggled-off, you have the option to place the line at any pair of edges such
as: Y-Min & Z-Min, Y-Max & Z-Min, Y-Min & Z-Max, or Y-Max & Z-Max. The
available Min-Max pairs are dependent upon the axis selected to edit.
334
Grid Area Options
17 - 10 Grid Area Options
The grid area of your plot is the area defined by the axes. From the Area page of Axis Details, you
control whether the grid area or viewport are color-filled. The Area page is shown below.
The Area page has the following options:
• Fill Grid Area - For Sketch, XY Line, and 2D Cartesian plots, you can alter the size
of the grid area by changing the extents of the viewport. (For these plot types, the
viewport and grid area are synonymous.)
For 3D Cartesian and Polar Line plots, the grid area is altered by changes to the axis
ranges.
3D Cartesian options:
• Fill Behind Axes - Select this option to fill the area behind the axes (your grid
area) with a specific color.
• Fill Color - Select the color with which to fill your grid area.
• Use Light Source Shading - Select this option to light source shade the
axis planes.
Polar Line options:
335
Axes
• Fill Grid Area - Select this option to fill the grid area with a specified color.
• Fill Viewport - Select this option to fill the viewport area with a specified
color.
• 3D Axis Box Padding - Enter a number as the minimum distance from the data to the
axis box.
• Viewport Position (%) - Select the position of the Viewport. The Viewport is the
percentage of the entire plot area occupied by the plot grid. Select the location (as a
percentage of the entire plot area) in which to place the Left, Right, Top, and Bottom
borders of your grid area.
17 - 11 Time/Date Format Options
The Specify Number Format dialog is available for all plot types, including Sketch. You can use
this dialog to display your axis labels in a number of different formats, including Time/Date format.
The Specify Number Format dialog can be accessed by going to the Plot>Axis>Label or the
Plot>Axis>Range page, and selecting the [Number Format] button. See Section 6- 7.1 “Specify
Number Format” for more information on the Specify Number Format
dialog.
See Section 2 - 6 “Time and Date Representation” in the Data Format Guide for more
information on how Tecplot 360 reads and
interprets time/date data.
You can also display elapsed time, instead of absolute time, on any axis. To do this, the original
time/date data in your data file must indicate the elapsed time. View an example layout using
elapsed time by loading elapsed_time_example.lpk from $TEC_360_2008/examples/XY/. (Use
File>Open Layout to load this example.)
336
Time/Date Format Options
To specify your axis label using Time/Date format, select “Time/Date” from the Type drop-down
menu. Data is read forward from December 30, 1899. Tecplot 360 also accepts negative values to
support dates back to January 1, 1800.
You can format your labels by entering the available Time/Date codes in the Format field.
entering a format, any combination or subset of the Time/Date formula may be used.
When
If you use "m" immediately after the "h" or
"hh" code or immediately before the "ss"
code, Tecplot 360 displays minutes instead
of the month.
Use the following formula and table to enter your Time/Date codes:
Time Date Formula:
337
Axes
years-months-days hours:minutes:seconds
Time/Date Codes:
Years
Monthsa
Days
Hoursc
Minutes
338
Time/Date Code
Display Format
yy
00-99
yyyy
1800-9999
mmmmm
first letter of the month
m
1-12
mm
01-12
mmm
Jan-Dec
mmmm
January-December
[d]b
total number of elapsed days
d
1-31
dd
01-31
ddd
Sun-Sat
dddd
Sunday-Saturday
ddddd
S,M,T,W,T,F,S
[h]
total number of elapsed hours
h
0-23 or 1-12
hh
00-23 or 1-12
AM/PM
AM or PM
A/P
AM or PM as “A” or “P”
[m]
total number of elapsed minutes
m
0-59
mm
00-59
Time/Date Format Options
Seconds
s
0-59
ss
00-59
.0
Tenths
.00
Hundredths
.000
Thousandths
a. Codes can be entered as upper or lower case letters; however, letters will be displayed as shown
in the display format. Numbers that cannot be formatted as a time or date will be displayed as
asterisks.
b. Total number of elapsed days, hours, and minutes are valid for time values greater than or
equal to zero, and equal to or less than 1,000,000 days.
c. NOTE: If you enter “AM/PM” or “A/P” in your Time/Date format, the “h” and “hh” hour codes
are expressed using a 12-hour clock. Otherwise, hours are expressed in military time (24 hour
clock).
Placing a backslash in front of a y, m, d, or s in the Time/Date formula
will keep it from being processed as part of the formula. All characters
not part of the Time/Date formula will appear as entered.
For example, “\year yyyy” will appear as “year 2008”, as the backslash
keeps the first y from being processed as part of the formula.
Examples:
To display the time and date on your plot as a “Sat-Jan-05-2008”, enter the following code:
ddd-mmm-dd-yyyy
To display the time and date on your plot as a “1-3-08”, enter the following code:
m-d-yy
To display the time and date on your plot as a “9:30:05 AM”, enter the following code:
h:mm:ss AM
To display an elapsed time, such as”3:10:15”, enter the following code:
[d]:hh:mm
339
Axes
17- 11.1 Excel Support
Tecplot 360 supports Excel1 Time/Date number strings, with the exception of AM/PM time specifications, long day names, and long month names. This support allows you to create number formats
in Excel and import them for use with your Tecplot 360 plots, or vice versa.
Time/Date number strings can be transferred
from Excel to Tecplot 360 from Mar 1, 1900
forward.
17- 11.2 Loading Time/Date Data
You can load time/data data into Tecplot 360 in the same way as any other data point. The following methods load time/date data as a floating-point number. (After loading, use Plot>Axis>Number Format to change the axis format to a time/date display.) The following loaders illustrate
methods of loading time/date data into Tecplot 360.
1. Excel Loader (loadxls) If you have time/date data stored in Excel, you can use this
loader to load your data file into Tecplot 360. For directions on using this loader, go to
Section 4 - 5 “Excel Loader”.
2. Excel Macro (add-on) This add-on offers more options to load data from Excel.
Although it requires installation into Excel, after installing, this method enables
quicker and simpler data loading from Excel into Tecplot 360. Refer to Section B - 1
“Excel Macro” for details.
3. Text Spreadsheet Loader For loading delimited files, use this loader. Refer to Section 4 - 16 “Text Spreadsheet Loader” for instructions. Time/date data included in this
format must be represented by the floating point number used by Excel and Tecplot
360. (See Section 2 - 6 “Time and Date Representation” in the Data Format Guide for
more information on this formatting.)
1. Tecplot 360 does not currently support Mac Excel "1904" format.
340
Chapter 18
Text, Geometries, and
Images
You can enhance any plot, or create a drawing from scratch, using Tecplot 360’s text and drawing
tools. Tecplot 360 provides tools for creating polylines, circles, ellipses, squares, rectangles, and
text. You can also insert BMP, JPEG, or PNG images to enhance your plot.
Pure sketches are created with the “Sketch” plot type. Figure 18-1 shows a sketch created with
Tecplot 360 drawing tools.
α
WEDGE
Freestream
Shock Wave
XS
XF
LSH
Flat Plate
Free Stream
Z
Figure 18-1. A sketch created with Tecplot 360.
18 - 1 Text
To add text to your plot or sketch, either select the Text tool
from the Toolbar or Text from
the Insert menu. Click anywhere in a frame to indicate the location of the text. Use the Text
Details dialog to enter and modify text and its formatting. To create multiple text elements click in
the Tecplot 360 workspace at the desired location of the next text element before closing the dialog.
341
Text, Geometries, and Images
18- 1.1 Text Details
The Text Details dialog has the following options:.
• Enter Text String - Type the desired text.
• Color - Select a color for the text from the Select Color dialog.
• Font - Select a font for the text from the drop-down of Tecplot 360's built-in fonts. You
can embed Greek, Math, and User-defined characters into English-font strings by
enclosing them with text formatting tags, together with the keyboard characters.
The text formatting tags and their effects are as follows (format tags are not case sensitive and may be either upper or lower case):
342
•
<b>...</b> - Bold
•
<i>...</i> - Italics
•
<verbatim>...</verbatim> - Verbatim
•
<sub>...</sub> - Subscripts
•
<sup>...</sup> - Superscripts
•
<greek>...</greek> - Greek font.
Text
•
<math>...</math> - Math font.
•
<userdef>...</userdef> - User-defined font.
•
<helvetica>...</helvetica> - Helvetica font.
•
<times>...</times> - Times font.
•
<courier>...</courier> - Courier font.
Embedding and escaping special characters work only in English-font text; they have
no effect in text created in Greek, Math, or User-defined fonts.
You can produce subscripts or superscripts by enclosing any characters with
<sub>...</sub> or <sup>...</sup>, respectively. Tecplot 360 has only one level of
2
superscripts and subscripts; expressions requiring additional levels, such as e x , must
be created by hand using multiple Tecplot 360 text strings. If you alternate subscripts
and superscripts, Tecplot 360 positions the superscript directly above the subscript.
Thus, the string a<sub>b</sub><sup>c</sup> produces a cb . To produce consecutive
superscripts, enclose all superscript characters in a single pair of tags. The string
x<sup>(a+b)</sup> produces x
( a + b)
in your plot.
To insert a tag into text literally, precede the first angle bracket with a backslash (“\”).
To insert a backslash in the text, just type two backslashes (“\\”). In ASCII input files,
the number of backslashes must be doubled (two to precede a special character, four to
create a backslash) because the Preplot program also requires a backslash to escape
special characters.
• Angle (deg) - Specify the orientation of the text relative to the axis. The angle is
measured in degrees counter-clockwise from horizontal. Horizontal text is at zero
degrees; vertical text is at 90 degrees. You can either enter an angle in degrees, or
select from one of the preset angles in the drop-down.
• Height - Specify the height for the text. The height can be expressed in any of three
ways, depending upon the setting of Coordinate System/Character Height. The
default is in points; you can either enter a value in the text field or choose a preset
value from the drop-down.
• Coordinate System/Character Height - Select a combination of coordinate system
and character height units from the following option buttons:
•
Frame/Frame - Specify character height as a percentage of frame height and
place the text in a frame coordinate system.
•
Frame/Point - Specify character height in points and place the text in a frame
coordinate system.
•
Grid/Grid - Specify character height in grid units, and place the text in the
grid coordinate system.
343
Text, Geometries, and Images
•
Grid/Frame - Specify character height in frame units and place it in the grid
coordinate system.
• Origin - Enter the X and Y-coordinates of the text anchor.
• Clipping - Clipping refers to displaying only that portion of an object that falls within
a specified clipping region of the plot. If you have specified your text position in the
Frame coordinate system, the text will be clipped to the frame. If you have specified
the Grid coordinate system, you can choose to clip your text to the frame or the
viewport. The size of the viewport depends on the plot type as follows:
• 3D Cartesian - The viewport is the same as the frame, so viewport clipping is
the same as frame clipping.
• 2D Cartesian/XY Line - The viewport is defined by the extents of the X and Y
axes. You can modify this with the Area page of the Axis Details dialog.
• Polar Line/Sketch - By default, the viewport is the same as the frame. You can
modify this with the Area page of the Axis Details dialog.
• Options - Select [Options] to add a box around your text, modify the line spacing for
multi-line text, or set a text anchor location. See Section 18- 1.2 “Text Options”.
18- 1.2 Text Options
Using the Text Options dialog (accessed via the [Options] button in the Text Details dialog)
allows you to control boxed text, specify the text anchor position, control line spacing, and specify
the scope of the text. The following options are available:
344
Text
• Text Box - Specifies whether to box the text, and how the box appears on your plot, as
follows:
• No Box - Select this option to specify that no box is drawn around the text.
• Filled - Select this option to specify a filled box around the text. A filled box is
opaque; if you place it over another Tecplot 360 object, the underlying object
cannot be seen.
• Plain - Select this to specify a plain box around the text.
• Line Thickness (%) - Specifies the thickness of the text box as a percentage of
the frame width.
• Box Color - Select the box outline color from the Select Color dialog.
• Fill Color - Select the box fill color from the Select Color dialog.
• Margin - Specify the margin as a percentage of the text character height.
• Text Anchor Location - Specify the anchor point, or fixed point, for the text box. As
the text box grows or shrinks, the anchor location is fixed, while the rest of the box
adjusts to accommodate the new size. There are nine possible anchor points,
corresponding to the left, right, and center positions on the headline, midline, and
baseline of the text box. Select the radio button corresponding to the desired anchor
position.
• Line Spacing - Specify the line spacing for the entered text. To specify the line
spacing either enter a value in the text field, or use the up and down arrows to increase
or decrease the existing value.
• Attach to Zone/Map - Select this check box to attach the text to a particular zone or
mapping. Text that is attached to an inactive or non-existent zone is not displayed. If
you select this check box, enter the number of the zone or mapping to which you want
to attach the text.
• Show in All “Like” Frames - Select this check box to display the entered text in all
frames sharing the current frame's dataset.
• Macro Function - In the text field, specify the name of the macro function that you
wish to link to a particular string of text. See Section 27- 1.2 “Macro Linking to Text
and Geometries” for more information.
18- 1.3 Special Characters
European Characters
Tecplot 360 supports the ISO-Latin one-character encodings. Characters in the ASCII ordinal range
from 160-255 are now available, providing support for most of the major European languages.
Table 18 - 2 shows the characters supported by Tecplot 360. Note that the two right-hand columns
represent the extended European characters. Text formatting tags for Greek, Math, or User-defined
345
Text, Geometries, and Images
characters work only with characters in the range 32-126 and is not available for the extended
European characters.
If your keyboard is configured to produce European characters, then the European characters
should appear and print automatically with no additional setup.
If your keyboard is not configured to produce a specific European character you can generate it by
including the sequence \nnn in your text where nnn is from the character index table found in Table
18 - 2. For example, if your keyboard will not generate the é and you want to show the word “latté,”
enter:
latt\233
346
Text
Custom Characters
!
∀
#
∃
%
&
∋
(
)
∗
+
,
−
.
/
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
:
;
<
=
>
?
≅
Α
Β
Χ
Δ
Ε
Φ
Γ
Η
Ι
ϑ
Κ
Λ
Μ
Ν
Ο
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
[
\
]
^
_
‘
a
b
c
d
e
f
g
h
i
j
k
l
m
n
o
p
q
r
s
t
u
v
w
x
y
z
{
|
}
~
Π
Θ
Ρ
Σ
Τ
Υ
ς
Ω
Ξ
Ψ
Ζ
[
∴
]
⊥
_
⎯
α
β
χ
δ
ε
φ
γ
η
ι
ϕ
κ
λ
μ
ν
ο
π
θ
ρ
σ
τ
υ
ϖ
ω
ξ
ψ
ζ
{
|
}
∼
〉
∫
⌠
⎮
⌡
⎞
⎟
⎠
⎤
⎥
⎦
⎫
⎬
⎭
160
161
162
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
182
183
184
185
186
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195
196
197
198
199
200
201
202
203
204
205
206
207
¡
¢
£
¤
¥
¦
§
¨
©
ª
«
¬
®
¯
°
±
²
³
´
µ
¶
·
¸
¹
º
»
¼
½
¾
¿
À
Á
Â
Ã
Ä
Å
Æ
Ç
È
É
Ê
Ë
Ì
Í
Î
Ï
cte
r
cte
r In
Ex
de
ten
x
de
dC
ha
ra
Ch
ara
fin
ed
∠
∇
®
©
™
∏
√
⋅
¬
∧
∨
⇔
⇐
⇑
⇒
⇓
◊
〈
®
©
™
∑
⎛
⎜
⎝
⎡
⎢
⎣
⎧
⎨
⎩
⎪
Ch
ara
cte
r In
Ex
de
ten
x
de
dC
ha
ra
De
De
th
Us
er
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
(space)
!
"
#
$
%
&
’
(
)
*
+
,
.
/
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
:
;
<
=
>
?
@
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
Ma
ϒ
′
≤
⁄
∞
ƒ
♣
♦
♥
♠
↔
←
↑
→
↓
°
±
″
≥
×
∝
∂
•
÷
≠
≡
≈
…
⏐
⎯
↵
ℵ
ℑ
ℜ
℘
⊗
⊕
∅
∩
∪
⊃
⊇
⊄
⊂
⊆
∈
∉
fin
ed
Ch
ara
cte
r In
En
de
gli
x
sh
Te
xt
Gr
ee
k
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
Ma
th
Us
er
Ch
ara
cte
r In
En
de
gli
x
sh
Te
xt
Gr
ee
k
cte
r
You can create symbols, characters, and even custom fonts for use in Tecplot 360
208
209
210
211
212
213
214
215
216
217
218
219
220
221
222
223
224
225
226
227
228
229
230
231
232
233
234
235
236
237
238
239
240
241
242
243
244
245
246
247
248
249
250
251
252
253
254
255
Ð
Ñ
Ò
Ó
Ô
Õ
Ö
×
Ø
Ù
Ú
Û
Ü
Ý
Þ
ß
à
á
â
ã
ä
å
æ
ç
è
é
ê
ë
ì
í
î
ï
ð
ñ
ò
ó
ô
õ
ö
÷
ø
ù
ú
û
ü
ý
þ
ÿ
Table 18 - 2: Character Indices in Tecplot 360.
See Section 31 - 6 “Custom Character and Symbol Definition” for further instructions.
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18- 1.4 Dynamic Text
You can add special placeholders to text that changes with the data or the display environment. For
example, you can add a date placeholder that Tecplot 360 will replace with the current date at each
Redraw. Similarly, you can add a zone name or variable name placeholder.
The complete list of placeholders is as follows:
Variables
Notes
&(AUXDATASET:name)
The value of the named auxiliary data attached to the dataset.
&(AUXFRAME:name)
The value of the named auxiliary data attached to the frame.
&(AUXPAGE:name)
The value of the named auxiliary data attached to the page.
&(AUXVAR[nnn]:name)
The value of the named auxiliary data attached to variable nnn.
&(AUXLINEMAP[Q]:name)
The value of the named auxiliary data attached to linemap Q, where
Q = either nnn or ACTIVEOFFSET = nnn and nnn = linemap number. If ACTIVEOFFSET= is used, the integer value indicates the
first linemap associated with the nnnth active fieldmap.
&(AUXZONE[Q]:name)
The value of the named auxiliary data attached to Q, where Q =
either nnn or ACTIVEOFFSET = nnn and nnn = zone number. If
ACTIVEOFFSET= is used, the integer value indicates the first zone
associated with the nnnth active fieldmap.
&(AXISMAXn)
Maximum value of the current n-axis range, where n is one of: Aa, R,
X, Y, or Z.
&(AXISMINn)
Minimum value of the current n-axis range, where n is one of: Aa, R,
X, Y, or Z.
&(BYTEORDERING)
Displays the platform’s byte ordering (INTEL or MOTOROLA).
&(DATE)
The current date, in the format dd Mmm yyyy.
&(DATASETFNAME[nnn])
Filename of the nnnth file associated with the current dataset. If nnn
is omitted, then all dataset filenames are shown, separated by new
lines.
&(DATASETTITLE)
The current dataset title.
&(ENDSLICEPOS[<slicegrouporactiveoffset>])
The position of the ending slice plane.
&(EXPORTISRECORDING)
Returns “YES” if recording is active, otherwise returns “NO”.
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Variables
Notes
&(FRAMENAME)
The frame name.
&(INBATCHMODE)
Returns a value of 1 if the software is in batch mode, 0 if interactive.
&(ISDATASETAVAILABLE)
Returns a value of 1 if a dataset exists for the current frame, 0 if nonexistent.
&(ISOSURFACELEVEL[<iso-
surfacegrouporactiveoffset>][nnn])
The value of the contour variable on the nnnth iso-surface. NOTE:
currently, this applies only to iso-surface group 1 in Tecplot 360.
&(LAYOUTFNAME)
The name of the current layout file.
&(LOOP)
Innermost loop counter.
&(MACROFILEPATH)
Path to the directory containing the most recently opened macro file.
&(MAXn)
Maximum value of the n variable, where n is one of: Aa, R, X, Y, or
Z. For 2D or 3D Cartesian plots, the value is calculated from all
active zones. For line plots, the value is calculated from the zone
assigned to the first active linemap.
&(MAXB)
Maximum value of the blanking variable for the first active constraint. For 2D or 3D Cartesian plots, the value is calculated from
the active zones. For line plots, the value is calculated from the zone
assigned to the first active linemap.
&(MAXC)
Maximum value of the contour variable for contour group 1. For 2D
or 3D Cartesian plots, the value is calculated from the active zones.
For line plots, the value is calculated from the zone assigned to the
first active linemap.
&(MAXI), &(MAXJ), &(MAXK)
[I, J, K]-dimension of the first active zone for 2D and 3D Cartesian
plot types. For finite-element data, I represents the number of nodes
in the first active zone, J represents the number of elements in the
first active zone, and K represents the number of nodes per element
(cell-based) or total number of faces (face-based) in the first active
zone.
&(MAXS)
Maximum value of the scatter sizing variable of the active zones.
&(MAXU), &(MAXV),
&(MAXW)
Maximum value of the variable assigned to the [X, Y, Z]-vector
component of the active zones.
&(MAXVAR[nnn])
Maximum value of variable nnn.
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Variables
Notes
&(MINn)
Minimum value of the n variable, where n is one of: Aa, R, X, Y, or
Z. For 2D or 3D Cartesian plots, the value is calculated from all
active zones. For line plots, the value is calculated from the zone
assigned to the first active linemap.
&(MINB)
Minimum value of the blanking variable of the first active blanking
constraint. For 2D or 3D Cartesian plots, the value is calculated
from all active zones. For line plots, the value is calculated from the
zone assigned to the first active linemap.
&(MINC)
Minimum value of the contour variable of contour group 1. For 2D
or 3D Cartesian plots, the value is calculated from all active zones.
For line plots, the value is calculated from the zone assigned to the
first active linemap.
&(MINS)
Minimum value of the scatter sizing variable for the active zones.
&(MINU), &(MINV), &(MINW)
Minimum value of the variable assigned to the [X, Y, Z]-vector component for the active zones.
&(MINVAR[nnn])
Minimum value of variable nnn.
&(NUMFRAMES)
Number of frames.
&(NUMPROCESSORSUSED)
Number of processors used. This may be different than the total
number on the machine because of the $!Limits MaxAvailableProcessors configuration file command, or because of a product limitation. Tecplot Focus is limited to one processor, while Tecplot 360 is
limited to eight.
&(NUMVARS)
Number of variables in the current dataset.
&(NUMXYMAPS)
Number of XY-linemaps assigned to the current frame.
&(NUMZONES)
Number of zones in current dataset.
&(OPSYS)
Displays the current operating system. 1=UNIX/Linux/Macintosh,
2=Windows.
&(PAPERHEIGHT)
The paper height (in inches).
&(PAPERWIDTH)
The paper width (in inches).
&(PLATFORM)
The platform type (e.g. SGI or WINDOWS).
&(PLOTTYPE)
Plot type of the current frame: 0 for Sketch, 1 for XY Line, 2 for Cartesian 2D, 3 for Cartesian 3D, and 4 for Polar Line.
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Text
Variables
Notes
&(PRIMARYSLICEPOS [<slicegrouporactiveoffset>])
The primary slice position. (Currently limited to Slice Group 1 in
Tecplot 360.)
&(PRINTFNAME)
The name of the current print file.
&(SLICEPLANETYPE[<slicegrouporactiveoffset>])
The type of the slice plane (X, Y, Z, I, J or K-planes).
&(SOLUTIONTIME)
The current solution time.
&(SOLUTIONTIME[Q])
Solution time of Q, where Q = either nnn or ACTIVEOFFSET = nnn
and nnn = zone number. If ACTIVEOFFSET= is used, the integer
value indicates the fist zone associated with the nnnth active fieldmap. &(SOLUTIONTIME[5]) displays the solution time of the 5th
zone. &(SOLUTIONTIME[ACTIVEOFFSET=3]) displays the
solution time of the first zone in the 3rd active fieldmap.
&(STARTSLICEPOS[<slicegrouporactiveoffset>])
The position of the starting slice plane.
&(STRANDID[x])
The strandID of a zone in dynamic text.
&(STREAMSTARTPOS[nnn])
Starting position (X, Y, Z) of the nnnth streamtrace.
&(STREAMTYPE[nnn])
Type (Surface Line, Volume Line, Volume Ribbon, Volume Rod) of
the nnnth streamtrace.
&($string)
The value of the system environment variable string.
&(TECHOME)
Path to the home directory.
&(TECPLOTVERSION)
Displays the version number.
&(TIME)
The current time, in the format hh:mm:ss.
&(VARNAME[nnn])
The variable name of variable nnn.
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Text, Geometries, and Images
Variables
Notes
&(ZONEMESHCOLOR[Q])
Color of the mesh for Q, where Q = either nnn or ACTIVEOFFSET
= nnn and nnn = zone number. If ACTIVEOFFSET= is used, the
integer value indicates the nnnth active zone for field plots or the
zone associated with the nnnth active linemap for line plots.
&(ZONENAME[Q])
The zone name of Q, where Q = either nnn or ACTIVEOFFSET =
nnn and nnn = zone number. If ACTIVEOFFSET= is used, the integer value indicates the nnnth active zone for field plots or the zone
associated with the nnnth active linemap for line plots.
a. where A represents the theta (or angle) axis variable in Polar Line plots.
The placeholders must be typed exactly as shown, except that the nnn in the zone name and variable name placeholders should be replaced by the actual number of the zone or variable, such as
&(ZONENAME[3]) or &(VARNAME[2]).
You can, of course, embed the dynamic text strings in text records in a Tecplot-format data file, as
in the following example:
TEXT CS=FRAME HU=POINT T=”&(DATE)”
System environment variables can be accessed directly from Tecplot 360 by using the following:
&($string), where string is the name of your environment variable. Using environment variables
within Tecplot 360 can add another degree of flexibility by taking advantage of your customized
environment. If an environment variable is missing, the environment variable name itself will
appear on the screen.
Formatting Dynamic Text String
If you want a dynamic text string to be formatted in a specific way then you can include C-style
number formatting strings in the macro variable specification.
The syntax for including a format string is:
&(DynamicTextString%formatstring)
The following formats are available:
• s - string of characters
• d - signed integer
• e - scientific notation with a lowercase “e”
• E - scientific notation with an uppercase “E”
• f - floating point
• g - use %e or %f, whichever is shorter
• G - use %E or %f, whichever is shorter
• u - unsigned integer, written out in decimal format
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Text
• o - unsigned integer, written out in octal format
• x - unsigned integer, written out in hexadecimal (where a - f are lowercase)
• X- unsigned integer, written out in hexadecimal (where A - F are uppercase)
Example 1:
To display the message "Maximum contour value is:
digits to the right of the decimal place. You would use:
xxxxxx" where xxxxxx only has two
"Maximum contour value is: &(MAXC%.2f)"
If |MAXC| currently has a value of 356.84206 then the dialog would show:
"Maximum contour value is: 356.84"
Example 2:
If, in the above example, you wanted to use exponential format you could use:
"Maximum contour value is: &(MAXC%12.6e)"
Here the result would be:
"Maximum contour value is: 3.568421e+02"
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Text, Geometries, and Images
18 - 2 Geometries
Geometries in Tecplot 360 are simply line drawings. Geometries include polylines (a set of line
segments), circles, ellipses, rectangles, and squares. Images are also considered geometries, and are
discussed in Section 18 - 3 “Images”. Figure 18-2 shows some examples of geometries.
Map Made Using Geometries
Example Geometry Shapes
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
-20
-40
-150
-100
-50
0
Figure 18-2. Sample Geometries
18- 2.1 Geometry Creation
Geometries are created by drawing them in a frame using the Toolbar or the Insert menu.
Polyline
Add a polyline to your plot, using the
button from the Toolbar or by selecting Insert>Polyline. To draw the polyline, move the mouse (without dragging) to the desired end point of the first
line segment, then click the left mouse button. Move the pointer to the next end point, click, and so
on. After placing the last segment, double-click on the final end point, right-click, or press ESC on
your keyboard. To draw a horizontal or vertical line segment, press the
H or V keys, respectively, while drawing the segment. After you place the segment’s end point, the
horizontal or vertical restriction is lifted. To lift the horizontal or vertical line segment restriction
without placing the end point, press A on your keyboard. You can draw unconnected line segments
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Geometries
in a single polyline; press U on your keyboard to “lift the pen.” You can then move the pointer to
the start of the next line segment.
A
Allow translation of polyline segments in all directions.
H
Restrict translation of current polyline segment to horizontal.
U
Pen up, while drawing polyline.
V
Restrict translation of current polyline segment to vertical.
Table 18 - 3: Keyboard Shortcuts for Polylines
Circle
Add a circle to your plot, using the
button from the Toolbar or by selecting Insert>Circle. To
draw the circles, click at the desired center point of the circle; drag the mouse until the circle is the
desired radius, then release.
Ellipse
Add an ellipse to your plot, using the
button from the Toolbar or by selecting Insert>Ellipse.
To draw the ellipse, click at the desired center point of the ellipse; drag the mouse until the ellipse is
the desired size and shape, then release.
Square
Add a square to your plot, using the
button from the Toolbar or by selecting Insert>Square.
The anchor point of the square is either the lower left-hand corner or the upper right corner of the
square. Drag the mouse to the right of the anchor to create a square with the anchor at lower left;
drag the mouse to the left to create a square with the anchor at upper right. Release when the square
is the desired size.
Rectangle
Add a rectangle to your plot, using the
button from the Toolbar or by selecting Insert>Rectangle. To draw the rectangle, drag the mouse until the rectangle is the desired size and shape. In
contrast to squares, rectangles can propagate in any direction.
18- 2.2 Geometry Details
Use the Geometry Details dialog to specify attributes of polylines, circles, ellipses, squares and
rectangles. To access the Geometry Details dialog either select a geometry and select the [Object
Details] button in the Sidebar, or double-click on the geometry object itself.
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Text, Geometries, and Images
The following options are available:
• Line Color - Select a color for the geometry from the Select Color dialog.
• Line Pattern - Select the desired pattern (Solid, Dashed, Dotted, LongDash, or
DashDotDot).
• Pattern Length (%) - Specify the length of the line pattern as a percentage of the
frame width.
• Line Thickness (%) - Specify the thickness of the line as a percentage of the frame
width.
• Fill Color - Toggle-on to fill a circle, ellipse, square, rectangle or line segment
polygon. Then select a color for the geometry fill from the Select Color dialog.
• Origin - Enter the X and Y-coordinates of the anchor position of the geometry (in
frame units if the coordinate system is frame; in grid units if the coordinate system is
grid).
• Coordinate System - Specify the coordinate system for the geometry (Frame or
Grid).
• Frame - The geometry is always displayed at constant size when you zoom in
or out of the plot.
• Grid - The geometry resizes with the data grid.
• Clipping - Clipping refers to displaying only that portion of an object that falls
within a specified clipping region of the plot. If you have specified your geometry position in the Frame coordinate system, the geometry will be clipped to
the frame—any portion of the geometry that falls outside the frame is not displayed. If you have specified the Grid coordinate system, you can choose to
clip your geometry to the frame or the viewport. The size of the viewport
depends on the plot type as follows:
• 3D Cartesian - The viewport is the same as the frame, so viewport clipping is the same as frame clipping.
• 2D Cartesian/XY Line - The viewport is defined by the extents of the
X and Y-axes. You can modify this with the Area page of the Axis
Details dialog.
• Polar Line/Sketch - By default, the viewport is the same as the frame.
You can modify this with the Area page of the Axis Details dialog.
• Draw Order - Geometries can be drawn either before the data, or after the data. If a
geometry is drawn before the data, the plot layers, such as mesh, contour lines, etc.
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Geometries
will be drawn on top of the geometry. If a geometry is drawn after the data, the
geometry will be drawn last, obscuring the data.
You can place text and geometries in any order you like. Tecplot 360 draws all geometries first, in the order in which they
were placed, then all text. Use the Push and Pop commands
from the Edit menu to reorder objects in the viewstack.
• Attach to Zone/Map - Toggle-on to attach the geometry to a particular zone or
mapping by entering the number of the zone or mapping. Geometries that are attached
to an inactive or non-existent zone are not displayed.
• Show in All “Like” Frames - Select this check box to display the geometry in all
frames sharing the current frame's dataset.
• Macro Function - In the text field, specify the name of the macro function that you
wish to link to a particular geometry. See Section 27- 1.2 “Macro Linking to Text and
Geometries” for more information.
The following fields are specific to a single geometry type:
• Polyline Arrowhead - These options control the appearance of an arrowhead on a
drawn polyline.
• Attachment - Choose the end or ends of the polyline by selecting the appropriate check boxes.
• Size(%) - Specify the size of the arrowhead, as a percentage of frame height.
• Style
•
Plain arrowhead style.
•
Filled arrowhead style.
•
Hollow arrowhead style.
• Angle - Specify the angle the arrowhead makes with the polyline. You can
either enter a value (in degrees) in the text field, or choose a preset value from
the drop-down.
• Circle - Controls the radius and precision of approximation of the circle:
• Radius - Set the radius of the circle (in coordinate system units, Frame or
Grid).
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Text, Geometries, and Images
• Approximated by Number of Sides - Enter the number of polylines used to
approximate the circle.
• Ellipse - Controls the shape and precision of approximation of the ellipse, as follows:
• Horizontal Axis - Set the horizontal axis of the ellipse (in coordinate system
units, Frame or Grid).
• Vertical Axis - Set the vertical axis of the ellipse (in coordinate system unitsFrame or Grid).
• Approximated by Number of Sides - Enter the number of polylines used to
approximate the ellipse.
• Square - Controls the size of the square, as follows:
• Size - Set the size of the square (in coordinate system units, Frame or Grid).
• Rectangle - Controls the size and shape of the rectangle, as follows:
• Width - Set the width of the rectangle (in coordinate system units, Frame or
Grid).
• Height - Set the height of the rectangle (in coordinate system units, Frame or
Grid).
18- 2.3 Three-dimensional Line Geometries
Three-dimensional line geometries cannot be created interactively; they must be created in a data
file or using an add-on. In order to display 3D geometries, you must either include at least one zone
in the data file with the 3D geometries or read the 3D geometries in, using the Add to Current
Data Set option, after having first read a dataset into the frame.
18 - 3 Images
Tecplot 360 can import images from JPEG, BMP, and PNG files. These images can be used as
logos or as a backdrop to your plot. To add an image to your plot, go to Insert>Image and browse
to the desired image file.
When you insert an image, the image is initially centered in the frame at a preset size.
18- 3.1 Modifying Images
The Image Geometry Details dialog (accessed via the [Object Details] button in the Sidebar) is
used to modify an image just like it is used to modify other geometries. The dialog also displays the
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Images
file name of the image and its resolution (number of pixels in each direction) for informational purposes.
The following options are available:
• Origin - Enter the X and Y-coordinates of the anchor position of the geometry (in
frame units if the coordinate system is frame; in grid units if the coordinate system is
grid).
• Coordinate System - Specify the coordinate system for the geometry (Frame or
Grid).
• Frame - The geometry is always displayed at constant size when you zoom in
or out of the plot.
• Grid - The geometry resizes with the data grid.
• Clipping - Clipping refers to displaying only that portion of an object that falls
within a specified clipping region of the plot. If you have specified your geometry position in the Frame coordinate system, the geometry will be clipped to
the frame—any portion of the geometry that falls outside the frame is not displayed. If you have specified the Grid coordinate system, you can choose to
clip your geometry to the frame or the viewport. The size of the viewport
depends on the plot type as follows:
• 3D Cartesian - The viewport is the same as the frame, so viewport clipping is the same as frame clipping.
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Text, Geometries, and Images
• 2D Cartesian/XY Line - The viewport is defined by the extents of the
X and Y-axes. You can modify this with the Area page of the Axis
Details dialog.
• Polar Line/Sketch - By default, the viewport is the same as the frame.
You can modify this with the Area page of the Axis Details dialog.
• Height and Width - Enter a new value in one of the text fields labeled Width or
Height. Units may be specified by typing them after the number. Use “cm” for
centimeters, “in” for inches, or “pix” for pixels.
• Preserve Aspect Ratio - When the Preserve Aspect Ratio toggle is off, the width and
height of the image can be set independently. If the Preserve Aspect Ratio is then
turned back on, the current image aspect ratio is used. To return the image to its
original shape, press the [Reset] button.
• Draw Order - Geometries can be drawn either before or after the data. If a geometry
is drawn before the data, the plot layers, such as mesh, contour lines, etc. will be drawn
on top of the geometry. If a geometry is drawn after the data, the geometry will be
drawn last, obscuring the data.
You can place text and geometries in any order you like. Tecplot 360 draws all geometries first, in the order in which they
were placed, then all text. Use the Push and Pop commands
from the Edit menu to reorder objects in the viewstack.
• Attach to Zone/Map - Toggle-on to attach the geometry to a particular zone or
mapping by entering the number of the zone or mapping. Geometries that are attached
to an inactive or non-existent zone are not displayed.
• Show in All “Like” Frames - Select this check box to display the geometry in all
frames sharing the current frame's dataset.
• Macro Function - In the text field, specify the name of the macro function that you
wish to link to a particular geometry.
• Filter - The Resize filter determines how the image is resized to fit the screen. The
following filters are available:
• Fast (textures) - default- Tecplot 360 uses OpenGL textures to resize the
image. This is the fastest option (given sufficient graphics space). However, the
accuracy of the image may suffer, especially when reducing an image to a size
much smaller than it was before.
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Text and Geometry Alignment
• Pixelated - Choose this option when the image is much larger than its original
size and you want to see the individual pixels. This option is slower than the
Fast (textures) for increasing the size of images.
• Smooth - There are seven smooth options, all producing slightly different
effects. These options are slower than the Fast (textures), but produce better
effects for highly reduced images. In general, use the Smooth (Lanczos2)
option unless you have specific image processing needs.
The resize filter has no effect on vector-based output, only on
the screen and for exported images.
Line Color, Line Pattern, Pattern Length, Line Thickness and
Fill Color are not available for images.
18- 3.2 Images and Tecplot 360 Files
For data files, images cannot be included in data files. When you save a data file, even if you
specify to include geometries, any images in the plot are not saved.
In layout and style sheet files, the image is referenced from its original location. This reference can
be a relative reference or an absolute (as with data files). See Section 23 - 1 “Layout Files, Layout
Package Files, Stylesheets” for details.
For layout package files, images are included.
18 - 4 Text and Geometry Alignment
When you have a number of text and geometries, you may want to align them after placing them.
You can do this using the alignment tools in the Quick Edit dialog.
You can use these tools as follows:
1. On the Toolbar, choose the Selector tool by clicking
.
2. In the workspace, select a text or geometry with which you want to align other
objects.
3. On the Sidebar, select the [Quick Edit] button to call up the Quick Edit dialog if it is
not already displayed.
4. Drag the mouse to draw a rubber band box around the text and geometries you want
to align. The Group Select dialog appears.
5. Select the Text and Geometries check boxes in the Group Select dialog, then select
[OK]. Selection handles appear on the selected text and geometries.
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Text, Geometries, and Images
6. Use the alignment buttons to align the selected text and geometries with the original
select object as follows:
•
Left
•
Center
•
Right
•
Top
•
Bottom
18 - 5 Text and Geometry Links to Macros
Each text or geometry you create can be linked to a macro function. This macro function is called
whenever you hold down the control key and click the right mouse button on the text or geometry.
Macro functions are specified with the “Macro Function” field in the Geometry Details dialog or
in the Text Options dialog (accessed by selecting your object and then selecting the [Object
Details] button in the Sidebar. For example, if you have pieces of text, each representing a different
well, CTRL-right-click on any piece could run a macro that brings up an XY-plot of that well's data.
In order to be attached to a text or geometry object, the macro function must be a “retained” macro
function. A macro function is “retained” via either of the following scenarios:
• running a macro that contains the required macro function.
or
• including it in your tecplot.mcr file.
In both cases, the macro function is defined using the $!MACROFUNCTION macro command.
Refer to “$!MACROFUNCTION...$!ENDMACROFUNCTION” on page 180 in the Scripting
Guide for additional information.
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Part 4 Data
Manipulation
Chapter 19
Blanking
Blanking allows you to exclude specific portions of zones from being plotted (in other words,
selectively display certain cells or data points). In 3D, the result is analogous to a cutaway view. In
general, all types of blanking affect all field layers, zones, and all other plot attributes with the following exceptions:
Type of Blanking
Attribute Not Blanked
Value Blanking
Edge Layer
IJK Blanking
Derived Objectsa (slices, streamtraces, or iso-surfaces)
FE zones
Unstructured/Unorganized zones
Depth Blanking
Derived Objectsa (slices, streamtraces or iso-surfaces)
Table 19 - 1: Plot attributes not affected by blanking.
a. Derived Objects can opt in or out of blanking. (See Section 19 - 1 “Blanking Settings for Derived Objects”.)
Blanking settings are only applied to the current frame. Value Blanking settings for multiple frames
may be synchronized using frame linking. Refer to Section 2- 3.6 “Frame Linking” for more information on linking. Blanking results for volume zones depend upon the Surfaces to Plot setting on
the Surfaces page of the Zone Style dialog (See Section 7- 1.2 “Surfaces” for more details).
In the following discussions, the term “cell” is used. In I-ordered datasets, a cell is the connection
between two adjacent points. In IJ-ordered datasets, a cell is the quadrilateral area bounded by four
neighboring data points. In IJK-ordered datasets, a cell is the six-faced (hexahedral) volume
bounded by eight neighboring data points. For finite element datasets, a cell is equivalent to an element.
The forms of blanking are as follows:
• Value Blanking - Cells (or portions of cells) of selected zones or line plot mappings are
excluded based on the value of the value blanking variable at the data point of each
cell or at the point where each cell intersects a constraint boundary.
• IJK Blanking - Cells of one IJK-ordered zone are included or excluded based on the
index values. (IJK-ordered zones ONLY)
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Blanking Settings for Derived Objects
• Depth Blanking - Cells in a 3D plot are visually excluded based on their distance from
the viewer plane. (3D zones ONLY)
All types of blanking may be used in a single plot. They are cumulative: cells blanked from any of
the options do not appear. Value Blanking and Depth Blanking affect selected zones of all types,
while IJK Blanking affects a single IJK-ordered zone.
19 - 1 Blanking Settings for Derived Objects
You can opt to turn blanking on or off for derived objects (iso-surfaces, streamtraces, or slices) in
their respective Details dialogs.
• Iso-surfaces - The option is located on the Style page of the Iso-surface Details
dialog (located to the right of Iso-Surfaces in the Sidebar). Refer to Section 16 - 3 “IsoSurface Style” for details.
• Streamtraces - The option is located on the Integration page of the Streamtrace
Details dialog (located to the right of Streamtraces in the Sidebar). Refer to Section
15- 1.6 “Integration Page” for details.
• Slices - The option is located on the Other page of the Slice Details dialog. Refer to
Section 14- 1.5 “Other Page” for details.
19 - 2 Value Blanking
Value blanking allows you to selectively eliminate or trim cells (only) and elements from Line and
3D field plots. For each active constraint, you specify: a value blanking variable, a constant value
or another variable, and a conditional statement telling Tecplot 360 to blank that region in relation
to the specified variable or constant.
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Blanking
19- 2.1 Value Blanking for Field Plots
To include value blanking in your plot, go to the Plot menu and select Blanking>Value Blanking.
The Value-Blanking dialog has the following options:
• Include Value-Blanking - Toggle-on to include value blanking.
• Trim cells along constraint boundary
• Blank entire cells when - Select one of the following blanking styles:
• All corners are blanked - Cells are removed from the plot if all of their
data points satisfy one or more of the active blanking constraints.
• Any corner is blanked - Cells are removed from the plot if any of their
data points satisfy one or more of the active blanking constraints.
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Value Blanking
• Primary value is blanked - Cells are removed from the plot based on
the primary value for a cell. The primary value for the cell is dependent
upon the zone type and the variable value location, as outlined in the
following table.
Zone Typea
Value Location
Source of Primary Value
Ordered
Cell Centered
Cell value
Finite element
Cell Centered
Cell value
Ordered
Nodal
Lowest indexed corner in the cell
Finite element
Nodal
First node in the connectivity list
for the cell
a. Refer to the Zone/Variable Info Page of the Data Set Information dialog to
determine the Zone Type and Value Location.
• Constraint - You can establish up to eight value blanking constraints.
• Active - Toggle-on to activate a constraint, such as:
• Blank when - For each constraint, set the following parameters:
• Select the variable to use for value blanking.
It is often convenient to create a new variable
for use as the value blanking variable. This
allows you to manipulate its values without
changing any other part of the plot. You can
create a new variable using the Specify Equations dialog (accessed via Data>Alter). See
Section 20- 1.1 “Equation Syntax”.
• Specify one of the following operations, to describe how the blanking
variable will be compared to the constant or variable following it.
• Show Constraint Boundary (ONLY) - Toggle-on to display the line that separates
the region of your data that is blanked from the region which is not blanked
Value Blanking has no effect on edges of an ordered zone.
If the edge is turned on, the edge of the entire zone (without value blanking) is plotted.
367
Blanking
For finite element data, value blanking can affect the view of previously extracted boundaries
because each extracted boundary is a zone (see Section “Boundary Extraction of Finite Element
Zones” on page 403).
The following figure illustrates the various value blanking modes for plots.
-20
-25
-10
-5
10
-20
-25
-10
-5
10
-10
-15
-5
5
10
-10
-15
-5
5
10
0
-5
0
10
15
0
-5
0
10
15
-5
5
10
20
25
-5
5
10
20
25
-10
0
15
25
20
-10
0
15
25
20
-20
-25
-10
-5
10
-20
-25
-10
-5
10
-10
-15
-5
5
10
-10
-15
-5
5
10
0
-5
0
10
15
0
-5
0
10
15
-5
5
10
20
25
-5
5
10
20
25
-10
0
15
25
20
-10
0
15
25
20
A
C
B
D
Figure 19-3. The effects of the different value blanking options in field plots for a
constraint where a variable is less than or equal to zero. The dark shading
indicates the areas that are not blanked.
(A) Blank cell when primary value is blanked. (B) Blank cell when all corners are
blanked. (C) Blank cell when any corner is blanked. (D) Trim cells along mathematical constraint boundary.
19- 2.2 Blanking Settings for Individual Zones
Using the Effects page of the Zone Style dialog (accessed via the Plot menu or the Sidebar), you
can turn value blanking on and off for individual zones. Simply, highlight the zone(s), and select
“Yes” or “No” from the Use Value Blanking column.
19- 2.3 Line Plot Blanking
For line plots, blanking excludes data points from consideration in the resulting plot. On a global
scale, only value blanking is available. To plot specific index ranges, you can use the Indices page
368
IJK Blanking
of the Mapping Style dialog to limit index ranges per mapping. The Curves page can provide
another form of blanking by allowing you to limit the range of the independent variable for individual mappings.
Figure 19-4 shows two plots. The original data for the plots contain some “bad” data points. The
bad data points were identified as those with a Y-value greater than 0.6. The plot on the left uses all
data points, including the bad data points, to draw a curve. The plot on the right has filtered out the
bad data points by using value blanking, where all points are removed if Y > 0.6. Blanking does not
necessarily have to be on the independent or dependent variable.
Figure 19-4. XY Line plots showing the effect of value blanking.
19 - 3 IJK Blanking
IJK Blanking is available only for 3D volume zones. IJK Blanking removes a selected portion of
one IJK-ordered zone from the plot. This allows you to create cutaway plots: plots showing the
exterior of some dataset with a section “cut away” to show the interior, such as the plot shown in
Figure 19-5.
To use IJK-blanking, you must have an IJK-ordered zone, and the current plot type must be or 3D Cartesian. Unlike Value Blanking, which
operates on all zones within a single frame, IJK Blanking can only be
used on a single zone within a frame.
369
Blanking
Z
X
Y
Figure 19-5. A cutaway plot created with
IJK Blanking.
To use IJK-blanking, select Blanking>IJK Blanking from the Plot menu.
370
IJK Blanking
The IJK Blanking dialog has the following options.
• Include IJK Blanking - Toggle-on to include IJK Blanking in your plot.
• Domain - Specify the domain of the IJK Blanking by choosing one of the following
options:
• Interior - Cells within the specified index ranges are blanked. Those outside
are plotted. This creates a “hole” in the zone. The left side of Figure 19-6 shows
an ordered zone with IJK Blanking with Interior domain.
• Exterior - Cells outside the specified index ranges are blanked. Those inside
are plotted. Exterior plots a sub-zone of the zone. The right side of Figure 19-6
shows an ordered zone with IJK Blanking with Exterior domain.
IJK-Blanking
IJK-Blanking
Interior Domain
Exterior Domain
1.2
1.2
1.0
1.0
0.8
0.8
0.6
0.6
0.4
0.4
0.2
0.2
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
-1.0
-1.5
-2.0
-2.5
-3.0
-0.5
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
-0
.2
-0
.4
-0
.6
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
-0
.
-0 2
.
-0 4
.6
-0.5
-1.0
-1.5
-2.0
-2.5
-3.0
Figure 19-6. IJK Blanking with Interior domain (left) and Exterior
domain (right).
• Zone - Select the zone to apply IJK Blanking to. The zone must be IJK-ordered. You
may select only one zone at a time.
• IJK - Ranges - Specify the format in which you will specify the index ranges by
selecting one of the following option buttons:
• Select IJK-Ranges Using Index Values - Specify the I, J, and K-index ranges
using absolute index values.
• Select IJK-Ranges Using% of Max - Specify the I, J, and K-index ranges as
start and end percentages of the maximum index. For example, you could blank
the middle third of a dataset by setting the start percentage to 33.3 and the end
percentage to 66.6.
When you save a layout, macro, or stylesheet, the IJK
Blanking index ranges are stored as the percentage of the
maximum index regardless of how you chose to enter them.
This way, one file can be used for different zone sizes.
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Blanking
19 - 4 Depth Blanking
Depth Blanking removes cells in a 3D plot based upon how close or far they appear from the
screen. Turn on Depth Blanking by selecting Blanking>Depth Blanking from the Plot menu.
Activate depth blanking with the following options:
• Include Depth Blanking - Toggle-on to include depth blanking.
• Blank from Front (%) - Blank cells appearing closer to the viewer than this plane.
The value entered is the plane position in percentage of depth from the closest corner
of the bounding box of the data to the furthest corner of the bounding box.
At the default of zero, the plane is at the depth of the closest corner of the bounding
box. No cells on the front of the plot are blanked. At 50, the front half of the plot will
be blanked. In particular, cells closer to the viewer than the front of the blanking plane,
and cells further from the viewer than the blanking plane will not be blanked.
• Blank from Back (%) - Blank cells appearing farther from the viewer than this plane.
The value entered is the plane position in percentage of depth from the furthest corner
of the bounding box of the data to the closest corner of the bounding box.
At the default of zero, this plane is at the depth of the furthest corner of the bounding
box. No cells on the back of the plot will be blanked. At 50, the back half of the plot
will be blanked.
372
Chapter 20
Data Operations
Plots in Tecplot 360 rely on the datasets attached to each frame. You can modify, create, transform,
interpolate, duplicate, and delete the data in the current dataset using the Data menu. You can also
use the data operation capabilities of Tecplot 360 to create plots of analytical functions. By using
Tecplot 360’s layout files, macro capabilities, and/or equation files, you can create complex data
operations that can be repeated on different datasets.
Changes to the dataset within Tecplot 360 do not affect the original data file(s). You can save the
modified data to a data file by selecting “Write Data File” from the File menu. When you save a
layout file, a journal of data operations is saved and those operations are repeated when the layout
file is read at a later time. If the data in the file has changed, or the data file is overridden with a different file, the operations are applied to the new data. Alternatively, any datasets that have been
modified are also saved to data files (see Section 23 - 1 “Layout Files, Layout Package Files,
Stylesheets” for details).
20 - 1 Data Alteration through Equations
Use the Specify Equations dialog to alter data in existing zones. The dialog allows you to change
the values of entire variables or specific data points. You can also use this dialog to create new variables.
Changes made to the dataset in the Specify Equations dialog
are not made to the original data file. You can save the changes
by saving a layout file or writing the new data to a file. Saving
a layout file will keep your data file in its original state, but use
journaled commands to reapply the equations.
373
Data Operations
To modify your dataset, go to the Data menu and select Alter>Specify Equations.
The Specify Equations dialog has the following options and fields:
• Equations - Enter the equation(s) using the syntax described in Section 20- 1.1
“Equation Syntax”.
• Zones to Alter - Select whether to alter: all zones, all active zones, a range of zones, or
no zones.
If you are creating a new variable, all zones must be
selected since all zones in a dataset must have the
same variables defined at each data point.
• Index Ranges - Select the index ranges to alter in the selected zones. You may skip
this step if you want to apply the equation to all points of the selected zones. Use the
special value 0 or Mx to specify the maximum index. You can also use the values Mx-1
(to specify the index one less than the maximum index), Mx-2, and so forth.
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Data Alteration through Equations
For Ordered Data, the I-Index, J-Index, and K-index options correspond to the I, J, and
K values in the dataset. For finite element data, the I-Index corresponds to the range of
nodes and the J-Index corresponds to the cell-centered values. The K-index has no
bearing on finite element data.
If you are creating a new variable, the new variable’s value is set to zero at any index
value that is skipped.
• New Var Data Type (if applicable) - Select the data type of the new variable. The
following data types are available:
• Auto - Tecplot 360 assigns the data type based upon the variables used in the
right-hand side of the equation.
• Single - Four-byte floating point values.
• Double - Eight-byte floating point values.
• Long Int - Four-byte integer values.
• Short Int - Two-byte integer values.
• Byte - One-byte integer values (zero to 255).
• Bit - Either zero or one.
• New Var Location (if applicable) - Select the location of the new variable. The
options are:
• Auto (default) - “Auto” is set to node unless all variables in the equation are
located at the cell center.
• Node
• Cell-Center
• Data Set Info - Launches the Data Set Info dialog. See Section 5 - 4 “Dataset
Information” for more information.
• Remove <>’s - Remove restrictions from all equations. See Section 20- 1.8 “Equation
Restriction” for more information.
• Save Equations - Save all equations in the Equation(s) field to a file.
• Load Equations - Load an equation file.
• Compute - Select the [Compute] button to alter the data. If an error occurs during the
alteration (because of division by zero, overflow, underflow, and so on), an error
message is displayed and all of the zones are restored to the state they were in before
the bad equation was processed.
375
Data Operations
For example, if you have three equations (A, B, and C), and equation B contains an
error, the final state is the result of processing equation A.
Every time you hit the [Compute] button, the equations are
calculated. Be sure to remove previously computed equations before computing new ones.
20- 1.1 Equation Syntax
You can enter multiple equations in the Equation(s) text field of the Specify Equations dialog.
Each equation occupies one line of the text field, and each equation is applied to all specified zones
and data points before subsequent equations are computed.
Tecplot 360 equations have the following form:
LValue = F(RValue1, RValue2, RValue3,...)
Where:
F() - A mathematical expression.
LValue - An existing or new variable.
RValueN - A value (such as a constant, variable value, or index value).
If LValue already exists in the dataset of the active frame, the equation is used to modify that variable. If the variable does not already exist, the equation is used to create a new variable as a function of existing variables.
There may be any number of spaces within the equation. However, there cannot be any spaces
between the letters of intrinsic-function names nor for variables referred to by name. (See Section
“Equation Operators and Functions”.)
Equation Variables and Values
A variable is specified in one of the following ways:
• Its order in the data file - A variable may be referenced according to its order in the
data file, where V1 is the first variable in the data file, V2 is the second, and so forth.
376
Data Alteration through Equations
To create a new variable using this specification, you must specify the number of the
next available variable (i.e. if there are 5 variables in the dataset), the new variable
must be called V6. You will receive an error message, if you attempt to assign an
invalid variable number.
You can confirm the number and order of variables in the data
file by selecting the [Data Set Info] button in the Specify
Equations dialog and going to the Zones/Var page of the Data
Set Information dialog. The variables in the dataset are listed
on the right-hand side of the page.
• By its name - To reference a variable by its name, enclose the name with curly braces
(“{” and “}”). For example, to set V3 equal to the value of the variable named R/RFR,
you can enter:
V3 = {R/RFR}
Variable names are not case sensitive. Leading and trailing spaces are also not considered. However, spaces within the variable name are significant.
If two or more variables have the same name, the first variable is used when the variable is referred to by name. So, if both V5 and V9 are named R/rfr, V5 is used.
The curly braces can also be used on the left-hand side of the equation. In this case, if
a variable with that name does not exist, a new variable is created with that name for
all zones.
• By a letter code - Variables and index values may be referenced by the following
letter codes:
• I - For I-ordered and finite-element data:
Finite-element
Ordered
Nodal
I is equal to 1
I is equal to the Iindex number
Cell-centered
I is equal to the
element number
I is equal to the Iindex number
377
Data Operations
• J - For J-ordered and finite-element:
Finite-element
Ordered
Nodal
J is equal to the node
number
J is equal to the Jindex number
Cell-centered
J is equal to 1
J is equal to the Jindex number
• K - For K-ordered and finite-element:
Finite-element
Ordered
Nodal
K is equal to 1
K is equal to the Kindex number
Cell-centered
K is equal to 1
K is equal to the Kindex number
• X - The variable assigned to the X-axis. In XY-plots, all active mappings must
have the same X-variable in order for this variable name to be valid.
• Y - The variable assigned to the Y-axis. In XY-plots, all active mappings must
have the same Y-variable in order for this variable name to be valid.
• Z - The variable assigned to the Z-axis (if in 3D Cartesian).
• A - The variable assigned to the Theta-axis for Polar plots. For this variable to
be valid, the plot type must be set to Polar Line. In addition, all active mappings
must have the same Theta-variable.
• R - The variable assigned to the R-axis for Polar plots. The plot type must be
Polar Line, and all active mappings must have the same R-variable for this variable name to be valid.
• U - The X-component of vectors (if defined).
• V - The Y-component of vectors (if defined).
• W - The Z-component of vectors (if defined).
• B - The value-blanking variable for the first active constraint (if applicable).
• C - The contour variable for contour group 1 (if defined in the Contour Details
dialog).
• S - The scatter-sizing variable (if defined in the Scatter Size/Font dialog).
Letter codes may be used anywhere on the right-hand side of the equation. Do not
enclose them in curly braces.
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Data Alteration through Equations
Those letter codes representing variables (all letter codes except I, J, and K) may be
used on the left-hand side of the equation as well.
The variables referenced by the letter codes are for the current frame.
Equation Operators and Functions
Binary Operators
In an equation, the valid binary operators are as follows:
+
Addition
-
Subtraction
*
Multiplication
/
Division
**
Exponentiation
Binary operators have the following precedence:
**
Highest precedence
*,/
+,-
Lowest precedence
Operators are evaluated from left to right within a precedence level.
Functions
The following functions are available (except where noted, all take a single argument):
SIN
Sine (angle must be specified in radians)
COS
Cosine (angle must be specified in radians)
TAN
Tangent (angle must be specified in radians)
ABS
Absolute value
ASIN
Arcsine (result is given in radians)
ACOS
Arccosine (result is given in radians)
379
Data Operations
ATAN
Arctangent (result is given in radians)
ATAN2(A,B)
Arctangent of A/B (result is given in radians)
SQRT
Returns the positive square root
LOG, ALOG
Natural logarithm (base e)
LOG10, ALOG10
Logarithm base 10
EXP
Exponentiation (base e); EXP(V1)=e**(V1)
MIN(A,B)
Minimum of A or B
MAX(A,B)
Maximum of A or B
SIGN
Returns -1 if argument is negative, +1 otherwise
ROUND
Round off to the nearest integer
TRUNC
Remove fraction part of a value
Notes
• LOG and ALOG are equivalent functions, as are LOG10 and ALOG10.
• Variables input into trigonometric functions must be in units of radians.
• To call an intrinsic function, place its argument within parentheses, i.e. to set V4 to the
arctangent of V1, use:
V4 = ATAN(V1)
First and second-derivative and difference functions are also available. Refer to Section 20- 1.2
“Derivative and Difference Functions”.
20- 1.2 Derivative and Difference Functions
The derivative functions can be called in the same manner as described above for intrinsic functions. Derivative and difference functions can be calculated with respect to the following variables:
Variable
Definition
Restricted to:
x, y, z
variable assigned to the x-axis, y-axis or
z-axis, respectively
XY Linea, or 3D
a
variable assigned to the theta-axis
Polar Line
Table 20 - 1: Derivative and Difference Function Variables
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Data Alteration through Equations
r
variable assigned to the radial-axis
Polar Line
i, j, k
index range
Ordered Zones
Table 20 - 1: Derivative and Difference Function Variables
a. If you have multiple x-axes or y-axes in an XY line plot, the variables assigned to the x and y-axis in the first
available mapping will be used.
The complete set of first and second-derivative and difference functions are listed below:
Type
Function Call
Applicable Variables
First Order
dd„
„= x, y, z, a, or r
Second Order
d2
= x, y, z, a or r
Second-Order
(cross derivatives)
d
= xy, yz, xz, az, ar, or rz
The derivative function ddx is used to calculate
and dxy calculates
2
∂
; dx2 calculates ∂ ;
∂x
∂ x2
2
∂
.
∂ x ∂y
Type
Function Call
Applicable Variables
First Order
ddD
D= i, j, or k
Second Order
d[2
[= i, j, or k
Second Order
(cross derivatives)
d
= ij, jk, or ik
Table 20 - 2: Difference Functions
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Data Operations
The difference functions ddi, di2, and so forth, calculate centered differences of their argument
with respect to the indices I, J, and K based on the indices of the point. For example:
Vi + 1 – Vi – 1
ddi ( V ) = ---------------------------2
Difference functions cannot be used for
finite element zones.
Boundary Values
Boundary values for first-derivative and difference functions (ddx, ddy, ddz, ddi, ddj, and ddk) of
ordered zones are evaluated in one of two methods: simple (default) or complex1.
For simple boundary conditions, the boundary derivative is determined by the one-sided first derivative at the boundary. This is the same as assuming that the first derivative is constant across the
boundary (i.e., the second derivative is equal to zero).
For complex boundary conditions, the boundary derivative is extrapolated linearly from the derivatives at neighboring interior points. This is the same as assuming that the second derivative is constant across the boundary (i.e. the first derivative varies linearly across the boundary).
For second-derivatives and differences (dx2, dy2, dz2, dxy, dyz, dxz, di2, dj2, dij, dk2, djk, and
dik), these boundary conditions are ignored. The boundary derivative is set equal to the derivative
that is one index in from the boundary. This is the same as assuming that the second derivative is
constant across the boundary.
You can create your own derivative boundary conditions by using the index range and the indices
options discussed previously.
The use of derivative and difference functions is restricted as follows:
• Derivatives and differences for IJK-ordered zones are calculated for the full 3D
volume. The IJK-mode for such zones is not considered.
1. The $!INTERFACE parameter in the configuration file tecplot.cfg selects the method to use:
$!INTERFACE DATA {DERIVATIVEBOUNDARY=SIMPLE}
Change the parameter SIMPLE to COMPLEX to use the complex boundary condition.
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Data Alteration through Equations
• If the derivative cannot be defined at every data point in all the selected zones, the
operation is not performed for any data point.
• Derivative functions are calculated using the current frame’s axis assignments. Be
careful if you have multiple frames with different variable assignments for the same
dataset.
• Derivatives at the boundary of two zones may differ since Tecplot 360 operates on
only one zone at a time while generating derivatives.
20- 1.3 Integration
Use the Analyze menu to calculate integrals with Tecplot 360. See Section 21 - 7 “Performing Integrations” for information.
20- 1.4 Auxiliary Data
You may use auxiliary data containing numerical constants in equations. The syntax for using auxiliary data in equations is:
AUXZONE[nnz]:Name
AUXDATASET:Name
AUXFRAME:Name
AUXVAR[nnv]:Name
AUXLINEMAP[nnm]:Name
where
nnz = the zone number(s)
nnv = the variable number(s)
nnm = the line map number(s)
Name = name of the auxiliary data
For example, a dataset auxiliary data constant called Pref would be referenced using AUXDataSet:Pref. Equations using this auxiliary data might appear as:
{P} = {P_NonDim} * AUXDataSet:Pref
20- 1.5 Zone Number Specification
By following a variable reference with square brackets (“[” and “]”), you can specify a specific
zone from which to get the variable value.
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Data Operations
The zone number must be a positive integer constant less than or equal to the number of zones. The
zone specified must have the same structure (I, IJ, or IJK-ordered or finite element) and dimensions
(IMax, number of nodes) as the zone(s) the equation(s) will be applied to.
If you do not specify a zone, the zone modified by the left-hand side of the equation is
used.
Zone specification works only on the right-hand side of the equation.
20- 1.6 Index Specification
By following a variable reference with parentheses, you can specify indices for ordered data only.
Indices can be absolute or an offset from the current index.
Index offsets are specified by using the appropriate index “i”, “j” or “k” followed by a “+” or “-”
and then an integer constant. Any integer offsets may be used. If the offset moves beyond the end of
the zone, the boundary value is used. For example, V3(i+2) uses the value V3(IMAX) when I=IMax1 and I=IMax. V3(I-2) uses the value of V3(1) when I=1 or I=2.
Absolute indices are specified by using a positive integer constant only. For example, V3(2) references V3 at index 2, regardless of the current i index.
If the indices are not specified, the current index values are used.
20- 1.7 Variable Sharing Between Zones
For zones with the same structure and index ranges, you can set a variable to be shared by specifying that the variable for those zones have the values from one zone. For example, if zones 3 and 4
have the same structure and you compute V3=V3[3] for zones 3 and 4, V3 will be shared.
Subsequent alteration of the variables may result
in loss of sharing.
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Data Alteration through Equations
20- 1.8 Equation Restriction
The zone and index restrictions specified in the Specify Equations dialog can be overridden on an
equation by equation basis. To specify restrictions for a single equation add the colon character (:)
at the end of the equation followed by one or more of the following:
Equation Restrictor
Comments
<Z=<set>>
Restrict the zones.
<I=start[,end[,skip]]>
Restrict the I-range.
<J=start[,end[,skip]]>
Restrict the J-range.
<K=start[,end[,skip]]>
Restrict the K-range.
<D=datatype>
Set the data type for the variable on the left hand side. This
only applies if a new variable is being created.
For example, to add one to X in zones 1, 3, 4, and 5:
X=X+1:<Z=[1,3-5]>
The following example adds one to X for every other I-index. Note that zero represents the
maximum index.
X=X+1:<I=1,0,2>
The next example creates a new variable of type Byte:
{NewV}=X-Y:<D=Byte>
Select the [Remove <>’s] button to remove Equation restrictions.
20- 1.9 Macros and Equations
Tecplot 360 allows you to put your equations in macros. In fact, we sometimes refer to a macro
with just equations as an equation file. An equation in a macro file is specified using the $!ALTERDATA macro command. Equation files may also include comment lines and must start with the
comment #!MC 1120, like other macro files. If you are performing complex operations on your
data, and/or the operations are repeated frequently, equation files can be very helpful.
You can create equation files from scratch using an ASCII text editor, or you can create your equations interactively by using the Specify Equations dialog and then save the resulting equations.
The standard file name extension for equation files is .eqn.
For example, you might define an equation to compute the magnitude of a 3D vector. In the Specify
Equations dialog, it would have the following form:
{Mag} = sqrt(U*U + V*V + W*W)
In a macro file, it would have the following form:
#!MC 1120
$!ALTERDATA
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Data Operations
EQUATION = "{Mag} = sqrt(U*U + V*V + W*W)"
The interactive form of the equation must be enclosed in double quotes and supplied as a value to
the EQUATION parameter of the $!ALTERDATA macro command.
To read an equation file, select Load Equations on the Specify Equations dialog. In the Load
Equation File dialog, select an equation file that contains a set of equations to apply to the selected
zones of your data. The equations in the equation file will be added to the list of equations in the
dialog. All equations are applied to your data when you click Compute.
Equations in equation files may be calculated somewhat differently depending on whether the computation is done from within the Specify Equations dialog or by running the equation file as a
macro. When loaded into the Specify Equations dialog, equations that do not contain zone or
index restrictions use the current zone and index restrictions shown in the dialog. When processed
as a macro file, the equations apply to all zones and data points. To include zone and index restrictions, you must include them in the equation file as part of the $!ALTERDATA command. Refer to the
Scripting Guide for more information on working with the $!ALTERDATA command.
20- 1.10 Equation Examples
In the following equation, V1 (the first variable defined in the data file) is replaced by two and a half
times the existing value of V1:
V1 = 2.5*V1
The following equation sets the value of a variable called Density to 205. A new variable is created
if a variable called Density does not exist.
{Density} = 205
In the next equation, the values for Y (the variable assigned to the Y-axis) are replaced by the negative of the square of the values of X (the variable assigned to the X-axis):
Y = -X**2
The following equation replaces the values of V3 with the values of V2 rounded off to the nearest
integer. A new variable is created if there are only two variables currently in the data set.
V3 = round(V2)
In the following equation, the values of the fourth variable in the data set are replaced by the log
(base 10) of the values of the third variable.
V4 = ALOG10(V3)
Suppose that the third and fourth variables are the X and Y-components of velocity and that there
are currently a total of five variables. The following examples create a new variable (V6) that is the
magnitude of the components of velocity.
V6 = (V3*V3+V4*V4)**0.5
or
V6 = sqrt(V3**2+V4**2)
The above operation can also be accomplished with the following equation (assuming you have
already defined the vector components for the current frame):
{Mag} = sqrt(U*U + V*V)
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Data Alteration through Equations
The following equation sets the value of a variable named diff to the truncated value of a variable
named depth subtracted from the existing value of depth:
{diff} = {depth} - trunc({depth})
In the next equation, C (the contour variable) is set to the absolute value of S (the scatter-sizing variable), assuming both C and S are defined:
C = abs(S)
In the following example, a new variable is created (assuming that only seven variables initially
existed in the data file). The value for V8 (the new variable) is calculated from a function of the
existing variables:
V8 = SQRT((V1*V1+V2*V2+V3*V3)/(287.0*V4*V6))
The above operation could have been performed in two simpler steps as follows:
V8 = V1*V1+V2*V2+V3*V3
V8 = SQRT(V8/(287.0*V4*V6))
The following equation replaces any value of a variable called TIME that is below 5.0 with 5.0. In
other words, the values of TIME are replaced with the maximum of the current value of TIME and
5.0:
{TIME} = max({TIME},5)
The following equation creates variable V4 which has values of X at points where X<0; at other
points, it has a value of zero (this does not affect any values of X):
V4 = min(X,0)
Another example using intrinsic functions is shown below:
V8 = 55.0*SIN(V3*3.14/180.0) + ALOG(V4**3/(v1+1.0))
You can also reference the I, J, and K-indices in an equation. For example, if you wanted to cut out
a section of a zone using value blanking, you could create a new variable that is a function of the I
and J-indices (for IJ-ordered data). Then, by using value-blanking, you could remove certain cells
where the value of the value-blanking variable was less than or equal to the value blanking cut-off
value.
Here is an example for calculating a value-blanking variable that is zero in a block of cells from
I=10 to 30, and is equal to one in the other cells:
V3 = min((max(I,30)-min(I,10)-20),1)
The following equation replaces all values of Y with the difference between the current value of Y
and the value of Y in zone 1. (If zone 1 is used for the data alteration, the new values of Y will be
zero throughout that zone.)
Y = Y - Y[1]
The following equation replaces the values of V3 (in an IJ-ordered zone) with the average of the
values of V3 at the four adjacent data points:
V3 = (V3(i+1,j)+V3(i-1,j)+V3(i,j+1)+V3(i,j-1))/4
The following equation sets the values of a variable called TEMP to the product of the values of a
variable called T measured in four places: in zone 1 at two index values before the current data
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Data Operations
point, in the current zone at an absolute index of three, in zone 4 at the current data point, and in the
current zone at the current data point.
{TEMP} = {T}[1](i-2) * {T}(3) * {T}[4] * {T}
Indices may be combined with zone specifications. The zone is listed first, then the index offset.
For example:
V3 = V3 - V3[1](i+1)
Y = Y[1] - Y[2](1) + Y(1,j+3) + Y
Referencing variables by letter code:
V3 = I + J
V4 = cos(X) * cos(Y) * cos(Z)
{Dist} = sqrt(U*U + V*V + W*W)
{temp} = min(B,1)
Specifying the Zone number for a given variable:
V3 = V3 - V3[1]
X = ( X[1] + X[2] + X[3] ) / 3
{TempAdj} = {Temp}[7] - {Adj}
V8 = V1[19] - 2*C[21] + {R/T}[18]
20 - 2 Data Smoothing
You can smooth the values of a variable of any zone (in either or 3D) to reduce “noise” and lessen
discontinuities in data. Smoothing can also be used after inverse-distance interpolation to reduce
the artificial peaks and plateaus. Each pass of smoothing shifts the value of a variable at a data
point towards an average of the values at its neighboring data points.
To smooth data in Tecplot 360, select Alter>Smooth from the Data menu.
The Smooth dialog has the following options:
• Zone - Specify the zone to smooth from the Zone drop-down. The zone should not
intersect itself.
• Variable - Select the variable to smooth. For the XY Line plot type, the variable must
be a dependent variable for one active mapping for that zone.
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Data Smoothing
• Number of Passes [OPTIONAL] - Specify the number of smoothing passes to
perform. The default is 1. A greater number of passes results in greater smoothing, but
takes more time.
• Coefficient [OPTIONAL] - Specify the relaxation factor for each pass of smoothing.
Enter a number between zero and one (exclusively). Large numbers flatten peaks and
noise quickly. Small numbers smooth less each pass, rounding out peaks and valleys
rather than eliminating them.
• Boundary [OPTIONAL] - Select the boundary conditions by which to smooth from
the Boundary drop-down.
• Fixed - The points at the boundary are not changed in value. For finite element
data, only fixed boundary conditions may be used.
• First Order - The points at the boundary are smoothed based on the assumption that the first derivative normal to the boundary is constant. This will tend
to cause contour lines of the smoothed variable to be perpendicular to the
boundary.
• Second Order - The points at the boundary are smoothed based on the assumption that the second derivative normal to the boundary is constant. This option
may overextrapolate derivatives at the boundary.
• Compute - Select the [Compute] button to perform the smoothing. While the
smoothing is underway, the progress is displayed in the status bar, and the [Compute]
button changes to a [Stop] button, allowing you to interrupt the smoothing.
If you select [Stop] during the smoothing process, you will interrupt the smoothing,
and Tecplot 360 will report back the number of passes completed.
20- 2.1 Limitations to Smoothing
• Finite element zones cannot be smoothed with anything other than Fixed boundary
conditions.
• Tecplot 360 uses the current frame’s axis assignments to determine the variables to use
for the coordinates in the smoothing, and also to determine whether the smoothing
should be done with XY Line, Polar, and 2 or 3D Cartesian plot types. Be careful if
you have multiple frames with different variable assignments for the same dataset.
• Any axis scaling is ignored by Tecplot 360 while smoothing.
• For I-ordered or finite element line segment zones, the current frame can be in the XY
Line, or 3D Cartesian plot types. In XY Line, the variable must be the dependent
variable of one active mapping for that zone.
• For IJ-ordered, finite element triangle, or finite element quadrilateral zones, the current
frame can be a or 3D Cartesian plot type, but you cannot smooth the variables assigned
to the X and Y-axes in Cartesian.
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Data Operations
• For IJK-ordered, finite element tetrahedral, or finite element brick zones, the plot type
must be 3D Cartesian, and you cannot smooth the variables assigned to the X, Y, and
Z-axes. The IJK-mode is ignored. The zone is smoothed with respect to the entire 3D
volume.
• Smoothing does not extend across zone boundaries. If you use a boundary condition
option other than Fixed (such that values along the zone boundary change), contour
lines can be discontinuous at the zone boundaries.
• Smoothing is performed on all nodes of a zone, and disregards value blanking.
20 - 3 Coordinate Transformation
By default, all 3D Tecplot 360 plots use a cartesian coordinate system, notated by X, Y, and Z axes.
If your data is in polar coordinates (r, θ, and Z) or spherical coordinates (r, θ, and ψ), you will probably want to compute the corresponding cartesian (X,Y and Z) coordinates before visualizing your
data.
To transform your data from one coordinate system to another, select Alter>Transform Coordinates from the Data menu.
The Transform Coordinates dialog has the following options and fields:
• Transformation - Select the type of transformation to change all points in one or more
zones from one coordinate system to another. The options are:
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Coordinate Transformation
• Polar to Rectangular - Tecplot 360 assumes the current Y-variable represents
the radius r, and the current X-variable represents the angle θ.
• Spherical to Rectangular - Tecplot 360 assumes the current Y-variable represents the radius r, the current X-variable the angle θ (in radians), and the current
Z-variable the angle ψ.
• Rectangular to Polar
• Rectangular to Spherical
Figure 20-7 shows r, θ, and ψ in the spherical coordinate system.
Figure 20-7. Three-dimensional angles of rotation.
• Source Variables - Specify the source variables for each coordinate.
• New Variables
• Create New Variables - This option results in new variables. Tecplot 360
names them so the dataset integrity is maintained (no two variables with same
names).
• Put Results in Existing Variables - Results are put into variables in the current
dataset.
• Angles in - Specify whether to calculate using values in Theta and Psi variable as
radians or degrees.
• Select Zones to Transform - Selects zones to alter.
• Compute - Select the [Compute] button to perform the transformation.
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20 - 4 Two-dimensional Data Rotation
Use the Rotate dialog to rotate field data about a user specified XY-origin.
Unlike interactive 3D rotation, change made via
the Rotate dialog modify the data.
To rotate data in, select Alter> Rotate from the Data menu.
The Rotate dialog has the following options:
• Angle (deg) - Specify the angle of rotation, in degrees.
• X-origin and Y-origin - Specify the coordinates of the origin of rotation.
• Select the Zones to Rotate - Select the zones you wish to rotate from the “Select
Zones to Rotate” field.
• Compute - You must select the [Compute] button for rotation to occur.
20 - 5 Shift Pseudo Cell-centered Data
Use the Shift Pseudo Cell-centered Data dialog (accessed via Data>Alter) to shift the values of
variables of cell-centered data to your grid points. Linear interpolation is used.
The following options are available:
• Zone(s) - Select zones to be shifted.
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Zone Creation
• Variable(s) - Select variables for shifting the data.
The final result is a node-centered dataset with interpolated observations at each node.
Use this option ONLY if you have legacy data
that does not make use of the newer ability to
supply cell-centered data directly.
20 - 6 Zone Creation
The Create Zone submenu of the Data menu allows you to add data to your plot. The menu has the
following options:
• One-Dimensional Line Creation
• Rectangular Zone Creation
• Circular or Cylindrical Zone Creation
• Zone Duplication
• Mirror Zone Creation
• FE Surface Zone Creation (from Polylines)
• Zone Creation by Entering Values
20- 6.1 One-Dimensional Line Creation
A 1D-line zone is an I-ordered set of points along a line. To create the 1D line zone, select Create
Zone>1D Line from the Data menu.
The Create 1D Line Zone dialog has the following options and fields:
• Number of Points - Enter the number of data points you want in the zone.
• Coordinates - Enter the start and end points in the text fields labeled XMin and
XMax.
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• Create - Select the [Create] button to create the zone.
Tecplot 360 uniformly distributes the points along the X-axis between XMin and XMax. Y, and
any other variables, are set to zero.
You can create a 1D line zone as the first
step in plotting an analytic function by
modifying the Y-variable of the new zone
using the Specify Equations dialog.
20- 6.2 Rectangular Zone Creation
Creating a rectangular zone is often the first step in interpolating irregular data into an ordered grid.
(See Section 3- 6.2 “Example - Unorganized Three-Dimensional Volume”.)
Tecplot 360 allows you to create a new ordered rectangular zone with the dimensions in the I, J and
K-directions you specify. This is done either with the Create Rectangular Zone tool (only) or the
Create Rectangular Zone dialog. The zone that you create has the same number of variables as
other zones in the dataset.
To create a rectangular zone, select Create Zone>Rectangular from the Data menu.
The Create Rectangular Zone dialog, has the following options:
• Dimensions - Enter the number of data points in the I, J and K-directions.
• To create an I-ordered zone, enter one for both the J and K-dimensions.
• To create an IJ-ordered zone, enter one for the K-dimension. The z-axis variable will equal ZMin throughout the created zone.
• To create an IJK-ordered zone, enter a K-dimension greater than one.
• Coordinates - Enter the start and end points of the physical coordinates (X,Y and Z).
• Create - Select the [Create] button to create the zone.
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Zone Creation
Tecplot 360 uniformly distributes the data points in the I, J and K directions. Any variable not
assigned to an axis is set to zero.
By using the Specify Equations dialog under the Data>Alter menu, you can modify the X, Y, and
Z-coordinates, and the values of the other variables as well, by using equations or Equation files.
See Section 20 - 1 “Data Alteration through Equations”.
20- 6.3 Circular or Cylindrical Zone Creation
Tecplot 360 allows you to create a new ordered circular or cylindrical zone with the dimensions in
the I, J, and K-directions you specify. The I-dimension determines the number of points on each
radius of the zones. The J-dimension determines the number of points around the circumference.
The K-dimension determines the number of layers in the zone, creating a cylinder.
You create a circular or cylindrical zone with the Create Circular Zone dialog (accessed via
Data>Create Zone, or with the Create Circular Zone tool (only). The zone that you create has
the same number of variables as other zones in the dataset.
If you have no current dataset, Tecplot 360 creates one with two or three variables, depending on
the K-dimension. If you specify K=1, the dataset is created as IJ-ordered, and has two variables. If
you specify K>1, the dataset is created as IJK-ordered, and has three variables.
To create a circular zone select Create Zone>Circular from the Data menu.
The Create Circular Zone dialog has the following options:
• Dimensions - Enter the dimensions of your circular zone:
• Radial (I) - Specify the number of points the radial direction (I)
• Circumferential (J) - Specify the number of points in the circumferential
direction (J)
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• Top to Bottom (K) - Specify the number of points for the height of the cylinder
(K). Set K equal to one to create a circular zone.
• Coordinates
• Radius - Enter the length of the radius.
• X-Origin and Y-Origin - Enter the coordinates for the zone center
• ZMin and ZMax - Enter the minimum and maximum Z-coordinates. For a circular zone (where K=1), the Z variable is set to ZMin for all points.
• Create - Select the [Create] button to create the zone.
For (IJ-ordered), Tecplot 360 creates a zone in which I-circles are connected by J-radial lines, as
shown in Figure 20-8 (A). For 3D (K>1), Tecplot 360 creates a K-layered cylindrical zone having
I-circles connected by J-radial planes as shown in Figure 20-8 (B). All other variables are set to
zero.
A
B
Z
1
0.75
X
Y
0.5
0.25
0.5
Z
Y
1
0
-0.25
0
-1.5
-0.5
-1
-1
-0.5
-0.5
Y
-0.75
0
0
0.5
0.5
-1
-1
1.5
-0.5
0
0.5
X
1
1
1.5
1
X
Figure 20-8. (A) A circular zone (B) A 3D circular zone.
Using the Alter option from the Data menu, you can modify the X-, Y-, and Z-coordinates, and the
values of the other variables as well, by using equations or equation files. See Section 20 - 1 “Data
Alteration through Equations”.
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Zone Creation
20- 6.4 Zone Duplication
To create a full duplicate of one or more existing zones, select Create Zone>Duplicate from the
Data menu. In the Create Duplicate Zone dialog, select the source zone(s). Each duplicate zone
has the same name as its source zone.
After a zone is duplicated, all variables in the newly created
zone(s) will be shared with their corresponding source zone(s).
20- 6.5 Mirror Zone Creation
To create a duplicate zone that is the mirror image of an existing zone, select Create Zone>Mirror
from the Data menu.
You can only create mirrored zones along one of the standard
axes () or the plane determined by any two axes (3D).
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The Create Mirror Zone dialog, has the following options:
• Source Zone(s) - Select the Sources Zone(s).
• Mirror Axis - Specify the axis () or axis plane (3D) to mirror about.
• Create - Select the [Create] button to create the zone.
Each mirror zone has a name of the form “Mirror of zone sourcezone”, where sourcezone is the
number of the zone from which the mirrored zone was created.
The variables in the newly created zone(s) are shared with their
corresponding source zone(s), except for the coordinate and
velocity normal to the symmetry plane.
20- 6.6 FE Surface Zone Creation (from Polylines)
To create a finite element surface zone from two or more I-ordered zones, select Create
Zone>From Polylines from the Data menu.
The data must be arranged in non-intersecting polylines, where
each polyline can have any number of points.
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Zone Creation
The Create Zone from Polylines dialog has the following options:
• Source Zone(s) - Select two or more zones to create your new zone from. The field
displays only I-ordered zones (the polylines).
• Connect Polyline Start and End Points - Toggle-on this option to connect the start
and end points for each supplied polyline. This is especially useful when creating 3D
surfaces.
• Create - Select the [Create] button to create the zone.
Data Examples where Create Zone from Polylines is useful
• Data is collected on the surface of an irregularly shaped object.
• Measurements were taken at various depths and distances within a fluid.
20- 6.7 Zone Creation by Entering Values
To create an I-ordered zone for XY-plots from manually entered values, select Create Zone>Enter
Values from the Data menu. In the Enter XY-Values to Create a Zone dialog, enter X and Y-
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value pairs, one per line; first X, then Y. Use the drop-down labeled Destination Data Type to
specify a data type for the new zone (long or short integer, float, double, byte, bit, or auto).
20 - 7 Data Extraction from an Existing Zone
You may create new zones by extracting (or interpolating) data from existing zones in a number of
ways. Derived objects, such as contour lines, FE-boundaries, iso-surfaces, slices, or streamtraces
may be extracted to be independent zones. You may also extract data using a specified slice plane,
discrete points, points from a polyline, or points from a geometry.
The procedures for extracting derived objects are discussed in the chapters related to those objects.
For details see Chapter 9 “Contour Layer”, Section 16 - 5 “Iso-Surface Extraction” and Section 15
- 4 “Streamtrace Extraction as Zones”. Extracting slices, both derived and arbitrarily defined, is
described in Section 14 - 2 “Slices Extracted Directly to Zones”.
20- 7.1 Sub-Zone Extraction
To create a sub-zone of an existing zone, select Extract>Sub-Zone from the Data menu.
SubZone extraction is available for ordered
zones only.
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Data Extraction from an Existing Zone
The Extract SubZone dialog has the following options:
• Source Zone - Select the source zone (ordered zones only).
• Index Range from Source Zone - Specify the desired sub-zone as a range of I, J, and
K-indices. You may use the special value 0 or Mx to indicate the maximum of that
index, and the values Mx-1 to represent one index less than the maximum, Mx-2 for two
less than the maximum, and so forth.
• Create - Select the [Create] button to create the zone. Each sub-zone is given the name
“SubZone.”
20- 7.2 Data Point Extraction
You may create an I-ordered zone by extracting data points from the current dataset using any of
three methods:
• Discrete Point Extraction
• Point Extraction from a Polyline
• Point Extraction from a Geometry
To extract points from a geometry or polyline, it must
lie within the edges of a zone with connectivity.
Discrete Point Extraction
To extract a discrete set of points with the mouse:
1. From the Data menu, choose Extract>Discrete Points.
2. Click at each location from which you want to extract a point.
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3. Double-click on the last data point or press ESC to end.
4. Use the Extract Data Points to File dialog to specify how to save the data.
Point Extraction from a Polyline
To extract points from a polyline:
1. From the Data menu, choose Extract>Points from Polyline.
2. Click at the beginning of the desired line, and at all desired breakpoints.
3. Double-click on the last data point or press ESC to end.
4. Use the Extract Data Points to File dialog to specify how you would like to save the
data.
Volume interpolation, piece-wise by default, calculates to first-order
accuracy. For second-order accuracy (tri-linear interpolation), add the
following line to your tecplot.cfg file:
$!INTERFACE DATA {VOLUMECELLINTEROPLATIONMODE = TRILINEAR}
Integrations of a variable or variable function along the polyline
points use the trapezoidal method, and are second-order accurate. For
each segment, face, or volume cell, the appropriate nodal or cell-centered values are averaged and multiplied by the cell length, area or
volume. The calculation sums the resulting qualities over the zone or
specified subset to product the integrated result.
Point Extraction from a Geometry
To extract points from a polyline geometry:
1. In the workspace, select the polyline geometry from which you want to extract data
points.
2. From the Data menu, choose Extract>Points from Geometry.
3. Use the Extract Data Points to File dialog to specify how to save the data.
Data Point Extraction Controls
Use the Extract Data Points dialog to control how data points are extracted. The dialog has the
following options:
• Extract Data to:
• File - Select this option to extract the data points to an ASCII Tecplot 360 data
file.
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Data Extraction from an Existing Zone
• Zone - Select this check box if you want the data points extracted to a zone in
the current dataset.
• Include distance variable - Toggle-on for the extracted data file to contain an
additional variable, DISTANCE. The variable contains the accumulated distance from
the first point to the last point.
• Number of points to extract - Enter the number of points to extract. This field is
sensitive only if you are extracting data points from a polyline or geometry. It is
insensitive if you are extracting discrete points. If you are extracting from a geometry,
you must also select the check box labeled “Extract regular points along a
geometry.”
• Extract regular points along geometry - Select this check box if you want to extract
the specified number of points distributed uniformly along the geometry.
• Extract only points which define geometry - Select this check box if you want to
extract only the endpoints of the segments in the geometry.
Boundary Extraction of Finite Element Zones
To extract the boundary of a finite element zone, select Extract>FE-Boundary from the Data
menu. The Extract FE-Boundary dialog has the following options:
• Source Zone - Select the source zone for the FE-Boundary.
• Retain boundaries between blanked and unblanked cells - If blanking is on, toggleon to include the boundary between blanked and un-blanked cells in the zone
boundary.
Edge-border lines for finite element data are similar to edge-border lines in ordered data, with a few
exceptions. For triangular and quadrilateral meshes, a line is drawn along the edges of elements that
have no neighboring element.
In cases where each element is independent of all other elements (i.e. the elements have no
common nodes), a border line will be drawn around each element.
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Data Operations
Border lines will not be produced for finite element volume data (tetrahedral and brick elementtypes). However, some plot styles will draw on the outer surface of these zones, in effect drawing
on the boundary. Extracting the boundary of these zones extracts the outer surface.
If you are extracting the boundary from a 3D surface zone,
make sure the plot type is set to 3D Cartesian. If you create the
boundary zone in a Cartesian plot, the Z-coordinate is not
taken into account, and points that are not coincident in 3D
Cartesian plots may become coincident in plots.
20 - 8 Zone Deletion
In any dataset with more than one zone, you can delete any unwanted zones. To delete a zone,
select Delete>Zone from the Data menu. You cannot delete all zones; if you attempt to delete all
zones, the lowest numbered zone is not deleted.
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Variable Deletion
20 - 9 Variable Deletion
To delete a variable, select Delete>Variable from the Data menu. The Delete Variable dialog is
shown below.
When deleting a variable, keep the following issues in mind:
• Deleting a variable removes it from all zones.
• You cannot delete a variable that a Calculate-on-demand variable is a function of. See
Section 21- 6.2 “Calculate-on-demand Variables”.
20 - 10 Data Interpolation
In Tecplot 360, interpolation refers to assigning new values for the variables at data points in a zone
based on the data point values in another zone (or set of zones).
For example, you may have a set of data points in an I-ordered zone that are distributed randomly
in the XY-plane. This type of data is sometimes referred to as unordered, ungridded, or random
data. In Tecplot 360, it is referred to as irregular data. Using data in this form, you can create mesh
plots and scatter plots, but you cannot create contour plots, light-source shading, or streamtraces.
In Tecplot 360, you can interpolate the irregular I-ordered data onto an IJ-ordered mesh, and then
create contour plots and other types of field plots with the interpolated data. You can also interpolate your 3D, I-ordered irregular data into an IJK-ordered zone and create 3D volume plots from the
IJK-ordered zone. You can even interpolate to a finite element zone.
The accuracy of the interpolation will depend on your data, the density of the destination grid, how
well the grid fits the area of your unorganized zone and the settings used for interpolation.
There are three types of interpolation available:
• Linear Interpolation - Interpolate using linear interpolation from a set of finite element,
IJ-ordered, or IJK-ordered zones to one zone.
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Data Operations
• Inverse-Distance Interpolation - Interpolate using an inverse-distance weighting from
a set of zones to one zone.
• Kriging- Interpolate using kriging from a set of zones to one zone.
20- 10.1 Linear Interpolation
Use the Linear Interpolation dialog to interpolate data from one or more ordered or finite element
zones onto a destination zone. Irregular I-ordered data cannot be used for the source zones in linear
interpolation. (For data, you may be able to first create a finite element zone from an irregular, Iordered zone by using triangulation. (See Section 20 - 11 “Irregular Data Point Triangulation”.)
Linear interpolation finds the values in the destination zone based on their location within the cells
of the source zones. The value is linearly interpolated to the destination data points using only the
data points at the vertices of the cell (or element) in the source zone(s).
To perform linear interpolation:
1. Read the dataset to be interpolated into Tecplot 360 (the source data).
2. Read in or create the zone onto which the data is to be interpolated (the destination
zone).
3. From the Data menu, choose Interpolate>Linear.
4. From the Linear Interpolation dialog, select the zones to be interpolated from those
listed in the Source Zone(s) scrolled list.
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Data Interpolation
5. Select which variables are to be interpolated from those listed in the Variable(s)
scrolled list.
6. Select the destination zone into which to interpolate. Existing values in the destination zone will be overwritten.
7. [OPTIONAL] Outside Points - Select how to treat points that lie outside the sourcezone data field. You have two options:
• Constant - Sets all points outside the data field to a constant value that you
specify.
• Do Not Change - Preserves the values of points outside the data field. Do Not
Change is appropriate in cases where you are using one interpolation algorithm
inside the data field, and another outside.
8. Select the [Compute] button to perform the interpolation.
9. While the interpolation is proceeding, a working dialog appears showing the progress
of the interpolation.
If you select [Cancel] during the interpolation process, the
interpolation is terminated prematurely. The destination
zone will be left in an indeterminate state, and you should
redo the interpolation.
20- 10.2 Inverse-Distance Interpolation
Inverse-distance interpolation averages the values at the data points from one set of zones (the
source zones) to the data points in another zone (the destination zone). The average is weighted by
a function of the distance between each source data point to the destination data point. The closer a
source data point is to the destination data point, the greater its value is weighted.
In many cases, the source zone is an irregular dataset—an I-ordered set of data points without any
mesh structure (a list of points). Inverse-distance interpolation may be used to create or 3D surface,
or a 3D volume field plots of irregular data. The destination zone can, for example, be a circular or
rectangular zone created within Tecplot 360.
To perform inverse-distance interpolation in Tecplot 360, use the following steps:
1. Read the dataset to be interpolated into Tecplot 360 (the source data).
2. Read in or create the zone onto which the data is to be interpolated (the destination
zone).
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Data Operations
3. From the Data menu, choose Interpolate>Inverse Distance.
4. From the Inverse-Distance Interpolation dialog, select the zones to be interpolated
from those listed in the Source Zone(s) scrolled list.
5. Select which variables are to be interpolated from those listed in the Variable(s)
scrolled list.
6. Select the Destination Zone into which to interpolate. Existing values in the destination zone will be overwritten.
7. [OPTIONAL] Enter the minimum distance used for the inverse-distance weighting
in the Minimum Distance text field. Source data points which are closer to a destination data point than this minimum distance are weighted as if they were at the minimum distance. This tends to reduce the peaking and plateauing of the interpolated
data near the source data points.
8. [OPTIONAL] Enter the exponent for the inverse-distance weighting in the Exponent text field.
The exponent should be set between 2 and 5. The
algorithm is speed-optimized for an exponent of 4,
although in many cases, the interpolation looks better
with an exponent of 3.5.
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Data Interpolation
9. [OPTIONAL] Select the method used for determining which source points to consider for each destination point from the Point Selection drop-down. There are three
available methods, as follows:
• Nearest N - For each point in the destination zone, consider only the closest n
points to the destination point. These n points can come from any of the source
zones. This option may speed up processing if n is significantly smaller than
the entire number of source points.
• Octant - Like Nearest N above, except the n points are selected by coordinatesystem octants. The n points are selected so they are distributed as evenly as
possible throughout the eight octants. This reduces the chances of using source
points which are all on one side of the destination point.
• All - Consider all points in the source zone(s) for each point in the destination
zone.
10. Click Compute to perform the interpolation. While the interpolation is proceeding, a
working dialog appears showing the progress of the interpolation.
If you select the [Cancel] button during the interpolation process,
the interpolation is terminated prematurely. The destination zone
will be left in an indeterminate state, and you should redo the interpolation.
Inverse-distance interpolation ignores the IJK-mode of IJK-ordered zones. All data points in both
the source and destination zones are used in the interpolation.
Tecplot 360 uses the current frame’s axis assignments to determine the variables to use for coordinates in interpolation. However, axis scaling is ignored.
The Inverse-Distance Algorithm
The algorithm used for inverse-distance interpolation is simple. The value of a variable at a data
point in the destination zone is calculated as a function of the selected data points in the source zone
(as defined in the Point Selection drop-down, accessed via Data>Interpolate>Inverse-Distance).
The value at each source zone data point is weighted by the inverse of the distance between the
source data point and the destination data point (raised to a power) as shown below:
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Data Operations
∑
∑
ws ϕs
ϕ d = -------------------ws
(summed over the selected points in the source zone)
where ϕd and ϕs are the values of the variables at the destination point and the source point, respectively, and ws is the weighting function defined as:
ws = D
–E
D in the equation above is the distance between the source point and the destination point or the
minimum distance specified in the dialog, whichever is greater. E is the exponent specified in the
Exponent text field.
Smoothing may improve the data created by inverse-distance interpolation. Smoothing adjusts the
values at data points toward the average of the values at neighboring data points, removing peaks,
plateaus, and noise from the data. See Section 20 - 2 “Data Smoothing” for information on smoothing.
Kriging and Inverse Distance Interpolation Improvements
For better results with 3D data, try changing the range of your Z-variable
to one similar to the X-range the Y-range. Also, set Zero Value to 0.05.
20- 10.3 Kriging
Kriging is a more complex form of interpolation than inverse-distance. It generally produces superior results to the inverse-distance algorithm but requires more computer memory and time.
To perform kriging in Tecplot 360, perform the following steps:
1. Read the dataset to be interpolated into Tecplot 360 (the source data).
2. Read in or create the zone onto which the data is to be interpolated (the destination
zone).
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Data Interpolation
3. From the Data menu, choose Interpolate>Kriging
4. From the Kriging dialog, select the zones to be interpolated from those listed in the
Source Zone(s) scrolled list.
Tecplot 360 uses the current frame’s axis assignments to
determine the variables to use for coordinates in kriging.
However, it ignores any axis scaling.
5. Select which variables are to be interpolated from those listed in the Variable(s)
scrolled list.
6. Select the destination zone into which to interpolate. Existing values in the destination zone will be overwritten.
7. [OPTIONAL] In the Range text field, enter the distance beyond which source points
become insignificant for the kriging. The value is stated as the fraction of the length
of the diagonal of the box which contains the data points. A range of zero means that
any point not coincident with the destination point is statistically insignificant; a
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Data Operations
range of one means that every point in the dataset is statistically significant for each
point. In general, values between 0.2 and 0.5 should be used.
8. [OPTIONAL] In the Zero Value text field, enter the semi-variance at each source
data point on a normalized scale from zero to one. Semi-variance is the certainty of
the value at a data point. A value of zero means that the values at the source points are
exact. Greater values mean the values at the source points have some uncertainty or
noise. Zero is usually a good number for the zero value, and it causes the interpolated
data to fit closely to all the source data points. Increasing the zero value results in
smoother interpolated values that fit increasingly more to the average of the source
data.
9. [OPTIONAL] Select the overall trend for the data in the Drift drop-down. This can
be No Drift, Linear, or Quadratic.
If the Drift is set to Linear or Quadratic, Tecplot 360
requires that the points selected be non-collinear
(non-coplanar in 3D). To avoid this limitation, set the
Drift to None. Alternatively, you can eliminate coincident points by Irregular Data Point Triangulation
before you interpolate.
10. [OPTIONAL] Select the method used for determining which source points to consider for each destination point from the Point Selection drop-down. There are three
available methods, as follows:
• Nearest N - For each point in the destination zone, consider only the closest n
points to the destination point. These n points can come from any of the source
zones.
• Octant - Like Nearest N above, except the n points are selected by coordinatesystem octants. The n points are selected so they are distributed as evenly as
possible throughout the eight octants. This reduces the chances of using source
points which are all on one side of the destination point.
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Irregular Data Point Triangulation
• All - Consider all points in the source zone(s) for each point in the destination
zone. In general, you should not use the All option unless you have very few
source points.
The Point Selection option is very important for kriging,
because kriging involves the computationally expensive inversion and multiplication of matrices. The computational time
and memory requirements increase rapidly as the number of
selected source data points increases.
11.Select [Compute] to perform the kriging. While the kriging is proceeding, a working
dialog appears showing its progress.
If you select [Cancel] during the kriging process, the kriging is terminated prematurely. The destination zone is left in an indeterminate state, and you should redo the kriging.
The Kriging Algorithm
For a detailed discussion of the kriging algorithm refer to: Davis, J. C., Statistics and Data Analysis
in Geology, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1973, 1986.
Kriging and Inverse Distance Interpolation Improvements:
For better results with 3D data, try changing the range of your
Z-variable to one similar to the X-range the Y-range. Also, set
Zero Value to 0.05.
20 - 11 Irregular Data Point Triangulation
Triangulation is a process that connects data points to form triangles. You can use triangulation to
convert irregular, I-ordered datasets into a finite element surface zone. Triangulation is one of the
two options for creating field plots from irregular data. The other is interpolation, discussed in
Section 20 - 10 “Data Interpolation”. Triangulation preserves the accuracy of the data by creating a
finite element surface zone with the source data points as nodes and a set of triangle elements.
Triangulation works best for irregular data. However, you can triangulate 3D surface data, provided
the Z-coordinate is single-valued (the surface does not wrap around on itself). When you triangulate 3D surface data, the Z-coordinate of the data is ignored, causing a less-than-optimal triangulation in some cases.
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Data Operations
To triangulate your data, select Triangulate from the Data menu. The Triangulate dialog has the
following options:
• Source Zone(s) - Select the zone or zones to triangulate from the list.
• Use Boundary Zone(s) - Toggle-on to specify a boundary zone for the triangulation.
Select the boundary zone or zones from the list. The boundary zones define the
boundaries in the triangulation region. If you do not include boundary zones, Tecplot
360 assumes the data points lie within a convex polygon and that all points in the
interior can be connected.
• Include Boundary Points - Toggle-on to include the points in the boundary
zones in the triangulated zone.
• Triangle Keep Factor [OPTIONAL] - This factor is used to define “bad” triangles on
the outside of the triangulated zone.
At the completion of triangulation, Tecplot 360 attempts to remove bad triangles from
the outside of the triangulation. The definition of a bad triangle is stored as a number
between zero (three collinear points) and 1.0 (an equilateral triangle). Typical settings
are values between 0.1 and 0.3; settings above 0.5 are not allowed. Bad triangles will
not be removed if removing the triangle strands a data point.
• Compute - Select the [Compute] button to perform the triangulation.
After triangulating your data, you can use the resulting finite element surface zone to create plots.
Generally, you turn off the original zone(s) and plot the new zone only, but you can, for example,
plot a scatter plot of the original zone(s) along with the contours of the new zone.
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Data Spreadsheet
20 - 12 Data Spreadsheet
All ordered and finite element data can be viewed using Tecplot 360’s data spreadsheet (accessed
via Data>Spreadsheet). The data may be modified within the spreadsheet in order to change the
plots Tecplot 360 produces.
Changes to the spreadsheet do not automatically alter the original data file. However, saving the plot of altered data as a layout file will save the changes in the data journal. You also have
the option of overwriting your original data file, or creating a
new file with the altered data.
The spreadsheet displays Tecplot 360's data differently depending on the type of zone being examined. An example of the Data Spreadsheet dialog for an IJK-ordered zone is shown in Figure 20-9.
Figure 20-9. The Data Spreadsheet for an IJK-ordered zone. The first several
values of the X variable at the first index of the K plane are
I-ordered and finite element datasets are displayed with each zone's variable displayed in a column.
IJ-ordered datasets are displayed in the spreadsheet with I along the rows and J along the columns.
IJK-ordered datasets are displayed one plane at a time: selecting the K-plane displays I along the
rows and J along the columns, selecting the J-plane displays I along the rows and K along the columns, and selecting the I-plane displays J along the rows and K along the columns. With IJKordered data, the slice of interest can be selected by entering a specific index or using the up and
down arrows provided.
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Data Operations
20- 12.1 Load Variables
If a variable was not initially loaded into Tecplot 360, “Not Loaded” will be displayed in every cell
of the spreadsheet when that variable is selected. Use the [Load Variables] button to load any variables from your dataset that were not initially loaded. See Section “Load On Demand” on page 598
for more information.
20- 12.2 Spreadsheet Format
You can change the format of data in a spreadsheet without changing the appearance of your plot.
To change the data spreadsheet's display format, select the [Format] button on the Data Spreadsheet dialog. The Data Format dialog has the following options:
• Format - Select a number format from the option menu that best represents the data of
interest. Options are Integer, Float, Exponent, or Best Float.
• Precision [for Float and Exponent only] - Specify the number of places to the right
of the decimal.
• Column Width - Specify the width of the columns in number of characters.
20- 12.3 Spreadsheet Data Editing
You can change your dataset within Tecplot 360 without changing your original data file. You do
this by editing values in the cells of the spreadsheet. To modify data:
1. From the Data Spreadsheet dialog select a desired zone and variable to modify.
2. If the variable is shared with another zone or zones, the Alter in all Shared Zones
toggle will be enabled. Select this toggle to keep the variable shared as you modify
data, propagating changes to the other zones that share the variable. If this toggle is
not selected, the variable will be changed in the selected location and no longer
shared. See also: Section 5 - 3 “Data Sharing”.
3. Select the value of interest from the spreadsheet. This will highlight and expand the
value to its full precision.
4. To replace the highlighted value, simply enter the new value. Anything highlighted is
instantly replaced with the new digits entered.
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Data Spreadsheet
5. To slightly modify a highlighted value, select the value a second time. This will unhighlight the value and place the edit cursor at the desired position. Make desired
modifications to the existing value.
6. To undo a modification of a given cell, press ESC. To commit to a modification press
the Enter, Tab, or SHIFT-tab keys, or select on another cell.
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Data Operations
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Chapter 21
CFD Data Analysis
Tecplot 360 helps you analyze computational fluid dynamics and similar solutions. Data analysis
capabilities are available via the Analyze menu, and include:
• Function calculations, including grid quality functions (such as skewness) and flow
variable functions (such as vorticity). Many of these functions duplicate functions that
are available in NASA’s PLOT3D and FAST plotting programs.
• Integration of input or calculated data, including scalar, vector-dot-normal and vectordot-tangential integrands, as well as a special forces and moments option for
calculating lift, drag and moments.
• Turbulence variable calculations.
• Particle path and streakline calculations, including particles with mass.
• Error analysis using Richardson extrapolation.
• Flow feature detection, including vortex cores, separation and attachment lines, and
shock surfaces.
Units (Dimensions)
Analysis may be performed with data representing any system of units or dimensions, including
non-dimensional data. All dataset variables and other parameters must, however, be in the same set
of units. Unit conversions are not available. UNIX® users may wish to use the units utility for unit
conversions. Analysis results will be in the same units as the data.
21 - 1 Specifying Fluid Properties
Fluid properties, such as viscosity, describe the fluid model used to create the dataset. These properties are required for many calculations performed by other dialogs. They are set via the Fluid
Properties dialog. Values entered must be dimensionally consistent with each other and with your
dataset. If you imported your data using the PLOT3D data loader, the default fluid properties will
most likely suit your needs.
For a layout with multiple datasets, a separate set of fluid properties is maintained for each dataset.
You can copy the settings from one dataset to another using the Copy Settings to File and Paste
Settings from File options in the Analyze menu. These actions also transfer the settings made in
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CFD Data Analysis
the Reference Values, Field Variables, Geometry and Boundaries, and Unsteady Flow Options
dialogs.
The Fluid Properties dialog is accessed by selecting Fluid Properties from the Analyze menu.
The Fluid Properties dialog allows you to specify properties for a compressible or incompressible
fluid. For incompressible (uniform density) fluids, you specify density, specific heat, viscosity and
conductivity. For compressible (variable density) fluids, you specify the gas constant, gamma (the
ratio of specific heats), viscosity and conductivity.
By default, each fluid property is a constant. However, each property can be overridden by a field
(dataset) variable (with the exception of density). When a field variable is assigned, the local value
of that variable is used for field calculations using that property, and the constant value is used only
for global calculations, such as the calculation of reference (free-stream) quantities. To assign a
field variable for a particular property, set the Use Field Variable toggle and click Select to choose
a variable from the current dataset from the Select Variable dialog.
• Incompressible - Toggle-on to indicate the fluid is incompressible. For
incompressible fluids, you must specify density, specific heat, viscosity and
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Specifying Fluid Properties
conductivity. For compressible fluids, you must specify gas constant, gamma,
viscosity and conductivity.
• Density (for incompressible fluids only) - Density represents the mass of fluid
occupied by a unit volume. Its dimensions are [Mass]/[Length]**3.
• Specific Heat (for incompressible fluids only) - Specific heat is the amount of energy
required to raise a unit mass of the fluid one degree in temperature. Dimensions are
[Length]**2/[Time]**2[Temperature].
• Gas Constant (for compressible fluids only) - The specific gas constant has
dimensions of [Length]**2/[Time]**2[Temperature].
• Gamma (for compressible fluids only) - Gamma represents the ratio of the specific
heat at constant pressure to the specific heat at constant volume, a non-dimensional
quantity.
• Viscosity - The dynamic viscosity's dimensions are [Mass] / [Length] [Time].
• Conductivity - The thermal conductivity's dimensions are [Mass] [Length] /
[Time]**3[Temperature].
21- 1.1 Specifying Incompressible Fluid Properties
When the Incompressible check box is selected, the density of the fluid and its specific heat (Cv),
viscosity (μ), and conductivity (k) must be entered. Gamma (γ), the ratio of specific heats at constant volume and pressure, is unity for incompressible fluids, so the Gamma section is inactive. Gas
Constant (R) is also inactive. The thermal and caloric equations of state for incompressible fluids
are shown below. ρ is density, and e represents the internal energy per unit mass.
ρ = const
e = Cv T
Since the density entered in the Fluid Properties dialog represents the density of the fluid throughout the physical domain, you are not allowed to enter a reference value for density in the Reference
Values dialog, or choose a density field variable on the Field Variables dialog (see Section 21- 3.2
“Identifying State Variables”).
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CFD Data Analysis
Specific heat (Cv) is the amount of energy required to raise a unit mass of the fluid one degree. It
has dimensions of:
2
Length
Energy
-------------------------------------------------------- = -----------------------------------------------------2
Mass
×
Temperature
Time × Temperature
Viscosity (μ) represents the dynamic viscosity coefficient, in units of
Mass
------------------------------------Length × Time
Conductivity (k) is the thermal conductivity of the fluid, in units of
Mass × Length
------------------------------------------------------3
Time × Temperature
(EQ 1)
21- 1.2 Specifying Compressible Fluid Properties
When the Incompressible check box is not selected, the specific gas constant, gamma, viscosity
and conductivity must be entered. Since density is not a constant property of compressible fluids,
the Density text field is inactive, as is the Specific Heat section of the dialog. The thermal and
caloric equations of state for compressible fluids are shown below. p is pressure, and e is internal
energy per unit mass:
p = ρRT
e = Cv T
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(EQ 2)
Specifying Fluid Properties
The caloric equation of state assumes constant specific heats
for the fluid. In situations where this assumption is not valid
(such as high-temperature flows) Tecplot 360 will calculate
inaccurate values of temperature. For these cases, it is best
to have your solver output temperature, and then input it into
Tecplot 360 for other calculations (see Section 21- 3.2
“Identifying State Variables”). If your solution represents a
chemically reacting flow, your solver should also output R
and γ as field variables, which you can identify as discussed
earlier in this chapter in Section 21- 1.1 “Specifying Incompressible Fluid Properties”.
The gas constant is the universal gas constant divided by the molecular weight of the fluid:
R̂
R = ----M
(EQ 3)
giving units of
2
Length
-------------------------------------------------------2
Time × Temperature
(EQ 4)
Gamma is the ratio of the gas specific heats and is non-dimensional:
C
γ = -----pCv
(EQ 5)
21- 1.3 Working with Non-dimensional Data
Consider a case where temperature is non-dimensionalized by dividing it by free-stream temperature:
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CFD Data Analysis
T
T ⇒ -----T∞
(EQ 6)
and pressure is non-dimensionalized with gamma (the ratio of specific heats) and free-stream pressure:
p
p ⇒ --------γp ∞
(EQ 7)
We wish to know what to enter for the gas constant in the Fluid Properties dialog. We plug what
we know into the thermal equation of state (where ρ is density and R is the gas constant):
p
ρ
R
T
p = ρRT ⇒ --------- = ------- × ------- × -----γp ∞
( 1 ) ( 2 ) T∞
(EQ 8)
Since the equation of state must hold for the free-stream conditions, we know:
p∞ = ρ∞ R∞ T∞
(EQ 9)
From this, we see that the product of (1) and (2) in Equation 8 must equal: γρ∞ R ∞ .
ρR
ρR ⇒ ---------------γρ ∞ R ∞
(EQ 10)
This doesn’t entirely answer our question, however, and in the absence of additional information,
we simply need to decide how r and R are each individually non-dimensionalized. The requirement we just determined is that the product of the two must be non-dimensionalized by γρ∞ R ∞ .
So we may decide to non-dimensionalize density by free-stream density,ρ∞, which leaves the gas
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Specifying Reference Values
constant non-dimensionalized (that is, divided) by γR ∞ . In the Fluid Properties dialog, we enter
1
--- for Gas Constant. If we chose to leave Gas Constant at unity, density would be non-dimensionγ
alized by gamma and free-stream density, γρ ∞ .
21 - 2 Specifying Reference Values
Certain calculations, such as Pressure Coefficient (see Section 21 - 6 “Calculating Variables”)
require reference, or free-stream values. If you loaded your data with the PLOT3D loader, this
information has probably been loaded along with the data. Otherwise, you may supply this information using the Reference Values dialog.
For a layout with multiple datasets, separate settings are maintained for each dataset. You can copy
the settings from one dataset to another using the Copy Settings to File and Paste Settings from
File options in the Analyze menu. These actions also transfer the settings made in the Fluid Properties, Geometry and Boundaries, Field Variables, and Unsteady Flow Options dialogs.
There must be data in the current frame for the Reference Values dialog to be displayed. The Reference Values dialog is shown below.
The dialog options are as follows:
• Velocity - In the first two text fields, you may specify free-stream velocity as either UVelocity and V-Velocity, or as Mach Number and Angle of Attack. Z-velocity is
assumed to be zero. Angle of attack must be specified in degrees; flow proceeding in
the +X- and +Y-direction has a positive angle of attack. For incompressible flow (see
Section 21- 1.1 “Specifying Incompressible Fluid Properties”) only U and V-velocities
may be specified.
• Pressure/Density - The third text field allows you to specify either Density or
Pressure. Select the corresponding option in the drop-down. For incompressible flow,
you must specify Pressure, because density is specified in the Fluid Properties
dialog.
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CFD Data Analysis
• Temperature/Sound Speed - The final text field allows you to specify Temperature or
Sound Speed. Temperature must be in absolute units, such as Kelvin or Rankine. For
incompressible flow you must specify temperature. For incompressible fluids, the
speed of sound is undefined and the density of the fluid is constant.
21 - 3 Identifying Field Variables
Data analysis is performed on data in the current frame. Many of these calculations require information about what the data represents. For example, if you wish to calculate pressure from your
data you must identify two other thermodynamic state variables with which Tecplot 360 can
perform the calculation using the thermal equation of the state. X, Y, and Z are taken from the axis
assignments for the 2D or 3D plot in the current frame. The FLUENT and PLOT3D data loaders
supply most or all of the remaining information to Tecplot 360. You may also supply this information using the Field Variables dialog.
For a layout with multiple datasets, separate settings are maintained for each dataset. You can copy
the settings from one dataset to another using the Copy Settings to File and Paste Settings from
File options in the Analyze menu. These actions also transfer the settings made in the Fluid Properties, Geometry and Boundaries, Reference Values, and Unsteady Flow Options dialogs.
There must be data in the current frame for the Field Variables dialog to be displayed. The Field
Variables dialog is shown below
The top section of the dialog allows you to specify a vector of convective variables, either velocity
or momentum (velocity multiplied by density). The bottom section of the dialog contains two drop-
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Setting Geometry and Boundary Options
down menus and associated text fields for identifying two thermodynamic state variables in your
dataset.
The variables selected in the Field Variables dialog are per unit volume.
21- 3.1 Choosing the Convective Variables
Select the convective variables in your dataset by clicking the [Select] button in the top section of
the Field Variables dialog. Choose one of the two options on the Field Variables dialog to indicate
whether these variables represent pure velocity or momentum.
The convective variables used in data analysis are
not the same variables that are used to create vector plots for your solution data, though their initial values may be set the same.
21- 3.2 Identifying State Variables
The State Variables region of the dialog allows you to identify up to two variables, such as pressure and temperature, in your data. From the two drop-downs, select any two choices from the
types: Pressure, Temperature, Density, Stagnation Energy, Mach Number, or Not Used. Then
click Select, and choose the corresponding variable(s) from your data. If you have only one thermodynamic variable, select “Not Used” in one of the drop-downs. For incompressible flow, (see
Section 21- 1.1 “Specifying Incompressible Fluid Properties”) you may specify Pressure for one
variable, and you may specify Temperature or Stagnation Energy (per unit volume) for the other.
Temperature must be in absolute units, such as
Kelvin or Rankin.
The [Select] button launches the Select Variables dialog which allows you to select variables in
your dataset. The selections in the drop-down menus mentioned above determine whether these
variables represent pressure, temperature, density, stagnation energy or Mach number.
21 - 4 Setting Geometry and Boundary Options
For certain calculations, you will need to specify information about your data that Tecplot 360 may
not automatically detect. For example, a 2D solution may actually represent a 3D axisymmetric
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CFD Data Analysis
solution, affecting any integrations you perform. Adjacent zones may be connected, affecting other
calculations such as grid stretch factors, gradients, and flow features such as vortex cores. Certain
zones or zone surface regions may represent wall boundaries in your solution, on which separation
and attachment lines may be calculated. The FLUENT data loader identifies most of these characteristics for you when you import FLUENT case and data files. You may also specify them with the
Geometry and Boundaries dialog (accessed via the Analyze menu).
For a layout with multiple datasets, separate settings are maintained for each dataset. You can copy
the settings from one dataset to another using the Copy Settings to File and Paste Settings from
File options in the Analyze menu. These actions also transfer the settings made in the Fluid Properties, Reference Values, Field Variables, and Unsteady Flow Options dialogs.
For the Geometry and Boundaries dialog to be launched there must be data in the current frame.
The dialog, shown below, may then be displayed by selecting Geometry and Boundaries in the
Analyze menu.
• Specifying an Axisymmetric Solution - Selecting Axisymmetric About Variable
enables the Variable drop-down menu and allows you to enter a value in the Equals
field. Select X or Y from the Variable drop-down, and enter the constant value of this
variable that defines the axis of symmetry. If you choose the axisymmetric option, all
integrations will be performed as 3D axisymmetric integrations by multiplying the
integrand by 2πr , where r is the distance from the specified axis of symmetry.
Integrations are described in Section 21 - 7 “Performing Integrations”.
• Connecting Adjacent Zones - Tecplot 360 can calculate whether nodes on the
boundaries of adjacent zones (or the same zone) overlap. It uses this information in
calculating the Stretch Ratio grid quality function (see Section E- 2.2 “I, J, or K-
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Setting Geometry and Boundary Options
stretch Ratio”), calculating gradients, and extracting fluid flow features (see Section 21
- 11 “Extracting Fluid Flow Features”). Connections between zones are calculated cell
face by cell face. The two cells are considered connected wherever all nodes of a
particular boundary cell face overlap all nodes of an adjacent boundary cell face.
For unsteady flows (see Section 21 - 5 “Unsteady Flow”), only zones within the same
time level are examined for connections. To enable this option, select the Connect
Adjacent Zones option and enter the maximum distance at which two nodes will be
considered to overlap in the Nodal Proximity text field. Note that this text field value
is also used for zone-type boundaries, discussed below.
The zone connection feature is overridden, cell-by-cell, by any face neighbors contained in a dataset. Both connection mechanisms are overridden by any boundary conditions set on a particular face. That is, if you specify a boundary condition in the
Geometry and Boundaries dialog that covers a specific cell face, that face will not be
connected to an adjacent cell, irrespective of any face neighbors or overlapping nodes
present.
21- 4.1 Performance Considerations
Establishing connections across zone boundaries allows Tecplot 360 to calculate better gradient
quantities at these locations. There may be a substantial performance penalty for ordered-zone calculations, because at these boundary locations, Tecplot 360 uses the finite element least-squares
formulation for calculating the gradients. Refer to Section 21- 6.5 “Gradient Calculations” for a
discussion of gradient calculations.
21- 4.2 Specifying Boundaries and Boundary Conditions
You may associate cell boundary faces (cell faces on the exterior of a zone) with a boundary condition. There are two reasons why you might want to do this:
• To ensure that boundary faces are not connected to adjacent cells (see the above
discussion on connections).
• To identify wall boundaries in 3D solutions for feature extraction (see Section 21 - 11
“Extracting Fluid Flow Features”).
If you set a boundary condition on a particular cell boundary face, that face will not be considered
connected to any other cells by the gradient calculation routines. This may be advantageous, for
example, in solutions containing a thin flat plate, where nodes on either side of the flat plate overlap
and would otherwise be connected by the connection mechanism.
For three-dimensional flow solutions, you can use the Extract Flow Features dialog to extract separation and attachment lines. These lines are only calculated on boundaries you have identified as
wall boundaries. While other boundary conditions may be specified, this information is not currently used, aside from inhibiting connections.
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CFD Data Analysis
Specifying the Default Boundary Condition
Tecplot 360 keeps track of all unconnected boundary cell faces (see Section 21 - 4 “Setting Geometry and Boundary Options”) It applies the default boundary condition to any unconnected faces to
which you do not specifically apply a boundary as described below. Choose the desired boundary
condition from the Default Boundary Condition drop-down. The default boundary condition is at
the bottom of the boundary ‘pecking order.’ If a cell boundary face is not covered by any other
boundary condition, and is not connected to any other cells by either Geometry and Boundaries
connection settings or Tecplot 360 face neighbors, then the default boundary condition is applied to
it.
Identifying Zone Boundaries
Regions on the boundaries of zones may be explicitly identified and associated with particular
boundary conditions. For ordered zones only, you may identify a boundary region by zone boundary (that is, the I=1 boundary) and index range on that boundary. For all zone types, you may identify a boundary region by selecting one or more boundary zones.
Boundary zones are zones of dimension one less than the current plot type. They are surfaces in 3D
Cartesian plots, or lines in 2D Cartesian plots. Boundaries are considered to exist wherever the
nodes of these boundary zones coincide with nodes on the boundaries of volume zones in 3D Cartesian plots, or surfaces in 2D Cartesian plots. For example, you can identify boundary regions on a
tetrahedral (3D) zone using triangular zones that lie on the surface of the tetrahedral zone. The
boundary is applied wherever the nodes of the triangular zone overlap boundary nodes of the tetrahedral zone. As with connecting adjacent zones, the matching is done cell face by cell face using
the Nodal Proximity setting of the Geometry and Boundaries dialog to determine how close to
each other nodes must be to be considered overlapping.
It is easy to create boundary zones by extracting sub-zones from ordered zones in your dataset. For
finite element zones, it may be possible to extract the desired boundary region using blanking and
FE-boundary extraction. In general, however, finite element boundary zones must come from your
grid generator or flow solver.
New boundaries are created by clicking New on the Geometry and Boundaries dialog. This displays The Edit Boundary dialog, shown below.
Displaying Boundaries
The current settings of the Geometry and Boundaries dialog may be displayed by clicking the
[Display Boundaries] button. This creates a new frame and plots all zone boundaries. For each zone
in your solution data, one zone will be created in the new frame for each boundary condition
applied to the boundary faces of that zone. The names of these zones indicate their zone of origin in
your solution data and the applied boundary condition.
For each boundary face in your solution, Tecplot 360 applies some simple rules to determine that
face’s boundary condition. First, all faces covered by the boundary definitions in the Boundaries
list have the boundary conditions prescribed in the list applied to them. If a particular face is
covered by more than one of these boundaries, the boundary lowest in the list takes precedence. If
you have selected the Connect Adjacent Zones option, any faces not covered by the listed boundaries are then checked to see if they overlap faces of neighboring zones. Overlapping faces are
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Setting Geometry and Boundary Options
assigned the boundary condition ‘Interzone Boundary.’ Finally, any boundary faces not assigned
any other boundary condition will be assigned the default boundary condition you have chosen.
Since the Geometry and Boundaries dialog is modeless, you can explore the boundary definitions
in this new frame prior to applying your settings. This is a convenient way to make sure you are
applying the desired boundary settings.
Selecting the [Display Boundaries] button records a DISPLAYBOUNDARIES macro command if
you are recording a macro file.
Since this feature creates a new frame, it cannot be saved in the data journal, and the current data
journal is invalidated. If you subsequently save a layout file, you will be prompted to save a new
data file.
Saving Geometry and Boundary Settings
Once you are satisfied with your geometry and boundary settings, you can save them by selecting
the [Apply] button. When you apply your settings, a SETGEOMETRYANDBOUNDARIES macro
is recorded (if you are recording a macro file).
21- 4.3 The Edit Boundary dialog
The Edit Boundary dialog is displayed by clicking New on the Geometry and Boundaries
dialog, or by selecting an existing boundary and then selecting Edit.
It allows you to identify a boundary of one or more zones, either by entering the zone number(s),
face and index range on that face, or by entering the zone numbers of boundary zones, as discussed
in Section 21 - 4 “Setting Geometry and Boundary Options”. Enter the desired options and select
[OK] to add the boundary to the Geometry and Boundaries dialog.
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CFD Data Analysis
Using Index Range-type Boundaries
For ordered zones, you may identify boundary regions by choosing a zone boundary, or face, and
index ranges to specify a region on the face. To create an index range-type boundary, select Zone,
Face and Index Range, and choose the desired boundary condition from the Boundary Condition
drop-down menu. Select the zones to which this boundary will apply by entering their zone
numbers in the Zone Numbers text field, or clicking [Select] and choosing the zones from the
resulting dialog. (See Section 21 - 7 “Performing Integrations” for a description of the Select Zones
dialog.) If you have selected zones by clicking in the work space, you may enter these zone
numbers by clicking Use Selected. Choose a face from the Zone Face drop-down and enter the
index ranges in the remaining text fields. When you select [OK], the new boundary will appear in
the Boundaries list in the following format:
<bc>,<set>,<face>,INDEX1MIN,INDEX1MAX,INDEX2MIN,INDEX2MAX
<bc> is the boundary condition, one of Inflow, Outflow, Wall, Slipwall, Symmetry, and Extrapolated. <set> is the set of zone numbers to which the boundary applies, enclosed in square brackets.
<face> is one of I=1, I=IMAX, J=1, J=JMAX, K=1, and K=KMAX and the remaining parameters are the
minimum and maximum indices on the face, with zero indicating the maximum index value, and
negative numbers indicating offsets from the maximum index value. For example, the following
line would indicate a wall boundary condition set on the J = 1 face of zones 2, 4, 5, and 6 from I = 1
to IMax and K = 3 to KMax - 2:
Wall,[2,4-6],J=1,1,0,3,-2
Using Boundary Zone-Type Boundaries
For all zone types, you may identify boundary zones, as discussed in Section 21 - 4 “Setting Geometry and Boundary Options”. Toggle-on Specify Boundary Zones and choose the desired boundary
condition from the Boundary Condition drop-down menu. Enter the zone numbers of the boundary
zones, or click Select and choose them from the resulting dialog. The boundary will be applied to
any volume (3D) or surface (2D) zones in the dataset. The boundary appears in the Boundaries list
in the following format:
<bc>,<set>
where <bc> is as described above, and <set> is the set of boundary zones that define the boundary.
21 - 5 Unsteady Flow
Tecplot 360 can perform particle path and streakline calculations for unsteady flow solutions. To
enable this feature, it must know which zones correspond to which solution time levels in your
unsteady solution. Each solution time level may comprise one or more zones, which may be
ordered, finite element, or both. Many data loaders supply this information. You may also enter it in
the Unsteady Flow Options dialog.
For a layout with multiple datasets, separate settings are maintained for each dataset. You can copy
the settings from one dataset to another using the Copy Settings to File and Paste Settings from
File options in the Analyze menu. These actions also transfer the settings made in the Fluid Properties, Reference Values, Field Variables, and Geometry and Boundaries dialogs.
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Unsteady Flow
The Unsteady Flow Options dialog, shown below, is displayed by selecting Unsteady Flow
Options in the Analyze menu.
It contains an option allowing you to specify that your solution is steady-state, a list to display
unsteady time levels you enter, as well as controls for entering new time levels.
21- 5.1 Specifying a Steady-state Solution
To direct Tecplot 360 to treat your dataset as representing a steady-state solution, select the Flow
Solution is Steady-State option. This setting disables the remainder of the dialog.
To direct Tecplot 360 to treat your dataset as an unsteady solution, toggle-off Flow Solution is
Steady-State. This enables the remainder of the dialog, where you can identify your solution time
levels.
An unsteady flow solution consists of a sequence of zones that represent successive solution times.
Each time level may be represented by one or more zones. Identify solution time levels by entering
the zone number(s) for a particular solution time level in the Zones text field and the time they represent in the Time text field, then selecting [Add]. The zones and associated time appear in the
Solution Time Levels list. You may edit an existing time level by selecting it in the list. Its time
and zones appear in the text fields, where you may edit them. Clicking Replace updates the currently selected list time level with the modified one.
By manually entering each time and associated zones in the text fields, you may identify all solution time levels in the current dataset. For large numbers of zones, two additional methods of entering time levels are provided. If your solution, or some portion of it was calculated with a constant
time step, you may use the Group Zones by Time Step Dialog to enter all of these time levels at
once. Alternatively, if your zone names contain the solution time each zone represents, you may
enter all of your time levels by parsing the zone names for their corresponding solution time. These
options are discussed below.
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CFD Data Analysis
21- 5.2 Group Zones by Time Step Dialog
The Group Zones by Time Step dialog allows you to enter a sequence of solution time levels into
the Unsteady Flow dialog more easily than manually entering each time level.
• Starting Zone - Enter the first zone of your solution data that you wish to be included
in the grouping operation.
• Ending Zone - Enter the final zone of your solution data that you wish to be included
in the grouping operation.
• # Zones per Level - Enter how many zones represent each solution time level.
• Starting Time - Enter the solution time which will be assigned to the first zone or
group of zones identified in this operation.
• Time Step - Enter the time step of your solution. The solution time of each time level
will be calculated by adding this time step to the previous time level's solution time.
• Add to List - Toggle-on to add all time levels identified by this operation to any time
levels which already exist. If the time calculated for any of the new levels already
exists in the list, this will generate an error.
• Replace List - Toggle-onto replace any time levels in the list with the time levels
identified in this operation.
21- 5.3 Parsing Zone Names for Solution Time
If the names of your solution zones contain the solution time they represent, you may automatically
enter all time levels by parsing the zone names for these times. Zones of the same solution time will
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Calculating Variables
be grouped together. The times must be preceded in the zone name by some identifiable text, such
as “Time=.” Enter this text (without quotes) in the text field, then select Parse.
This action will first delete all existing time levels, and then attempt to
parse the zone names for new time levels. You may wish to view your
zone names before attempting this action. You may view and edit zone
names with the Data Set Information dialog (accessed via the Data
menu).
21 - 6 Calculating Variables
The PLOT3D functions create dataset variables which are derived from CFD grids and solution
data. This group of functions initially appeared in NASA’s PLOT3D program and were expanded in
PLOT3D’s successor, FAST. The functions include grid quality measures, as well as scalar and
vector flow variables. For a complete list of functions, refer to Appendix E “PLOT3D Function
Reference”. The functions are calculated with the Calculate dialog.
Many of these calculations are affected by settings in the Fluid Properties dialog (see Section 21 1 “Specifying Fluid Properties”), the Reference Values dialog (see 21 - 2 “Specifying Reference
Values”) and the Field Variables dialog (see Section 21 - 3 “Identifying Field Variables”)
For the Calculate dialog to be displayed, the active frame must contain a dataset. The Calculate
dialog, shown below, may then be displayed by selecting Calculate Variables in the Analyze
menu.
• Name - This text field indicates which function will be used for the calculation. Type
in the name of the desired function, or click Select to choose from a list of all available
functions (see the Selecting a Function dialog). Alternatively, you may enter the
equivalent PLOT3D function number, as shown in the Appendix E “PLOT3D
Function Reference”.
• Normalizing a Function - A function may be normalized in one of two ways:
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CFD Data Analysis
• Maximum Magnitude - Divides the function value at each grid point by the
maximum value in magnitude, such that the absolute value of the function is
never greater than one. For vector functions, each vector component is divided
by the maximum vector length.
• Reference Values - Divides the function value at each grid point by the same
function calculated with the reference values (the values entered in the Reference Values section of the dialog). This is the type of normalization performed
by PLOT3D in its normalized functions. This option is not available for grid
quality functions, since no meaningful reference values exist for these functions. It is also not available for functions whose reference value is zero, such
as pressure coefficient.
• No Normalization - Select to disable normalization.
• New Var Location - You may select the location (nodal or cell-centered) of new
variables created during a calculation with the New Var Location dropdown.
Variables that already exist in the dataset keep their existing locations.
• Calculate on Demand - This option adds the selected variable to the dataset, but
delays the actual calculation until it is needed. This is discussed in more detail below.
• Calculating the Function - Selecting [Calculate] performs the calculation for each
zone in the active frame. If this is the first time the selected function has been
calculated, a new variable is added to the dataset with the name of the function.
Otherwise, you will be prompted to overwrite the previously calculated variable with
new values. For vector functions, each component of the function is added to the
dataset, with X, Y, and Z prefixed to the variable name, and (vector) removed from the
name. If the function is normalized, (Max-Normalized) or (RV-Normalized) is
appended to the variable name, depending on the option selected. Upon completion of
the calculation, you will be informed of the new variable’s minimum and maximum
values and their locations.
21- 6.1 Shared Variables
If variable sharing is enabled, all variables from which the function is calculated are shared
between multiple zones, and they and the calculated variable are all at the same location (cell-centered or nodal), the new variable will be shared as well. You can see which variables in a dataset are
shared in the Data Set Info dialog (accessed via the Data menu).
21- 6.2 Calculate-on-demand Variables
Variables calculated with the Calculate-on-demand option are added to the dataset, but are not calculated until they are needed. This can save a lot of time when working with unsteady solutions
where only a small number of zones are displayed at any given time. Displaying a contour plot of
the calculated variable will only result in calculation of the variable for the currently active zones.
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Calculating Variables
Activating new zones (by, for example, advancing the solution time displayed in Tecplot 360) will
result in the calculation being performed only for the newly displayed zones.
If you wish to force the variable to be calculated for all zones at once, you may redo the calculation with the calculate-ondemand toggle-off.
A calculate-on-demand variable is a function of other variables in the dataset and is calculated
using the Calculate dialog. Calculate-on-demand variables are recalculated whenever a variable
that they are a function-of is recalculated. For example, given Pressure = f(Gas Constant), if the
value of Gas Constant changes, Pressure is recalculated.
You cannot modify a variable that is calculated on demand.
To avoid circular data dependencies, you are prevented from selecting calculate-on-demand variables in the Fluid Properties or Field Variables dialogs. In addition, you cannot delete any variables on which a calculate-on-demand variable is dependent.
If you plan to make a sequence of changes to your data and analysis settings, you can inhibit these
automatic recalculations by turning off Tecplot 360’s Auto-Redraw feature. Recalculation will then
take place only when you redraw the frame.
21- 6.3 Undoing a Calculation
If the data journal is valid, alterations made to the dataset with the Calculate dialog may be undone
by selecting Undo from the Edit menu. This will result in Tecplot 360 re-executing the data journal, which may be a lengthy process.
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CFD Data Analysis
21- 6.4 Selecting a Function
The function name may be typed into the Name text field, or selected from a list which contains all
available functions. Click [Select] to display the Select Function dialog.
Selecting a function from this dialog and selecting [OK] enters that function in the appropriate area.
Functions in this list which only apply to 3D solution data begin with (3D). Vector functions,
whose names are appended with (vector), calculate three vector components. Each of the available functions is described in Appendix E “PLOT3D Function Reference”.
An alternative method of selecting a function is to enter its equivalent PLOT3D function number.
These numbers may also be found in Appendix E “PLOT3D Function Reference”. If a valid function number is entered into the Name text field in the Calculate dialog, Tecplot 360 replaces the
number with the name of the corresponding function and sets the Normalize drop-down to None or
Reference Values as appropriate.
21- 6.5 Gradient Calculations
Most of the PLOT3D functions are scalar functions. Gradient calculations are a notable exception
to this rule, however, and depend on values at neighboring points. Understanding how these calculations are performed may help you interpret the results.
Gradients in Ordered Zones
If an ordered zone is connected to neighboring zones, its gradients are calculated using the same
method as for finite element zones (see below). Gradients in unconnected ordered zones are calculated using standard finite-difference formulae. Pressure gradient, for example, is calculated in the
following manner.
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Calculating Variables
∂p
-----∂x
ξx pξ + ηx pη + ζx pζ
=
∇p = ∂p
-----ξy pξ + ηy pη + ζy pζ
∂y
ξz pξ + ηz pη + ζz pζ
∂p
-----∂z
(EQ 11)
Where ξ indicates the I-direction, η indicates the J-direction, ζ indicates the K-direction and subscripts indicate partial derivatives. In the zone interior, derivatives are estimated with second-order
central differences, such as:
pi + 1 – pi – 1
p ξ ≈ -------------------------2
or
pξ ≈ p
1
i + --2
–p
1
i – --2
(EQ 12)
The left-hand form is used for calculating gradients at nodes, and the right-hand form is used at cell
centers. For boundary nodes, first-order one-sided differences are used.
Gradients in Finite Element Zones
The coordinate transformation approach used in unconnected ordered zones is generally not possible for finite element zones. Instead, the variable, say pressure, is assumed to vary linearly in all
dimensions, giving:
p – p 0 ≡ Δp = Δxp x + Δyp y + Δzp z ≡ ΔX ⋅ ∇p
(EQ 13)
where p0 is the pressure at the node or cell center in question. Next a matrix equation is formed
with the pressure difference for all nodes neighboring the current node (connected to the current
node by a cell edge).
(EQ 14)
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CFD Data Analysis
Δx 1 Δy 1 Δz 1
Δx 2 Δy 2 Δz 2
Δx 3 Δy 3 Δz 3
Δx 4 Δy 4 Δz 4
px
py =
pz
Δp 1
Δp 2
Δp 3
Δp 4
This equation is generally over-specified and is inverted by least-squares to find the gradient vector.
21 - 7 Performing Integrations
Tecplot 360 provides a flexible integration feature. You can integrate scalar dataset variables as
well as vector variables dotted with grid unit normal or unit tangential vectors. Tecplot 360 also has
several pre-defined integrations, such as mass flux, which simplify the integration process. In
ordered zones, you can integrate these quantities over cell volumes, face areas, or lines. In finite
element zones, you can integrate over cell volumes. In addition, you can calculate lift, drag, side
force and moments due to pressure and viscous forces acting on a surface or a set of surfaces. The
results of the integration may be displayed in a text window (and subsequently saved to a text file),
or plotted in a frame. All of these features are accessed via the Integrate dialog (accessed via Analyze>Perform Integration).
Many of these calculations are affected by settings in the Fluid Properties dialog (see Section 21 - 1 “Specifying Fluid Properties”), the
Reference Values and Field Variables dialog (see Section 21 - 3
“Identifying Field Variables”) and the Geometry and Boundaries
dialog (see Section 21 - 4 “Setting Geometry and Boundary
Options”).
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Performing Integrations
The Integrate dialog is displayed by selecting Perform Integration from the Analyze menu.
The resulting dialog provides options to specify the zone(s) of integration, the variable to be integrated, the domain of integration and display methods.
• Type of Integration - Tecplot 360 can perform simple, path, surface, and volume
integrals. Refer to Section 21 - 7 “Performing Integrations” to see how to select these
using the current plot type. Tecplot 360 defines the following fourteen integration
types:
• Length/area/volume - The physical size of the integration domain.
• Scalar - The integral of a single variable.
• Average - The area or volume-weighted average of a single variable over the
domain.
• Mass weighted scalar - The integral of a single variable multiplied by density.
• Mass weighted average - The weighted average of a single variable, with density as the weighting function.
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CFD Data Analysis
• Weighted average - A general weighted average—both the variable and the
weighting function are specified.
• Scalar flow rate - The convection of a scalar through a surface. It is calculated
by integrating the dot product of the flow velocity and the surface unit normal
multiplied by the scalar variable.
• Mass flow rate - The convection of density through a surface. This is calculated by integrating the dot product of the flow velocity and the surface unit
normal multiplied by the density.
• Mass weighted flow rate - The convection of a scalar multiplied by density
through a surface. This is calculated by integrating the dot product of the flow
velocity and the surface unit normal multiplied by the scalar variable and density.
• Mass flow weighted average - The weighted average of a scalar variable on a
surface. Here the weighting function is the dot product of the flow momentum
vector (velocity multiplied by density) and the surface unit normal.
• Forces and moments - The integral of pressure and viscous stresses on a surface. The Forces and Moments option integrates pressure and shear stresses
over lines (2D) and planes (3D). Pressure is assumed to act in the opposite
direction of the unit normals. These are calculated by integrating the dot product of the stress tensor and the surface unit normal. This will correctly calculate
lift and drag if, for example, you have a 2D airfoil defined by the J=1 line and
you integrate forces and moments over I-lines (or J-planes) for J=1.
Forces and Moments are calculated as six quantities: X, Y and Z-Force and X,
Y and Z-moments about the origin. For backward compatibility, the forces are
also displayed as Lift, Drag and Side force. Lift and Drag are the forces rotated
in the XY-plane such that Lift is normal to the reference flow direction (specified on the Reference Values dialog) and Drag is parallel to it. Side force is
equal to Z-Force.
If an I-ordered zone (in 2D) or a surface zone (in 3D) has been defined as a
boundary to a surface (2D) or volume (3D) zone, then you can perform a
Forces and Moments integration over this boundary zone. Tecplot 360 takes the
shear stress and unit normal direction from the associated zone. This allows
you, for example, to perform Forces and Moments integrations for finite element solutions, provided you have a line or surface zone that defines the surface, and you have identified this zone as a boundary zone in the Geometry
and Boundaries dialog.
• Vector-dot-normal - The integral over a surface of a vector dotted with the
surface unit normals. Here the components of the vector are dataset variables.
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Performing Integrations
• Vector average - The weighted average of a scalar variable on a surface. The
weighting function is the dot product of a vector with the surface unit normal.
Both the scalar and the vector components are dataset variables.
• Vector-dot-tangential - The integral on a line of a specified vector dotted with
the line unit tangential vector.
Options that involve a unit normal must be integrated over a domain where the unit normal direction can be determined. Acceptable domains
include lines in 2D or planes in 3D, as well as triangular or quadrilateral zones in 3D. The vector-dottangential options can only be integrated over lines.
Unit normals are discussed further in Section 21 - 7
“Performing Integrations”.
If you have selected the 2D Cartesian plot type and
have specified that the geometry is axisymmetric,
an axisymmetric integration will be performed.
Tecplot 360 multiplies each grid segment’s or cell’s
contribution to the integration by 2πr , where r is
the distance from the centroid of the segment or
cell to the axis of symmetry.
• Integrand - Some of the available types of integrations require you to choose
variables from your dataset to be integrated. Where required, fields in the Integrand
section of the dialog will be enabled. You may type in the variable names, or click
Select to choose variables.
For Forces and Moments integrations, pressure and the components of velocity are calculated from the field variables identified on the Field Variables dialog.
• Specifying the Domain of Integration - The domain of integration is defined by zone
numbers and index ranges. For ordered zones, you may choose whether to integrate
over lines, planes, or volumes. You may also choose to use the absolute value of
calculated volumes, which can be useful for finite element zones where the node
ordering may result in erroneous calculations. Finally, you can choose to exclude
regions not displayed due to index or value blanking. Please refer to Chapter 19
“Blanking” for more information on blanking.
• Integrate Over - The drop-down menu allows you to specify cell volumes, planes of
constant I, J, or K, or lines of varying I, J, or K. For tetrahedral and brick finite element
zones, only volume integration is allowed. For quadrilateral and triangular finite
element zones, only K-planes are allowed (selecting Cell Volumes for these zones is
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CFD Data Analysis
equivalent to selecting K-planes, since they are logically 2D). For 2D and 3D
Cartesian plot types, integrations over lines are performed as path integrals and
integrals over planes are performed as surface integrals. Integrals in XY line plots
integrate the chosen variable along the X axis to calculate the area between the curve
and the X axis. Volume integrations should be done in 3D Cartesian plots—volume
integrations in 2D Cartesian plots will give zero results.
If a vector dot product is to be integrated, then the domain must have an identifiable
normal or tangential direction. In 3D Cartesian plots, this usually means I, J, or Kplanes will be selected. The normals in these cases will point in the +I, +J, and +Kdirections, respectively, or the reverse for a left-handed grid. I,I, J, and K-planes do not
have an identifiable tangential direction, so vector-dot-tangential integration over
planes generates an error.
If I, J, or K-Lines are selected, the tangential vectors point in the positive-index direction. Vector-dot-normal integration is also available, but may not be meaningful—the
normal is calculated by taking the cross-product of the tangential and the +Z-axis.
In 2D Cartesian plots, I-planes are equivalent to J-lines, J-planes is equivalent to Ilines, and K-planes is equivalent to cell volumes. (It may be better to ignore planes in
two dimensions.) Both normal and tangential directions are available in all cases.
However, the normal to K-planes points in the third dimension; it may not be meaningful.
For quadrilateral and triangular finite element zones, the normal direction is found
with the right-hand rule—if the fingers of the right hand are curled in the direction of a
line drawn from cell node 1 to node 2, thence to node 3, then the thumb will point in
the direction of the normal.
• Zones - The Zones text field allows you to specify which zones the variable will be
integrated over. You may enter a single zone, a range of zones with a hyphen (for
example, 3-5), or a combination of these, separated by commas (,). For convenience,
the [All] button will set this text field to indicate all dataset zones. The [Active] button
will list all zones currently active. You may also select zones from a list by clicking
Select, which calls up the Select Zones dialog.
• Specifying Index Ranges - Below the Zone field are I, J, and K-index ranges. These
ranges will be applied to each zone over which the integration is performed. The three
comma separated items in each index range indicate the starting index, the ending
index and the skip factor, respectively.
For finite element zones, only the J-index settings have effect. These indicate the range
of cells over which the integration will be performed. For reasons discussed below, a
skip factor of unity is probably desirable for these cases.
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Performing Integrations
To enter or change an index range, select the button over the desired range’s text field.
The Enter Range dialog will be displayed.
Enter the starting index in the Begin field, the ending index in the End field, and the
skip factor in the Skip field.
You have two options for entries into the End field. You can enter a number, in which
case the maximum allowable value is displayed at the top of this dialog, and indicates
the smallest size of the given index for all of the zones listed on the Integrate dialog.
Alternatively, you can enter “Mx” to use the maximum index for each individual zone,
“Mx - 1” to use one less than the maximum and so on. A skip factor of 1 means “use
every point in the range,” a skip of two means, “use every other point”, and so forth.
For linear and planar integration, skip factors are ignored along the line, or within the
plane of integration. For example, if you are integrating along I-lines, the I-skip factor
will be ignored. Minimum and maximum index values are always used.
• Use Absolute Values of Volume - Takes the absolute value of the volumes of 3D grid
cells used for integration. This is useful if you have a finite element grid with arbitrary
node ordering such that the calculated volume of cells may be positive or negative.
Negative grid cell volumes occur when left-handed grids are used in Tecplot 360. A
right-handed ordered zone will have the +J-direction proceeding to the left of the +Idirection when viewed from the +K-direction. For finite element zones, the nodes of
each cell will proceed counter-clockwise when viewed from the direction of the
highest-numbered node.
• Exclude Blanked Regions - Removes from the integration domain portions of any
zones that are hidden due to value or index-blanking. (Note that 3D depth blanking has
no effect.)
Excluding blanked regions can lead to unexpected results, depending on the blanking
settings. In particular, note that blanking options allow for a cell to be blanked when
any of its nodes is blanked, when its “primary” (or lowest-numbered) index is blanked,
or only when all of its nodes are blanked. As a result, cells may still be displayed
where some nodes have been blanked. Figure 21-10 illustrates this effect. Index-blanking has been used to blank all nodes along the J=1 line, but all cells are still displayed.
An integration over volumes or K-planes would include the entire mesh, while integrations over I-lines or J-lines would exclude the J=1 line. In general, display the Mesh
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CFD Data Analysis
layer to see the domain of integration if you are integrating over volumes in 3D or
planes in 2D, and display the Scatter layer to see the remaining types of integration
domain. See Chapter 19 “Blanking” for more information on blanking.
Figure 21-10. The effect of blanking on nodes and cells.
• Performing the Integration - Selecting Integrate at the bottom of the Integrate
dialog will perform the integration and display the results. Tecplot 360 uses the
trapezoidal method, a second-order method which averages nodal values to cell, face,
or edge centers, then sums the products of these values with the corresponding cell
volumes, areas, or lengths.
21- 7.1 Specifying Display Options
Displaying Tabulated Results
The results of an integration may be displayed in a text dialog, plotted, or both. These options are
set at the bottom of the Integrate dialog (accessed via Analyze>Perform Integration). If the
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Performing Integrations
Show Tabulated Results check box is selected, integration results will appear in a text dialog, as
shown below.
This dialog presents two additional options. Selecting Save displays a file selection dialog which
allows you to save the integration results to a text file. Make Text places a text field containing the
results into the current frame. Make sure the desired frame is your current frame before you select
this button.
Plotting Results
Setting the Plot Results As check box results in the integration results being plotted in a new
frame. Each zone used in the integration results in a corresponding zone being created in this frame.
For Cell Volume integrations, the plot will not be useful, because it will contain only a single point
in each zone. For plane (in 3D) or line integrations where multiple planes or lines are integrated in
each zone, plotting can be very useful. In these cases, the results for each plane or line are plotted
versus the corresponding index or indices.
For all integrations except Forces and Moments, the text field to the right of the Plot Results As
check box may be used to name the variable used to hold the integration results in the results plot.
For Forces and Moments, the nine variable names will be Lift, Drag, Side, X-Moment, Y-Moment,
Z-Moment, X-Force, Y-Force and Z-Force, with Lift initially being the only variable displayed.
Because the plotting feature creates a new frame, it cannot be saved to the data journal, and the
current data journal is invalidated. If you subsequently save a layout file, you will be prompted to
save a new data file.
21- 7.2 Accessing Integration Results in Macros
Macro commands may access the results of the most recent integration through specific environment variables. Each of these variables represents the total over all zones (the final number shown
in the Integration Results dialog). For all integration types except Forces and Moments, the single
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CFD Data Analysis
result is stored in the variable INTEGRATION_TOTAL. Table 21 - 1 shows the variable names for
forces and moments.
Integration Types
Environment Variables
Forces and Moments
INTEGRATION_LIFT
INTEGRATION_DRAG
INTEGRATION_SIDE
INTEGRATION_XMOMENT
INTEGRATION_YMOMENT
INTEGRATION_ZMOMENT
INTEGRATION_XFORCE
INTEGRATION_YFORCE
INTEGRATION_ZFORCE
All other types
INTEGRATION_TOTAL
Table 21 - 1: Environment variables for integration results.
Environment variables are accessed in macros in the same way as regular macro variables, except
that a $ is prefixed to the variable name. For example, the following macro command would
display the most recent scalar integration:
$!PAUSE “Integration total = |$INTEGRATION_TOTAL|”
21- 7.3 Integration Examples
The following sections demonstrate potential uses of the Integrate dialog.
Calculating the Volume Under a Surface
Figure 21-11 shows a 3D surface. We want to calculate the volume between that surface and the
Z=0 plane. To do this, integrate Z over the projection of the surface onto the Z=0 plane. To get this
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Performing Integrations
projection, switch to 2D Cartesian plot type. Ensure that the same variables used for X and Y in 3D
are used for X and Y in 2D using the Assign XYZ dialog (available in the Plot menu).
Figure 21-11. A 3D surface.
to set up the Integrate dialog to perform the integration, choose Scalar as the integration type and
Z as the scalar variable. The remaining controls are left at their default settings. Selecting Integrate
displays the volume under the surface. The Integrate dialog and the results are shown in Figure
21-12.
Figure 21-12. The Integration dialog and
the integration results for
calculating the volume
under the surface shown in
Figure 21-11.
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CFD Data Analysis
Internal Flow Examples
The next few examples will demonstrate some uses of the Integrate dialog for internal flows, such
as flow through a jet engine or a pipe. Our dataset consists of a single I-J ordered zone. It is shown
with the mesh and contours of pressure in Figure 21-13.
Figure 21-13. An internal flow solution. This file,
intflow.lpk, is located in your Tecplot 360
distribution under the examples/2D
subdirectory.
Calculating Total Mass
To calculate the total mass we must integrate density over volume (or area in 2D). If your dataset
does not contain density, it may be determined using the Calculate dialog. (See Section 21 - 6
“Calculating Variables”) Select the Scalar Integral integration type, choose the density variable as
the scalar, then integrate over Cell Volumes (which is demoted to K-planes for our IJ-ordered data).
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Performing Integrations
When we click Integrate, the total mass appears as the result of the integration. The Integrate
dialog and the results are shown in Figure 21-14.
Figure 21-14. The Integration dialog
and the integration results
for calculating the volume
under the surface shown
in Figure 21-13.
Calculating Mass Flow Rate
To calculate mass flow rate, you must first set your convective variables in the Field Variables dialog. See Section 21- 3.1 “Choosing the Convective Variables” for
information on setting these variables.
We will now calculate the mass flow rate at various stations in the streamwise direction. This will
give us an indication of how well converged our solution is to steady-state. The Integrate dialog
makes this easy with the Mass Flow Rate integration type. We select this option and specify integration over J-lines (which is equivalent to I-planes in 2D). Note that the entire Integrand section of
the dialog is disabled. Tecplot 360 calculates the necessary variable (momentum) from information
entered in the Fluid Properties and the Field Variables dialogs.
We only wish to plot the results, so we select this option at the bottom of the Integrate dialog,
specifying that the result be named “Mass Flow.” When we select Integrate, the mass flow rate is
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CFD Data Analysis
plotted versus I-index in a new frame. The Integrate dialog and the plotted results are shown in
Figure 21-15. From the results, we see that our solution was not fully converged.
Figure 21-15. The Integration dialog
and the results of
calculating the mass flow
rate of the object in Figure
21-13.
Calculating Mass-weighted Stagnation Pressure
We will now calculate a quantity commonly used in engine analysis, the mass-weighted stagnation
(or total) pressure. Although it is referred to as “mass-weighted,” the weighting function is actually
the mass flow rate. Accordingly, select Mass Flow-weighted Average for the integration type,
choosing the Stagnation Pressure variable from our dataset (previously calculated with the Calculate dialog). Since we are only interested in this value at the exit plane, we again select J-lines
(from the “Integrate Over” drop-down menu), but now specify an I-range of (Mx, Mx, 1) to inte-
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Performing Integrations
grate only the I=IMax plane. We choose only to display the result in a text dialog. Select [Integrate]
to perform the calculation. The Integrate dialog and the result are shown in Figure 21-16.
Figure 21-16. The Integration dialog
and results for calculating
the mass-flux weighted
average integral for the
data in Figure 21-13.
Calculating Lift and Drag
Our final example makes use of a three-element airfoil solution, an example of an external flow
solution. Our data consists of four zones. Three zones are IJ-ordered zones which capture the Edge
layer about each of the elements. The fourth zone is a triangular finite element zone that fills the
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CFD Data Analysis
remaining airspace about the elements. Pressure contours and streamtraces of this solution are
shown in Figure 21-17.
Figure 21-17. A three element airfoil solution. This
file, 3element.lpk, is located in your
Tecplot 360 distribution under the
examples/2D subdirectory.
To calculate lift and drag for this airfoil configuration we use the Forces and Moments integration
type. As with Mass Flow Rate, the entire Integrand portion of the Integrate dialog is disabled,
because Tecplot 360 will derive the required values (pressure, velocity gradient, and viscosity)
from settings in other dialogs. We choose integrate over the surface (J=1) line for each of the three
Edge layer zones, the click Integrate. The Integrate dialog and results appears as in Figure 21-18.
Figure 21-18. The Integration dialog
and the integration
results for calculating
the lift and drag for the
data shown in Figure
21-17.
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Performing Integrations
The results of each zone are listed separately. Scrolling to the bottom of the Integration Results
dialog, we see the total lift and drag, along with other force and moment data.
Specifying the Origin for Moments
When the Forces and Moments integration type is selected, the [Set Origin] button is active.
Selecting this button displays the Set Origin dialog. In this dialog, you may specify the X, Y, Zlocation of the origin about which the moments will be calculated.
Select Zones
To select zones, choose [All], [Active], or [Select] from the Domain of Integration portion of the
Integrate dialog. By choosing [Select], you may select the zones you want by clicking in the list,
or by selecting [Zone Num] or [Zone Name] in the resultant Select Zones dialog. Selecting [Zone
Num] calls up the Enter Range dialog, allowing you to indicate the desired zones by a numeric
range. Selecting [Zone Name] prompts you for a pattern string, which is matched against the names
of all zones. You may use the asterisk as a wildcard when entering the zone name pattern. All zones
whose names match the pattern are then selected in the list.ht.
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CFD Data Analysis
21 - 8 Calculating Turbulence Functions
Tecplot 360 allows you to calculate and add to your dataset any of four turbulence-related quantities, provided you already have any given two in your dataset. Turbulent kinetic energy, dissipation
rate, frequency and kinematic viscosity, and dynamic viscosity are available via the Turbulence
dialog.
The Turbulence dialog is displayed by selecting Calculate Turbulence Functions from the
Analyze menu.
It contains two drop-down menus and associated text fields for you to identify the two turbulencerelated variables in your dataset, drop-downs for you to select the function you wish to calculate
and the location of the calculated variable, a toggle to select calculate-on-demand, and a [Calculate]
button to perform the calculation.
21- 8.1 Identifying Turbulence Variables
The first two drop-down menus on the Turbulence dialog allow you to specify which turbulence
variables are contained in your dataset. The options are Kinetic Energy (κ), Dissipation Rate (ε),
Turbulent Frequency (ω), Turbulent Kinematic Viscosity (νt), and Turbulent Dynamic Viscosity(μt). This last option is the kinematic viscosity, which is equal to the dynamic viscosity divided
by the density.
21- 8.2 Selecting the Variable Location
You may select the location (nodal or cell-centered) of new variables Tecplot 360 creates during a
calculation with the New Var Location dropdown. This setting only affects new variables added to
the dataset when you click Calculate. Variables that already exist in the dataset keep their existing
locations. If you wish to change the location of an existing variable, you can delete or rename the
variable and then perform the calculation with the desired setting for New Var Location.
21- 8.3 Calculating on Demand
Selecting the Calculate on Demand option results in the calculated variable being added to the
dataset when you click the [Calculate] button, but the actual calculation is delayed until it is actu-
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Calculating Particle Paths and Streaklines
ally needed. Please refer to the discussion of calculate-on-demand in Section 21 - 6 “Calculating
Variables”.
21- 8.4 Performing the Calculation
Once you have identified two turbulence variables in your dataset, you may calculate either of the
other two. Select the desired function from the Function drop-down menu and click [Calculate].
The function is calculated and added to your dataset as a variable with the same name as the function selected. If your dataset variables are k and ε, the following formulae will be used for the calculations of ω and νt:
ε
ω = --------Cμ k
(EQ 15)
2
Cμ k
ν t = ----------ε
(EQ 16)
with Cμ = 0.09. Equations for other input variables are derived from these.
21- 8.5 Shared Variables
If both variables from which the turbulence function is calculated are shared between multiple
zones, and they and the calculated variable are all at the same location (cell-centered or nodal), the
new variable will be shared as well. This mimics the behavior of the Data>Alter>Specify Equations dialog.
21 - 9 Calculating Particle Paths and Streaklines
For steady-state solutions, Tecplot 360 allows you to track the paths of massless particles by
placing streamtraces in the flow. The Particle Paths and Streaklines dialog augments this capability by providing two additional visualization methods, particle paths and streaklines, for particles
with or without mass.
Please note that these calculations, particularly for streaklines, may be very lengthy to perform,
especially for cases with large grids.
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CFD Data Analysis
The Particle Paths and Streaklines dialog is displayed by selecting Calculate Particle Paths and
Streaklines from the Analyze menu.
It contains a drop-down menu allowing you to choose particle paths or streaklines, as well as
options pertaining to the path integrations, particles with mass, storage and display of the calculated
particle paths. In addition, the results of streaklines may be animated.
21- 9.1 Calculating Particle Paths
A particle path is the path that a single particle follows through a solution. In steady flow, particle
paths are the same as streaklines and streamtraces for massless particles. To calculate particle paths,
you must:
1. Place streamtraces at the locations where you wish particles to be released, then select
Particle Paths from the drop-down menu at the top of the dialog. (Details on placing
streamtraces may be found in the Chapter 15 “Streamtraces”.)
2. Specify an integration time step. For steady-state calculations, specify the maximum
number of time steps to be performed (see Section 21 - 5 “Unsteady Flow” for specifying steady or unsteady flow).
3. Set the Particles Have Mass option for particles with mass. Click Mass Options to set
mass-related options.
4. Optionally, set the Create Single Ordered Zone From Particle Paths toggle to create a
single IJ-ordered zone from all particle paths instead of a separate I-ordered zone
from each path.
5. Select [Calculate].
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Calculating Particle Paths and Streaklines
Specifying the Integration Time Step and Maximum Number of Steps
Particle Paths are calculated by integrating the velocity field of your solution using a constant time
step, which you enter in the Integration Time Step text field. A smaller time step will result in more
accurate particle paths but will take longer to calculate. For unsteady calculations, the time step is
set equal to the time interval between your solution time levels by default. If you specify so large a
time step that a particle passes out of your solution domain in the first integration time step, you
will get a warning message.
If you have set the Flow Solution is Steady-state option, you must also enter the maximum number
of integration time steps to be performed (see also Section 21 - 5 “Unsteady Flow” on page 432).
Specifying Mass-Related Options
For particles with mass, set the Particles Have Mass option. This enables other mass-related controls in the dialog. Click Mass Options to display the Particle Mass Options dialog. (See Section
21- 9.3 “Particles with Mass”) In addition, you have the option of storing the particle’s velocity and
other particle properties or the local flow properties along the calculated particle path. Select Store
Particle Velocity, Temperature, and Mass to store these values along the particle path. Select Store
Interpolated Solution Variables to store these values instead. Following the calculation, you will be
informed of which dataset variables contain these values.
Performing the Particle Path Calculation
When you select Calculate, a particle is placed at the starting point for each streamtrace you have
placed. If you did not place any streamtraces, you will get an error message. From these starting
locations, beginning with the time equal to the time of your first solution time level (or zero for
steady-state calculations), the particle positions are advanced by performing a second-order RungeKutta integration of the velocity field. For unsteady calculations, linear interpolation is performed
between solution time levels. Integration for each particle is continued until the final time level is
reached (unsteady calculations), the specified number of time steps has been performed (steadystate calculations), or until the particle passes out of your solution domain. The particle paths are
displayed as new I-ordered zones in your dataset, with each integration step represented by a node
in the new zones, unless you selected the Create Single Zone From Particle Paths option, which
results in a single IJ-ordered zone.
Examining the Particle Paths
Each I-ordered zone created by a Particle Path calculation represents a path through space and time.
The paths’ non-grid variables will hold interpolated values of your solution data that the particle
“saw” as it passed through your solution, except as discussed in Section “Specifying Mass-Related
Options” on page 459. You can visualize this by coloring the particle zones’ mesh plots with one of
your solution variables. The following steps will accomplish this:
1. Turn on the Mesh plot layer by toggling-on the Mesh in the Sidebar.
2. Call up the Zone Style dialog (accessed via the Plot menu or the Sidebar).
3. Turn off mesh plotting for your solution zones by selecting the solution zones, clicking Mesh Show and selecting No.
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CFD Data Analysis
4. If necessary, turn on mesh plotting for the Particle Path zones by selecting them,
clicking Mesh Show and selecting Yes.
5. Color the Particle Path zones with a variable by selecting these zones, clicking Mesh
Color and selecting Multi-color. If you had not previously chosen a contour variable,
the Contour Variable dialog will open to allow you to select it. Choose the variable
you wish to use to color the particle paths.
6. If Auto Redraw has not been selected, click Redraw to redraw your plot. You will see
the particle paths displayed and colored with the contour variable.
You may wish to turn on the Scatter plot layer to see the size of these steps. If you do this, you will
first want to turn off scatter plotting for your solution zones. You can also do this with the Zone
Style dialog.
21- 9.2 Calculating Streaklines
Streaklines simulate experimental techniques which involve the periodic or continuous release of a
tracer substance, such as oil drops or smoke. Tecplot 360 produces streaklines by releasing a
sequence of particles from the release points and integrating the unsteady velocity field to find their
positions in the flow at the end solution time. The final positions of all particles emitted from a particular release point form one streakline. Once streaklines have been calculated, they may be animated on screen or to a file.
To calculate Streaklines, perform the following actions:
1. Identify the solution time levels in your dataset. (See Section 21 - 5 “Unsteady
Flow”.)
2. Place streamtraces at the locations where you wish particles to be released.
3. Select Streaklines from the drop-down menu at the top of the Particle Paths and
Streaklines dialog.
4. Enter the integration time step as with particle path calculations. (See Section “Specifying the Integration Time Step and Maximum Number of Steps” on page 459).
5. Specify the particle release frequency. (See Section “Specifying the Particle Release
Frequency” on page 460.)
6. For particles with mass, set the Particles Have Mass option. Click Mass Options to set
mass-related options.
7. Select [Calculate].
It is not reasonable to calculate streaklines for steady-state flow, because in steady-state flow, even
for particles with mass, streaklines are the same as particle paths (just more time consuming to
compute).
Specifying the Particle Release Frequency
For Streakline calculations, a sequence of particles is released throughout the solution time. Each
particle’s position is integrated using the specified integration time step. The frequency with which
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Calculating Particle Paths and Streaklines
particles are released is specified by the controls just above the [Calculate] button. In the Release
text field, enter the number of particles to be released in the specified time interval. In the particles
per drop-down menu, identify this time interval by selecting either Solution Time Level or Unit
Solution Time.
If you select Solution Time Level, the indicated number of particles will be released, evenly spaced
in time, between each pair of solution time levels you have identified. If you select Unit Solution
Time, the particles will be released at regular intervals throughout the time covered by your solution. In either case, a particle will be released at the final time of your solution, so that the streaklines will include the release points themselves. Releasing particles more frequently will produce
more detailed streaklines (the accuracy is determined by the Integration Time Step), but will take
longer to calculate.
Performing the Streakline Calculation
When you click Calculate, the streaklines are calculated and added to your dataset as new I-ordered
zones. To see them, turn on the Mesh plot layer and disable mesh plotting for your solution zones.
See Section “Examining the Particle Paths” on page 459.
Animating Streaklines
Once you have performed a streakline calculation, the animation controls of the Particle Paths and
Streaklines dialog are enabled. A streakline animation displays each successive step in the integration, and can be an effective means of visualizing the unsteadiness of a flow. Toggle-on Include
Zone Animation in the Particle Paths and Streaklines dialog to animate the zones along with the
streaklines.
Please note that subsequent particle path
or streakline calculations will replace the
current streakline calculation, making it
unavailable for animation.
You may display the animation in the frame in which the streaklines were calculated or save it to a
raster metafile or an AVI file. Raster metafiles can be played by the Framer utility provided with
Tecplot 360, while AVI files can be played by many common software packages. To perform a
streakline animation, do the following steps:
1. Delete the I-ordered zones of any streaklines you do not wish to be part of the animation using the Delete Zone dialog.
2. Select the animation destination from the Animate Streaklines dropdown.
3. Select Animate.
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CFD Data Analysis
4. If you chose to save the animation to a file, the Animate Options dialog will be displayed. Enter your choices for the animation and select [OK]. Then choose a file
name in the resulting file selection dialog.
While animating on the screen, the [Animate] button’s text will change to Cancel, allowing you to
stop the animation. While animating to a file, a progress dialog will be displayed that allows you to
cancel the animation.
Deleting Particle Paths and Streaklines
Particle paths and streaklines are saved either as I-ordered zones or as a single IJ-ordered zone. You
may delete these individually using the Delete Zone dialog (accessed via Data>Delete>Zone). If
you wish to delete all previously calculated particle paths and streaklines, you may do so using the
[Delete All Particle Paths and Streaklines] button. This deletes all zones whose names begin with
‘Particle Path’ or ‘Streakline.’
Animate Options
The Animation Options dialog allows you to specify options for saving the streakline animation to
a file. The following options are available:
• Width (pixels) - Enter a value in the text field for your exported image’s width. The
image region is rendered to the image file to exactly fit a size of Width by Height. This
text field initially displays the frame’s actual width.
• Height (pixels) - Displays the height of the image based on the value entered for
Width, preserving the shape of the region to be exported. (Calculated by Tecplot 360.)
• Animation Speed (frames/sec) - Applicable only to AVI files. Enter a value in the
text field to set your speed in frames per second.
• Use Multiple Color Tables - Selecting this check box will create a color table for each
frame of the animation. If this check box is not selected, Tecplot 360 will scan each
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Calculating Particle Paths and Streaklines
frame in your AVI file and create an optimal color table from 256 colors for the entire
animation.
21- 9.3 Particles with Mass
Whereas massless particles always travel with the local fluid velocity, particles with mass travel
according to a more complicated equation of motion where the fluid creates drag on the particle. In
addition, particles with mass may have a temperature that is different from the local fluid temperature, and they may lose mass due to ablative processes such as vaporization. The Particle Mass
Options dialog allows you to enter coefficients and particle properties to indicate how these massrelated effects are calculated.
The Particle Mass Options dialog is displayed by selecting Mass Options on the Particle Paths
and Streaklines dialog. It allows you to specify either general or detailed coefficients related to the
particle trajectory and heat transfer calculations, plus options related to gravity and the initial particle velocity. If you choose to calculate the particle temperature, you may choose to terminate the
particle at a specified temperature, or, with the detailed coefficient option, to ablate the particles
until their mass reaches zero.
Selecting a Coefficient Set
You may enter either general coefficients or detailed coefficients. General coefficients are a convenient way of characterizing the particles, but result in less accurate calculations. They should only
be used when the particle drag coefficient and heat transfer coefficient (if particle temperature is
being calculated) are essentially constant. Detailed coefficients result in more accurate calculations,
and should be used whenever the drag coefficient or heat transfer coefficient may not be constant,
such as when the particle Reynold’s number is less than 1000 (see page 468 for a definition of particle Reynold’s number). In addition, if you wish to calculate particle ablation, you must specify
detailed coefficients. Indicate your choice of coefficients by making the appropriate selection in the
option box at the top of the Particle Mass Options dialog.
Calculating Particle Temperature
If you wish to calculate each particle’s temperature along its path, set the Calculate Particle Temperature option. Particles begin with their temperature equal to the local fluid temperature at their
insertion point (the beginning of each streamtrace you have placed). If you have chosen to enter
general coefficients, enter the Temperature Time Constant in the General Coefficients section of the
dialog. Otherwise, enter the specific heat (per unit mass) and the Nusselt number in the Detailed
Coefficients section of the dialog. Also, select from the available options in the Termination
Options section of the dialog. All of these options are discussed below.
Specifying the Effects of Gravity and Buoyancy
If you wish to include the effects of gravity in your calculation, enter the value in the gravity field
and select the axis direction in which gravity acts.
If you choose the detailed coefficient set and non-zero gravity, the effects of buoyancy will also be
included. Buoyancy acts in the opposite direction of gravity. It is included by subtracting from the
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particle mass the mass of the fluid it displaces, and multiplying the result by the gravitational constant to calculate the force due to gravity.
Buoyancy effects are not included if you choose the general coefficient set because the particle size
is not specified. In this case, the value for gravity is simply added to the particle acceleration that is
calculated from the general coefficients and local flow conditions.
Specifying the Initial Particle Velocity
Each particle injected into the flow begins either at the velocity of the flow at the point where the
particle is injected, or at zero velocity. Select one of these options from the drop-down menu.
General Coefficients
Figure 21-19 shows the Particle Mass Options dialog with the general coefficients displayed. The
General Coefficients consist of the Ballistic Coefficient and, if you are calculating particle temperature, the Temperature Time Constant.
Figure 21-19. The Particle Mass Options dialog with general
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Ballistic Coefficient.
The Ballistic Coefficient is defined by the following:
mp
B = --------SC D
(EQ 17)
where B is the Ballistic Coefficient, S is the frontal area of the particle, CD is the particle’s drag
coefficient and mP is the particle’s mass. Given the Ballistic Coefficient, the acceleration of a particle due to fluid drag is calculated from
0.5ρ f ( u fi – u p i ) ( u f – u p )
a i = -----------------------------------------------------------B
(EQ 18)
where a is particle acceleration, i stands for each spatial dimension, ρf is the local fluid density and
u fi and u p i are the velocity components of the fluid and the particle. If non-zero gravity has been
specified, the acceleration in the specified direction is augmented by the value for gravity. For
example, if a gravitational constant, gc, acts in the -Z direction, the acceleration in the Z direction
becomes:
0.5ρ f ( u fz – u pz ) u f – u p
a z = -------------------------------------------------------– gc
B
(EQ 19)
Temperature Time Constant
For the general coefficient option, particle temperature is calculated with a simple relaxation:
dT p
1--------- = ---( T – Tp )
dt
τT f
(EQ 20)
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CFD Data Analysis
where T is temperature, and τT is the Temperature Time Constant you enter in this text field. τT has
units of time, and indicates the “e-folding” time of this relaxation—the amount of time it takes to
reduce the difference between the fluid temperature and the particle temperature by a factor of
about 2.7.
Comparing 20 with the convective heat transfer equation,
dT p
Q = hA ( T w – T ∞ ) = – m p c p --------dt
(EQ 21)
we see that τT may be thought of as a combination of the convective heat transfer coefficient, h and
the surface area, mass, and specific heat of the particle:
2
πr p h
τ T = – ----------mp cp
(EQ 22)
Note from 21 that the Temperature Time Constant is only constant if the heat transfer coefficient is
also constant. In general, however, this coefficient will vary with the particle’s velocity relative to
the fluid, so this approximation should be viewed with skepticism.
Detailed Coefficients
Figure 21-20 shows the Particle Mass Options dialog with detailed coefficients displayed. The
detailed coefficients consist of particle mass radius and drag coefficient. In addition, if particle tem-
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Calculating Particle Paths and Streaklines
perature is being calculated, the detailed coefficients consist of particle specific heat and Nusselt
number.
Figure 21-20. The Particle Mass Options dialog with
detailed coefficients.
• Mass - Each particle begins with the same mass, entered in this text field. If ablation is
being calculated, the particle’s mass may be reduced by the ablative process as it
travels through the flow field.
• Radius - As with Mass, each particle begins with the same radius, entered in this text
field and may be reduced by ablation.
• Specify/Calculate Drag Coefficient - You may elect to specify a constant drag
coefficient or have Tecplot 360 calculate it. If you specify a constant drag coefficient,
enter its value in the corresponding text field. For calculated drag coefficient, Tecplot
360 uses a formula from Multiphase Flow and Fluidization: Continuum and Kinetic
Theory Descriptions (D. Gidaspow, 1994):
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CFD Data Analysis
24
------ ( 1 + 0.15 ( Re ) 0.687 )
C D = Re
0.44
Re < 1000
(EQ 23)
Re ≥ 1000
with the particle Reynold’s number:
ρf dp Up – Uf
Re = -------------------------------μf
(EQ 24)
where d p is the particle diameter, U p – U f is the speed of the particle relative to
the fluid and μ f is the dynamic viscosity of the gas. The acceleration then becomes:
π 2
--- r p ρ f ( u f – u p ) ( u f – u p ) C D
i
i
Fi
2
a i = ------ = --------------------------------------------------------------------mp
mp
(EQ 25)
If non-zero gravity has been specified, the acceleration in the specified direction is
augmented by the gravitational constant adjusted for buoyancy. For example, if a gravitational constant, gc, acts in the Z direction, the acceleration in the Z direction
becomes:
π
--- r 2p ρ f ( u f – u p ) ( u f – u p ) C D
z
z
ρ
2
a z = ---------------------------------------------------------------------- – g c ⎛ 1 – -----f ⎞
⎝
mp
ρ p⎠
(EQ 26)
where ρp is the density of the particle.
• Specific Heat - If particle temperature is being calculated, enter the specific heat per
unit mass of the particles, in units of energy per mass per degree.
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Calculating Particle Paths and Streaklines
• Specify/Calculate Nusselt Number - The Nusselt number is a non-dimensional
measure of heat transfer. The temperature change of the particle is calculated from this
number using the following formula:
dT p
2πr p k f Nu ( T f – T p )
–Q
--------- = ------------ = -------------------------------------------dt
mp cp
mp cp
(EQ 27)
where kf is the conductivity of the fluid.
If you specify a constant Nusselt number, enter its value in the text field. Otherwise,
Tecplot 360 will calculate it using a formula from An Eulerian-Lagrangian Analysis
for Rocket Motor Internal Flows (Jayant S. Sabnis, et al., 1989):
Nu =
2 + 0.53 ( Re )
0.5
Re ≤ 278.92
0.37 ( Re )
0.6
Re > 278.92
(EQ 28)
Termination Options
When solving for particle temperature, you may terminate particles when they reach a specified
temperature, or calculate particle ablation (mass reduction due to off-gassing or some sort of
sloughing of material from the particle).
• Terminate/Ablate Particles - If you elect to terminate the particles at a particular
temperature, you must enter the temperature. When the particle reaches this
temperature, its path will be terminated at that location. If you elect ablation, you must
enter the temperature at which ablation begins, and the latent heat of the ablative
process. If you wish to model boiling of initially solid particles, enter the latent heat of
fusion plus the latent heat of vaporization, as a positive number. Once the particle
reaches the specified temperature, any additional heat transferred to the particle will
result in ablation instead of an additional temperature rise. If the particle’s mass
reaches zero, it will be terminated at that location.
• Temperature - For temperature-based termination, this is the temperature in absolute
units at which the particle will be terminated. For ablation, this is the temperature at
which the ablation begins.
• Latent Heat - This is the combined latent heat of fusion and vaporization for the
particle, used only for particle ablation. Its units are energy per unit mass.
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CFD Data Analysis
21 - 10 Analyzing Solution Error
Tecplot 360 allows you to examine a sequence of CFD solutions on successively finer meshes, estimate the order of accuracy of the solutions, as well as perform Richardson extrapolation to improve
the accuracy of the solutions. These features are applicable only to smooth solutions (solutions with
no discontinuities). They are available via the Error Analysis dialog.
The Error Analysis dialog is displayed by selecting Analyze Error from the Analyze menu.
It contains controls for specifying the solution zones to analyze, the maximum accuracy of your
CFD solver, some options specific to accuracy calculation, and buttons to perform the analyses.
You cannot perform error analysis on polygonal or polyhedral zones.
21- 10.1 Calculating Solution Accuracy
The accuracy of a sequence of three solutions is estimated using Richardson extrapolation on a particular dataset variable you select. The resulting accuracy in both the 1-norm and the Max- (infinity-) norm is reported in a text dialog. You also have the options of plotting the overall error versus
grid spacing, or plotting the calculated accuracy at each grid node.
21- 10.2 Selecting Solution Zones
To calculate solution accuracy, you must identify three zones from your dataset. The zones must
represent coarse, medium, and fine grid solutions of the same problem. The order in which you
enter the zone numbers does not matter. The medium grid must have twice the number of cells in
each index direction as the coarse grid, or twice, plus one, the number of nodes. The fine grid must
have four times the number of cells, or four times, plus one, the number of nodes as the coarse grid.
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Analyzing Solution Error
Since finite element zones do not have identifiable index directions, the requirement for the coarse,
medium and fine grid sizes is only in terms of the total number of cells. It is assumed that successively finer grids have been refined equally in all directions. The requirement is that the medium
grid have eight times as many cells (four in 2D) as the coarse grid and the fine grid have 64 times as
many cells (sixteen in 2D).
For all zone types, the medium and fine grids must have nodes that overlap the coarse grid nodes.
You may type the zone numbers in the text field, or select them by clicking Select and choosing
three zones from the resulting list.
Error Analysis is not supported for polygonal or polyhedral zone types.
21- 10.3 Specifying the Solver’s Maximum Accuracy
Under some circumstances, Richardson extrapolation can report an accuracy in excess of the
solver’s theoretical maximum accuracy. For this reason, Tecplot 360 limits the accuracy used by
this technique to the value you enter in the Maximum Accuracy text field. Although fractional
values are allowed in this text field, you should enter the theoretical maximum order of accuracy of
your solver as an integer. That is, two for a second-order accurate solver.
21- 10.4 Selecting the Dataset Variable
For the accuracy calculation, Tecplot 360 performs Richardson extrapolation on one variable in
your dataset. It must not be a grid variable. Enter the name of the variable in the Use Data Set Variable text field, or click Select to choose the variable.
21- 10.5 Plotting the Solution Accuracy
You can plot the results of the accuracy calculation in either or both of two ways. First, you can plot
the accuracy at each grid node as a contour plot (XY-plot for 1D data) by setting the Plot Accuracy
at All Grid Nodes check box. Second, you can plot the overall error as a log-log XY-plot by setting
the Plot Overall Accuracy (log-log) check box. If you select either of these options, new frames
will be created to display the plots when you perform the calculation.
The plot of overall accuracy plots the error in the 1-norm and max- (infinity-) norm versus grid
spacing for each of the three zones. The grid spacing of the coarse grid zone is taken as unity for
this plot. The 1-norm is the average absolute value of the difference between the extrapolated solution and the solutions of the input zones. The max-norm is the maximum absolute value of this difference. Figure 21-21 shows an example of this plot. The slopes of the two lines represent the
471
CFD Data Analysis
accuracy of the solver. A significant difference in the slopes may indicate discontinuities in your
solution, or other problems with the calculation.
Figure 21-21. A plot of the overall accuracy.
The plot of accuracy at all grid nodes plots the calculated accuracy on the grid from your coarse
solution. For 2D and 3D grids, it is plotted as a contour plot. For 1D solutions, it is plotted as an
XY-plot.
Because this feature creates a new frame, it cannot be saved in the data journal, and the current data
journal is invalidated. If you subsequently save a layout file, you will be prompted to save a new
data file.
21- 10.6 Performing the Calculation
When you select [Calculate Accuracy], the accuracy calculation is performed. The accuracy in the
1-norm and max-norm is reported in a text dialog. If you selected either of the plot options, the
plots are created in new frames.
21- 10.7 Extrapolating a Solution
Given three solutions on successively finer grids, Tecplot 360 can perform Richardson extrapolation to improve the accuracy of the solution, and report the difference between the extrapolated
solution and the original, fine grid solution.
To perform this extrapolation, three zones must be identified in the Error Analysis dialog as previously discussed (see Section 21- 10.2 “Selecting Solution Zones”) and the maximum accuracy of
the solver entered (see Section 21- 10.3 “Specifying the Solver’s Maximum Accuracy”). Once
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Extracting Fluid Flow Features
these are entered, clicking Extrapolate Solution creates two new zones in the solution dataset. The
first new zone contains the extrapolated solution on the coarse grid. The second new zone contains
the difference between the extrapolated solution and the original fine grid solution.
21 - 11 Extracting Fluid Flow Features
Tecplot 360 can display important features in 3D fluid flow solutions that make analyzing the solutions much easier. For trans-sonic flow, it can display shock surfaces. For all flows, including
incompressible flows, it can display lines indicating the location of vortex cores, as well as separation and attachment lines. These calculations make use of MIT’s FX library. For more information
on this library, please see http://raphael.mit.edu/fx/. These features are accessed through the
Extract Flow Features dialog.
The Extract Flow Features dialog is displayed by selecting Extract Flow Features from the
Analyze menu.
It contains a drop-down for selecting the desired feature, options for specifying the algorithm to use
when extracting vortex cores, as well as an [Extract] button, which performs the desired task.
Flow features are identified using field variables you have identified on the Field Variables dialog.
(See Section 21 - 3 “Identifying Field Variables”) and may be affected by settings on the Fluid
Properties dialog. (See Section 21 - 1 “Specifying Fluid Properties”) The feature extraction may
also be affected by your boundary settings. In particular, separation and attachment lines are only
calculated on boundaries you have identified as wall boundaries. Refer to Section 21 - 4 “Setting
Geometry and Boundary Options” for more information on specifying boundary conditions for
your data.
21- 11.1 Extracting Shock Surfaces
To extract shock surfaces, select Shock Surfaces from the Feature drop-down, then click Extract.
The remaining controls on the dialog are disabled. After calculation, shock surfaces are then dis-
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CFD Data Analysis
played as iso-surfaces of a new dataset variable named ShockFeature. This variable is similar to the
Shock variable available on the Calculate dialog.
Shock Surface values are calculated for the current
time step only. The ShockFeature variable will
equal zero for all other time steps.
You may note that the displayed shock surface is obscured by clutter due to the sensitivity of the
shock function capturing minor oscillations in the solution. A useful technique for displaying only
the true shock is to use the value blanking feature to eliminate regions where this clutter appears.
Use Tecplot 360’s Calculate dialog to calculate the Pressure Gradient Magnitude variable, then use
the value blanking to blank the plot where this variable is less than some constant. A good value to
2
use is 0.1ρ ∞ c ∞, or for PLOT3D non-dimensional data, just 0.1.
21- 11.2 Extracting Vortex Cores
To extract vortex cores, select Vortex Cores from the Feature drop-down, choose from the two
available extraction methods, then click Extract. The cores consist of a group of line segments that
may not all be connected. As a result, they are displayed using a line segment finite element zone.
Display the Mesh or Edge plot layer to see the new zone. NOTE: the new vortex core zone is a
static zone.
If you are using value blanking, you may need to interpolate the blanking variable to the new zone.
Refer to Section 20 - 10 “Data Interpolation” for information on interpolation and Section 19 - 2
“Value Blanking” for information on value blanking.
Due to the properties of the algorithm used, vortices that happen to exactly align with grid lines
may not be properly extracted. This is unlikely to occur in real-world solutions, but is common in
test data generated by extruding 2D solutions to produce artificial 3D solutions.
Choosing a Vortex Core Extraction Method
Two algorithms for determining the location of the vortex cores are available. These methods are
represented by the Vorticity Vector and Velocity Gradient Eigenmodes options. The Vorticity
Vector method determines the location of vortex cores by examining the vorticity vector. The
Velocity Gradient Eigenmodes method is more sophisticated and a little more expensive, using the
eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the velocity gradient tensor. The eigenmode method tends to give
fewer spurious vortex cores.
Visualizing the Vortex Core Strength
If you have chosen a contour variable for your dataset, the vortex strength returned by the FX
library will be stored in this variable in the new zone. You may visualize this vortex strength by
turning on the Mesh plot layer and choosing to color the mesh of this zone with the contour variable. You may need to modify the contour levels to get an acceptable display of the vortex strength.
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Extracting Fluid Flow Features
You may also wish to use the value blanking feature using this variable to blank out the vortex
cores where they are very weak or unrealistically strong (as can happen at a no-slip wall boundary).
21- 11.3 Extracting Separation and Attachment Lines
Separation and attachment lines show where a fluid flow separates from or reattaches to a no-slip
wall boundary. These lines can give you an indication of where separation bubbles or recirculation
regions appear in your data. To calculate them you must first identify one or more Wall boundaries
using the Geometry and Boundaries dialog. (See Section 21 - 4 “Setting Geometry and Boundary
Options”.) The separation and attachment lines will be calculated on these boundaries.
Due to the algorithm used by the FX library to detect separation and attachment lines, these lines
may not be detected for flows that are essentially two-dimensional. (That is, flows which contain
no variation along one of the three spatial dimensions.)
To calculate separation and attachment lines, select this option in the Feature drop-down and click
Extract. The lines, if any, will be displayed in new static zones, one zone for separations lines and a
separate zone for attachment lines. As with vortex cores, the lines consist of sets of possibly unconnected line segments, which are displayed using line segment finite element zones. Display the
Mesh or Edge layer to see the lines.
21- 11.4 Excluding Blanked Regions
For vortex core and separation/attachment line calculations in ordered zones, you may choose to
exclude blanked regions from the calculation. Select this option by selecting the Exclude Blanked
Regions from Ordered Zones toggle. This will prevent lines from being calculated in regions of
ordered zones that are not plotted due to blanking. Note, however, that this will invalidate the data
journal. If you subsequently save a layout file, you will be prompted to save a new data file as well.
475
CFD Data Analysis
476
Chapter 22
Probing
The Probe tool
allows you to select a location in your plot and view the values of all variables at that location. You can also view information about the dataset itself while probing. The
probe-to-edit feature allows you to modify your data interactively.
With the Probe At dialog (accessed via Data>Probe At), you can specify the location of the probe
as a set of spatial coordinates X, Y, and Z, one of the polar coordinates Theta and R, or as a set of I,
J, and K-indices. You select one or more locations in the data field where information is to be collected, and the resulting information is displayed in the Probe dialog.
When you probe with the mouse, you can probe in either of two modes: Interpolate or Nearest
Point. In Interpolate mode (accessed by a single mouse click) the value returned is the linearly
interpolated value for the specified locations. In Nearest Point mode, accessed by CTRL+click, the
value returned is the exact value at the closest data point in the field.
If your Tecplot 360 appears to be unloading variables that
you are trying to Probe, you may need to adjust your memory
threshold. Refer to Section “Load On Demand” on page 598
for additional information.
22 - 1 Field Plot Probing with the Mouse
The most direct method of probing is to use the Probe tool
. Click at any point in your plot to
probe in Interpolate mode, which calls up a dialog showing the probe information interpolated for
that point. CTRL+click at any location to probe in Nearest Point mode which will obtain probe
information for the data point closest to the cross-hair.
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Probing
The following table shows the information returned for each type of probe action for field plots.
(All mouse click operations are using the left mouse button.)
Probe Action
Information Returned
If the pointer is over a valid cell, the value returned is the interpolated
field values from all nodes in the cell.
2D Cartesian plots - If multiple cells are candidates, the cell from the
highest number zone is used.
Click
3D Cartesian plots - The closest cell in a zone, slice, iso-surface or
streamtrace is selected. If multiple cells are candidates, the cell closest
to the viewer is used, with priority given to surfaces drawn with mesh,
flooded contours or shading.
Translucent zone surfaces are excluded from probing priority.
CTRL+Click
If the pointer is over a valid cell, the field value from the nearest node in
the cell is returned.
If multiple cells are candidates:
2D Cartesian plots - The cell from the highest number zone is used
3D Cartesian plots - The cell closest to the viewer is used. If the pointer
is not over any cell, then the field values from nearest data point (as
measured in distance on the screen) are returned.
Return the field values from the nearest point on the screen (ignoring
surfaces, zone number or depth of the point).
SHIFT-CTRL+Click
This is useful in 3D for probing on data points that are on the back side
of a closed surface without having to rotate the object.
In 2D this is useful for probing on data points for zones that may be
underneath other zones because of the order in which they were drawn.
ALT-Click
(3D only)
Same as Click except ignore zones while probing. (Probe only on
streamtraces, iso-surfaces, or slices.)
ALT-CTRL+Click
Same as CTRL+Click except ignore zones while probing. (Probe only
on streamtraces, iso-surfaces, or slices.)
ALT-CTRL+SHIFT-Click
Same as SHIFT-CTRL+Click except ignore zones while probing.
(Probe only on streamtraces, iso-surfaces, or slices.)
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Field Plot Probing by Specifying Coordinates and Indices
The probe results are displayed in the Probe dialog.
Interpolate mode does not work for I-ordered data displayed
in a 2D or 3D Cartesian plot; if you probe such data you will
always get the error message “Point is outside of data field,”
because Tecplot 360 cannot interpolate without a field mesh
structure. You can, however, use the Nearest Point mode in
such situations.
22 - 2 Field Plot Probing by Specifying Coordinates and Indices
Use the Probe At dialog for: precise control over your probe location, probing using I, J, and Kindices, or probing inside a 3D volume. You can launch the Probe At dialog from the Data menu,
from the Var Values page of the Probe dialog, or by selecting Tool Details from the Sidebar while
in Probe mode.
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Probing
22- 2.1 Probe At Position
To probe at a specified location using spatial coordinates (in Interpolate mode), launch the Probe
At dialog (accessed via the Data menu).
The Position page of the Probe At dialog has the following options:
• Enter Coordinates - Enter the X, Y, and Z-coordinates of the desired probe location.
• Probe Within Volume [DEFAULT] - If the zone you are probing is a 3D volume
zone, toggle-on Probe Within Volume to ensure that the probe is performed at the
indicated point. If you specify a position within a 3D volume zone and the Probe
Within Volume is not selected, Tecplot 360 probes at the surface of the zone nearest to
the user.
• Do Probe - Select the [Do Probe] button to perform the probe. The Probe dialog will
appear with interpolated values for the specified location.
If the entered location is not within a cell, Tecplot
360 will return the closest surface to the entered
location along the line-of-sight ray.
480
Field Plot Probed Data Viewing
22- 2.2 Probe at Index
To probe at a specified location using dataset indices (in Nearest Point mode), launch the Probe
At dialog (accessed via the Data menu) and select the Index page (shown below).
The Index page of the Probe At dialog has the following options:
• Mapping/Zone - Select the desired zone or mapping from the drop-down.
• I, J, K - Enter the I, J, and K-indices of the desired probe location. (For finite element
and I-ordered data, you can enter only the I-index. For IJ-ordered data, you can enter
both I- and J-indices. For IJK-ordered data, you can enter I, J, and K-indices.)
• Do Probe - Select the [Do Probe] button to perform the probe. The Probe dialog will
appear with interpolated values for the specified location.
22 - 3 Field Plot Probed Data Viewing
You can view probed data in the Probe dialog. The Probe dialog has four pages:
• Variable Values - Examine values of all variables at any selected location.
• Zone and Cell Information - Report characteristics of any location in a data field. The
characteristics reported include the indices of the selected cell or point, the zone
number, the dimensions of the zone, and the type of zone (ordered or finite element).
• Cell Center - Examine values of all variables at the center of the clicked-on cell.
• Face Neighbor - Examine neighboring cells of the click-on cell.
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Probing
22- 3.1 Variable Values
The Var Values page of the Probe dialog lists every variable in the current dataset, together with
its value at the specified probe point. The Var Values page also displays the zone name and number
and the current solution timer.
By default, each variable is shown on a single line, which allows display of about the first ten characters of the variable name and seven significant digits of the variable value. To display longer variable names or see more digits of the value, deselect the check box labeled One Line per Variable.
Load Variables
The value (on the Var Values page) and Cell Center Value (on the Cell Center page) will display
“Not Loaded” for variables from your dataset that were not automatically loaded into Tecplot 360.
To load these variables into Tecplot 360, select the [Load Variables] button (on either the Var
Values or Cell Center page of the Probe dialog) and select the variables desired from the Load
Variable dialog. See Section “Load On Demand” on page 598 for more information on load on
demand.
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Field Plot Probed Data Viewing
22- 3.2 Zone and Cell Information
The Zone/Cell Info page of the Probe dialog lists the following information about any probed data
point, regardless of the format of the data.
The Zone Cell Info page displays the following information:
• The number and name of the probed zone.
• The format of the zone, either ordered or one of the finite element formats (FETriangle, FE-Quad, FE-Tetra or FE-Brick).
• Time - The Current Solution time of the probed point.
For ordered zones, the following additional information is displayed:
• I-Max - Maximum I-index of the zone.
• J-Max - Maximum J-index of the zone.(J-Max is one for I-ordered data.)
• K-Max - Maximum K-index of the zone. (K-Max is one for IJ-ordered data).
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Probing
• Plane - Shows the type of plane. I, J, or K displays the index of the point at the
principal data point of the cell containing the probed point. (If the point is probed using
CTRL-click for Nearest Point, the label reads “I,J or K-Index.”)
• Face Plane - The I, J, or K-plane that is probed.
• Face Indices - The planes that are not mentioned in Face Plane, these are the other
faces that are showing in 3D, or are the axes in 2D.
For cell-based finite element zones (FE-Triangle, FE-Quad, FE-Tetra or FE-Brick), the following
additional information is displayed:
• Total Pts - Total number of points in the zone.
• Total Elems - Total number of elements (cells) in the zone.
• Node Num - Number of the probed node. This field is filled in only if the point is
probed using CTRL-click for Nearest Point.
• Elem Num - Number of the probed element.
• Node 1 - 8 - Number of the node defining Node 1-8 of the cell.
• Node 4 -FE-Quad, FE-Tetra, and FE-Brick only.
• Node 5-8 - FE-Brick only.
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Field Plot Probed Data Viewing
22- 3.3 Cell Center
The Cell Center page of the Probe dialog lists the value of every variable in the current dataset at
the center of the cell that was selected. The Zone name and number and the current solution time
are also displayed.
By default, each variable is shown on a single line, with the first ten characters of the variable name
and first seven significant digits of the variable value.
To display longer variable names or see more digits of the value, deselect the check box labeled
One Line per Variable.
See Section “Load Variables” on page 482 for information on the [Load Variable] button.
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Probing
22- 3.4 Face Neighbor
The Face Neighbor page of the Probe dialog displays cells that neighbor the selected cell.
A cell is considered a neighbor if one of its faces shares all nodes in common with the selected cell,
or if it is identified as a neighbor by face neighbor data in the dataset. The current solution time is
also displayed.
For ordered (IJ or IJK) zones, cell numbers are defined by the index value of the first node
Index = i + ( j – 1 )I max + ( k – 1 )I max J max
where, i, j, and k are the i, j, and k values for the location of the first node.
486
Line Plot Probing with the Mouse
Because the number of nodes in each direction is one greater than the number of cells in that direction, there is no cell to correspond with the last point in each row. In the example below, there is no
cell numbered “3”, yet the first cell in the second row is numbered “4”. As you define face neighbors, it may help you to think of a “ghost cell” at the end of each row (where I = MaxI) and at the
end of each column in 3D (where J = MaxJ).
For FE zones, the cells are numbered in the order that they appear in the connectivity list. In the following example “7 8 19 11” is the cell number 2:
#Example connectivity list of 3 cells:
2 4 8 19
7 8 19 11
1 2 4 5
Refer to “TECFACE112” on page 33 of the Data Format Guide for more information on face
neighbor data.
22 - 4 Line Plot Probing with the Mouse
You may probe XY and Polar Line plots in much the same way you probe field plots. You can use
the probe mouse mode to obtain interpolated variable values at any given location, or obtain exact
values from a specified (X, Y) or (Theta, R) data point. When you probe an XY Line plot in the
standard mode, Tecplot 360 displays a vertical or horizontal line, depending on whether you are
probing along an X- or a Y-axis. When you probe a Polar Line plot, a radial line or a circle is displayed depending on whether you are probing along the Theta- or R-axis. In either case, the probe
is performed along the displayed line (or circle).
To probe in interpolate mode: activate the probe tool and click anywhere on your plot. Axis variable values of all active mappings that lie along the probe line are interpolated and displayed.
To probe in Nearest Point mode: activate the probe tool and CTRL-click anywhere on your plot.
When you CTRL-click, Tecplot 360 displays the exact X and Y, or Theta and R-values of the data
point closest to the location clicked.
22- 4.1 Line Plot Probing in Interpolate Mode
Interpolate mode is the standard probe mouse mode in line plots just as for field plots. For XY
Line plots, you can probe along any of Tecplot 360’s five X-axes, or along any of Tecplot 360’s five
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Probing
Y-axes. By default, probing is performed along the X1 axis. For Polar Line, probing is done along
the Theta-axis by default.
Note: In Polar Line, many combinations of Theta- and R-values can result in the same point on the
screen. When using the mouse in Interpolate mode to probe along the Theta-axis, Tecplot 360 uses
the Theta-value within the current Theta-axis range to determine the corresponding R-values
reported in the Probe dialog. This behavior may result in no probe information shown for a
mapping that has Theta-values entirely outside the current Theta-axis range, even though the
mapping crosses the probe line on the screen. (For example, probing along the Theta-axis in interpolate mode misses a mapping representing only Theta-values several cycles outside the current
Theta-axis range.) Similarly, when using the mouse in Interpolate mode to probe along the R-axis,
Tecplot 360 uses the R-value within the current R-axis range and may miss mappings that are
shown on the plot but have R-values different from the R-axis range.
To enter the Probe Interpolate mode, select the Probe tool
from the Toolbar and select the
[Tool Details] button from the Sidebar. The Probe At dialogs for XY and Polar Line plots are
shown in Figure 22-22 The Probe At dialog has the following options:
Figure 22-22. The Probe At dialog for XY (left) and Polar Line (right)
• Select Axis to Probe - Select the button corresponding to the axis you want to probe
along.
Alternatively, you can press the X, Y, T, or R keys on the keyboard while moving the mouse over the plot to selects the axis
to probe along. You can also press the 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 keys to
select different X or Y-axes.
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Line Plot Probing with the Mouse
• Do Probe - Select the [Do Probe] button (or
, from the Toolbar) to perform the
probe. The Probe dialog will open, as shown below.
For interpolated values, the Probe dialog lists every active mapping and the interpolated value the
opposing axis variable for that mapping. The value along the probed axis is listed at the bottom of
the dialog. For example, the example above shows a probe along the X1 axis and the corresponding
Y-values.
In the Probe dialog, the probe value is dashed (---) if the probe is out of range for the mapping. The
probe value is gray (inactive) if the mapping is not using the specific axis which you are probing.
For example you probe the X1 axis and the mapping uses the X2 axis. This will only happen in XY
Line plots with multiple X or Y-axes.
By default, each mapping is shown on a single line, which allows display of about the first ten characters of the mapping name and seven significant digits of the variable value.
To display longer mapping names or see more digits of the value, deselect the check box labeled
One Line per Mapping. The position of the probe is listed below the list of mappings.
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Probing
• X-Value, Y-value - X, Y-value of the nearest data point to the probe position.
• I, J, or K-Index - I, J or K-index of the nearest data point to the probe position.
• Map - Number and name of the nearest map to the probe position.
• Zone - Number and name of the nearest zone to the probe position.
• I, J, or K-Max - Maximum I, J or K-index of the current zone.
• X or Y-Axis - X or Y-axis associated with the current map.
22- 4.2 Line Plot Probing in Nearest Point Mode
Nearest Point probe mode provides the exact X and Y or Theta and R-values of the data point
closest on the screen to the probed location, together with information on the mapping and the zone
to which the probed point belongs. If a data point is common to multiple mappings, the probe
returns information on the highest numbered mapping. For example, if a data point is plotted as part
of two mappings, numbered 1 and 2, the probe results are displayed for mapping 2.
To enter the Probe Nearest Point mode select the Probe tool,
from the Toolbar and CTRLclick at the desired probe location. The nearest point is calculated from the actual location of the
cross-hair and is independent of the axis you were probing along.
In Nearest Point mode, the Probe dialog appears with the heading Specific Values. The following
information about the nearest data point is displayed:
• X or Theta-value.
• Y or R-value.
• I, J, or K-index.
• The number and name of the mapping associated with the data point.
• The number and name of the zone referenced in the mapping.
• The maximum I, J, and K-indices of the zone.
• For XY Line plots, the X-axis and Y-axis associated with the mapping.
22 - 5 Data Editing
Using the Adjustor tool, you can probe and edit specific data points. In Adjustor mode, you can
actually modify the coordinates of your data with the mouse.
You can edit data points either by moving them with the mouse (in XY Line and 2D Cartesian plots
only), or by using the Probe/Edit Data dialog to enter new values for any variable in the probed
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Data Editing
data point. To access the Probe/Edit Data dialog, double-click on a point in your plot with the
adjustor tool.
If you modify a shared variable with the Adjustor tool, the variable will be
branched—a separate copy of the variable will be created for the edited zone.
If you use the Probe/Edit Data dialog, you can inhibit branching by selecting the Alter in all Shared Zones toggle.
22- 5.1 Data Editing with the Mouse
In XY Line and 2D Cartesian plots, you can select and move data points with the Adjustor mouse
mode. You can select multiple data points and move them as a group. When you move data points
with the mouse, you will not actually see the changes until you redraw the screen.
See Section “Adjustor Tool” on page 25 for more information.
If you attempt to double-click, but move the mouse between clicks, you may
find that you have moved your data point.
22- 5.2 Data Editing with the Probe/Edit Data Dialog
To probe to edit using the Probe/Edit Data dialog:
1. On the Toolbar, choose the Adjustor tool, indicated by the
button.
2. Move the pointer into the workspace, where it becomes the Adjustor.
3. Double-click on the point you want to edit, or click on the point and then click Object
Details on the Sidebar.
4. From the Probe/Edit Data dialog (shown in Figure 22-23), enter new values as
desired.
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Probing
5. If the variable you wish to modify is shared by other zones and you want the modification to be used by all zones (and the variable to remain shared), select the Alter in
all Shared Zones toggle.
Figure 22-23. Probe/Edit Data
dialog for field plots
(left) and XY Line
plots (right).
Edit Options for Field Plots
The lower half of the Probe/Edit Data dialog is a copy of the Probe At dialog’s Index page. All
variables in the zone or mapping are listed, along with their values at the probed point. You can use
this area to specify a new zone or mapping to probe, along with the specific points to probe and
edit.
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Data Editing
For 2D and 3D plot types, the Probe/Edit Data dialog has [Scroll Up] and [Scroll Down] buttons
which are active if the dataset has more variables than can be displayed on one page of the dialog.
Thus, you can edit one point, then increase or decrease the displayed indices to edit the next point
along a mapping.
• Variable - Lists all variables in the current dataset. If there are more than ten variables,
the [Scroll Up] and [Scroll Down] buttons are active.
• Value - Lists the value of the named variable at the probed point.
• Scroll Up/Down - Click this to scroll up or down one page of variables. This button is
active only if there is more than one page of variables.
• Load Variables - See Section “Load Variables” on page 482.
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Probing
• Enter Zone/Index to Probe - Specify a grid point by index for editing. There are four
controls in this region:
• Zone - Select a zone to probe from the drop-down.
• I, J or K - Specify the I, J or K-index of the probed point. You can either enter
a value, or use the up and down arrows to increase or decrease the current
value.
Edit Options for XY Plots
• Variable - Display the names of the X and Y-variables for each of the selected
mappings.
• Value - Display the values of the X and Y-variables for each of the selected mappings.
• Enter Map/Index to Probe - Specify a data point by index for editing. There are four
controls in this region:
• Map - Select a map to probe from the drop-down.
• I, J, or K - Specify the I, J or K-index of the probed point. You can either enter
a value, or use the up and down arrows to increase or decrease the current
value.
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Part 5 Final Output
Chapter 23
Output
Tecplot 360 provides a variety of formats for you to output and export your complete plots. This
chapter discusses: saving your settings using layout files or stylesheets, preparing plots for web
publishing, and writing data files to a file.
For information on exporting or printing your completed plot(s), please refer to: Chapter 25
“Exporting” or Chapter 24 “Printing”, respectively.
23 - 1 Layout Files, Layout Package Files, Stylesheets
Tecplot 360 has three different types of files for storing plot information:
• Stylesheets (.sty) - Stylesheets store information about a single frame and do not
include any information about the data used by the frame.
• Layout Files (.lay) - Layout files store information about all the frames in the
workspace, including identification of the data used by each frame.
• Layout Package Files (.lpk) - Layout package files are an extension to layout files
where data and an optional preview image are included.
Layout and layout package files are the preferred method for saving the style of your plot. They
save a complete picture of the workspace and are quick-and-easy to load and save. Stylesheets
contain the style of a single frame in Tecplot 360.
23- 1.1 Creating Layout and Stylesheets for Tecplot 360 and Tecplot Focus
If you are working with stylesheets or layouts in Tecplot 360 that you wish to share with Tecplot
Focus users, please be aware that the following features are not available in Tecplot Focus:
• Iso-surface or slice groups of group number two or higher.
• Any aspect of the CFD Analyzer (i.e. options available from the Analyze menu in
Tecplot 360).
• Data files that contain polygonal or polyhedral zones will not load in Tecplot Focus.
If any of the above items are included in your stylesheet or layout file, it will not load in Tecplot
Focus. However, stylesheets and layouts created in Tecplot Focus will load in either product. As
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Layout Files, Layout Package Files, Stylesheets
such, if you want to create stylesheets or layout files that work with either product, we recommend
creating the files in Tecplot Focus. This will guarantee that the files will work for all users.
23- 1.2 Working with Layout Files from Previous Releases
If you are working with layout files from previous releases of Tecplot 360, Tecplot Focus, or Tecplot, please note the following:
• Transform Coordinates - Previous versions incorrectly recorded the
$!TRANSFORMCOORDINATES command. In previous versions, the variable number subcommand options to this command were recorded as zero-based values instead of onebased values. Macros or layout files created with versions up through Tecplot 10,
Tecplot 360 2006 (Release 2), or Tecplot Focus 2006 containing
$!TRANSFORMCOORDINATES should increment each variable sub-command option by
“one” in order to operate correctly with Tecplot 360 2008 or Tecplot Focus 2008 and
newer.
23- 1.3 Stylesheets
Stylesheets are useful, when:
• Pre-processing must be done to a dataset prior to attaching a style. You may need to
load a dataset and run some equations or do interpolation or zone extraction before
assigning a style. The style may reference objects or variables that do not exist in the
original data and it is necessary to assign the style after they are created.
Tecplot 360’s data journaling capabilities
together with layout files eliminate this
situation in many cases.
• Switching styles on large datasets. You may want to load a large dataset and generate
two full page plots. Each plot has a different style. By using a stylesheet for the second
plot you avoid having to reload the dataset.
• Copying the style of one frame to another frame in the same layout.
• Saving just part of a frame’s style, such as just the contour levels.
A stylesheet includes the following attributes (Figure 23-24):
• Type of plot (a 2D contour plot in 2D or an XY Line plot)
• Colors used
• Current view of the data
• Axes display
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Output
• Text, geometry, and images
Text added for a title
Contour style
Contour levels
Contour table style
Current View and rotation angle
V
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
-0.1
-0.2
-0.3
-0.4
-0.5
Space Vehicle
Y
Z
X
Mesh color
Mesh line thickness
Mesh style
1
2
Scatter symbol color
Scatter symbol style
Scatter symbol size
X
0
1
Frame border (include/exclude)
Frame border thickness
Frame background color
-6
-5
Y
0
-4
-3
-1
-2
Z
-1
-2
0
Vector color
Vector length
Vector style
Vector spacing
Vector line thickness
Surface shade color
Surface shade style
LIght source direction
Axis labeling
Axis tick and label spacing
Axis range
Axis title
Axis box style
Axis gridlines/minor gridlines
Axis scaling
Figure 23-24. Some of the items considered part of the frame
If the frame contains any image geometries (see Section 18 - 3 “Images”), Tecplot 360 will save
references to the image files in the stylesheet. If the images came from a layout package file,
Tecplot 360 will save references to this file in the stylesheet.
23- 1.4 Layout Files
A plot often consists of multiple frames or even multiple datasets. Layout files allow you to capture
all the information on the plot. Layout files include instructions on how to create the data used in
the plot, the frame layout and dataset attachments, axis and plot attributes, the current color map,
and so forth.
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Layout Files, Layout Package Files, Stylesheets
Figure 23-25 shows a layout with four frames. The frame in the upper left-hand corner is attached
to dataset 1. The two frames on the right are both attached to dataset 2. The frame in the lower left
is not attached to a dataset.
(2D) ⏐ 4 Aug 1996 ⏐CYLINDER
(2D) ⏐ 4 Aug 1996 ⏐Pin Geometry from Program Developme
14
7
10
6
8
5
6
Y(M)
Dataset 1
Y(M)
12
4
4
3
2
2
0
1
-2
0
5
10
15
X(M)
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
X(M)
Dataset 2
(Sketch) ⏐ 4 Aug 1996 ⏐
(2D) ⏐ 4 Aug 1996 ⏐Pin Geometry from Program Development Corp
6
(No Dataset)
5
Y(M)
4
Some Text
3
2
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
X(M)
Figure 23-25. Layout of four frames using two datasets.
If a frame defined in a layout file requires an attached dataset, the data files necessary to build the
dataset are referenced in the layout file. These data files can be referenced using absolute paths or
relative paths. When using relative paths on Windows operating systems, the data files must be on
the same drive as the layout file.
A layout file may also contain the data journal; a set of macro commands which alter the data or
create new data. The data journal commands replicate the data modifications made to the original
data (in files) during prior Tecplot 360 sessions. Not all data operations are supported by the data
journal. For more information, see Section 5 - 2 “Data Journaling”.
In addition to storing the individual style of each frame, layout files record:
• Page layout information (including the size and orientation of the paper).
• Color spectrum information, including the global color maps in use.
To include the field data with a layout, use a layout package file. For more information, see Section
23- 1.5 “Layout Package Files”.
23- 1.5 Layout Package Files
Layout package files allow you to transmit raw data, along with style information in a single file.
With layout package files the view can be changed, different plot types tested, and so forth.
Layout package files are very useful if you are making large documents containing many images,
or other situations when you need to catalog your images. You can extract contents using the
command line utility lpkview. This utility allows you to look at thumbnail sketches of each
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Output
image in a layout package file without having to load each separately into Tecplot 360. For more
information refer to the Quick Reference Guide.
Layout package files have the same properties as standard layout files. (See Section 23- 1.4
“Layout Files”). Layout package files also contain all data associated with frames in the layout, and
an optional preview image of the Tecplot 360 workspace. An extension of .lpk is used.
23- 1.6 Working with Layout and Layout Package Files
New Layout
File>New Layout creates a new layout in your workspace after removing any existing frames
and resetting the paper setup to the default configuration. Anything not saved before this action will
be removed. Use New Layout to reset your workspace.
Layout Saving
Save layout files using the Save Layout (CTRL-S) or Save Layout As (CTRL-W) options under
the File menu.
The Save Layout dialog has the following options:
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Layout Files, Layout Package Files, Stylesheets
• Save As Type - Choose “Linked Data (*.lay)” or “Packaged Data” (*.lpk)
• Use Relative Path (Linked Layout ONLY) - By default, Tecplot 360 saves the name
of the data files used in the layout with their relative file paths. To save your layout
using absolute file paths, toggle-off Use Relative Path.
• URL [OPTIONAL] - On Windows machines, you may specify a URL by selecting
the URL check box. When selected, you may enter a full URL as the file name. The
two file types are mutually exclusive. You cannot browse disk files when the URL
check box is selected, and you cannot enter a URL if the URL check box is not
selected.
• Include Preview Image [OPTIONAL] -Toggle-on Include Preview Image to
include a preview image with the file. (Layout Package files ONLY).
After saving the layout file, you will be prompted to specify any dataset changes. See Dataset
Changed and Dataset Changed - Create New File and for more information.
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Dataset Changed
In Tecplot 360, layout files contain references to the data files in use. The datasets are not copied
directly into the layout file. As such, if you make changes to the dataset using Tecplot 360 and wish
to save the layout, Tecplot 360 will ask you whether to (1) save a set of instructions (journal) to recreate your changes or (2) create new data files reflecting the changes made. You do not have the
option to overwrite the original dataset(s).
The option Use original dataset along with journaled instructions is available only if the
changes made to the dataset are supported by journaling (see Section 5 - 2 “Data Journaling” for
more information). This option minimizes disk storage. Changes to the original data are reflected in
later Tecplot 360 sessions.
Dataset Changed - Create New File
If you choose to save the current data to new files and reference the new files in the layout, or if you
have modified the data in ways not supported by the data journal, Tecplot 360 prompts you for a
file name under which to save the changed data. If your layout has multiple datasets, Tecplot 360
prompts you for a file name for each modified dataset.
Layout File Opening
Open layout files using the Open Layout (CTRL-O) option under the File menu. To combine the
layout file with the current layout in Tecplot 360, select the Append check box.
Layout File Opening with Different Data Files
When you open your layout files in Tecplot 360, you have the option of overriding the data files
that are referenced in the layout file. This does not change the saved layout file.
To open a layout file with different data files than those specified in the layout file, select Data
Override from the Open Layout dialog. In the Override Layout dialog (shown below), One line
is listed for each dataset in the layout file. Each line contains the data reader name (TECPLOT for
Tecplot-format data files). If the dataset is being loaded by the Tecplot 360 reader, this line shows
the number of files making up the dataset, and a partial list of file names. If a data loader add-on is
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Plot Publishing for the Web
used, instructions used by the loader are listed here. (This could be a list of file names identical to
the Tecplot 360 loader’s list.)
To change the data files or instructions making up a dataset, double-click on the appropriate line, or
select the line and select Change. This process includes one or more dialogs allowing you to
change the list of file names or instructions. Tecplot-format data files include a dialog to select new
files. If the data loader does not have the capability to override the instructions, an error message
appears.
Examples for overriding the datasets in the layout file are described in Table A - 3.
23 - 2 Plot Publishing for the Web
Publish allows saving plots directly to an HTML file, from which you may read and write data and
layout files to ftp:// and http:// sites. A Tecplot 360 HTML file could include a reference to a layout
package file of your analysis, enabling other Tecplot 360 users browsing your files to review your
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Output
results directly. The Publish Options dialog and a Tecplot 360 HTML file are shown in Figure
23-26.
Figure 23-26. The Publish
Options dialog
creates layout
package files for
Publish creates an HTML file referencing the plot images in your Tecplot 360 workspace. Publish
also creates layout package files with a link from the HTML file to the layout package file.
To create a Tecplot 360 HTML file, select “Publish” from the File menu. The Publish dialog has
the following options:
• Include Reference to Layout Package - Selecting this option creates a layout
package file, along with a reference to that file in the resulting Publish file.
• Make Single Image for Workspace - Creates a single image file of your entire
Tecplot 360 workspace. A single reference is added to your Publish file for this image
file.
• Make Separate Images for Each Frame - Creates an image for each frame in your
Tecplot 360 workspace. A separate reference for each frame is added to your Publish
file.
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Data File Writing
• Convert to 256 Colors
Use the CTRL-U keyboard shortcut to launch
the Publish dialog.
23 - 3 Data File Writing
You can write out the dataset in the current frame as either an ASCII or binary data file. Tecplot 360
asks you to choose which part of the data to write, as well as to specify the format for the saved file.
To write the dataset in the current frame to a file, select “Write Data File” from the File menu. The
Write Data File Options dialog has the following options:
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Output
• Details to Save - Specify which record types you want to write to the saved data file
by selecting the appropriate check boxes. By default, all record types that are present
in the current dataset are selected.
• Text
• Geometries
• Custom Labels
• Field Data - Save the zone data.
• Data
• Linkage (If Possible) - Save the variable and connectivity sharing between
zones existing in the dataset, reducing its size and loading time.
If you want the file written quicker, at the
expense of file size, you can toggle-off
“Data Sharing Linkage” to lower the time it
takes to write the file.
• Face Neighbor Information Generated by Tecplot 360 - Automatically save
the face neighbor information generated by Tecplot 360 for finite element
zones. This increases the dataset size and loading time, but speeds performance
after loading.
• Save Data Using - Choose whether to save the file as ASCII or Binary.
• Precision [ASCII ONLY] - Specify the precision of your Float and Double
variables. These variable types are written in exponent format and the precision
determines the number of digits included past the decimal point.
• Zone/Geometry Format - For ASCII, choose to write the file in POINT format or
BLOCK format (BLOCK is required if any variables are cell-centered). See Chapter 4
“ASCII Data” in the Data Format Guide for a complete description of both formats.
• Zone(s)/Variable(s) - Select the zones and variables to save.
• Associate Layout with Newly Saved Data File [OPTIONAL] - Tecplot 360
associates this data file with the layout’s style. If not selected, Tecplot 360 asks you for
a file name when writing out the file.
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Chapter 24
Printing
Printing your plot is the process of sending the plot image to an output device, print spooler, or a
file. Typically the output device is a printer, but it may be a plotter, film recorder, file or typesetting
machine. If you are creating files for use in another program, you should use Tecplot 360’s Export
option (accessed via the File menu) to create your files—Export includes all the supported print
file types, as well as several standard graphics formats, including: TIFF, WMF, JPEG, and EPS. See
Chapter 25 “Exporting” for complete details.
24 - 1 Plot Printing
To print a plot, select “Print” from the File menu.
Tecplot 360 supports the standard printer drivers for Windows operating systems. You can also
configure Tecplot 360 to use the native Tecplot 360 print drivers for Adobe® PostScript®.
The Print dialog has the following options:
• Format - Indicates the current printer for the plot.
• Send Output to File [OPTIONAL] - Selecting this check box will send your output
to a file instead of a printer.
• Print Setup - Calls up the Print Setup Dialog dialog.
• Render Options - Calls up the Print Render Options dialog.
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Printing
• Preview - Displays Tecplot 360’s print preview screen
CTRL-P is the shortcut command for the
Print dialog.
24 - 2 Setup
You can set various parameters relating to the paper, including paper size and orientation, using the
Paper Setup dialog or the Print Setup dialog. A change to your paper settings in either the Paper
Setup dialog or the Print Setup dialog will automatically update the other.
24- 2.1 Printing Setup for Windows
Print Setup Dialog
On Windows platforms, use the Print Setup dialog to set up your paper. The Print Setup dialog is
accessed via the Print dialog (accessed via the File menu) and has the following options:
• Printer - Specify the printer and set its properties.
• Paper - Specify the paper size and source tray using the following drop-downs:
• Size - Select the paper size. The choices are printer-dependent.
• Source - Choose a paper tray from the drop-down.
• Orientation - Specify one of the following options:
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Setup
• Portrait - The horizontal axis of the plot is aligned with the short side of the
paper.
• Landscape - The vertical axis of the plot is aligned with the short side of the
paper.
By default, Tecplot 360 uses the standard Windows print drivers. You can choose to use Tecplot
360's native print drivers, by adding the following line to your tecplot.cfg file:
$!INTERFACE USETECPLOTPRINTDRIVERS=YES
If you use Tecplot 360’s native print driver, you will use the Print Setup dialog for subsequent
printing.
Paper Setup Dialog
To adjust the paper size, orientation, and background color for your plots, select the Paper Setup
option from the File menu. The current settings for these options are reflected in the representation
of the paper in the workspace. (To view the paper, select the “Show Paper on Screen” check box in
either the Paper Setup dialog or the Ruler/Grid dialog (accessed via the Options menu). This
check box is selected by default.)
The Paper Setup dialog, in contrast with the Print Setup dialog on Windows platforms, offers you
only six paper sizes. These may not be compatible with the paper sizes your printer supports. You
cannot select from multiple paper trays with the Paper Setup dialog. You may set screen display
options and fill colors with the Paper Setup dialog. The following options are available in the
Paper Setup dialog:
• Size - Choose the size of the paper from the following six selections:
• Letter (8.5 x 11 inches).
• Double (11 x 17 inches).
• A4 (21x 29.7 cm).
• A3 (29.7 x 42 cm).
• Custom 1 (8.5 x 14 inches).
• Custom 2 (8 x 10 inches).
On Windows machines, paper size Custom 2 is overwritten with the size selected in
Print Setup if that size does not exist in Tecplot 360.
You can customize all six paper sizes in the configuration file, as well as their hard-clip
limits. The hard-clip limits are the lines on the edges of the paper that show where your
printer cannot print. You can set the hard-clip limits to larger values for use as guides
in placing your plots on the paper.
• Orientation - Choose the paper orientation. You have two options: Portrait and
Landscape. In Portrait orientation, the long axis of the paper is aligned with the
vertical axis of the plot. In Landscape orientation, the long axis of the paper is aligned
with the horizontal axis of the plot.
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Printing
• Paper Fill Color - Select a color to use for the paper background. This color is used to
display the paper in the workspace. You can select the check box Use Paper Fill Color
when Printing to have Tecplot 360 print this background color on the hard-copy as
well.
24- 2.2 UNIX Printing
Setting up to print on UNIX operating systems includes the following tasks:
• Spool Command - This may include specifying a device-dependent startup string to
condition the output device for the Tecplot 360 output, or a mopup string to reset the
output device upon completion of plotting.
Printers on most UNIX systems are accessed via print spoolers that manage the print
queue. Typically you use either the lp or lpr commands to send files to the print
spooler. There may be command-line options that need to be set on your system, as
well, such as a flag to specify a particular printer.
In the Spooler Cmd text field, enter the appropriate spool command for your system,
using the @ symbol to represent a file name.
For example, suppose you routinely use the following spool command to print a file
named myfile.ps: “lpr -m -r myfile.ps.” The appropriate spooler command to
enter in the Spooler Cmd field is then “lpr -m -r @.”
When printing to a spooler, Tecplot 360 creates temporary
files with names of the form tp??????, where the ?s are
randomly generated characters. Tecplot 360 does not delete
these temporary files automatically; commands to do so
should be included in your spool command. In our example, the -r flag says to remove the file when done.
• Startup and Mopup Strings - A startup string is an initialization string that sets up
your output device to accept the plot created by Tecplot 360. A mopup string is a reset
signal that tells your output device that the special output has ended. For most devices
no startup or mopup strings are needed.
Enter the appropriate startup string or mopup string in the appropriate text field. Special characters are generated by using Macro Codes (such as “%E” for the escape character and “^nnn” for any ASCII character with a decimal ordinal value of nnn). Check
your printer documentation for the appropriate strings.
• Printing Precision - For PostScript output, you can control the numerical precision
used in your print files. Print files contain numbers that define sizes and positions of
pieces of the plot on the output paper. These numbers are defined as integers between
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Setup
zero and about 8,000. Usually, this provides sufficient resolution for most output
devices. Occasionally, you may need more resolution. For example, printing to a highresolution output device like a Linotronic typesetter may require more precision;
making print output with very small cells or elements may also require more precision.
To increase the precision of the output, increase the value in the Extra Precision field
of the Print Setup dialog. You specify one Extra Precision value for all formats that
supports precision control. The precision is defined as the number of digits to the right
of the decimal. Normally, precision is zero. The disadvantage of setting precision high
is that the print files increase in size. The higher the Extra Precision setting, the larger
your print files, but the more accurate the plot.The maximum setting for the precision
is eight.
PostScript (color or monochrome)
PostScript supports all Tecplot 360 fonts (including Greek and Math), color flooding (or gray-scale
flooding), hidden surface (or line) removal, and overlaid frames (plots).
The following options are available:
• Color - Select this check box to prepare output using Color PostScript; otherwise, use
monochrome output.
• Spooler Cmd - Enter the command to spool print output in this text field. Use the @
sign to specify wildcard file names. For example, if you print files using the command
lpr filename, where filename is the name of the file to be printed, you should enter lpr
@ in the Spooler Command text field.
• Startup String - Enter any necessary startup string in this text field. For example, if
your device requires PostScript Level 2, you may need the following setpagedevice
command:
%!PS-Adobe-3.0^010<</PageSize [792 1224]>> setpagedevice^010
• Mopup String - Enter any necessary mopup string in this text field. A mopup string is
any string required by your printer to understand that the Tecplot 360 print job is
complete and the printer should now be ready to accept additional jobs.
• Extra Precision - Enter the number of decimal places (0 to 8, inclusive) to which
plotting calculations are stored. The default is 0, which should be adequate for most
situations.
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24 - 3 Print Render Options
Select Print Render Options the Print dialog to set the rendering options for your output (shown
in Figure 24-27)
Figure 24-27. The Print Render Options dialog (Windows).
The Print Render Options dialog offers you the following choices:
• Color - Select this check box for color output; deselect the check box for monochrome
output.
• Render Type:
• Vector - Select this option to create print output using the drawing commands
of the printer. The printer renders the plot, yielding higher resolution, but some
plot options, such as translucency, are not available.
Vector graphics formats do not support translucency, contour flooding with Gouraud
shading, or contour flooding using the continuous color distribution method (which is
only available with OpenGL).
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Print Preview
• Image - Select this option to create print output using an image. Rendering is
done by Tecplot 360 at the specified resolution, usually less than the printer’s
resolution. However, all plot options are available.
To preserve quality of color in your plot (translucency, contour flooding with Gouraud shading, or
continuous contour flooding), select the Image render type.
To preserve the quality of text in your plot, select the
Vector render type.
• Force Extra Sorting for all 3D Frames - This option is available when the Vector
option has been selected. Selecting this check box will cause Tecplot 360 to use extra
sorting in all 3D frames. This overrides the setting in the Advanced 3D dialog. If this
check box is not selected, Tecplot 360 will choose sorting algorithms based on the
Advanced 3D dialog options that were chosen for each frame. When printing 3D plots
in a vector graphics format, Tecplot 360 must sort the objects so that it can draw those
farthest from the screen first and those closest to the screen last. By default, Tecplot
360 uses a quick sorting algorithm. This is not always accurate and does not detect
problems, such as intersecting objects. If Extra Sorting is selected, Tecplot 360 uses a
slower, more accurate approach that detects problems.
• Resolution (dpi) - Available when the Image option is selected. Enter the resolution in
terms of dpi in the text field. Larger resolutions may result in an out-of-memory
condition, or produce very large files. Smaller resolutions may yield less-attractive
output images.
• Minimum Memory Required - Indicates the amount of memory your final output
will require when the selected Render Type is Image.
24 - 4 Print Preview
A preview of your screen image as it will be rendered for the printer may be generated by selecting
Print Preview from the File menu or by selecting [Preview] on the Print dialog.
As discussed in Section 24 - 3 “Print Render Options” the default sorting algorithm used by Tecplot
may have problems with intersecting objects. This will typically not show up in the OpenGL-rendered screen image. However, sorting errors may occur for vector print output and will be visible in
the preview.
The Print Preview option provides access to the Print Render Options dialog, where you may
improve sorting by selecting Force Extra Sorting for All 3D Frames. If extra sorting does not
solve the problem, the only option available is to export the plot using an image format, discussed
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Printing
in Chapter 25 “Exporting”. By increasing the resolution for an image format you can obtain a
quality comparable to PostScript without the sorting errors.
Limitations of Print Preview:
• Print Preview will not display translucency.
• Gouraud shading for contour flooding will be reduced to Paneled shading.
• Continuous color flooding will be reduced to color flooding with average-cell color.
When you print, warning messages will be displayed to advise you of unsupported plot styles.
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Chapter 25
Exporting
Use the Export dialog, accessed from the File menu, to create files for export into other applications. Tecplot 360 generates three types of export files: vector graphics, image and movie files.
Tecplot 360 exports the following vector graphics formats:
• EPS Export - Vector or image graphics in a special type of PostScript file designed for
inclusion in other applications.
• PostScript (PS) Export - Vector or image graphics suitable for direct printing, but
usually unsuitable for import into other applications. It is recommended that you use
the Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) format for importing into other applications.
• WMF Export - Vector graphics to import into various Windows applications.
Tecplot 360 exports the following image formats:
• BMP Export - Image in Windows Bitmap format.
• JPEG Export - JPEG files are very small for their resolution and quite common on the
internet, but they do involve some loss of image quality that may affect certain plot
images.
• PNG Export - Also common on the internet, PNG images have a high image quality
but larger file size than JPEG.
• SunRaster (RAS) Export - Image in SunRaster™ format.
• TIFF Export - Image in Tagged Image File Format.
• X-Windows Format (XWD) Export - Image in “xwd” (X-Window Raster) format.
Tecplot 360 exports the following movie formats:
• AVI Export - A common Windows movie file format. AVI files may contain multiple
images for animations.
• Flash Export - Flash® is a movie file format commonly used on the Internet. Unlike
AVI, Flash supports twenty-four-bit “true color,” which may give better results for 3D
shaded or translucent plots.
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Exporting
• Raster Metafile (RM) Export - Image in NASA’s Raster Metafile format. Raster
Metafile files may contain multiple images for animations. Used for creating movies
for Framer.
Tecplot 360 also exports X3D graphics, a universal interchange format for integrated 3D graphics
and multimedia. Refer to Section 25 - 3 “X3D Export” for additional information.
On Windows and Macintosh systems, Tecplot 360 can export directly to the clipboard instead of to
a file. Windows systems export BMP and WMF directly to the clipboard. Macintosh systems
export PICT files directly to the clipboard. PICT files are an image format unique to the version of
Tecplot 360 provided for Macintosh operating systems, and are only available when copying
directly to the clipboard. See Section “See also: Section 30 - 2 “Movie File Creation Manually”
and Section 30- 5.3 “Raster Metafiles Viewing in Framer”.” for more information.
Certain images formats support anti-aliasing, a feature that smooths jagged edges on text, lines and
edges. This feature is discussed at the end of this chapter. See Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images”.
Performance Tips
If exporting is taking an unusually long time, or you get an error message saying that the image
cannot be exported, the most likely cause is that the image width you are trying to export is too
large. Selecting a smaller image width will greatly speed up the export process.
For an image export size of Length x Width, the file size for an uncompressed true color image is
approximately Length x Width x 3. Memory requirements to export such an image can be up to
twice this size.
For 256 color images, the maximum file size is approximately Length x Width, but is usually less
since all 256 color image files are compressed. However, the memory requirements for exporting
are the same as they are for a true color uncompressed image.
Anti-aliasing can dramatically increase the memory requirements during image generation. This is
because a larger image is rendered first and then super-sampled to render to the final image. A
smaller super-sample allows for faster rendering time. See Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images”.
25 - 1 Vector Graphics Format
Vector export files have device-independent resolution and thus can be easily resized, but they have
the same limitations as vector print output. Table 25 - 1 provides a summary of the advantages and
disadvantages of using vector graphics file formats.
Advantages
Disadvantages
Resolution Independent (can be re-sized
over and over to any size)
Does not support translucency
Always journal quality
Lines can appear different than on screen
Table 25 - 1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Vector Graphics format
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Vector Graphics Format
Advantages
Disadvantages
Small file sizes for XY and 2-D output
Very large 3D output files
Not Web friendly
Can be manipulated in 3rd party programs but
those programs are usually more expensive
Needs a PostScript printer for PS output
Table 25 - 1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Vector Graphics format
25- 1.1 EPS Export
Encapsulated PostScript file (EPS) are PostScript files with additional commands that another
program can use to determine the size of your plot. After you import your EPS file into another program, you can position it and usually resize it before printing.
If you try to send an EPS directly to a printer, it may not be positioned correctly on the paper. Use Tecplot 360’s PS export format to
create files to send directly to a printer.
For some applications, if you import an EPS file and print to a non-PostScript printer, only the
preview image is printed. On Windows platforms, you must specify that the printer is a PS printer,
or you will also get a print-out the preview image.
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Exporting
The Export dialog for EPS format has the following options:
• Color - Choose between color and gray-scale EPS output.
• Vector/Image - Choose the Render Type: vector PS commands or a PS image in the
file. Vector commands generally result in a smaller file, but a PS image is required to
accurately represent translucency or smooth color gradations.
If you choose Vector Render Type, the following options are available:
• Extra Precision - Specify the number of decimal places to carry-out the size
and position parameters in the resulting vector-based EPS output. Larger values
create more accurate plots, but result in larger file sizes.
• Force Extra Sorting for All 3D Frames - Toggle-on to use extra sorting in all
3D frames.This overrides the setting in the Advanced 3D dialog. If this check
box is not selected, Tecplot 360 chooses sorting algorithms based on the
Advanced 3D dialog options for a given frame.
If you choose Image Render Type, the following options are available:
• Region - Choose to export only the current frame, or the smallest rectangle
containing all frames, or everything shown in the workspace.
• Resolution - Enter the resolution of the image in dots per inch. Larger values
create more accurate plots, but result in larger file sizes.
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Vector Graphics Format
• EPS Preview Type - Tecplot 360 provides the following options for the preview
image:
• None - No preview image information is include. This is good for importing
into applications that do not use preview image information.
• TIFF - Include a monochrome or gray-scale TIFF preview image. (Color preview images are not available.) This is the most common preview image format. You may specify an image depth for the preview image in the Depth dropdown. TIFF image depth options are described in Section 25- 2.5 “TIFF
Export”. (This preview image depth is separate from the depth of the actual
image for EPS files generated with Render Type Image. The actual image
depth is determined by Tecplot 360.)
• EPSIV2 - Include a monochrome (one bit per pixel) Encapsulated PostScript
Version 2 preview image. This is also a common preview image type in EPS
files.
• FrameMaker - Include a monochrome preview image compatible with older
versions of Adobe® FrameMaker®. This preview image type is rarely necessary.
When using Render Type Image, these preview image width
and height values are separate from the size of the actual
EPS image. The actual EPS image size is determined by the
Resolution setting.
See also: Section 30 - 2 “Movie File Creation Manually” and Section 30- 5.1 “AVI Files”.
25- 1.2 PostScript (PS) Export
The Export dialog allows you to export plots in PostScript (PS), although this format is usually
used for printing directly to a printer or print spooler. It is recommended that you use the Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) format for importing into other applications. See Section 25- 1.1 “EPS
Export” for details.
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Exporting
If you want to export PostScript file (perhaps for later printing), the process for creating a PostScript export file is very similar to printing to a file on a UNIX system. See Chapter 24 “Printing”
for details.
25- 1.3 WMF Export
WMF (Windows Metafile) is a vector graphics format and thus can be easily resized by the importing application. WMF files can be imported into many applications. As a vector format, WMF
cannot accurately represent plots with translucency or smooth color gradations. Selecting WMF
from the Export Format drop-down displays WMF options (as shown below).
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Image Format
The following options are available:
• Region - Choose to export only the current frame, or the smallest rectangle containing
all frames.
• Color - Toggle-on for color WMF output. Toggle-off for gray-scale.
• Force Extra Sorting for All 3D Frames - Selecting this check box causes Tecplot
360 to use extra sorting in all 3D frames.This overrides the setting in the Advanced
3D dialog. If this check box is not selected, Tecplot 360 chooses sorting algorithms
based on the Advanced 3D dialog options for a given frame.
25 - 2 Image Format
Image output has the advantage of accurately representing translucency and smooth color gradations, but with the disadvantage of generally being larger than vector output, particularly when a
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Exporting
high image resolution is specified. Image files are sometimes called raster or bit-mapped. Table 25
- 2 provides a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of image file formats.
Advantages
Disadvantages
Looks like the screen image, or better
Resolution dependent (starts to lose quality if
stretched)
Adjustable export size
For super-high resolution printing, images will be
very large
Supports translucency
Relatively small file size
Easily managed by presentation packages
Web friendly
Easily manipulated in inexpensive 3rd
party programs
Prints on any printer
Table 25 - 2: Advantages and Disadvantages of Image file formats
25- 2.1 BMP Export
BMP (Bitmap) is an image format, and thus accurately represents plots with translucency and
smooth color gradations. The BMP export options are shown below.
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Image Format
When you select BMP in the Export dialog, you have the following options:
• Region - Choose to export only the current frame, or the smallest rectangle containing
all frames, or everything shown in the workspace.
• Use Width of Image on Screen - Select this option to generate an image file the same
size as the current plot on the screen. This option is required, if you use on-screen
image rendering in the Display Performance dialog. See Section 31 - 3 “Performance
Dialog” for details.
• Enter Width - Select this option to specify a width (in pixels) for the generated image.
A larger width increases the quality of your image. However, the greater the width you
specify, the longer it will take to export the image and the larger the exported file. This
option is not available if you have chosen to use on-screen image rendering.
• Antialiasing - Select this option to smooth jagged edges in the image. See Section 25 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Supersample Factor - Control the amount of antialiasing used in the image. See
Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Convert to 256 Colors - Select this option to generate an image with only 256 colors
(down from a possible 16 million colors). Tecplot 360 selects the best color match. The
image will have a greatly reduced file size, but for plots with many colors, the results
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Exporting
may be suboptimal. Using this option with transparency, smooth color gradations, or
antialiasing may result in poor image quality.
25- 2.2 JPEG Export
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is an image format, and thus accurately represent plots
with translucency and smooth color gradations. However, JPEG is a highly compressible, “lossy”
format, and can result in poor image quality for some types of images. The advantage of JPEG is
very small file sizes and near universal acceptance on the internet. JPEG supports different qualities
of compression, and Tecplot 360 allows you to control the image quality (and thus, inversely, the
file size).
When you select JPEG in the Export dialog, you have the following options:
• Region - Choose to export only the current frame, or the smallest rectangle containing
all frames, or everything shown in the workspace.
• Use Width of Image on Screen - Select this option to generate an image file the same
size as the current plot on the screen. This option is required, if you use on-screen
image rendering in the Display Performance dialog. See Section 31 - 3 “Performance
Dialog” for details.
• Enter Width - Select this option to specify a width (in pixels) for the generated image.
A larger width increases the quality of your image. However, the greater the width you
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Image Format
specify, the longer it will take to export the image and the larger the exported file. This
option is not available if you have chosen to use on-screen image rendering.
• Antialiasing - Select this option to remove “jagged edges” from the image. See
Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Supersample Factor - Control the amount of antialiasing used in the image. See
Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Encoding - Choose an encoding method for the JPEG file.
• Standard - Creates a JPEG which downloads one line at a time, starting at the
top line.
• Progressive - Creates a JPEG image that can be displayed with a “fade in”
effect in a browser. This is sometimes useful when viewing the JPEG in a
browser with a slow connection, since it allows an approximation of the JPEG
to be drawn immediately, and the browser does not have to wait for the entire
image to download.
Given the same Quality level, Standard encoded JPEG files look better than equivalent Progressive encoded JPEG files. However, they have a larger file size.
• Quality - Select the quality of JPEG image. Higher quality settings produce larger
files and better looking export images. Lower quality settings produce smaller files.
For best results, use a quality setting of 75 or higher.
25- 2.3 PNG Export
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is an image format, and thus accurately represent plots with
translucency and smooth color gradations.
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Exporting
When you select PNG in the Export dialog, you have the following options:
• Region - Choose to export only the current frame, or the smallest rectangle containing
all frames, or everything shown in the workspace.
• Use Width of Image on Screen - Select this option to generate an image file the same
size as the current plot on the screen. This option is required, if you use on-screen
image rendering in the Display Performance dialog. See Section 31 - 3 “Performance
Dialog” for details.
• Enter Width - Select this option to specify a width (in pixels) for the generated image.
A larger width increases the quality of your image. However, the greater the width you
specify, the longer it will take to export the image and the larger the exported file. This
option is not available if you have chosen to use on-screen image rendering.
• Antialiasing - Select this option to smooth jagged edges in the image. See Section 25 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Supersample Factor - Control the amount of antialiasing used in the image. See
Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Convert to 256 Colors - Select this option to generate an image with only 256 colors
(down from a possible 16 million colors). Tecplot 360 selects the best color match. The
image will have a greatly reduced file size, but for plots with many colors, the results
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Image Format
may be suboptimal. Using this option with transparency, smooth color gradations, or
antialiasing may result in poor image quality.
25- 2.4 SunRaster (RAS) Export
SunRaster is an image format, and thus accurately represent plots with translucency and smooth
color gradations. SunRaster files can be created in either of two formats—the standard format,
which is not compressed, and a byte-encoded format, which is compressed.
When you select SunRaster in the Export dialog, you have the following options:
• Region - Choose to export only the current frame, or the smallest rectangle containing
all frames, or everything shown in the workspace.
• Use Width of Image on Screen - Select this option to generate an image file the same
size as the current plot on the screen. This option is required, if you use on-screen
image rendering in the Display Performance dialog. See Section 31 - 3 “Performance
Dialog” for details.
• Enter Width - Select this option to specify a width (in pixels) for the generated image.
A larger width increases the quality of your image. However, the greater the width you
specify, the longer it will take to export the image and the larger the exported file. This
option is not available if you have chosen to use on-screen image rendering.
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Exporting
• Antialiasing - Select this option to smooth jagged edges in the image. See Section 25 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Supersample Factor - Control the amount of antialiasing used in the image. See
Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Encoding - You may select Standard, which will create an uncompressed file, or ByteEncoded, which will create a compressed file. You should select Byte-Encoded unless
you have a compelling reason to do otherwise.
25- 2.5 TIFF Export
TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is an image format, and thus accurately represent plots with
translucency and smooth color gradations. Tecplot 360 generates both color and gray-scale TIFF
images.
When you select TIFF in the Export dialog, you have the following options:
• Color - Choose between color and gray-scale TIFF output.
• Region - Choose to export only the current frame, or the smallest rectangle containing
all frames, or everything shown in the workspace.
• Use Width of Image on Screen - Select this option to generate an image file the same
size as the current plot on the screen. This option is required, if you use on-screen
image rendering in the Display Performance dialog. See Section 31 - 3 “Performance
Dialog” for details.
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Image Format
• Enter Width - Select this option to specify a width (in pixels) for the generated image.
A larger width increases the quality of your image. However, the greater the width you
specify, the longer it will take to export the image and the larger the exported file. This
option is not available if you have chosen to use on-screen image rendering.
• Antialiasing - Select this option to smooth jagged edges in the image. See Section 25 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Supersample Factor - Control the amount of antialiasing used in the image. See
Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Convert to 256 Colors - Select this option to generate an image with only 256 colors
(down from a possible 16 million colors). Tecplot 360 selects the best color match. The
image will have a greatly reduced file size, but for plots with many colors, the results
may be suboptimal. Using this option with transparency, smooth color gradations, or
antialiasing may result in poor image quality.
• Depth - For gray-scale images, this specifies the number of shades of gray by how
many bits of gray-scale information is used per pixel. The larger the number of bits per
pixel, the larger the resulting file. Your options are:
• On/Off - One bit per pixel using an on/off strategy. All background pixels are
made white (on), and all foreground pixels, black (off). This setting creates
small files and is good for images with lots of background, such as line plots
and contour lines.
• 1 Bit/Pixel - One bit per pixel using gray scale values of pixels to determine
black or white. Those pixels that are more than 50 percent gray are black; the
rest are white. This setting creates small files that might be useful for a rough
draft or a preview image.
• 4 Bit/Pixel - Four bits per pixel resulting in sixteen levels of gray scale. This
setting generates fairly small image files with a fair number of gray levels. This
setting works well for most preview image purposes.
• 8 Bit/Pixel - Eight bits per pixel resulting in 256 levels of gray. This setting is
useful for full image representation, but the files generated by this setting can
be large.
25- 2.6 X-Windows Format (XWD) Export
XWD (X-Windows format) is an image format, and thus accurately represent plots with translucency and smooth color gradations. XWD can be generated using Tecplot 360 on Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX platforms.
When you select XWD in the Export dialog, you have the same options as BMP or PNG. See
Section 25- 2.1 “BMP Export” or Section 25- 2.3 “PNG Export” for details.
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25 - 3 X3D Export
X3D is an XML-based file format for 3D data. Output is based on version 3.2 of the X3D specifications as described by ISO/IEC CD 19775-1r1:200x., Extensible 3D.
To export your plot in X3D format, select the X3D option in the Export dialog (accessed via the
File menu). Only 3D Grid plots can be exported into X3D format.
Since X3D is an interpreted language, the rendering of the same document will vary from viewer to
viewer (similar to HTML). In particular, 2D overlays via the X3D LayerSet element is currently
only supported in Xj3D.
To view X3D data, you may download any of the following X3D viewers:
• Octaga Player: octaga.com/download_octaga.html - Closed-source commercial
viewer. Player is free for non-commercial use. Supports Windows and Linux®
platforms. Does not support 2D overlays, but seems to have the most robust support
for the elements we use in 3D. Also has web browser plug-in.
• Xj3D: www.xj3d.org - An open-source project by the Web3D consortium, which
oversees the X3D specification. It's written in Java and has good platform support. It
has some issues with orienting objects toward the viewer (such as scatter symbols) and
continuous contours.
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Movie Format
• FreeWRL: freewrl.sourceforge.net/index.html - Open source viewer for Linux/Mac.
Exporting Smaller X3D Files
Large file size can become a concern because X3D files include 3D elements that are hidden from the current view (unlike JPG files, for example). To reduce the size of X3D files, try the following:
• Reduce the amount of active styles in your plot.
• Use value blanking to remove elements from your plot.
• Reduce the size of the input data (e.g. index skipping).
25 - 4 Movie Format
Movie files can be created in Tecplot 360 using any of the options in the Animate menu or by
selecting AVI, Flash or Raster Metafile from the Export dialog (accessed via the File menu).
25- 4.1 AVI Export
The AVI (Audio-Visual Interleaved) format is used for viewing movies created in Tecplot 360. AVI
is an image format, and the AVI compression options may take advantage of more than 256-color
images with AVI files. Thus, AVI can accurately represent some plots with translucency and
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Exporting
smooth color gradations. When you select AVI in the Export dialog, you have the following
options:
• Region - Choose to export only the current frame, or the smallest rectangle containing
all frames, or everything shown in the workspace.
• Use Width of Image on Screen - Select this option to generate an image file the same
size as the current plot on the screen. This option is required, if you use on-screen
image rendering in the Display Performance dialog. See Section 31 - 3 “Performance
Dialog” for details.
• Enter Width - Select this option to specify a width (in pixels) for the generated image.
A larger width increases the quality of your image. However, the greater the width you
specify, the longer it will take to export the image and the larger the exported file. This
option is not available if you have chosen to use on-screen image rendering.
• Antialiasing - Select this option to smooth jagged edges in the image. See Section 25 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Supersample Factor - Control the amount of antialiasing used in the image. See
Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• AVI Compression - Select one of these compression options to maximize the quality
of your output:
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Movie Format
• Color Preserving (Windows Only) - This compression option optimizes the
smoothness of motion over picture detail. Select this option when your animation has over 256 colors and you would like to preserve the color quality of
your output.
• Line Preserving - This compression option optimizes the smoothness of lines
in your output. Select this option if you would like to preserve the line quality
of your output.
• Lossless Uncompressed - This compression option gives the highest picture
quality and preserves complete 24-bit pixel information. However, this option
produces a larger file size. Select this option if you will be subsequently converting your output to another format.
• Animation Speed - Set the speed of the animation in frames per second.
See also: Section 30 - 2 “Movie File Creation Manually” and Section 30- 5.1 “AVI Files”.
25- 4.2 Flash Export
Flash is a movie file format commonly used on the Internet. Unlike AVI, Flash supports twentyfour-bit “true color,” which may give better results for 3D shaded or translucent plots.
The following options are available:
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Exporting
• Region - Select the region of the workspace to animate.
• Current Frame - Captures only the current frame.
• All Frames - Captures the smallest rectangular area containing all frames.
• Work Area - Captures the workspace.
• Use Width of Image on Screen - Select this option to generate an image file the same
size as the current plot on the screen. This option is required, if you use on-screen
image rendering in the Display Performance dialog. See Section 31 - 3 “Performance
Dialog” for details.
• Enter Width - Select this option to specify a width (in pixels) for the generated image.
A larger width increases the quality of your image. However, the greater the width you
specify, the longer it will take to export the image and the larger the exported file. This
option is not available if you have chosen to use on-screen image rendering.
• Antialiasing - Select this option to smooth jagged edges in the image.
• Supersample Factor - Control the amount of antialiasing used in the image.
• Image Type - Choose an image type. Your options are:
• True Color - Select this option to create twenty-four-bit images with lossless
(ZLIB) compression.
• JPEG - Select this option to create twenty-four-bit images with lossy compression. This produces smaller files than True Color, and the images will be of
lower quality.
• 256 Colors - Select this option to reduce each image to 256 colors and compress it with ZLIB. This gives essentially the same output as AVI.
• Animation Speed (frames/sec) - Enter a value in the text field to set your speed in
frames per second.
• Optimize for Speed - For True Color or 256 Colors image types, select this option to
create the output as quickly as possible. This reduces the compression level and results
in larger files. It does not affect playback speed.
• Optimize for File Size - For True Color or 256 Colors image types, select this option
to produce the smallest possible files. This setting does not affect playback speed.
See also: Section 30 - 2 “Movie File Creation Manually” and Section 30- 5.2 “Flash Files”.
25- 4.3 Raster Metafile (RM) Export
The image format Raster Metafile can accurately represent some plots with translucency and
smooth color gradations. However, Raster Metafiles are only 256-color images (Tecplot 360 selects
the best color match). Plots with many colors may have poor results when exported as Raster Meta-
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Movie Format
files, when compared exports as true-color image formats (such as PNG). Using Raster Metafiles
with transparency or smooth color gradations may result in poor image quality.
When you select Raster Metafile in the Export dialog, you have the following options:
• Region - Choose to export only the current frame, or the smallest rectangle containing
all frames, or everything shown in the workspace.
• Use Width of Image on Screen - Select this option to generate an image file the same
size as the current plot on the screen. This option is required, if you use on-screen
image rendering in the Display Performance dialog. See Section 31 - 3 “Performance
Dialog” for details.
• Enter Width - Select this option to specify a width (in pixels) for the generated image.
A larger width increases the quality of your image. However, the greater the width you
specify, the longer it will take to export the image and the larger the exported file. This
option is not available if you have chosen to use on-screen image rendering.
• Antialiasing - Select this option to smooth jagged edges in the image. See Section 25 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Supersample Factor - Control the amount of antialiasing used in the image. See
Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details.
• Use Multiple Color Tables - Select this check box to create a Raster Metafile with a
separate color table each step in the animation. If this check box is not selected,
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Exporting
Tecplot 360 scans all steps in the animation and creates one color table for the entire
animation. Multiple color tables can provide better per-step image quality for the
animation, but may result in flicker during playback.
See also: Section 30 - 2 “Movie File Creation Manually” and Section 30- 5.3 “Raster Metafiles
Viewing in Framer”.
25 - 5 Clipboard Exporting to Other Applications
The Cut, Copy, and Paste commands work only within Tecplot 360. However, the Copy Plot to
Clipboard command (available only for Windows and Macintosh operating systems) allows you to
copy and paste Tecplot 360 images directly into other applications. The Copy Plot to Clipboard
dialog for Windows platforms is shown below. The following options are available:
• Region - Choose to export only the current frame, or the smallest rectangle containing
all frames, or everything shown in the workspace.
• Format - On Windows platforms, plots may be copied as a vector (WMF) or image
(BMP) format. See Section 25- 2.1 “BMP Export” and Section 25- 1.3 “WMF Export”
for a discussion of these formats. On Macintosh systems, the plot is copied as a PICT
image, and this is the only way to generate a PICT image from within Tecplot 360.
• Force Extra Sorting for All 3D Frames - Selecting this check box causes Tecplot
360 to use extra sorting in all 3D frames.This overrides the setting in the Advanced
3D dialog. If this check box is not selected, Tecplot 360 chooses sorting algorithms
based on the Advanced 3D dialog options for a given frame. This option is only
available for WMF, and thus only on Windows platforms.
• Color - Choose between color and gray-scale output.
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Antialiasing Images
• Convert to 256 Colors - On Windows platforms, select this check box generate an
image with only 256 colors (down from a possible 16 million colors). Tecplot 360
selects the best color match. The image will take up less memory on your Windows
clipboard, but for plots with many colors, the results may be suboptimal. Using this
option with transparency, smooth color gradations, or antialiasing may result in poor
image quality. On Macintosh systems, the image is always generated with only 256
colors because that is all the PICT format supports.
• Use Width of Image on Screen - Select this option to generate an image file the same
size as the current plot on the screen. This option is forced on if you use on-screen
image rendering in the Display Performance dialog. See Section 31 - 3 “Performance
Dialog” for details. This option is only available for BMP and PICT.
• Enter Width - Select this option to specify a width (in pixels) for the generated image.
The greater the width you specify, the longer it will take to export the image and the
larger the exported file. However, a larger width increases the quality of your image.
This option is not available if you have chosen to use on-screen image rendering. This
option is only available for BMP and PICT.
• Antialiasing - Select this option to smooths jagged edges in the image. See Section 25
- 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details. This option is only available for BMP and PICT.
• Supersample Factor - Control the amount of antialiasing used in the image. See
Section 25 - 6 “Antialiasing Images” for details. This option is only available for BMP
and PICT.
25 - 6 Antialiasing Images
Antialiasing smooths jagged edges on text, lines, and edges of image output formats by the process
of supersampling. A large intermediate image is rendered and then reduced to the final image size.
Each pixel on the final image is created from multiple rendered pixels. The width and height of the
intermediate image are the width and height of the final image times some scale factor. This scale
factor is the Supersample Factor. You can use values from 2 to 16. Factors greater than 3 are seldom
necessary. Large scale factors take a lot more time and memory. Some graphics cards limit the
dimensions of rendered images to a maximum of 2048x2048 or 4096x4096 pixels, and thus Tecplot
360 cannot antialias if the intermediate image would be larger than this limit.
Antialiasing uses many colors. Certain image formats are limited to 256 colors, and cannot represent all antialiased images correctly. The image formats limited to 256 color include X-Windows,
AVI, Raster Metafile, SunRaster, and any image format with the Convert to 256 Colors option
selected. With these formats, the antialiasing works for plots with a very limited selection of colors
(like a red mesh on a black field). Otherwise, antialiasing with 256 colors wastes time and may
decrease plot quality.
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Exporting
Using animation formats can amplify the antialiasing and 256-color problem. Both AVI and Raster
Metafile support only 256-colors, and need to use them to display multiple frames. For these formats, try a test animation of a few steps with antialiasing on before creating the entire animation.
Antialiasing is available only if image export rendering is performed off-screen (default). In some cases, off-screen rendering
must be turned-off (usually due problems with the graphics card).
In UNIX you can work around this by turning-off screen rendering
and using the -mesa flag to run the mesa version of Tecplot 360.
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Part 6 Scripting
Chapter 26
Introduction to Scripting
Tecplot 360 provides two forms of scripting or automating Tecplot 360, macros and Python™
scripts. These two methods can be used independently of one another or in a combined form. The
following table should guide you towards which method is appropriate for your specific needs:
Method
General Usage
Common
Use Case
Limitations
Macros
Automate Tecplot 360 processes.
Batch processing.
Cannot add functionality
to Tecplot 360.
Python
scripting
Automate Tecplot 360 processes and extend capabilities.
Fast-fourier
transforms.
Not all of Tecplot 360’s
functionality is accessiblea.
a. If you need to extend Tecplot 360’s capability in a way that is not supported by Tecplot 360’s Python interpreter, you will need to write an add-on. Refer to the ADK User’s Manual for additional information.
If you wish to simply automate some of Tecplot 360’s functionality (such as plot style or the
loading data files), recording a macro file is the simplest method. If you wish to extend Tecplot
360’s functionality such as data alteration, writing a simple Python script is the best method. The
most powerful method involves working with a combination of Tecplot 360 macro commands and
Python scripts. Refer to Section 29 - 1 “Combining Python scripts with macro commands” for
details.
You can access macro or Python files in the Tecplot 360 interface by selecting either “Quick Python
Scripts” or “Quick Macros” via the Scripting menu. The Quick Macro Panels allow you to execute
existing macro files or Python modules. Refer to Section 27- 2.1 “Quick Macro Panel” and Section
29 - 2 “Using the Python Quick Scripts Panel” for details.
For details regarding macro files and commands, refer to Chapter 27 “Macros” along with the
Scripting Guide. For details regarding working with Python scripts, refer to Chapter 29 “Working
With Python Scripts”.
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Chapter 27
Macros
This chapter focuses on the Tecplot 360 menu options for recording and playing back macros. The
Scripting Guide describes the Tecplot 360 macro language in detail.
Macros are very useful for performing repetitive operations such as setting up frames, reading in
data files and layout files, manipulating data, and creating plots. They are also necessary for
running Tecplot 360 in batch mode. See Chapter 28 “Batch Processing”.
27 - 1 Macro Creation
Tecplot 360’s Macro Recorder records a macro as you perform a sequence of actions interactively
(including loaded and executing Python scripts). After recording your macro, you can edit your
macro file with an ASCII text editor to remove redundant operations, compress repetitive actions
into loops, and otherwise modify the macro.
To record a macro with the Macro Recorder dialog select “Record Macro” from the Scripting
menu. Specify a macro file name in the Write Macro File dialog and select [OK] in the Information dialog to initiate the recording. The Macro Recorder dialog will remain open during the
recording session.
The Information dialog warns you that Auto Draw will
be disabled during macro recording. However, you can
manually redraw you plot by selecting the [Redraw] or
[Redraw All] buttons located on the Sidebar.
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Macros
While recording macros, you can use any of the following buttons on the Macro Recorder dialog
to add specific macro commands to your macro:
• Insert “Pause” - Adds a “pause” command to the macro. When you play a macro
including a pause command, Tecplot 360 displays a message box when it reaches the
pause command, and waits for you to click OK before continuing to process the
macro.
• Insert “Graphics Off” - Adds a “graphics off” command to the macro. When you
play a macro containing a “graphics off” command, Tecplot 360 stops displaying
graphics in the workspace from the “graphics off” command until a “graphics on”
command is encountered.
• Insert “Graphics On” - Adds a “graphics on” command to the macro.
• Insert Raw Command - Brings up a dialog in which you can enter any valid Tecplot
360 macro command. For example, you can add “$!LOOP 10” at the start of a section
you want to repeat 10 times, then “$!ENDLOOP” at the end. See the Scripting Guide for
information on the Tecplot 360 macro language.
• Stop Recording - Select when you have completed the sequence of actions you want
recorded.
Macros are guaranteed to be forward compatible (i.e. work
with future releases) only if the file is started with a layout
or stylesheet. Refer to the Scripting Guide for more information.
The commands in a macro file typically rely on Tecplot 360 being in a particular state. It is a good
practice to use commands at the start of a macro that force Tecplot 360 into a known state. For
example, the $!NEWLAYOUT command deletes all data sets and frames and creates a single empty
frame with a default size and position.
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Macro Creation
27- 1.1 Macro Functions
When editing a macro file, you can add macro function definitions and macro function calls. Macro
functions have the following form:
$!MACROFUNCTION
NAME = functionname
.
.
.
$!ENDMACROFUNCTION
Between $!MACROFUNCTION and $!ENDMACROFUNCTION, you can include any legal macro command
except $!MACROFUNCTION.
For example, the following macro function turns on the Contour zone
layer, turns off the Mesh zone layer, sets the contour plot type to Both
Lines and Flood for zones 1, 2 and 3, then chooses gray scale color mapping:
$!MACROFUNCTION
NAME = "graycontour"
RETAIN = Yes
$!FIELDLAYERS SHOWCONTOUR = YES
$!FIELDLAYERS SHOWMESH = NO
$!FIELDMAP [1-3] CONTOUR{CONTOURTYPE =
BOTHLINESANDFLOOD}
$!COLORMAP 1 CONTOURCOLORMAP = GRAYSCALE
$!REDRAW
$!ENDMACROFUNCTION
The RETAIN parameter tells Tecplot 360 to retain the macro function definition for use in subsequent macro calls; this allows you to define a macro
function once in some macro you load every time you run Tecplot 360,
and continue to use it throughout your Tecplot 360 session.
Use the $!RUNMACROFUNCTION macro command to call your macro function. For example, to call
the “graycontour” macro function defined above, use the following macro command:
$!RUNMACROFUNCTION "graycontour"
You can use the $!RUNMACROFUNCTION command within other macro functions; calls may be nested
up to ten deep.
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Macros
To access parameters from within a macro function use “|n|”, where n is the parameter number (do
not include the double quotes). For example, the following function uses two parameters for the
assignments to SHOWCONTOUR and SHOWMESH:
$!MACROFUNCTION
NAME = "AssignContourAndMesh"
$!FIELDLAYERS SHOWCONTOUR = |1|
$!FIELDLAYERS SHOWMESH = |2|
$!ENDMACROFUNCTION
.
.
.
$!RUNMACROFUNCTION "AssignContourAndMesh"
(YES,NO)
27- 1.2 Macro Linking to Text and Geometries
Each text or geometry you create can be linked to a macro function. This macro function is called
whenever the user holds down the control key and clicks the right mouse button on the text or
geometry.
For example, if you have pieces of text, each representing a different well, CTRL+right click on
any piece could run a macro that brings up an XY-plot of that well’s data.
Macro functions are specified with the Link to Macro function field in the Geometry dialog or in
the Text Options dialog.
27 - 2 Macro Play Back
Once you have created a macro file, you have four methods in Tecplot 360 for playing it back:
• From the command line - You can play a macro when Tecplot 360 is launched by
including the name of the macro file on the command line, i.e.:
tecplot mymacro.mcr
If your macro file does not have the .mcr extension, run Tecplot 360 with the macro
file by including the -p flag on the command line, such as:
tecplot -p mymacro.mmm
If you want the macro viewer to automatically appear, include the -z flag.
• From the Tecplot 360 interface - You can play a macro from within Tecplot 360 by
using the “Play Macro/Script” option (accessed via the Scripting menu).
• Using the Macro Viewer - Use the Macro Viewer (accessed via Scripting>View/
Debug Macro) to step through and debug your macro file. This dialog allows you to
add and delete breakpoints, view and set watch variables, and view state variables
local to the macro currently loaded into the Macro Viewer. See Section 27 - 3 “Macro
Debugging” for more information.
• Using Quick Macro Panel - The Quick Macro Panel (accessed via the Scripting
menu) allows you to quickly play a macro function by clicking on the button in the
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Macro Play Back
panel that is linked to that macro function. See Section 27- 2.1 “Quick Macro Panel”
for more information.
In Windows operating systems, you can also launch Tecplot
360 by dragging and dropping a macro file onto the Tecplot
360 icon. However, in this case, the macro file must have
the.mcr extension. Otherwise, the file will be treated as an
ASCII data file.
27- 2.1 Quick Macro Panel
The Quick Macro Panel is Tecplot 360’s quick access mechanism for storing and retrieving your
favorite, commonly used macro functions.
The Quick Macro Panel is linked to a special macro file that contains only macro function definitions. When Tecplot 360 first launches, it looks for this file under one of the following names, in the
following order:
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Macros
1. The file tecplot.mcr in the current directory.
2. The file .tecplot.mcr in your home directory (UNIX), or tecplot.mcr in the your
home directory (Windows). On Windows platforms, your home directory is determined by the two environment variables HOMEDRIVE and HOMEPATH. If they are not set,
Tecplot 360 skips your home directory.
3. The file tecplot.mcr in the Tecplot 360 home directory.
If Tecplot 360 finds the file, it loads it and associates each button on the Quick Macro Panel with
a specific macro function.
You can specify a different Quick Macro file by adding the -qm option flag in front of the macro file
name to the command line.
The following command starts Tecplot 360 and installs the macro functions defined in the file
myteccmd.mcr into the Quick Macro Panel:
tecplot -qm myteccmd.mcr
If you want Tecplot 360 to call up the Quick Macro Panel immediately after start up, include the showpanel flag at the end of the command.
To see an example of a macro function file, look at the Quick Macro file located in the examples/
mcr sub-directory below the Tecplot 360 home directory.
27 - 3 Macro Debugging
Use the Macro Viewer to step through and debug your macro file. This dialog allows you to add
and delete breakpoints, view and set watch variables, and view state variables local to the macro
currently loaded into the Macro Viewer. The Macro Viewer is accessed via “View/Debug Macro
in the Scripting menu.
The Macro Viewer dialog displays the text of the currently loaded macro file at the top of the
dialog. The greater-than symbol (“>”) marks the currently active line. It moves to the next
command after the currently active command is evaluated.
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Macro Debugging
The Macro Viewer dialog has the following options:
• Load Macro - Select this button to load a macro file into the Macro Viewer. This
calls up the Load/Play Macro File dialog for you to specify which macro file to load.
Macro files typically have the extension .mcr.
• Step - Use the [Step] button to evaluate a macro command. When a
$!RUNMACROFUNCTION command is encountered, the Macro Viewer steps into the
called function.
• Step Over - The [Step Over] button also processes each macro command, line-by-line.
However, when a $!RUNMACROFUNCTION command is encountered, the entire function
is processed.
• Go - Plays the macro without stopping after each step. Tecplot 360 continues until it
either receives a stop signal from the [Stop] button, it finishes playing the macro, or it
encounters a breakpoint.
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Macros
• Reset - Restarts the evaluation of a macro within the Macro Viewer.
If your macro assumes Tecplot 360 is in a particular state when it starts processing then you must
make sure Tecplot 360 is in this state before you
click Reset.
• Macro - The Macro field displays the name of the macro or macro function you are
currently evaluating. In most cases, this field displays the name MAIN, (indicating that
the macro commands currently shown in the macro text display are from within the
main macro body.
If the macro you are viewing contains a call to a macro function, then the name is displayed in the Macro field when the called function is active.
If you switch context to the called macro function using the up and downs arrows, the
$!RUNMACROFUNCTION command that called the macro is displayed with a ^ (caret) in
front of it. This helps you quickly determine which command line called the macro
function currently under evaluation. The down arrow then moves you back down a
level to the called macro you were just viewing.
• Macro Command Display Format Changes - Tecplot 360 displays the macro in the
viewer in one of two formats:
• List Commands [default] - A short format that lists the macro commands, one
command per line.
• Expand Commands - A long format which expands a single, simple macro
command to show all of its sub-commands and parameters.
• Breakpoint Addition and Deletion - An important debugging feature that the Macro
Viewer provides is the ability to add breakpoints within a macro’s command stream. A
breakpoint is a flag you can insert anywhere in a macro that tells Tecplot 360 to
immediately suspend evaluation. Tecplot 360 stops the action of a playing macro at the
breakpoint to allow you to explore what is happening at that point in the macro file.
• Add Break - Add a breakpoint at the selected macro command. A B displayed
at the beginning of the highlighted macro command indicates the breakpoint’s
placement.
• Delete Break - Remove the breakpoint from the selected command.
• Delete All Breaks - Removes all breakpoints set in the macro.
• Watch Variables - The Watch Variables dialog provides is the ability to specify and
view specific user defined, or system defined internal variables.
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Macro Debugging
27- 3.1 Watch Variables
To specify a watch variable in a macro, select [Watch Variables] in the Macro Viewer dialog. In the
Macro Variables dialog, type the name of the variable you want to watch in one of the UserDefined or Internal Variable text fields.
While your macro is playing, an alert dialog is displayed whenever the tagged variable is accessed
by the macro.
The Macro Variables dialog also automatically displays the values of any loops and the parameter
values of any macro function calls to the stack as the macro is playing.
• Loops - When the macro viewer evaluates a loop macro command it automatically
displays the current iteration value in the Value text fields. The total iterations value of
that loop are displayed in the End Value text fields.
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Macros
• Call Stack - When the macro viewer evaluates a nested macro command, the
parameter values that the nest macro is called with are displayed in the Call Stack
parameter text fields.
All the text fields in this dialog are editable,
including the value text fields. This means
you can change the value of a watch variable or parameter value as the macro is running to correct a problem or test a situation.
27 - 4 Macros Moved to Different Computers or Directories
The file tecplot.phy is created each time you run Tecplot 360 interactively. It contains information
about the physical characteristics of your computer system as well as information about the size of
the Tecplot 360 process window used during the last Tecplot 360 session. It also contains the name
of the last layout file used by Tecplot 360. If you are developing macros on one computer, but using
them for batch processing on a different computer, you must transfer the tecplot.phy file from the
development computer to the computer where you will run Tecplot 360 in batch mode. On UNIX
platforms, the same is true if you are developing macros in one directory, but will be processing
them in batch mode in a different directory. See Section 31 - 5 “Tecplot.phy” for information on the
location of your tecplot.phy file.
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Batch Processing
Chapter 28
You can run Tecplot 360 in batch mode to create plots without displaying any graphics to the
screen. This saves time when processing multiple files for printing or export. In batch mode,
Tecplot 360 can be executed locally on your workstation computer or remotely using an ASCII terminal (UNIX only). The only limitation for batch mode operation is that under UNIX, you must use
the Mesa version of Tecplot 360 if your macro creates export files in bitmap formats. (The OpenGL
version requires screen resources not available in batch mode.)
28 - 1 Batch Processing Setup
To prepare for batch processing, follow these basic steps:
1. Create a macro file to control the batch processing. You may do this either by using
Scripting>Record Macro and recording a Tecplot 360 session, or using an ASCII
text editor. See Chapter 27 “Macros”.
2. Create layout and stylesheet files, as necessary.
3. Prepare data files.
4. Debug the macro file by running Tecplot 360 while not in batch mode.
Macros are guaranteed to be forward compatible (i.e. work
with future releases) only if the file is started with a layout
or stylesheet. Refer to the Tecplot 360 Scripting Guide for
more information.
Macros are required for batch processing. When Tecplot 360 is launched in batch mode it requires
that you provide the name of a macro file to execute. The minimal command to launch Tecplot 360
in batch mode is as follows:
tec360 -b -p macrofile
The -b flag instructs Tecplot 360 to run in batch mode and the -p macrofile tells Tecplot 360 the
name of the macro file to execute. Refer to the Quick Reference Guide for more command line
options.
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Batch Processing
28 - 2 Batch Processing Using a Layout File
Combining layout files with batch processing is both powerful and flexible. It is also the recommended method. With layout files you can organize a plot using one or more frames in a single
file. The layout file manages datasets and can be altered on the fly, either on the command line or
within a macro that loads the layout file.
For example, to do the following sequence of tasks in batch mode:
• Load a data file from a user supplied file name.
• Create a specific style of plot.
• Create a PostScript file of the plot.
You can set up the batch script as follows:
1. Obtain a representative data file to be plotted.
2. Create a layout of the style of plot you want. (For this example, name the file
batch.lay).
3. Use a text editor to create the following macro (For this example call this macro
batch.mcr):
#!MC 1120
$!EXPORTSETUP ExportFormat = PS
$!PRINTSETUP PALETTE = MONOCHROME
$!EXPORTSETUP PRINTRENDERTYPE = VECTOR
$!EXPORTSETUP EXPORTFNAME = "myfile.ps"
$!EXPORT
EXPORTREGION = CURRENTFRAME
$!Quit
4. Use the following command to run the job in batch mode:
tec360 -b -p batch.mcr -y psoutput.ps batch.lay mydatafile.
tec360 -b
launches Tecplot 360 in batch mode
-p
tells Tecplot 360 to use the following macro file
batch.mcr
macro file
-y
tells Tecplot 360 to use the following export file
psoutpt.ps
export file
batch.lay
layout file to use
mydatafile
data file to use
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Multiple Data File Processing
28 - 3 Multiple Data File Processing
In Section 28 - 2 “Batch Processing Using a Layout File” we set up Tecplot 360 to process a usersupplied data file (or data files) and create a single output file. If the above procedure is to be
repeated for a large number of input files (one at a time), you can do this by using a loop: either
outside Tecplot 360 in the operating system or within Tecplot 360 using the flow-of-control commands in the Tecplot 360 macro language.
28- 3.1 Looping Outside Tecplot 360
The following examples show the command files for launching Tecplot 360 in an operating system
loop on two different operating systems. Tecplot 360 processes five data files named dnn.plt and
creates ten output files named dnn.out where nn goes from 1 to 10.
Looping Outside Tecplot 360 (UNIX): Create a shell script with the following commands:
#!/bin/sh
n=1
while test $n -le 10
do
tec360 -b -p batch.mcr -y d$n.out batch.lay d$n.plt
n=`expr $n+1`
done
Looping Outside Tecplot 360 (Windows): Create a batch file with the following commands:
for %%f in (d1 d2 d3 d4 d5 d6 d7 d8 d9 d10)
do tec360 -b -p batch.mcr -y %%f.out batch.lay %%f.plt
28- 3.2 Looping Inside Tecplot 360
In Section 28- 3.1 “Looping Outside Tecplot 360” we set up Tecplot 360 to process multiple data
files using the operating system language to do the looping. There are two drawbacks to this procedure:
• The operating system languages are not portable between different operating systems.
• Tecplot 360 must be continuously started and stopped each time a new dataset is
processed.
A more efficient approach is to loop through the data files inside Tecplot 360. Here, the layout file
and the data files are all named within the Tecplot 360 macro. The command line in this example is
simple, as follows:
tec360 -b -p batch.mcr
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Batch Processing
The Tecplot 360 macro is set up as follows:
#!MC 1120
$!EXPORTSETUP EXPORTFORMAT = PS
$!PRINTSETUP PALETTE = MONOCHROME
$!LOOP 10
$!OPENLAYOUT "batch.lay"
ALTDATALOADINSTRUCTIONS = "d|LOOP|.plt"
$!EXPORTSETUP PRINTRENDERTYPE = VECTOR
$!EXPORTSETUP EXPORTFNAME = "d|LOOP|.out"
$!EXPORT
EXPORTREGION = CURRENTFRAME
$!ENDLOOP
$!QUIT
The $!OPENLAYOUT command loads in batch.lay but replaces the data file referenced in the layout
with the file names in the ALTDATALOADINSTRUCTIONS sub-command. The $!EXPORTSETUP
command is used in two places. Initially it is used to set the export format. Later it is used just to
change the name of the file to export to. The $!EXPORT command does the actual exporting.
If you want to make many different plots
using the same dataset, stylesheets will be
more efficient than layout files.
28 - 4 Batch Processing Diagnostics
Each time Tecplot 360 is run in batch mode it creates a file defined by the name in the BATCHLOGFILE environment variable, or, if the environment variable is not defined, by a file named
batch.log in the directory where Tecplot 360 was started. If the name given in the BATCHLOGFILE environment variable is a relative path, the directory name where Tecplot 360 was started is
prefixed. A running commentary on actions performed in Tecplot 360, as well as warning and error
messages, are sent to the batch.log file.
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Chapter 29
Working With Python
Scripts
There are a number of different ways to run Python scripts with Tecplot 360. The simplest method
is to combine Python scripts with Tecplot 360’s macro language. Alternatively, you can use the
Python Quick Macro Panel or run standalone Python scripts. Refer to the remainder of this chapter
for complete details regarding each of these methods. Refer to Chapter 15 “Python Syntax Rules”
in the Scripting Guide for details.
Refer to www.tecplottalk.com/python for sample
Python scripts, as well as a user forum.
29 - 1 Combining Python scripts with macro commands
One of the primary benefits of working with Tecplot 360’s macro language is that you can record a
macro file while you interactively create your plots with Tecplot 360 (see Section 27 - 1 “Macro
Creation”). If you load a Python module while you are recording a macro file in Tecplot 360, the
steps to load the Python file will be added to your macro file. The syntax will appear as follows:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND
COMMANDPROCESSORID = ‘Python Utility’
COMMAND = ‘LOADPYFILE NAME = “mypythonscript”’
As you interactively work with your Python module(s) (during macro recording), the Python functions you call and the parameters you enter will also be recorded to your macro file. For example, if
you run a module called “curvefit”, run the “bspline” function within that module and enter a
parameter input of “1”, the syntax would appear as follows:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND
COMMANDPROCESSORID = ‘Python Utility’
COMMAND = ‘RUNPYFUNCTION MODULE=“curvefit” FUNCTION = “bspline”
ARGUMENTS=“1”’
Once you have completed recording the macro, you can play the macro file back at anytime to recreate your plot using Python modules. For more information on recording and playing back macros
refer to Chapter 27 “Macros”. For information regarding macro syntax refer to the Scripting Guide.
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Working With Python Scripts
29 - 2 Using the Python Quick Scripts Panel
A second option for working with Python scripts in Tecplot 360 is to use the Python Quick Scripts
Panel (accessed via Scripting>Quick Python Scripts). The Python Quick Scripts dialog allows
you to interactively run existing Python scripts.
In order for functions to be available in the Python Quick Scripts Panel, the function definition
must begin with “TP_”. For example, consider the content of the following module:
def TP_PickedZonesDelete():
zones = []
count = TecUtil.PickListGetCount()
if count > 0:
for idx in range(count):
if TecUtil.PickListGetType(idx + 1) ==
TecVals.PickObject_Zone:
zones.append(TecUtil.PickListGetZoneNumber(idx + 1))
TecUtil.DataSetDeleteZone(zones)
def InputZoneDelete(zoneNum):
zones = [zoneNum]
TecUtil.DataSetDeleteZone(zones)
If the above module is loaded into Tecplot 360’s Python Quick Scripts dialog, the PickedZonesDelete function would be available in the panel. However, the InputZoneDelete function would not
be available.
The Python Quick Macros dialog has the following options:
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Using the Python Quick Scripts Panel
• Browse - Use the browse button to navigate to the Python module you wish to load.
In order to run a given Python module, it must be stored in a
directory that is defined in your PYTHONPATH variable.
Refer to the Section 29 - 4 “Modifying the Python Path” for
details.
• Load - Once you have navigated to the module you wish to load (via the [Browse]
button), use the [Load] button to load the module into Tecplot 360.
The [Load] button also allows you to re-load the file after
you have edited it (outside of the Tecplot 360 environment). Simply press the button again to re-load the file.
• Function - You are not limited to running an entire Python module, you may run
functions within your loaded modules individually via the function region of the
dialog. The name of the module that contains the function you have selected will be
displayed in the Module field of the dialog. Use the Parameters field to enter any input
parameters.
• +/- - Use the [+/-] button to either display all of the functions contained within each
loaded module (+) or collapse the list (-).
• Parameters - When a function is selected, the argument list will be displayed. Use the
box to enter comma delimited values for input parameters.
Do not enter the surrounding parentheses. These will be
added for you automatically.
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Working With Python Scripts
• Run - Use the run button to execute the selected module or function.
29 - 3 Running an entire Python Module
If you wish to run a Python module in its entirety, you may either use the method described in
Section 29 - 2 “Using the Python Quick Scripts Panel” or the method described here.
You may run an entire Python module by selecting Scripting>Play Macro/Script and navigating
to the desired Python module.
In order to run a given Python module, it must be stored in a directory that is defined in your PYTHONPATH variable. Refer to the
Section 29 - 4 “Modifying the Python Path” for details.
This method has the following limitations:
• You may not pass input parameters to the module.
• Python scripts cannot be recorded (while Tecplot 360 macro commands can be).
• You are required to run the entire module and cannot run its functions individually.
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Modifying the Python Path
29 - 4 Modifying the Python Path
When you load a Python module into Tecplot’s Python Interpreter, the module (or file) must be
stored in a directory (or a subdirectory of a directory) defined in your PYTHONPATH variable. You
may interactively modify your PYTHONPATH variable via the Python Folders dialog (accessed via
Scripting>Congifure Python Search Path).
To append the value of your PYTHONPATH variable, use the [Browse] button to navigate to the
desired directory and then select the [Add to list] button.
When you modify the PYTHONPATH variable via the Python Folders
dialog, the new value(s) will be available during the current Tecplot
360 session only. If you will regularly use the same directory, we
recommend modifying your environment variables directly.
29 - 5 Python Installation Notes
When you install Tecplot 360, a Python library (version 2.5.1), NumPy (version 1.0.3.1) and SciPy
(version 0.5.2.1) libraries, as well as supporting Python files for Tecplot 360 will be installed in
$TEC_360_2008/Python, where $TEC_360_2008 is your Tecplot 360 installation directory1.
During the installation process, your PYTHONHOME and PYTHONPATH environment variables will be
1. For Windows users, $TEC_360_2008 is typically C:\Program Files\Tecplot\Tec360 2008.
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Working With Python Scripts
appended to include: $TEC_360_2008/Python. If the variables are not already set on your machine,
they will be created at this time
Whenever you run Tecplot 360, your PYTHONHOME variable will give precedence to the Python
library included with Tecplot 360. This may affect you if you are editing or executing Python
modules for an operation outside of Tecplot 360 while Tecplot 360 is running.
In order to execute a Python script, the full path for the
directory the script is in must be defined in your
PYTHONPATH variable.
Several Python scripting samples have been included for your reference. These scripts are located
in your Tecplot 360 installation directory and are also available at www.tecplottalk.com/python.
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Part 7 Advanced
Topics
Chapter 30
Animation
Tecplot 360 provides a variety of methods for creating animated plots and exporting them to movie
files for playback at a later time. There are three basic animation methods available:
• Animation Tools - Perform simple animations using the dialogs in the Animate menu.
The Animate menu allows you to animate zones, mappings, iso-surfaces, IJK-planes,
IJK-blanking, slices, time, or streamtraces. The animation is viewed within Tecplot
360 or exported to a movie file.
• Movie File Creation Manually - Interactively create movies by creating an initial plot,
exporting the image as either an AVI, Flash, or Raster Metafile movie, then repeatedly
changing the plot and appending new images to the same movie file.
• Movie File Creation with Macros - Use a macro to perform multiple, repetitive
changes, and write each image to a movie file.
30 - 1 Animation Tools
Use the Animate menu to have Tecplot 360 cycle through your data, automatically display zones,
IJK-planes, or any of several other plot elements, one after the other, until your entire dataset has
been displayed.
When you need a particular size for your animation image,
such as 300 by 250 pixels, first edit your frame to the correct
width and height. Then export only the current frame.
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Animation Tools
30- 1.1 Time Animation
To animate over time, simply press the play
button in the Sidebar. The active frame will be
animated from the Current Solution (displayed in the Sidebar) Time to the last time step.
This option is available for transient field plot data ONLY.
The Current Solution Time determines which transient zones
are displayed in the current frame. The slider control can be
used to interactively change the Current Solution Time. See
Section 7- 2.1 “Time Details Dialog - Settings Page” for more
information on the Time Details dialog.
Alternatively, you may select “Time” from the Animate menu. The Animate page of the Time
Details dialog has the following options:
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Animation
• Start Time - Enter the value of the first solution time to include in the animation. If the
Solution Time entered does not exist, the nearest Solution Time less than the entered
time is used. The default value is the first Solution Time. The value of the first
Solution Time in the dataset is displayed in Min.
• End Time - Enter the value of the last Solution Time to include in the animation. If the
Solution Time entered does not exist, the nearest Solution Time less than the entered
time is used. The default value is the last Solution Time. The value of the last Solution
Time in the dataset is displayed in Max.
• Time Step Skip - Enter the skip number between time steps. A value of 2 results in
every other time steps being animated, a value of 3 animates every 3 time steps, and so
on.
• Number of Time Steps - A read-only field that displays the number of time steps in
the data between the Start Time and the End Time.
• Destination - Specify the output format for the animation, “On Screen” or “To File”.
Selecting “To File” brings up the following options:
• File Format - Select from: Flash (default), AVI, or Raster Metafiles.
• Generate Animation File - Select this button to launch the Export dialog
associated with the selected file format.
Selecting “On Screen” brings up the following options:
• Operation - Select from the following options:
• Forward – Animation makes one pass from the current step to the ending value.
• Backward – Animation makes one pass from the current step to the
starting value.
• Loop – Animation starts at the current step and proceeds to the ending
value, at which point it jumps to the starting value and continues looping until interrupted by pressing the [Stop] button.
• Bounce – The animation starts at the current step and proceeds to the
ending value, then “bounces” backward and reverses the animation to
the starting value. This repeats until interrupted by pressing the [Stop]
button.
• Animation Step - This field displays the time step for the current frame of the
animation. The field is updated while an animation is in progress.
• Go To - Use the [Go To] button to jump to the nth animation step, where n is the
value entered in the Animation Step field.
• Slider – The slider can be dragged to change the current solution time.
•
564
– Jumps to the value in Start Time.
Animation Tools
•
– Moves toward the value in Start Time by one step.
•
– Runs the animation as specified by the ‘Operation’ field. The
[Play] button becomes a [Stop] button while the animation is
playing.
•
– Moves toward the value in End Time by one step.
•
– Jumps to the value in End Time.
• Limit Animation Speed - Toggle-on to limit the animation speed to the value
specified in the Max Speed field. You can enter a frame speed value in the Max
Speed text box.
• Drop dialog during animation - Toggle-on this option to close the dialog during animation. The dialog will reopen after the animation is complete.
Toggle-on “Drop dialog during animation”
and close any other time-sensitive dialogs
for any animations where speed is important [On Screen animation only].
To stop the animation when the dialog is
“dropped”, press the [Stop] button located
on the status bar.
30- 1.2 IJK-plane Animation
Use the Animate IJK-Planes dialog to display all or a specified subset of the IJK-planes in the
current dataset, one at a time. You can choose to animate either the I, J, or K-planes.
565
Animation
To animate IJK-planes, select “IJK-planes” from the Animate menu. The Animate IJK-Planes
dialog has the following options:
• Planes to Animate - Specify the set of planes to animate: I, J, or K-planes.
• Index - Specify a Start Index (the first plane you want to display), an End Index (the
last plane you want to display), and an Index Skip in the fields provided. If you specify
a start index that has a higher number than the end index, Tecplot 360 cycles backward
from the Start Index number to the End Index number.
• Animate To - Use the Animate drop-down menu to select the output format for the
animation. You can animate to “AVI file”, “RM file”, “Flash file”, or “On Screen”. See
also: Section 25 - 4 “Movie Format”.
• Animate Button - Select the [Animate] button to run the animation automatically, or
use the + and - buttons in the Current Index area to “step through” the animation one
plane at a time. Both options cycle through the range of planes specified by Start Index
and End Index; if your range is reversed, so are their actions.
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Animation Tools
Figure 30-1 shows an example of animating I-planes in an IJK-ordered zone.
Y
Y
Y
X
X
X
Z
Z
Z
I=1
I=2
Y
Y
I=3
Y
X
X
X
Z
Z
I=4
Z
I=5
Y
Y
Y
X
X
Z
Z
I=7
I=6
I=8
X
Z
I=9
Figure 30-1. An animated sequence of I-planes.
To restore the workspace back to its normal view after the IJK
animation, go to Edit>Undo Style Change.
30- 1.3 IJK Blanking Animation
Use the Animate IJK Blanking dialog to animate a sequence of Tecplot 360 renderings, starting
with an initial set of blanked IJK indices and proceeding in a series of interpolated steps to a final
set of blanked IJK indices. To animate a sequence of IJK blankings, you must first turn on IJK
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Animation
blanking and then select “IJK Blanking” from the Animate menu. The Animate IJK Blanking
dialog has the following options:
• Starting Index (% of Max) - Specify an initial set of blanked IJK-indices in the text
fields. Enter a range of indices for: I, J, and K (index values are entered as percentages
of the maximum index).
• Ending Index (% of Max) - Specify a final set of blanked IJK-indices. Enter a range
of indices for each: I, J, and K.
• Number of Steps - Specify the number of steps. The minimum number is two.
• Animate drop-down menu - Select the destination for the animation: “On Screen”,
“AVI file”, “RM file” or “Flash file”.
• Animate button - Select the [Animate] button to run the animation automatically, or
use the [+] and [-] buttons in the Current Step area to “step through” the animation one
plane at a time.
30- 1.4 Iso-surfaces Animation
Use the Animate page of the Iso-surface Details dialog to define iso-surfaces to animate either on
screen or to a file.
To animate iso-surfaces, select “Iso-Surfaces” from the Animate menu. Alternatively, you can
open the Iso-Surfaces Details dialog from the Plot menu or Sidebar and select the Animate page.
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Animation Tools
Specify a starting value, an ending value, and the number of steps in the fields provided. If you
specify a start level with a higher number than the end level, Tecplot 360 cycles backward from the
Starting Value to the Ending Value.
The remaining controls are dependent upon the Destination selected: “On Screen”, “AVI file”, “RM
file” or “Flash file”.
On-Screen Animation
If you select “On-Screen” as the animation destination, you have the following controls:
• Operation
• Forward – Animation makes one pass from the current step to the ending
value.
• Backward – Animation makes one pass from the current step to the starting
value.
• Loop – Animation starts at the current step and proceeds to the ending value, at
which point it jumps to the starting value and continues to the ending value
until interrupted by selecting the [Stop] button.
• Bounce – The animation starts at the current step and proceeds to the ending
value, then “bounces” backward and animates to the starting value. This continues until interrupted by selecting the [Stop] button.
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Animation
• Current Step – Indicates the active step of the animation. This may be edited to jump
to a specific step.
• Current Value – Displays the iso-surface value at the current step.
• GoTo – While an on-screen iso-surface animation is playing, the iso-surface can be
repositioned (independently of the animation) via the Definitions page, a macro, or an
add-on. Use the [GoTo] button to reset the position to the step value in the Current
Step field.
• Slider – The slider can be dragged to change the current solution time.
•
– Jumps to the value in Start Time.
•
– Moves toward the value in Start Time by one step.
•
– Runs the animation as specified by the ‘Operation’ field. The Play
button becomes a Stop button while the animation is playing.
•
– Moves toward the value in End Time by one step.
•
– Jumps to the value in End Time.
• Limit Animation Speed – If the animation on-screen is too fast you may limit the
animation speed by enabling this toggle.
• Max Speed (fr/sec) – To use this feature, toggle-on “Limit Animation Speed. This
specifies the maximum frames per second that will be displayed during the animation.
This guarantees that the frame rate will be no faster than the value specified. You can
input a specific frame speed value by entering the value in the Max Speed text box.
However, the frame rate may be slower than the value specified, depending on the
complexity of the animation and size of the dataset.
• Drop dialog during animation - Toggle-on this option to close the dialog during
animation. The dialog will reopen after the animation is complete.
Toggle-on “Drop dialog during animation” and close any
other time-sensitive dialogs for any animations where speed
is important [On Screen animation only].
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Animation Tools
To stop the animation when the dialog is “dropped”, press the
[Stop] button located on the status bar.
This option will not work when animating to a file if Image
Export Options is set to Safe on the Rendering page of the Performance dialog (see Section 31- 3.1 “Rendering”).
Animation To File
If you select “To File” as the animation destination, select the file format (AVI, Flash, or Raster
Metafile), and press the [Generate Animation File] button.
30- 1.5 Mapping Animation
Use the Animate Mappings dialog to display all or a specified subset of the XY or Polar Line
mappings defined in the current frame, one at a time.
To animate mapping, select “Mappings” from the Animate menu. The Animate Mappings dialog
has the following options:
• Start Map - Specify the first line mapping you want displayed.
• End Map - Specify the last line mapping you want displayed. If you specify a Start
Map having a higher number than the End Map, Tecplot 360 cycles backward from the
start to the end.
• Max Skip - Specify the number of maps to skip.
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Animation
• Animate To - Use the Animate drop-down menu to select the output format for the
animation. You can animate to “AVI file”, to “RM file”, to “Flash file”, or “On
Screen”. See also: Section 25 - 4 “Movie Format”.
• Animate - Select the [Animate] button to run the animation automatically, or use +
and - in the Current Index area to “step through” the animation one plane at a time.
Both options cycle through the range of planes specified by Start Index and End Index;
if your range is reversed, so are their actions.
You can try animating mappings with the data file rainfall.plt. This file is located in your Tecplot
360 distribution under the examples/XY subdirectory.
30- 1.6 Slice Animation
To animate slices, select “Slices” from the Animate menu. Alternatively you can open the Slice
Details dialog from the Plot menu or Sidebar and select the Animate page.
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Animation Tools
Specify a Starting Value, an Ending Value, and the Number of Steps in the fields provided. If you
specify a start value having a higher number than the end value, Tecplot 360 cycles backward from
the start to the end.
Only the primary slice of the current slice group (specified
on the Position page) is changed during animations. The
start and end slice and any intermediate slices of the current
slice group are unchanged. It is possible that the animated
primary slice will overlap the start slice, end slice, or an
intermediate slice. The animation will proceed, without
changing those values.
The remaining controls are dependent upon the Destination selected.
On-Screen Animation
If you select “On-Screen” as the animation destination, you have the following controls:
• Operation
• Forward – Animation makes one pass from the current step to the ending
value
• Backward – Animation makes one pass from the current step to the starting
value.
• Loop – Animation starts at the current step and proceeds to the ending value, at
which point it jumps to the starting value and continues to the ending value
until interrupted by pressing the [Stop] button.
• Bounce – The animation starts at the current step and proceeds to the ending
value, then “bounces” backward and animates to the starting value. This continues until interrupted by pressing the [Stop] button.
• Current Step – Indicates the active step of the animation. This may be edited to jump
to a specific step.
• Current Value – Displays the slice value at the current step.
• GoTo – While an on-screen Slice animation is playing, the Slice can be repositioned
(independently of the animation) via the Position page, a macro, or an add-on. Use the
[GoTo] button to reset the position to the step value in the Current Step field.
• Slider – The slider can be dragged to change the current solution time.
•
– Jumps to the value in Start Time.
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Animation
•
– Moves toward the value in Start Time by one step.
•
– Runs the animation as specified by the ‘Operation’ field. The Play
button becomes a Stop button while the animation is playing.
•
– Moves toward the value in End Time by one step.
•
– Jumps to the value in End Time.
• Limit Animation Speed – If the animation on-screen is too fast you may limit the
animation speed by enabling this toggle.
• Max Speed (fr/sec) – To use this feature, toggle-on “Limit Animation Speed. This
specifies the maximum frames per second that will be displayed during the animation.
This guarantees that the frame rate will be no faster than the value specified. You can
input a specific frame speed value by entering the value in the Max Speed text box.
However, the frame rate may be slower than the value specified, depending on the
complexity of the animation and size of the dataset.
• Drop dialog during animation - Toggle-on this option to close the dialog during
animation. The dialog will reopen after the animation is complete.
Toggle-on “Drop dialog during animation” and close
any other time-sensitive dialogs for any animations
where speed is important [On Screen animation
only].
To stop the animation when the dialog is “dropped”,
press the [Stop] button located on the status bar.
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Animation Tools
This option will not work when animating to a file if
Image Export Options is set to Safe on the Rendering page
of the Performance dialog (see Section 31- 3.1 “Rendering”).
Animation To File
If you select “To File” as the animation destination, select the file format (AVI, Flash or Raster
Metafile) and press the [Generate Animation File] button.
30- 1.7 Streamtrace Animation
To animate your streamtraces, select “Streamtraces” from the Animate menu
Before you can animate streamtraces, you must turn
on either the timing dashes, or timing markers, or
both, using the Streamtrace Details dialog under the
Plot menu. See Section 15- 1.4 “Timing Page” for
details.
Specify the number of steps per cycle and the number of cycles in the fields provided in the
Animate Streamtraces dialog.
• Use the Animate drop-down menu to select the output format for the animation. You
can animate to “AVI file”, to “RM file”, to “Flash file”, or “On Screen” (see also:
Section 25 - 4 “Movie Format”).
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Animation
30- 1.8 Zone Animation
To animate zones, select “Zones” from the Animate menu. From the Animate Zones dialog,
specify the Start Zone, End Zone, and Zone Skip in the fields provided.
• If you specify a Start Zone having a higher number than the End Zone, Tecplot 360
cycles backward from the start to the end. Use the Animate drop-down menu to select
the output format for the animation. You can animate to “AVI file”, to “RM file”, to
“Flash file”, or “On Screen”. (See also: Section 25 - 4 “Movie Format”.)
Use the Mode drop-down menu to select from the following options:
• Step by Number - Animate all zones from the first zone to the last zone with a skip
specified in the Zone Skip field. A Zone Skip of 1 animates all zones.
• Group Step by Number - Animate zones in groups (as specified by the Group Size
field). A Group Size of 2 will animate all zones in groups of 2 (i.e. zones 1 and 2,
followed by zones 3 and 4).
• Step by Time - Legacy option. Use this option if you have the Common.Time variable
in your auxiliary data. Otherwise, use Time Animation (see Section 30- 1.1 “Time
Animation”).
The Animate Zones dialog is not available for
transient datasets.
30 - 2 Movie File Creation Manually
You can create a movie file interactively by using the “Export” option in the File menu. This option
allows you capture and append consecutive images (in AVI, Flash, or Raster Metafile format) to the
same movie file.
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Movie File Creation Manually
Follow these steps to manually create your movie file:
1. Create your plot.
2. Select “Export” from the File menu.
3. In the Export dialog,
a. Select either AVI, Flash, or Raster Metafile from the “Export Format” dropdown menu.
b. Select Current Frame, All Frames, or Work Area from the Region drop-down
menu.
c. Select the “Use Width of Image on Screen” radio button, or enter your own
desired dimensions for the exported images.
d. If you have text in your plot, select "Antialiasing" to improve the appearance
of text in the exported file.
e. Choose the desired Color options and Animation Speed (if available for your
output format).
4. Select the [OK] button.
5. In the Select Export File dialog, specify a filename or URL destination for your
movie file and select the [Save] button.
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Animation
After you have selected your movie file name, the Record Animation File dialog
will launch.
6. In the Record Animation File dialog, select the frame you want to record and press
the [Record Next Image] button.
7. Change desired aspects of your plot, and select the [Record Next Image] button.
Repeat for as many images as you would like to capture.
8. Select the [Finish Animation] button when you have completed capturing your
images.
30- 2.1 Record Animation File dialog
The Record Animation File dialog will be launched after you have selected your movie file name.
Select [Record Next Image] for each snapshot of the current frame you wish to record.
30 - 3 Movie File Creation with Macros
The Tecplot 360 macro language expands the capabilities of Tecplot 360’s standard animation features. The macro commands allow you to do almost anything you can do interactively, and export
images to movie files. You can also use loops to repeatedly rotate 3D objects, cycle from one active
zone to another, and so on, to create your movie. See Chapter 27 “Macros” for detailed information
regarding the Tecplot 360 macro language.
A typical macro file for making movies has the following form:
#!MC 1120
... optional commands to set up the first image
$!EXPORTSETUP EXPORTFORMAT = AVI
$!EXPORTSETUP EXPORTFNAME = "mymovie.avi"
$!EXPORTSTART
EXPORTREGION = CURRENTFRAME
$!LOOP 50
... commands to set up next image
$!REDRAWALL
$!EXPORTNEXTFRAME
$!ENDLOOP
$!EXPORTFINISH
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Advanced Animation Techniques
For example, the following macro file duplicates the actions performed by the Animate Zones
dialog:
#!MC 1120
## Set up Export file type and file name.
$!EXPORTSETUP EXPORTFORMAT = AVI
$!EXPORTSETUP EXPORTFNAME = "C:\temp\timeseries.avi"
## Begin Animating
$!LOOP |NUMZONES|
## The |Loop| variable is equal to the current
## loop cycle number.
$!ACTIVEFIELDZONES = [|Loop|]
$!REDRAWALL
## This series of $!IF statements ensures
## that a new AVI file will be created when
## the macro is started.
$!IF |Loop| == 1
$!EXPORTSTART
EXPORTREGION = CURRENTFRAME
$!ENDIF
$!IF |Loop| != 1
$!EXPORTNEXTFRAME
$!ENDIF
$!ENDLOOP
$!EXPORTFINISH
30 - 4 Advanced Animation Techniques
30- 4.1 Text Changes
There may be times when you want to include information in your animation which tells viewers
about the time step, current zones, or a mapping. There are two ways this can be done.
Using Dynamic Text
The best way to do this is to add dynamic text to your text box. See Section 18- 1.4 “Dynamic
Text”.
Attaching Text to Zones
This method works best if you are animating zones. First, create several text strings in your data
file, and use the ZN= parameter to attach each text string to a zone or mapping. You should have a
separate text string for each zone that will be used in your animation. For example
ZONE T= "Temp. distribution, Distance = 0.5 m" I=51, J=51 F=POINT
.
.
.
list of variable values
.
.
.
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Animation
TEXT X=70, Y=90, T= "Distance = 0.5 m", F=COURIER, CS=FRAME, H=2,
ZN=1
ZONE T= "Temp. distribution, Distance = 1.0 m" I=51, J=51 F=POINT
.
.
.
list of variable values
.
.
.
TEXT X=70, Y=90, T= "Distance = 1.0 m", F=COURIER, CS=FRAME, H=2,
ZN=2
You can also use Tecplot 360's dynamic text feature (see Section 18- 1.4 “Dynamic Text”) to insert
a zone name into your text strings. For example
ZONE T= "Distance= 1.0 m" I=51, J=51 F=POINT
.
.
.
list of variable values
.
.
.
TEXT X=70, Y=90, T= "&(ZONENAME:2)”, F=COURIER, CS=FRAME, H=2, ZN=2
30- 4.2 Multiple Frames Animation
Animation of plots in multiple frames requires the use of a macro. The $!FRAMECONTROL PUSHTOP
command is used to switch between each frame. The following template demonstrates how this is
done with a layout where each frame contains a similar plot:
#!MC 1120
##Set the number of images (movie frames) in the animation.
$!VARSET |NumCycles| = 10
$!EXPORTSETUP EXPORTFORMAT = RASTERMETAFILE
$!EXPORTSETUP EXPORTFNAME
= "2frames.rm"
BITDUMPREGION = ALLFRAMES
.
Insert commands to set up first frame, if necessary.
.
## Outer loop.
$!LOOP |NumCycles|
## Inner loop cycles through each frame in the current layout.
$!LOOP |NumFrames|
.
Insert commands to change the plot in the current frame.
.
##push the active (top) frame to the back.
$!FrameControl PushTop
$!EndLoop
## This series of $!IF statements ensures
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Movie File Viewing
## that a new AVI file will be created when
## the macro is started.
$!IF |Loop| == 1
$!EXPORTSTART
EXPORTREGION = CURRENTFRAME
$!ENDIF
$!IF |Loop| != 1
$!EXPORTNEXTFRAME
$!ENDIF
$!ENDLOOP
$!EXPORTFINISH
30 - 5 Movie File Viewing
The following tools allow you to view movie files you have created with Tecplot 360.
30- 5.1 AVI Files
AVI format is the standard video format for Windows platforms. Below are some applications that
can be used to view and/or edit AVI files:
• Windows Media® Player - A standard movie viewer included with Windows
distribution. More information is available at www.microsoft.com/windows/
windowsmedia/default.mspx.
• Xanim - A program for playing a wide variety of video formats on UNIX X11
machines. More information is available at http://xanim.polter.net.
• Adobe® Premier® - A powerful tool for professional digital video editing. More
information is available at www.adobe.com.
30- 5.2 Flash Files
Playback
• Flash movies can be played in several freely distributed Flash players. Swiff Player is
a very good stand-alone player that enables Flash users to easily play their Flash
movies.
• You can play Flash movies using QuickTime® software.
• There are several tools at Download.com that can help manage, browse, convert, and
display all kinds of Flash files on your computer.
Flash in PowerPoint
The easiest way to insert and play SWF files into Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentations is to
download the Swiff Point Player — a free Microsoft PowerPoint Add-In.
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A secondary option is to play it in a PowerPoint presentation using a specific Microsoft® ActiveX®
control and the Macromedia Flash Player. To run the Flash file, you add an ActiveX control to the
PowerPoint slide and create a link from it to the Flash file. You also have the option of embedding
the file in the presentation. Below are links to several tutorials that will help you do this:
• Flashgeek Tutorial - http://www.flashgeek.com/tutorials/02_embed_01.asp
• Microsoft Web site - http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/
HA010348071033.aspx
• Macromedia Web site - http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion/knowledgebase/
index.cfm?id=tn_14235
Flash on the Web
Flash files can be inserted into Web and HTML documents using several different Web design tools
such as Adobe® Dreamweaver® and Adobe® GoLive®, as well as free tools and using straight-hand
code.
Once inserted, Flash movies play directly within your browser. An outside media player is not
needed to launch the animation.
30- 5.3 Raster Metafiles Viewing in Framer
Raster Metafile is a NASA-defined standard format for storing bit images and may contain one or
more images. You can create a Raster Metafile in Tecplot 360 either interactively, or using a
Tecplot 360 macro. For many types of repetitive plots (such as rotations, where each image is a
slightly rotated version of the previous image), macros provide a very convenient means of simplifying Raster Metafile creation.
The Raster Metafile format is defined in the following reference:
Taylor, N., Everton, E., Randall, D., Gates, R., and Skeens, K., NASA TM 102588, Raster
Metafile and Raster Metafile Translator. Central Scientific Computing Complex Document G14, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA. September, 1989.
Once you have created your Raster Metafile, you can view the resulting file with Framer. Framer is
a utility program that is included with Tecplot 360. It allows you to view files stored in Raster
Metafile format and runs independently of Tecplot 360.
The UNIX version of Framer is run from your shell prompt; the Windows version can be launched
from the Tecplot 360 program folder under the [Start] button. You may freely distribute the Framer
executable to allow others to view your animation.
To launch Framer at a command line (shell prompt, Run command, and so forth), use the following
command:
framer [options] [rmfile]
where [rmfile] is the name of a file containing Raster Metafile bitmaps created by Tecplot 360, and
[options] is one or more of the options listed in Section B - 2 “Framer”.
To run Framer on UNIX type:
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Movie File Viewing
framer [filename]
If you do not specify a file name, Framer prompts you for one. In this dialog, you can choose to set
buffering [equivalent to the -b flag] and/or multiple color maps [equivalent to the -m flag].) For a
list of Framer command lines, see Section B - 2 “Framer”.
Figure 30-2 shows the main Framer window on Windows platforms.
Figure 30-2. The Framer application window for a Windows machine.
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Chapter 31
Customization
Use the Preferences menu (accessed via the File menu) and the Options menu to customize
Tecplot 360. This chapter discusses the Preferences menu. Please refer to Section 2 - 4 “Workspace Management Options Menu” for information pertaining to the Options menu.
31 - 1 Configuration Files
A Tecplot 360 configuration file is a special type of Tecplot 360 macro file that Tecplot 360 reads
on start up. Use customized configuration files to override any or all of Tecplot 360’s factory
default settings.
You can create a configuration file from scratch using any
ASCII text editor, or using the Preferences>Save Configuration option in the File menu.
31- 1.1 Loading Configuration Files in Tecplot 360
Tecplot 360 looks for configuration files (named tecplot.cfg) in one of three places: the current
working directory, the user’s home directory, and the Tecplot 360 home directory. Tecplot 360
looks for the configuration file (in the respective order listed above) and uses the first configuration
file found.
The names of the default configuration files used in Tecplot 360 vary from platform to platform; this chapter concentrates on UNIX and Windows files.
If you want to force Tecplot 360 to load a specific configuration file (instead of one of the standard
files named above), you may use the -c command line option when starting Tecplot 360.
System administrators can use the tecplot.cfg file in the Tecplot 360 home directory to set system-wide defaults, then others on the system can copy the system configuration file to their own
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home directories and make any desired changes. The settings in your local configuration file are
used instead of the settings in the system configuration file.
A configuration file needs to include only those
options for which you want to override defaults.
Tecplot 360 on UNIX platforms has a second type of configuration file: an X11 resource file (appdefaults file) that controls the appearance of the Tecplot 360 application and its dialogs. Most users
do not need to concern themselves with this file; nothing in the resource file has any affect on the
plots you create with Tecplot 360, either on screen or on paper. However, if you are an experienced
UNIX and X11 user, you may want to modify some of the resources to improve the appearance of
Tecplot 360’s windows and dialogs on your display. Section 31 - 4 “Interface Configuration
(UNIX)” explains how to do this.
31- 1.2 Configuration File Creation
The simplest way to create a configuration file is to change the appropriate settings using the
Tecplot 360 interface, then save the configuration. For example, suppose you want to have your
paper orientation default to be portrait and have your default export format be Encapsulated PostScript (EPS). You can modify the settings using the appropriate Tecplot 360 dialogs, then save the
configuration file.
To save a Tecplot 360 configuration file, change settings as desired using Tecplot 360 dialogs and
select Preferences>Save Configuration from the File menu.
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Configuration Files
Include Factory Defaults.
If “Include Factory Defaults” is toggled-on, the created file will contain the factory defaults for the
following types of Tecplot 360 settings:
• Interface details.
• RGB color assignments for Tecplot 360’s basic colors.
• Default paper layout.
• Print and export setup information.
If you modify any setting from these four types interactively and then save your configuration, the
modifications are saved. However, modifications to other types of settings will not be saved.
31- 1.3 Editing the Configuration File
You are not limited to customizing only those settings that appear in the saved configuration file.
Most settings that can be modified by the $!Field, $!LineMap, or $!Interface macro commands
can be changed in the configuration file directly. The $!LIMITS macro command can be used in the
configuration file only.
The simplest way to do this is to create a layout or macro with the settings you want, then copy and
paste the appropriate commands into your configuration file. See the Scripting Guide for complete
details on macro commands.
SetValue Commands
SetValue Commands are macro commands used to specify the value of a given plot attribute. You
may add SetValue commands to your tecplot.cfg file to override any of Tecplot 360’s default settings. For example, suppose you want your 2D axes to appear cyan. You can add this preference to
your configuration file as follows:
1. Using the Tecplot 360 interface, create a 2D plot with cyan axes while either recording your steps as a macro, or saving the result as a Tecplot 360 layout.
2. Edit the resulting macro or layout, scanning for the lines that set the 2D axis colors.
The following example shows the commands that specify the X- and Y-axis details in
a layout of a 2D plot with cyan axes:
$!TWODAXIS
$!TWODAXIS
$!TWODAXIS
$!TWODAXIS
$!TWODAXIS
$!TWODAXIS
$!TWODAXIS
$!TWODAXIS
XDETAIL{RANGEMIN = -3}
XDETAIL{RANGEMAX = 15}
XDETAIL{GRIDLINES{SHOW=YES}}
XDETAIL{AUTOGRID=NO}
XDETAIL{GRSPACING = 5}
XDETAIL{GRIDLINES{COLOR = CYAN}}
YDETAIL{GRIDLINES{SHOW = YES}}
YDETAIL{GRIDLINES{COLOR = CYAN}}
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Customization
3. Discard everything but the lines that actually set the color:
$!TWODAXIS XDETAIL{GRIDLINES{COLOR = CYAN}}
$!TWODAXIS YDETAIL{GRIDLINES{COLOR = CYAN}}
4. Paste the resulting lines into your configuration file.
Plot Default Setting - FIELDMAP and LINEMAP
A single $!FIELDMAP command can be included to set plot defaults. The zone cannot be specified
in the configuration file, and the command is not effective for values set dynamically by Tecplot
360, such as Mesh Color. In the example below, the default contour type is Flood, scatter symbol
shape is Delta, and scatter size is 1.8.
$!FIELDMAP CONTOUR{CONTOURTYPE = FLOOD}
$!FIELDLAYERS SHOWSCATTER = YES
$!FIELDMAP SCATTER{SYMBOLSHAPE{GEOMSHAPE = DEL}}
$!FIELDMAP SCATTER{FRAMESIZE = 1.8}
In the same way as above, a single $!LINEMAP command can be added for line mapping defaults.
In the example below, XY and Polar Line mappings will have a dashed line pattern, and symbols
will be filled circles.
$!LINEMAP LINES{LINEPATTERN = DASHED}
$!LINEPLOTLAYERS SHOWSYMBOLS = YES
$!LINEMAP SYMBOLS{SYMBOLSHAPE{GEOMSHAPE = CIRCLE}}
$!LINEMAP SYMBOLS{FILLMODE = USELINECOLOR}
Override Automatic View>Fit Everything
When loading a plot, Tecplot 360 automatically fits all 3D surfaces, data points, text, and geometries to the frame. To revert to the old Tecplot 360 behavior, remove the # from the following line
in your tecplot.cfg file:
#$!FrameSetup Initial3DScale = 0.7
Interface Configuration
The many members of the $!INTERFACE macro help you configure Tecplot 360’s user interface
and graphics drawing capabilities. Although some of these commands can be executed in any
Tecplot 360 macro, the best place to put these is in the Tecplot 360 configuration file: tecplot.cfg.
Below are a few examples. Refer to the Scripting Guide for a complete listing.
General Interface Configuration Options
$!INTERFACE followed by:
• MOUSEACTIONS {MIDDLEBUTTON {SIMPLEDRAG=ZOOMDATA}} - Specify the action of the
middle mouse button click and drag. Several other options for the middle and right
mouse buttons are listed in the Scripting Guide. These commands can only be
executed in the Tecplot 360 configuration file.
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Configuration Files
• UNIXHELPBROWSERCMD = string - Specify the browser for viewing the Help files
(UNIX only). This command can only be executed from the Tecplot 360 configuration
file.
• SHOWWAITDIALOGS = (YES, NO) - Disable the launch and display of all Wait dialogs by
setting this to NO. (Wait dialogs are launched during long operations and give you the
ability to cancel the operation.) This is useful on some Linux systems where transient
dialogs do not drop properly, leaving a gray box that obscures part of Tecplot 360’s
drawing area.
• USESTROKEFONTSONSCREEN = (YES, NO) - If set to YES, all text drawn in the work area
will be drawn using Tecplot 360's internal stroke fonts. If set to NO, the native True
Type fonts will be used instead. This option has no effect on UNIX platforms.
• USESTROKEFONTSFOR3DTEXT = (YES, NO) - If set to YES, all 3D text drawn in the
work area will be drawn using Tecplot 360's internal stroke fonts. 3D text consists of
ASCII scatter symbols and node and cell labels when the current plot type is 3D
Cartesian. For 3D text, this setting overrides the setting of
USESTROKEFONTSONSCREEN. If set to NO, the native True Type fonts will be used
instead. This option has no effect on UNIX platforms.
OpenGL-Specific Configuration Options
Several options are available to further tune Tecplot 360 to operate with the OpenGL capabilities of
your platform. To assign values to these parameters you must use the $!INTERFACE
OPENGLCONFIG command. A complete list of these options is given in the Scripting Guide.
$!INTERFACE OPENGLCONFIG followed by:
• {ALLOWHWACCELERATION = (YES, NO)} - In some cases, bugs in OpenGL drivers cause
problems in Tecplot 360. In these situations, Tecplot 360 will typically behave better if
this options is set to NO. However, Tecplot 360 will also be slower.
• {SCREENRENDERING {DOEXTRADRAWFORLASTPIXEL = (YES, NO)}} - Some OpenGL
implementations use an optimization for line drawing that omits the last pixel in the
line. Set this to YES to change all line drawing to force the last pixel to be drawn. This
setting applies only to drawing on the screen.
• {SCREENRENDERING {STIPPLEALLLINES = (ALL, CRITICAL, NONE)}} - Set to ALL to
make all lines drawn using stippling. Set to CRITICAL to use stippling for stroke and
user-defined fonts. Set to NONE to disable stippling. This setting applies only to
drawing on the screen.
• {IMAGERENDERING {DOEXTRADRAWFORLASTPIXEL = (YES, NO)}} - Some OpenGL
implementations use an optimization for line drawing that omits the last pixel in the
line. Set this to YES to change all line drawing to force the last pixel to be drawn. This
setting applies only to exporting images from Tecplot 360.
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Customization
• {IMAGERENDERING {STIPPLEALLLINES = (ALL, CRITICAL, NONE)}} - Set to ALL to
make all lines drawn using stippling. Set to CRITICAL to use stippling for stroke and
user-defined fonts. Set to NONE to disable stippling. This setting applies to exporting
images from Tecplot 360.
31- 1.4 Default File Name Extensions
The default extensions for file names in file input-output dialogs can also be changed in the configuration file. These settings are changed via the FNAMEFILTER sub-command in the $!FILECONFIG macro command.
$!FILECONFIG FNAMEFILTER followed by:
• COLORMAPFILE = <string> - Specifies the default extension for color map files.
• INPUTDATAFILE = <string> - Specifies the default extension for input data
files.
• OUTPUTASCIIDATAFILE = <string> - Specifies the default extension for
ASCII output files.
• OUTPUTBINARYDATAFILE = <string> - Specifies the default extension for
binary output files.
• INPUTLAYOUTFILE = <string> - Specifies the default extension for input layout
and layout package files.
• OUTPUTLAYOUTFILE - Specifies the default extension for output layout files.
• OUTPUTLAYOUTPACKAGEFILE = <string> - Specifies the default extension for
output layout package files.
• STYLEFILE = <string> - Specifies the default extension for stylesheet files.
• MACROFILE = <string> - Specifies the default extension for macro files.
• EQUATIONFILE = <string> - Specifies the default extension for equation files.
For example, to change the default extension for input data files to be .tbl use:
$!FILECONFIG FNAMEFILTER {INPUTDATAFILE = "*.tbl"}
31- 1.5 Default Temporary Directory
Tecplot 360 writes out a number of temporary files. To tell Tecplot 360 where to place these files,
put the following macro command in the tecplot.cfg file:
$!FILECONFIG
TEMPFILEPATH = "tempfilepath"
where tempfilepath is the new path. The default path is system dependent.
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Interactive Customization
31 - 2 Interactive Customization
Using the Preferences submenu from the File menu, you can interactively control the colors used
throughout Tecplot 360, the size options available in most Tecplot 360 dialogs, as well as several
miscellaneous parameters.
31- 2.1 Color Preferences Dialog
To change the RGB values of Tecplot 360’s basic colors, use the Color Preferences dialog
(accessed via Preferences>Colors from Tecplot 360’s File menu).
To change a color, click on the color in the palette and alter its RGB values with the sliders. As you
move the sliders, the box in the upper right corner of the dialog shows the color as it is currently
specified. You may alter multiple colors by selecting those colors and changing their RGB values.
Choosing [Reset Selected Color] or [Reset All Colors] will restore the default RGB values.
See also: Section 5 - 5 “Select Color”.
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Customization
31- 2.2 Size Preferences Dialog
To set size options, use the Size Preferences dialog (accessed via Preferences>Sizes from the File
menu).
These options determine the choices available in text box columns such as Line Thickness that
occur throughout the interface.
You can control the following sets of sizes:
• Line thickness.
• Symbol size.
• Pattern length.
• Arrowhead size.
• Tick mark length.
• Text height (in both points and frame units).
• Translate step size.
• Rotate step size.
• Magnification step size.
• Stroke font line thickness.
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Performance Dialog
31- 2.3 Miscellaneous Preferences dialog
Use the Miscellaneous Preferences dialog (accessed via File>Preferences>Miscellaneous) to
customize the following settings.
• Allow Old Text Formatting - Beginning with version 10, Tecplot 360 uses HTMLlike formatting tags. Selecting “allow old text formatting” will cause Tecplot 360 to
process text first using the HTML-style formatting rules and second using the old
character-by-character formatting rules.
• Allow Data Sharing - Selecting this option enables zones to share variables and
connectivity. If a variable or connectivity list is shared, then only a single copy of it
exists and is used by two or more zones. Refer to help on the Data Sharing Page page
of the Data Set Info dialog for more information on data sharing.
31 - 3 Performance Dialog
Use the Rendering page of the Performance dialog (accessed via the Options menu) to adjust the
Plot Approximation, Graphics Cache, and Image Export Options. Use the Miscellaneous page of
the Performance dialog (accessed via the Options menu) to adjust Data I/O, Load On Demand,
Variable Derivation, and Status Information.
31- 3.1 Rendering
The Rendering page has the following options:
• Use Auto Redraw - When selected, Tecplot 360 will automatically redraw the plot
whenever style or data changes. Some users prefer to turn this option off while setting
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Customization
multiple style settings and then manually pressing Tecplot 360's [Redraw] or [Redraw
All] button on the Sidebar to see a full plot.
Auto-redraw can be interrupted with a
mouse click or key press.
• Subdivide all volume cells (to resolve saddle point issues) - Select this toggle to
eliminate holes in iso-surfaces near saddle points. If selected, all cells are subdivided
for the purpose of contouring, slicing, and isosurface generation. This layout property
applies to all frames and isosurface groups.
• Plot Approximation
• Graphics Cache
• High Quality Font Usage
• Image Export Options
Plot Approximation
• Approximate Plots for Better Speed - When selected, Tecplot 360 builds an
approximate representation of the plot. The degree of detail of the approximation is
controlled by the following settings:
• Automatic (Default)- When the number of data points is above the point
threshold, Tecplot 360 will render the approximate plot for style, data, and
interactive view changes, followed immediately by the full plot. This option
provides for good interactive performance with the final plot always displayed
in the full representation.
• Non-Current Frames Always Approximated - When only one frame exists,
this option is equivalent to automatic mode. If more than one frame exists, the
current frame is set to automatic mode while the other frames are approximated.
• All Frames Always Approximated - When the number of data points is above
the point threshold, Tecplot 360 will render the approximate plot in any frame.
To see the full representation press the [Redraw] or [Redraw All] button on the
Sidebar.
• Point Threshold for Automatic Approximation - This value controls when Tecplot
360 will consider using approximate plots. The value to use is highly dependent on the
computer's hardware capabilities.
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Performance Dialog
• Approximate Plot as % of Full Plot - This value controls the percentage of geometric
detail represented by the approximate plot. The larger the percentage the more closely
the approximation represents the original plot. However, the interactive performance is
reduced. This number should be adjusted until there is a balance between good
interactive performance and sufficient detail. Typically, the percentage should be set to
be less than or equal to 50. If values larger than 50% are needed to provide sufficient
detail, consider not using approximate plots.
Graphics Cache
Tecplot 360 uses OpenGL to render plots. OpenGL provides the ability to cache graphic instructions for rendering and can re-render the cached graphics much faster. This is particularly true for
interactive manipulation of a plot. However, this performance potential comes at the cost of using
more memory. If the memory need is too high, the overall performance could be less.
Use one of the following Graphics Cache modes to optimize your computer’s performance:
• Cache All Graphics (Default)- When selected, Tecplot 360 assumes that there is
enough memory to generate the graphics cache. If this is valid, Tecplot 360's rendering
performance will be optimal for interactive manipulation of plots.
• Cache Only Lightweight Graphics Objects - Lightweight objects include
approximate plots and some other minor items, but do not include full plots. This is a
good setting for memory constrained problems. Consider using this option in
conjunction with the “Plot Approximation” mode set to “All Frames Always
Approximated”.
• Do Not Cache Graphics - Consider using this option when memory constraints are
very limited. If you intend to interact with the plot, also consider setting the “Plot
Approximation” mode set to “All Frames Always Approximated”.
In order to optimize animation, graphics
caching is temporarily disabled during animations that include zones, line mappings,
time, or blanking elements. Graphics caching
is not altered during animations that include
slices, streamtraces, or iso-surfaces.
High Quality Font Usage
Tecplot 360 supports high quality TrueType font usage. Windows platforms are shipped with the
TrueType fonts used by Tecplot 360. On the Linux and Macintosh platforms, the fonts have to be
obtained and installed.
Tecplot 360 has three high quality font modes:
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Customization
• When Possible (Default setting for Windows) - Tecplot 360 uses any of its TrueType
fonts that are available for any size text. This produces the best rendering quality;
however, performance is slower for large amounts of text.
• For Large Characters Only - Tecplot 360 uses the TrueType fonts for large
characters only. Small characters will use Tecplot 360's built-in stroke fonts. This is a
good blend of quality and performance.
• Never - Tecplot 360 never uses TrueType fonts. This is the default mode for platforms
other than Windows and Linux 32 bit operating systems.
Image Export Options
Some graphics card’s hardware does not support off-screen rendering (needed for exporting
images). In addition, most graphic hardware is slower at producing images off-screen than onscreen.
To accommodate a variety of graphic hardware Tecplot 360 provides two image export modes:
• Safe (Render Image Off-Screen) - (Default) Tecplot 360 will render all exported
images off-screen. This allows images to be created that are not bound by the physical
size and state of the Tecplot 360 drawing area.
• Fast (Use On-Screen Image) - Tecplot 360 will grab the pixels from the physical
Tecplot 360 drawing area. Any rendering damage, such as occluding windows or
partially drawn images will become part of the exported image. In addition, the image
size is bound by the physical size of the Tecplot 360 drawing area.
Best Practices For Rendering Performance
The factory settings in the Performance dialog are designed for moderately sized data and occasionally may need to be adjusted to optimize Tecplot 360's rendering performance.
There are many combinations of Plot Approximation and Graphics Cache modes. However, two
combinations meet most user's needs:
• Moderate to large size data • Toggle-on “Plot Approximation”
• With one frame - Set the Plot Approximation mode to “Automatic”
(Default).
- or • With multiple frames - Set the Plot Approximation mode to “Non-Current Frames Always Approximated”.
• Set the Graphics Cache mode to Cache All Graphics.
• Large to very large size data - Set the Graphics Cache mode to “Cache only
Lightweight Graphics Objects”.
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Performance Dialog
• For ordered data, setting the Plot Approximation mode to “All Frames Always
Approximated” can be helpful.
• For finite element data, toggle-off “Plot Approximation” to reduce up-front
load time. However, this setting may result in unacceptably slow view changes
(rotation, translation, zooming, etc.).
The size of the data isn’t the only factor when rendering in
Tecplot 360. If your plot includes slices or iso-surfaces, you
may also need to adjust your plot approximation mode and
graphics cache settings.
With either case, adjust the “Approximate Plot as% of Full Plot” value to give an acceptable
balance between interactive performance and plot detail.
31- 3.2 Miscellaneous
The Miscellaneous page of the Performance dialog has the following functions:
Data I/O
• Use Memory Mapped I/O - When toggled-on, Tecplot 360 will use system level
memory mapping functions to map Tecplot 360 variables directly over block data in a
binary data file or layout package file. The advantage of mapping variable data is that
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Tecplot 360 will only load the variable when it is first used. In addition, the mapped
variable data can be shared between other Tecplot 360 sessions running on the same
machine. Memory mapped I/O is most useful when there is a large number of data
points to load from a file and they are not all being used by Tecplot 360 at the same
time. Only variable data that is in a binary block format (the default for .plt files
generated by Tecplot 360) can be memory mapped.
Load On Demand
With load-on-demand activated, Tecplot 360 generates plots faster and using less memory by only
loading data that is needed for the plot. If changes to the plot style require additional variables to be
loaded, Tecplot 360 will automatically load them, and if necessary, unload variables that are no
longer used. Tecplot 360's ability to automatically load and unload variables on demand allows you
to examine data that is much larger than the physical or virtual memory of your computer.
For large datasets, only the zones and variables currently in use will be loaded. However, for small
datasets, some other zones and variables may be loaded for you (based on the Memory Threshold).
• Unload Strategy - Specifies how to manage unloading variables and other load-ondemand resources.
• Auto Unload - This strategy attempts to keep Tecplot 360's memory use within
the defined Min and Max Memory Thresholds. Tecplot 360 uses these values to
determine when and how much it should unload. This is the best option for
exploring data as Tecplot 360 only unloads if and when the memory
threshold has been exceeded.
• Minimize Memory Use - This strategy is used if more aggressive unloading of
variables and other load-on-demand resources is required. This option is best
suited for animating through a very large number of time steps, where
each time step consumes a significant part of the computer's available
physical and virtual memory.
• Never Unload - This strategy disables the unloading capability of load-ondemand while still preserving the ability to load variables on demand.
Most users should select either the “Auto
Unload” or “Minimize Memory Use”
options.
• Memory Threshold (%) [Auto Unload ONLY] - When Tecplot 360 uses at least the
maximum percentage of the available physical and virtual memory, it will attempt to
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Interface Configuration (UNIX)
unload variables and other load-on-demand resources until the available physical and
virtual memory is at or below the specified minimum percentage.
Variable Derivation
When Tecplot 360 needs to create a nodal variable from a cell centered variable, it uses a prescribed
derivation method. Tecplot 360 provides two such derivation methods: fast and accurate.
• Fast (Linear) - When selected, Tecplot 360 uses simple averaging to derive a nodal
variable from a cell centered one.
• Accurate (Laplacian) - When selected, Tecplot 360 uses Laplacian interpolation to
derive a nodal variable from a cell centered variable.
Status Information
Use the following controls in the Status Line region of the Performance dialog to customize what
is displayed in the status line:
• Show Status Line - Toggle this option on/off to control the display of status messages.
If you are remotely displaying Tecplot 360 on an X terminal,
updating the status line can slow down processing. If this is
the case, toggle-off the Show Status Line option.
• Show Continuous State Messages - Toggle-on this option to receive context
sensitive commentary in the Status Line.
• Show Continuous Running Coordinates - Toggle-on this option to display
the coordinates of your mouse cursor in the status line.
• Show Tool Tips - Use this option to toggle-on or -off tool tips.
31 - 4 Interface Configuration (UNIX)
On UNIX platforms, the style of the graphical user interface for Tecplot 360 is configured, for the
most part, by a resource file called Tecplot360, which resides in the app-defaults sub-directory below the Tecplot 360 home directory. If you edit this file, the changes will affect all users.
Alternatively, if you want the changes to apply only to your own execution of Tecplot 360, you can
add entries to a file called .Xdefaults, which resides in your own $HOME directory. If the file .Xdefaults does not already exist in your home directory, you can create one.
31- 4.1 Default Size of Tecplot 360
The resource lines that affect the default Tecplot 360 process window size are:
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Customization
*Tecplot.main_dialog.width: 900
*Tecplot.main_dialog.height: 720
Changing either the value 900 or the value 720 will change the default size of the Tecplot 360
process window.
31- 4.2 Look and Feel
Tecplot 360 now ships with two options: using the “old” look and feel, where the text is bold and
larger or using the “new” look and feel, where the interface is closer to the style for Windows operating systems. In order to change from one option to the other, refer to the Tecplot 360 file as mentioned above.
31 - 5 Tecplot.phy
Whenever Tecplot 360 starts, it tries to load a tecplot.phy file. This file contains information that
is useful for running macros in batch mode (see Chapter 28 “Batch Processing”). The file also contains the file names of the most recently used layouts in Tecplot 360, which populates the bottom of
the File menu. Whenever Tecplot 360 exits, a new tecplot.phy file is written.
31- 5.1 Contents
The first uncommented line of the file contains the following numbers:
WIDTH
HEIGHT
IDOTSPERCM
JDOTSPERCM
CONTOURCOLORS
• WIDTH and HEIGHT define the width and height of the Tecplot 360 workspace.
• IDOTSPERCM and JDOTSPERCM are the pixels per centimeter in the I and J
directions. Their values are determined by your graphics card.
• CONTOURCOLORS defines the number of colors available to create a flooded
contour plot.
31- 5.2 File Location Configuration
The place Tecplot 360 looks for the tecplot.phy file is based on the following search:
1. Tecplot 360 checks the environment variable TECPHYFILE. If this variable is set, Tecplot 360 uses the value of this variable as the name of the tecplot.phy file. By default,
this variable is not set. You can set this environment variable to control the location
and name of the tecplot.phy file on a user-by-user basis.
2. (Windows Only) Tecplot 360 checks the Windows registry for the key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tecplot, Inc\Tecplot 360 2008. If the value
PhyFile is set under this key, then it is used as the name of the tecplot.phy file. This
value is set by the installation program. You can use the command regedit from the
Start Menu's Run option to edit the registry if you want to change or delete this key.
3. Tecplot 360 uses the file called tecplot.phy in the directory where Tecplot 360 is
started. Note that this is the default behavior on UNIX platforms.
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Custom Character and Symbol Definition
Thus, using the default installation, Windows versions of Tecplot 360 will write a tecplot.phy to
one specific location (usually the Tecplot 360 home directory), and UNIX versions will always use
a tecplot.phy file in the directory where Tecplot 360 is started.
The Windows version can be made to act like the UNIX version by deleting the value PhyFile
from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tecplot, Inc.\Tecplot 360 2008 in the Windows registry with regedit.
On both Windows and UNIX platforms, the environment variable TECPHYFILE can be set to override this behavior.
31 - 6 Custom Character and Symbol Definition
When Tecplot 360 launches, it reads the font file (tecplot.fnt). This file contains information that
defines the appearance of text characters on the screen. Tecplot 360 defines and draws characters
on the screen as a set of straight lines called strokes. These stroked characters approximate the
appearance of characters for the screen.
The font file is an ASCII file. You can modify the shape, size, and resolution of existing stroke font
characters or add completely new ones. In PostScript print files, text characters are generated using
PostScript defined fonts, not the stroked fonts. If you are using the Windows version of Tecplot 360
and the Windows print drivers are active, then all text except text using the User-Defined fonts is
serviced by the Windows printer driver. However, the text characters in bitmap export files are in
stroked fonts (since they are generated from the screen). The inter-character spacing in all output
files is determined by the character-width definitions in the font file. When using PostScript print
files or the Windows print drivers, changing the font commands affects only the character shape for
User-Defined fonts and the character spacing for all fonts.
The Font File is structured as follows:
#!FF 4
CharCellHeight
Stroke command set for Helvetica Font
Stroke command set for Greek Font
Stroke command set for Math Font
Stroke command set for User-Defined Font
Stroke command set for Times Font
Stroke command set for Times Italic Font
Stroke command set for Courier Font
The file type and version are on the first line (“FF” refers to Font File). CharCellHeight is the interline spacing (the height of a capital M plus some vertical space) in the units of a two-dimensional
coordinate system used to define the stroke-font characters. The baseline of the characters is at
zero. Before Tecplot 360 uses the character definitions, they are normalized by the character cell
height.
Following the character cell height, there are seven sets of stroke commands, one set for each font
as shown above. Each stroke command set consists of definitions for the characters in the font.
Each font has a base set of 96 characters (character indices 32 to 127). Some fonts also include an
extended set of characters (character indices 160 to 255). The extended characters are needed to
complete the character sets for most of the common European languages.
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Customization
All seven stroke command sets must be present, and each must have at least one character defined.
Each stroke command set begins with the definition for a space (character index 32). After that,
characters within a stroke command set may be defined in any order. If a character is not defined in
the Font File, it is drawn as a blank.
Each character in a stroke command set is defined as follows:
CharIndex NumCommands CharWidth
Command1
Command2
Command3
.
.
.
CommandNumCommands
CharIndex is the character index that ranges from 32 to 127 and 160 to 255 for each font (see Table
18 - 2 for the matching of the character index to the English, Greek, Math, and standard UserDefined font characters). NumCommands is the number of stroke commands defining the character
that follows. CharWidth is the character width, which determines the spacing of the characters.
A command may be in one of the following forms:
• m x y.
• d x y.
• mr dx dy.
• dr dx dy.
Where:
• A command that begins with an m is a move command.
• A command that begins with a d is a draw command.
• Commands mr and dr are relative move and relative draw commands.
• The x and y are the absolute coordinates within the character cell.
• The dx and dy are the relative coordinates with respect to the previous location
(increments from the position attained by the previous command).
• All coordinates are specified as integers.
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Custom Character and Symbol Definition
Figure 31-3 shows an example of a character cell and the commands used to define the lowercase
letter “y”. The height of the character cell is 48.
Char
Index
Num C
om m
ands
Char
Width
Creating a Letter
Draw
and
Move
Commands
121 6 24
m 4 23
d 12 1
m 4 -9
d 6 -9
y
0
d 9 -7
d 20 23
0
Character Cell
Figure 31-3. Defining a user-defined character.
Figure 31-4 shows a symbol being defined. Symbols should be centered about (0, 0) so that they are
centered about the point they mark. The font file included with Tecplot 360 contains many UserDefined font stroke commands. Most of these are for creating extra plotting symbols, accessible
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Customization
when you use the Symbol Type “Other”, enter an ASCII character, and specify the User-Defined
font.
Char
Index
Num C
om m
ands
Char
Width
Creating a Symbol
0
75 6 48
Symbol is centered
about (0,0)
Move
m 0 12
d -7 -12
and
d 9 2
Draw
d -9 2
Commands
d 7 -12
d 0 12
0
Character/Symbol Cell
Figure 31-4. Defining a user-defined plotting symbol.
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Chapter 32
Add-ons
Add-ons are a way to extend the basic functionality of Tecplot 360. They are executable modules
designed to perform specific tasks. Tecplot Inc. has produced a number of add-ons that load data in
a variety of formats, allow advanced editing, or extend Tecplot 360’s capabilities. By using the
Tecplot 360 Add-on Developer’s Kit (ADK), users can create their own add-ons to generate plots,
transform or analyze data, or perform a broad range of specialized tasks.
Add-ons are external programs that attach themselves to Tecplot 360 and are accessed through the
Tecplot 360 interface. When Tecplot 360 is started, it goes through various initialization phases,
including the processing of the tecplot.cfg file, the loading of the Tecplot 360 stroke font file (tecplot.fnt), and the initialization of the graphics. After all of this has been completed, Tecplot 360
begins to look for add-ons.
32 - 1 Add-on Loading
You can load add-ons using the Tecplot.add File, Command Line Specification for Add-ons, or by
Specifying a Secondary Add-On Load File.
If you are working with add-ons created with previous versions of Tecplot 360,
Tecplot Focus or Tecplot RS, and you wish to use these add-ons with Tecplot
360 2008 or Tecplot Focus 2008, you must recompile these add-ons. Add-ons
must be recompiled in order to accommodate the transition of Ent_Index from
16 to 32-bit. If your add-on is not recompiled, it will likely crash when it is
executed. In addition, InitTecAddOn has been deprecated and replaced with
InitTecAddOn113.
C++ users - InitTecAddOn will automatically convert to InitTecAddOn113
upon recompiling.
Fortran users - You must manually change instances of InitTecAddOn to
InitTecAddOn113 before recompiling.
If you are working on a Windows machine, we also strongly recommend that
you update the add-on source code to link with libtec.lib (in lieu of tecplot.lib).
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Add-ons
32- 1.1 Tecplot.add File
The tecplot.add file is a special macro file that is executed at startup time and contains one or more
$!LoadAddOn commands to load add-ons into Tecplot 360. $!LoadAddOn is the only macro
command allowed in a tecplot.add file. The syntax for the $!LoadAddOn command is:
$!LoadAddOn "libname"
AddOnStyle = addonstyle
where
libname - The name of the shared object library file (see below). This
must be in quotes.
addonstyle - The add-on style. This can be either V7Standard
(default) or V7ActiveX.
Special rules govern how the libname name is specified. In all cases, the filename extension is
omitted. If you assign libname to the base name of the shared object library, then Tecplot 360 will
do the following:
• UNIX - The shared library to load will come from the file specified by: Tecplot-HomeDirectory/lib/lib+basename+platform-specific-extension, where platformspecific-extension is .sl for HP platforms and .so for all others.
• Windows - If the add-on is of type V7Standard and just the base name is supplied,
the add-on basename.dll will be searched for in the following directories (in this
order):
• The directory where the Tecplot 360 executable resides.
• The Windows system directories.
• The directories in your PATH environment variable.
On Windows machines using V7ActiveX style add-on libraries, Tecplot 360 connects
to the add-on via the libname entry in the registry.
If an absolute path name is used in libname, then on Windows platforms, .dll is appended and on
UNIX platforms .so or .sl is appended.
Add-Ons Loaded by All Users
In a normal installation of Tecplot 360, the add-ons you want loaded by all users of Tecplot 360 are
named in an add-on load file called tecplot.add, located in the Tecplot 360 home directory. The following is an example of a typical tecplot.add file:
#!MC 1120
$!LoadAddOn "cfdtool"
$!LoadAddOn "streamtool"
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Add-ons included in the Tecplot 360 distribution
32- 1.2 Command Line Specification for Add-ons
You can also instruct Tecplot 360 to load a particular add-on via the command line. The following
flags are available:
-loadaddon libname
-loadaxaddon activeXname
where:
libname - The full name (including path and extension) of a
V7Standard add-on (the only choice on UNIX platforms).
activeXname - The name of an ActiveX style add-on. (The supplier of
the add-on will tell you what type it is.)
You may specify the -loadaddon or -loadaxaddon flag as many times as you want on the
command line.
If your add-on is named with the proper suffix for your platform (.dll for Windows, .sl for HP
UNIX platforms, and .so for all other UNIX platforms) you can simply name the add-on on the
command line without using the -loadaddon flag.
After add-ons are loaded, Tecplot 360 re-processes all command line arguments not processed
earlier (for graphics and add-on initialization). This ordering allows for a data reader add-on (discussed later) to be used to load data specified on the command line.
32- 1.3 Specifying a Secondary Add-On Load File
You may also instruct Tecplot 360 to load a different list of add-ons by naming a second add-on
load file using one of the following methods:
• Include -addonfile addonfilename on the command line.
• Set the environment variable TECADDONFILE.
Both of these methods tell Tecplot 360 the name of another add-on load file to process.
32 - 2 Add-ons included in the Tecplot 360 distribution
The following add-ons load automatically:
• Data file loaders or converters load automatically:
• plot3d - A PLOT3D data loader
• loadxls - An Excel file loader (Windows)
• loadss - A spreadsheet file data loader
• loaddxf - A Data eXchange Format (DFX) data loader
• loadhdf - A Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) data loader
• h5load - An HDF5 data loader
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Add-ons
• loaddem - A Digital Elevation Map (DEM) data loader
• loadcgns - A CFD General Notation System (CGNS) data loader
• fluent - A FLUENT data loader for .cas and .dat files (versions 5 to 6.1)
• loadensight - An EnSight Gold data loader
These show up under the “Load Data File(s)” option of the File menu. The primary
difference between loaders and converters are that loaders have more complex options
than converters. See Chapter 4 “Data Loaders” for information on working with each
data loader.
• Extended curve-fits with XY Line plots (accessed by selecting the Curve Type’s
“Extended” option, located on the Curves page Mapping Style dialog).
• crvstineinterp - A curve-fit using Stineman interpolation.
• crvgen - A curve fit where users define the equation.
See Section 20 - 10 “Data Interpolation” for information on working with each of
these add-ons.
• The add-ons described in Section 32 - 3 “Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons”:
• Advanced Quick Edit
• Circle Stream
• Code Generator
• Create Multiple Frames
• Create Finite Element Sub-Zone
• Export DXF
• Extend Macro
• Extend Time Macro
• Extract Over Time
• Extrude
• Link Time
• Prism-Grid
• Solution Time and Strand Editor
• Sort
• Statistics Calculator
• Tecplot GUI Builder
• Tetra-Grid
• Time-Series
• View Binary
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
• Write Data as Formatted Text
32 - 3 Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
The add-ons discussed in this section can be loaded into Tecplot 360 using the methods described
in Section 32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”.
32- 3.1 Advanced Quick Edit
The libname for the Advanced Quick Edit Tool is “advqet”. You can load this add-on using
“advqet” as the libname in one of the methods discussed in Section 32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”.
Selecting the “Advanced Quick Edit Tool” option from the Tools menu allows you to make rapid
changes to text and geometries selected in the current frame. This tool allows operations that cannot
be performed with the standard Quick Edit dialog (accessed via the Sidebar).
Controls on the Advanced Quick Edit Tool dialog are sensitive to user input only when one or
more text and/or geometries are selected. Some controls are specific to either text or geometries,
while others apply to both. If the selected objects are a mix of text and geometries, the controls that
apply only to geometries will affect the specific geometries you have selected. Similarly, controls
that apply specifically to text will only affect text, even if the selected objects are a mix of text and
geometries.
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Add-ons
The following options are available:
• Geometry Coordinate System - Change selected
geometries to the Frame or Grid coordinate system by
clicking the appropriate button in the Coord Sys/Char
Height section located at the top of the dialog. Changing the
coordinate system via this dialog will modify each
geometry's anchor position and size such that it appears
visually unchanged on the screen.
• Text Coordinate System and Character Height Units Change the position coordinate system and character height
units of all selected text by clicking the appropriate button
in the Coord Sys/Char Height section located at the top of
the dialog. There are four valid combinations: [Frame/
Frame], [Frame/Point], [Grid/Grid], and [Grid/Frame].
Changing a coordinate system via this dialog will modify
each text object's anchor position and character height such
that it appears visually unchanged on the screen.
• Text Box Margin - Change the text box margin of all
selected text using the [Text Box Margin] button.
• Text Line Spacing - Change the line spacing of all
selected text by using the [Text Line Spacing] button.
• Text Anchor Location - Change the text anchor point for
all selected text by selecting one of the nine possible anchor
points from the button grid located in the middle of the
dialog.
• Text and Geometry Scope - Change the scope of all selected text and geometries by
clicking either [Local] or [Global] scope. Objects with local scope appear only in the
frame in which they were originally created. If the objects are defined as having global
scope they will appear in all “like” frames, that is, those frames using the same data set
as the one in which the objects were originally created.
• Text and Geometry Zone or Map Attachment - Change the zone or map with which
the selected text or geometries are associated by clicking Zone Attachment [Select].
This calls up the Attachment Selection dialog. The Attachment Selection dialog lists
zone names or numbers when Tecplot 360 is in the 2D or 3D Cartesian or Sketch plot
types, and mappings when Tecplot 360 is in the XY Line plot type. The “<Unattach
Object>” entry dissociates each selected text or geometry from its zone or map.
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
32- 3.2 Circle Stream
The Circle Stream add-on is used to place a “rake” of streamtraces
starting from a selected circle geometry. You can load this add-on
using “cstream” as the libname in one of the methods discussed in
Section 32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”.
To place a rake of streamtraces in a circular pattern, create one or
more circle geometries and place them where you want the
streamtraces to start. Then, select the circle geometries you want
streamtraces to emanate from, and launch the “Circle Stream” tool
from the Tools menu. Select the direction you want the streamtraces
to travel in the Circle Stream dialog.
To set the number of streamtraces that are placed
around the circle, edit the Number of Sides field in
the Geometry dialog (double-click on the circle to
call up the Geometry dialog).
See also: Chapter 15 “Streamtraces”.
32- 3.3 Code Generator
Tecplot 360 offers an enormous array of style settings. If you are writing a Tecplot 360 add-on or
creating an application to working with the Tecplot SDK, use the Code Generator add-on to determine the hierarchy of the Style Value you need. The add-on displays the Set Value and/or Get Value
code for corresponding to the style changes you have made via the Tecplot 360 user interface. The
output can be either displayed using the Style Value class of the Tecplot Toolbox or Tecplot 360’s
classic code (also referred to as the “TecUtil layer”).
To launch the add-on, add $!LoadAddon “Code Generator” to your tecplot.add file and relaunch
Tecplot 360. Refer to Section 32 - 1 “Add-on Loading” for additional details. After this step, you
can select “Code Generator” from the Tools menu.
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Add-ons
Once you have launched the add-on, the style value code corresponding to any style changes you
make will be displayed in the dialog.
The dialog has the following options:
• Create Set Value Code - Toggle-on “Create Set Value Code” to display the syntax for
setting the style value corresponding to any style changes you have made through the
user interface. The dialog will only display changes made after the dialog was
launched (and, if applicable, after the Set Value Code was selected).
• Create Get Value Code - Toggle-on “Create Get Value Code” to display the syntax
for obtaining the style value corresponding to any style changes you have made
through the user interface. The dialog will only display changes made after the dialog
was launched (and, if applicable, after the Get Value Code was selected).
• Toolbox Code - Select the “Toolbox Code” radio button to display code using the
Tecplot Toolbox’s StyleValue class. We recommend working with the Toolbox code in
lieu of the Classic Code. The StyleValue class is simpler to use and also requires a
fraction of the code.
• Classic Code - Select the “Classic Code” radio button to display the code using
Tecplot’s classic TecUtil layer. The TecUtil functions are all in C, and many are
available in Fortran.
• Python Code - Select the "Python Code" radio button to display code using Tecplot's
Python capabilities. Python code is only available for set value code because of a
limitation in Tecplot's Python layer. For more information on Tecplot's Python layer,
please see the Tecplot 360 Scripting Guide.
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
If you receive output that includes “Undetermined Data Type”, you can harness the Tecplot 360
Macro language to determine the data type using the following steps:
• Select “Record a Macro” from the Scripting menu, and specify a macro file name
(refer to Section 27 - 1 “Macro Creation” for background information).
• Reproduce the steps that resulted in the “Undetermined Data Type” output in the Code
Generator, and stop recording the macro.
• Open the macro file you just created using either a text editor or the macro viewer. You
will see output similar to that in the Code Generator (refer to Section 27 - 3 “Macro
Debugging” for background information).
• Determine the culprit macro command (starting with “$!”) and look up the command
syntax in the Tecplot 360 Scripting Guide. The command syntax table will yield the
missing data type.
Refer to the ADK Reference Manual for the syntax for the Tecplot Toolbox StyleValue class, as
well as Classic Code.
32- 3.4 Create Multiple Frames
Use the Create Multiple Frames add-on to make a set of new frames with uniform size and spacing
within the current frame. You can load this add-on using “mulframe” as the libname in one of the
methods discussed in Section 32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”.
The Create Multiple Frames dialog has the following
options:
• Frames Across - Enter the number of frames to be
made in each row of frames.
• Frames Down - Enter the number of rows of frames.
• Space Between Frames - Enter the amount of space
to be used between each frame in each direction, in
paper ruler units.
See Section 2- 3.1 “Frame Creation” for information on
creating a single frame.
32- 3.5 Create Finite Element Sub-Zone
Selecting the “Create SubFEZone” option from Tecplot 360’s Tools menu allows you to create a
finite element zone containing all elements that are completely visible in the current frame. You can
load this add-on using “crsfez” as the libname in one of the methods discussed in Section 32 - 1
“Add-on Loading”. This option is only available for 2D Cartesian plot types, and all elements must
be of the same type: either triangular or quadrilateral.
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Add-ons
32- 3.6 Export DXF
The DXF Export add-on exports data in DXF (drawing interchange) format. You can load this addon using “exdxf” as the libname in one of the methods discussed in Section 32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”.
The entity created is dependent upon the data structure (FE or ordered), the data structure type (i.e.
I-ordered), and the plot type. Table 32 - 1 displays the conditions required to create each entity type.
Data
Structure
Data Structure Type
Plot Type
Entity
Created
FE
triangle or quadrilateral
3D
DXF 3DFACE
FE
triangle or quadrilateral
2D, XY, Polar
DXF POLYLINE
FE
brick, tetrahedral
ALL
NONE
Ordered
I -Ordered
3D
DXF POLYLINE
Ordered
IJ or IJK-Ordered
3D
DXF 3DFACE
Ordered
All
2D, XY, Polar
DXF POLYLINE
Table 32 - 1: Entities created for DXF export.
See also: Section 4- 3.1 “Load DXF File Dialog”.
32- 3.7 Extend Macro
The Extend Macro add-on extends Tecplot 360’s macro language. You may use the extend macro
add-on by adding the following function call to your macro file:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='extendmcr' COMMAND='command option'
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
where command option is any of the commands listed in the following table :
Command
Notes
QUERY.ZONENAMEBYNUM nnn
VVV
Get the string for zone nnn and assign to variable VVV.
QUERY.VARNAMEBYNUM nnn VVV
Get the string for variable nnn and assign to variable VVV
QUERY.ZONENUMBYNAME “zonename” VVV
Get the number of zone named zonename and assign to variable VVV
Get the number of variable by assignment and assign to variable VVV. VVV may have any of the following values:
• X, Y or Z - Variable assigned to the X, Y
or Z-axis.
QUERY.VARNUMBYASSIGNMENT
assignment VVV
• U, V or W - Variable assigned to be the U,
V or W-vector component.
• C -Variable assigned to contours.
• S - Variable assigned to scatter sizing.
• B - Variable assigned to the first constraint
for value-blanking.
QUERY.DATASETTITLE VVV
Get the string for the dataset title and assign to variable VVV
STRING.LENGTH StrSource VVV
Get the length of string StrSource and assign to variable
VVV.
STRING.FINDPATTERN
StrPattern VVV
Get the sub-string from StrSource starting at pattern
StrPattern and going to the end of StrSource.
Returns “NOTFOUND” if not found.
StrSource
STRING.SUBSTRING StrSource start
end VVV
Get the sub-string from StrSource starting at position start
and ending at position end. Put the result in VVV.
Get the set of active zones and put the result in VVV.
QUERY.ACTIVEZONES VVV
QUERY.MAPNAMEBYNUM nnn VVV
Note: The set string does not include any blank spaces. If
zones 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8 are active, VVV would have the string
“2, 4, 6-8.”
Returns a string (the name of the map) and places it in variable VVV. The current plot must be XY-Line or Polar-Line.
Table 32 - 2: Command Options for Extend Macro
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Add-ons
QUERY.ISADDONLOADED COMMANDPROCESSORID VVV
Return “YES” if Add-on COMMANDPROCESSORID is
loaded, otherwise return “NO”
QUERY.FILEEXISTS “filename” VVV
If the file exists, VVV will be “YES” otherwise VVV will be
“NO”
QUERY.ISZONEACTIVE ZZZ VVV
Test to see if zone ZZZ is currently active. If so, VVV is set to
“YES,” otherwise it is set to “NO.”
Table 32 - 2: Command Options for Extend Macro
If you have declared macro variables and would like to use them with the extend macro add-on,
you can do so by surrounding the command call with single quotes and the macro variable with
double-quotes.
For example:
$!VarSet |ZoneName| = "Unknown"
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND
COMMANDPROCESSORID = "extendmcr"
Command = 'query.zonenamebynum 1 "|ZoneName|"'
$!RemoveVar |ZoneName|
Refer to Scripting Guide for additional information on working with Tecplot 360’s macro language.
QUERY.DATASETTITLE
The following example, uses the QUERY.DATASETITLE command to place the title of the dataset
at a specific position on the plot.
$!VARSET |ZNUM| = "blank"
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='extendmcr'
COMMAND='QUERY.DATASETTITLE ZNUM'
$!ATTACHTEXT
XYPOS
{
X = 5
Y = 90
}
TEXT = "Title is: |ZNUM|"
QUERY.VARNAMEBYNUM
The following example uses QUERY.VARNAMEBYNUM to place the name of variable 2 at a specific position on the plot.
$!VARSET |VNAME| = "X"
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID = 'extendmcr'
COMMAND='QUERY.VARNAMEBYNUM 2 VNAME'
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
$!ATTACHTEXT
XYPOS
{
X = 5
Y = 85
}
TEXT = "Var 2 is: |VNAME|"
QUERY.ZONENAMEBYNUM
The following example uses QUERY.ZONENAMEBYNUM to place the title of Zone 1 at a specific position on the plot.QUERY.ACTIVEZONES
$!VARSET |ZNAME| = "HELLO"
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID = 'extendmcr'
COMMAND='QUERY.ZONENAMEBYNUM 1 ZNAME'
$!ATTACHTEXT
XYPOS
{
X = 5
Y = 80
}
TEXT = "Zone is:
|ZNAME|"
The follow example uses QUERY.ACTIVEZONES to display a list of the active zones.
$!VARSET |ZNUMS| = "blank"
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='extendmcr'
COMMAND='QUERY.ACTIVEZONES ZNUMS'
$!ATTACHTEXT
XYPOS
{
X = 5
Y = 70
}
TEXT = "Active zones are: |ZNUMS|"
32- 3.8 Extend Time Macro
The Extend Time Macro add-on simplifies the macro interface by allowing you to use a simple loop
to query the number of solution times in the dataset and advance the time step. This differs from
Tecplot 360‘s native macro language as it does not require that you know the solution time of your
data.
This add-on uses a different algorithm than Tecplot 360 for sorting the solution times. Because
Tecplot 360 combines time steps that are sufficiently close together, the number of time steps
reported by this add-on may differ from the number of time steps reported by Tecplot 360.
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Add-ons
You can load this add-on by adding the following line to your tecplot.add file.
$!LoadAddOn "Extend Time Mcr"
Macro Processing
The Extend Time Macro add-on can be invoked from the macro language by using the following
commands:
# These two lines retrieve the number of time steps. This number is represented here as the macro
variable VVV.
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='extend time mcr'
COMMAND='QUERY.NUMTIMESTEPS VVV'
# This line sets the solution time at time step nnn. The acceptable value range number for nnn is: 1
- NumTimeSteps.
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='extend time mcr' COMMAND='SET.CURTIMESTEP nnn'
# This line retrieves the solution time at time step nnn. This number is represented here as the
macro variable VVV.
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='extend time mcr'
COMMAND='QUERY.TIMEATSTEP nnn VVV'
The following is a sample loop that uses the Extend Time Macro add-on:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='extend time mcr'
COMMAND='QUERY.NUMTIMESTEPS NUMTIMESTEPS'
$!LOOP |NUMTIMESTEPS|
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='extend time mcr'
COMMAND='SET.CURTIMESTEP |LOOP|'
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='extend time mcr'
COMMAND='QUERY.TIMEATSTEP |LOOP| CURTIME'
$!PAUSE "Current time is: |CURTIME|"
$!ENDLOOP
See also: Section 32- 3.9 “Extract Over Time”, Section 32- 3.11 “Link Time”, Section 32- 3.13
“Solution Time and Strand Editor”. Section 32- 3.7 “Extend Macro”, Section 32- 3.18 “TimeSeries”, Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware”.
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32- 3.9 Extract Over Time
The Extract Over Time add-on extracts slices, iso-surfaces, streamtraces, and points from polyline
geometries in transient data. The resulting zones are assembled into a new strand with proper solution times set for each zone.
To save a layout file, you must also save a
data file when using this add-on.
You can load this add-on by adding the following line to your tecplot.add file.
$!LoadAddOn "ExtractOverTime"
This add-on can be accessed by going to Data>Extract and selecting one of the following menu
options.
• Extract Slices Over Time - The frame must be in 3D, contain one or more slices, and
contain transient data.
• Extract Iso-Surfaces Over Time - The frame must be in 3D, contain one or more isosurfaces, and contain transient data.
• Extract Streamtraces Over Time - The frame must be in 2D or 3D, contain one or
more streamtraces, and contain transient data.
• Extract Geometries Over Time - The frame must be in 2D or 3D, have exactly one
polyline geometry selected, and contain transient data. When the menu option is
selected, you will be prompted for the number of points along the polyline to extract.
After extracting, the new strand is available and may be animated or saved to a file.
Macro Processing
The Extract Over Time add-on can be invoked from the macro language by using the following
commands:
Slices
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='Extract Over Time' COMMAND='ExtractSliceOverTime'
Iso-Surfaces
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='Extract Over Time' COMMAND='ExtractIsoSurfaceOverTime'
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Streamtraces
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='Extract Over Time' COMMAND='ExtractStreamOverTime'
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='Extract Over Time' COMMAND='ExtractGeomOverTime'
Optionally, you may specify the number of points to extract by
using the following format:
Geometries
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID='Extract Over Time' COMMAND='ExtractGeomOverTime:nnn'
Where nnn >= 2. If this condition is not met when the macro is
played back, the action will silently fail and your macro will continue processing.
See also: Section 32- 3.8 “Extend Time Macro”, Section 32- 3.11 “Link Time”, Section 32- 3.13
“Solution Time and Strand Editor”, Section 32- 3.7 “Extend Macro”, Section 32- 3.18 “TimeSeries”, Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware”.
32- 3.10 Extrude
The Extrude add-on creates a 3D volume or surface zone by duplicating the source zone and translating it in the Z-direction until the specified number of K-cells are created. If the source zone is a
surface, a volume zone will be created. If the source zone is a line, a surface zone will be created.
You can load this add-on using “extrud” as the libname in one of the methods discussed in Section
32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”.
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
The following options are available:
• Source Zone - Select the surface or line zone
defining the initial surface or edge.
• Z-Variable - Select the variable that will be
incremented to create the volume or surface zone.
• Number of K-Cells - Enter the number of K-cells to
be added.
• Extrusion Distance - Enter the total distance, in the
Z-direction, that the initial zone is extruded. The Zdistance between planes in the Z-direction is
(Extrusion Distance)/(Number of K Cells).
Macro Processing
The Extrude add-on can be invoked from the macro
language by using the following command:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID =
'Extrude'
COMMAND = “ExtrudeGrid SourceZone=<int>
Variable=<int> NumLayers=<int>
Distance=<double>”
If a variable is not specified in COMMAND, it will use the defaults (SourceZone=1, Variable=3, NumLayers=10, and Distance=1.0).
Extrude Example
An example of using Extrude would be to create a cylindrical (open ended) surface by extruding a
circular line. For simplicity, the circular line will be created as a sub-zone of a 2D, Tecplot-generated, circular zone.
To do this, perform the following steps:
1. Generate a circular zone by selecting Create Zone>Circular from the Data menu.
2. In the Create Circular Zone dialog, set K to 1 and select [Create].
3. Select the “Extrude” from the Tools menu.
4. In the Extrude dialog, set the Extrusion Distance to “5”, use the defaults for the other
fields, then select [OK].
5. Select [Yes] when asked if you want to create the Z-variable.
6. To match the picture, toggle-on “Shade” on the Sidebar.
7. Select the [Zone Style] button from the Sidebar and select the Surfaces page of the
Zone Style dialog.
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8. Select “I-Planes” from the [Surfaces to Plot] button. Set Enter Range to Begin: “Mx”,
End: “Mx”, and Skip: “1”. The result is shown in Figure 32-5.
Figure 32-5. A cylinder created with the
Extrude add-on.
32- 3.11 Link Time
The Link Time add-on synchronizes animations of transient data among all present frames. This
add-on can be accessed by going to the Animate menu and selecting “Link Solution Time”. This
linking will not be saved to the layout file. Linking is applied to all frames rather than being associated with link groups.
You can load this add-on by adding the following line to your tecplot.add file:
$!LoadAddon "TimeLink"
Macro Processing
The Link Time add-on can be invoked from the macro language by using the following commands:
Enable linking:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID = 'Link Solution Time'
COMMAND = 'ENABLELINKING'
Disable linking:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID = 'Link Solution Time'
COMMAND = 'DISABLELINKING'
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See also: Section 32- 3.9 “Extract Over Time”, Section 32- 3.8 “Extend Time Macro”, Section 323.13 “Solution Time and Strand Editor”. Section 32- 3.7 “Extend Macro”, Section 32- 3.18 “TimeSeries”, Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware”.
32- 3.12 Prism-Grid
The Prism-Grid add-on creates a 3D volume grid from a surface grid. (For example, measured
points defining the bed and banks of a river.) The volume grid (composed of layers of prisms)
extends from the bottom to the surface. Points in the original surface zone above the specified water
level are not used in the definition of the volume grid. You can load this add-on using “prismgrid”
as the libname in one of the methods discussed in Section 32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”.
The following options are available:
• Source Zone - Select the surface zone defining the
bottom (depth) of the body of water.
• Depth Variable - Select the variable containing the
water depth in the source zone.
• Positive is Down - Select if the depth variable is
increasing positively for increasing depth in the
source zone. In the final volume zone, increasing
depth will always be increasing negatively.
• Shift so Surface is Zero - If the water level is
specified as something other than zero, the depth (Z)
variable in the volume zone may be shifted so that it
is zero at the surface of the water.
• Water Level - Enter the water level, where negative
values indicate that the water level is lower than
normal.
• Number of Layers - Enter the number of layers of
prismatic cells between the bottom of the body of
water and the surface. The number of points in the
vertical direction is one greater than the number of layers (10 layer will have 11 points
in the vertical direction).
Macro Processing
The Prism-Grid add-on can be invoked from the macro language by using the following command:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID = 'Prism Grid'
COMMAND = 'Caricatured SourceZone=<int> DepthVar=<int>
NumLayers=<int>
WaterLevel=<double> PositiveDown=<Boolean>
ShiftSurface=<Boolean>'
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The COMMAND string should be on one line. If a variable is not specified in COMMAND, it will use the
defaults (SourceZone=1, DepthVar=3, NumLayers=10, WaterLevel=0.0, PositiveDown=\'F\',
and ShiftSurface=\'F\').
Prism-Grid Example
An example of using Prism-Grid would be to define the bottom of a body of water. Normally, the
data defining the bottom (depth) of the body of water would be read from a file. In this example,
however, we generate a rectangular zone with a simple parabolic variation of depth.
To do this, perform the following steps:
1. Generate a rectangular zone by selecting Create Zone>Rectangular from the Data
menu.
2. In the Create Rectangular Zone dialog, set XMin to “-1”, YMin to “-1”, the I and J
dimensions to “50”, and the K-dimension to “1”. Accept the defaults for the rest of the
fields.
3. Open the Specify Equations dialog (accessed via Data >Alter) sub-menu.
4. Create the depth variable with the equation {Depth} = x**2 + y**2 - 0.5.
5. Select “Prism-Grid” from the Tools menu. Accept the defaults and select [OK].
Sections of the surface that are above the water level (zero) are removed, the rest of the surface is
triangulated, and the volume between the bottom and the water level is filled with ten layers of triangular prisms. The result is shown in Figure 32-6.
Figure 32-6. An example of using Prism-Grid.
At this point, experimental data (such as water temperatures or velocities) could be interpolated to
the volume data, and iso-surface, slices, or streamtraces could be generated.
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
32- 3.13 Solution Time and Strand Editor
The Solution Time and Strand Editor allows you to modify the strand and solution time values from
the user interface. This is helpful when loading a series of data files that do not have a solution time
or strand ID. Adding the solution time simplifies both animating and setting component styles.
You can load this add-on by adding the following line to your tecplot.add file.
$!LoadAddon "StrandEditor"
This add-on can be accessed by going to the Data menu and selecting the “Edit Time Strands...”
menu option. This option is only available if the current plot type is 2-D or 3-D Cartesian.
The Strand Editor dialog has the following options:
• Zones to edit - Select a set of zones to edit.
• Data Specifications - Toggle-on “Multiple Zones Per Time Step” in order to select
grouping by time step or strand.
• Strand ID - Toggle-on “Assign Strands” to assign strand IDs.
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Add-ons
• Solution Time - Toggle-on “Assign Solution Time” to assign the solution time using
one of the following options:
• Single Value - Assigns the specified solution time to all selected zones.
• Constant Delta - Applies a constant delta between zones (or groups of zones,
depending on the Data Specification settings).
• Automatic: Attempts to determine the solution time for each zone in this order:
• Examines the Common.Time auxiliary data attached to the zone.
• Tries to read a number from the zone name.
• Tries to find a dataset variable that contains the time value. If found,
uses the minimum value of this variable for that zone.
• If all previous efforts fail, uses the existing solution time defined for the
zone.
32- 3.14 Sort
The Sort add-on sorts the values of a dataset using one variable as a key. Additional variables can
be selected in order to further define how the data is sorted.
Sort will only work with ordered data.
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
You can load this add-on using “sort” as the libname in one of the methods discussed in Section 32
- 1 “Add-on Loading”.
• Sort Type - Data may be sorted in either ascending or descending order.
• Sort Option • In Place - The data will be sorted within its current zone.
• To Zone - The sorted data will be placed in a new zone or zones. The original
data will not be altered. There will be a new I-ordered zone created for each
zone sorted.
Macro Language
While recording a macro, a macro function is recorded for Sort upon a successful sort operation.
Sort uses the macro command $!EXTENDEDCOMMAND. See the Scripting Guide for additional information.
An example of the syntax of $!EXTENDEDCOMMAND for Sort is:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID = 'sort'
COMMAND = 'Z=1,Z=3,V1=4,V2=5,V3=2,Increasing,ToZone'
The above command sorts zones 1 and 3, using variable 4 as the key. If variable 4 has values that
are equal, variable 5 is used to determine the order. Likewise, if variable 5 has equal values, vari-
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Add-ons
able 2 is used to determine the proper order. If variable 2 also has equal values, the original order of
variable 4 is used. The data will be sorted in increasing order, and it will be sorted to a zone.
Syntax of COMMAND
Each zone that is to be sorted will have the syntax Z={zone num}; multiple zones may be specified
in the same COMMAND. The key variable is V1={key}, the secondary variable is V2={key 2}, and the
final key is V3={key 3}. The sort type is either “Increasing” or “Decreasing”. Finally, the sort
options are either InPlace or ToZone—these options must be spelled as one word with no spaces.
For all options, case is ignored. All the variable keys default to variable 1. The default for Sort Type
is “Increasing”, the default for Sort Option is ToZone.
32- 3.15 Statistics Calculator
The Statistics Calculator extends Tecplot 360’s capability to compute simple descriptive statistics.
It computes mean, median, variance, standard deviation, average deviation, geometric mean, and
chi squared. You can load this add-on using “stats” as the libname in one of the methods discussed
in Section 32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”.
Statistics are computed for the current frame only. A frame must be selected and contain a dataset
in order for the Statistics Calculator to perform a computation.
The Statistics dialog has the following options:
• Select a Statistic - Select one or more statistics by activating the associated toggle
button. Calculations are not affected by value blanking.
• Select a Format - The Statistics Calculator can display results in two formats:
scientific notation and fixed floating point. The scientific notation format has three
digits of precision, while the floating point format has five digits of precision. If any
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
statistic has a magnitude greater than 1010, and less than infinity, the format will
automatically revert to scientific notation.
• Select All Zones or Active Zones/Maps - The Statistics Calculator includes all
variables in its calculation. Select which zones to apply the calculations to using: “All
Zones” or “Active Zones/Maps”.
• All Zones - When enabled, the Statistics Calculator uses data points from all
zones in the current frame.
• Active Zones/Maps - When enabled, the Statistics Calculator only uses data
points from the active zones. Zones can be activated and deactivated through
the Zone Style dialog. When working with Lines, the Statistics Calculator computes the statistics for the zones referenced by the active mappings.
• Compute Button - When [Compute] is selected, the Statistics Output dialog is
launched. The format of the output is dependent on the options selected in the
Statistics dialog. The scroll bars may be used to see all the statistics. The output is
limited to 2,100 statistics, which translates to 300 variables if all seven statistic options
are calculated. This value is defined in the file stats.c, the variable is MAXSTATS.
• Write Output to File Button - The [Write Output to File] button is on the Statistics
Output dialog. Selecting this button will launch the Save Text File dialog. The data
will be saved in ASCII format and will appear in the Statistics Output dialog.
Macro Language
While recording a macro, a macro function is recorded for the Statistics Calculator upon successfully writing output to a file. The Statistics Calculator uses the macro command $!EXTENDEDCOMMAND. See the Scripting Guide for additional information. An example of the syntax of
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND for the Statistics Calculator is as follows:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND
COMMANDPROCESSORID = 'stats'
COMMAND =
'Mean,Median,SD,GeoMean,ChiSquared,ActiveZones,Scientific,
AUX,FNAME=myfile.txt'
Syntax of COMMAND
The only required portion of COMMAND is the file name. If the file name is not specified or not valid,
an error message will be displayed, and the macro will abort. The file name must be preceded by
the string 'FNAME=', similar to the example above. The word 'FNAME' must be followed by an equals
sign (=). If the string 'FNAME=' is missing or misspelled, the macro will display an error message and
abort.
If the “All/Active Zones” or “Scientific/Float” options are left out, a warning message will be displayed and the default values of “All Zones” and “Scientific Notation” will be used. The order of
the string does not matter. All items must be delimited by commas, and spaces between items do
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Add-ons
not matter. Any statistic either not specified or misspelled will not be calculated. If no statistics are
specified in the string, all statistics will be calculated.
The spelling for each item is as follows (case is ignored):
• Mean- Mean
• Median- Median
• Variance- Variance
• Standard Deviation- SD
• Average Deviation- AvgDev
• Geometric Mean- GeoMean
• Chi Squared- ChiSquared
• All Zones- AllZones
• Active Zones/Maps- ActiveZones
• Scientific Notation- Scientific
• Floating Point- Float
See also: Statistics Calculator Formulas.
Statistics Calculator Formulas
The formulas used for the statistics calculator are as follows. In each case, X represents the dataset,
n represents the total number of points in the dataset, and Xi represents a given point in the dataset
(where i = 1, ..., n).
• Mean
1
X = --n
n
∑
Xi
(i = 1)
• Median - Middle quantitative value of a dataset.
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
• Odd N - If the dataset contains an odd number of data points, the data point in
the middle of the sorted dataset determines the median. How the median is
determined for datasets containing an odd number of data points is described by
the formula:
n+1
X median = X i = -----------2
• Even N - If the dataset contains an even number of data points, the value is
determined by the average of the two central data points. How the median is
determined for datasets containing an even number of data points is described
by the formula:
1
n
X median = --- ⎛⎝ X i = --- + X i =
2
2
⎛ n--- + 1⎞ ⎞
⎝2
⎠ ⎠
• Variance - Variance is the sum of the squares of the deviations of the sample values
from the mean, divided by n-1. It measures the dispersion, or variance, of the sample
values from the mean. Variance is calculated by the formula:
n
1
X variance = ---------------- ∑ ( X i – X ) 2
(n – 1)
i=1
• Standard Deviation - Standard deviation is the square root of the variance. Standard
Deviation is calculated by the formula:
n
∑ ( Xi – X ) 2
σ =
i------------------------------=1
-
n
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• Average Deviation - Average deviation is the sum of the magnitudes of the deviations
of the sample values from the median, divided by n. Average Deviation is calculated
by the formula:
X averagedeviation
1
= --n
n
∑
( X i – X median )
i=1
• Geometric Mean - Geometric mean is the nth root of the product of a series. If any
value of the dataset is zero, the result will be zero. For large datasets, or datasets with
large values, this statistic will overflow. Geometric Mean is calculated by the formula:
1
---
X geometricmean
⎛ n
⎞n
= ⎜ ∏ X i⎟
⎜
⎟
⎝i = 1 ⎠
The geometric mean can also be described by the use of logarithms. The representation
of the geometric mean, as seen below, is used by the Statistics Calculator. Given the
formula geometric mean, it is easy to see that if any value of the dataset is zero, the
geometric mean is zero. Although the logarithm of zero is undefined, the Statistics
Calculator will return zero if any member of the dataset is equal to zero. Likewise, the
geometric mean is only useful for datasets with all positive members. If any member
of the dataset is negative, the Statistics Calculator will return infinity for the geometric
mean.
n
∑ log Xi
=1
log ( X geometricmean ) = i---------------------n
• Chi Squared - Chi Squared is the measure of how close observed values were to
expected values. The smaller the result, the closer the observed values are to the
expected values. Chi Squared assumes a contingency table of one column and n rows,
where n is the number of data points for the particular variable. The expected value is
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
assumed to be the mean. If the mean is zero, Chi Squared will return infinity. Chi
Squared is calculated by the formula:
n
X chisquared =
( Xi – X ) 2
∑ --------------------X
i=1
See also: Statistics Calculator.
32- 3.16 Tecplot GUI Builder
The Tecplot GUI Builder is used to generate graphical user interfaces for Tecplot 360 add-ons. You
will commonly start with the file, gui.lay, which was created by default if you used the Add-On
Wizard or CreateNewAddOn shell scripts to create your add-on. To build an interface, open this
layout file in Tecplot 360 and add an assortment of controls to modal or modeless dialogs. Refer to
the ADK User’s Manual for more information on working with the Tecplot GUI Builder.
32- 3.17 Tetra-Grid
The Tetra-Grid add-on takes well data and generates a tetrahedral mesh. Value-blanking may be
used to eliminate wells and/or data points within wells. You can load this add-on using “tetragrid”
as the libname in one of the methods discussed in Section 32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”.
The following requirements must be met for Tetra-Grid to work:
• The wells must be I-ordered zones.
• There must be at least three wells.
• Each well must contain at least two data points that are not blanked.
The Tetra-Grid dialog contains a list of I-ordered zones in the current dataset. Choose the zones
you want to use and select [OK]. The tetrahedral zone will be created and added to the end of the
list of zones. You must activate this zone yourself.
As an example of using the Tetra-Grid, imagine that data for five different wells has been collected.
Some wells have three data points, others have four. The data for each well is assigned to a separate
I-ordered zone in Tecplot 360.
The input data is:
VARIABLES = "Easting (m)" "Northing (m)" "Elevation (ft)"
ZONE T= "41-14-08" I=3, J=1, K=1,F=POINT
3.437500000E+00 9.375000000E-02 2.819946289E+00
3.375000000E+00 9.375000000E-02 1.811889648E+00
3.437500000E+00 9.375000000E-02 8.199462891E-01
ZONE T= "41-14-09" I=4, J=1, K=1,F=POINT
2.687500000E+00 1.796875000E+00 2.212158203E+00
2.687500000E+00 1.796875000E+00 1.500000000E+00
2.437500000E+00 1.796875000E+00 1.179992676E+00
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Add-ons
2.375000000E+00 1.796875000E+00 1.799926758E-01
ZONE T= "41-14-11" I=3, J=1, K=1,F=POINT
1.875000000E+00 4.000000000E+00 2.509948730E+00
1.875000000E+00 4.000000000E+00 1.509948730E+00
1.812500000E+00 4.000000000E+00 5.018920898E-01
ZONE T= "41-15-02" I=4, J=1, K=1,F=POINT
0.000000000E+00 2.375000000E+00 2.089965820E+00
0.000000000E+00 2.375000000E+00 1.089965820E+00
0.000000000E+00 2.375000000E+00 5.089965820E-01
0.000000000E+00 2.375000000E+00 8.996582031E-02
ZONE T= "41-15-03" I=3, J=1, K=1,F=POINT
1.250000000E+00 0.000000000E+00 2.000000000E+00
1.500000000E+00 0.000000000E+00 1.016113281E+00
1.250000000E+00 0.000000000E+00 4.687308319E-10
The wells do not have to be vertical or even straight. The resulting plot is shown in Figure 32-7.
The figure shows the wells before and after running Tetra-Grid. A slice is added to the plot with the
new tetrahedral mesh to show how you can demonstrate volume properties with the new zone.
Figure 32-7. Tetra-Grid example. The original well data (A), tetrahedral zone from
the well data (B). This file, addon_tetra_grid.lpk, is located in your
Tecplot 360 distribution under the examples/3D subdirectory.
Macro Processing
The Tetra-Grid add-on can be invoked from the macro language by using the following command:
$!EXTENDEDCOMMAND COMMANDPROCESSORID = 'Tetra Grid'
COMMAND = “SOURCEZONES = zoneset”
Where zoneset is the set of I-ordered zones to use to generate the tetrahedral zone. Zoneset is specified using the standard set notation for the macro language.
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32- 3.18 Time-Series
The Time-Series add-on extracts a single point over time and plots the result in a new frame as an
XY Line Plot. If a nearest point probe is performed (using CTRL-click), you may follow a particular node through time, or through an XY(Z) location.
When tracking a node through time, each
zone must have the same node map (or a
shared node map).
This add-on may not work as expected when
there are multiple zones in the same strand at
the same solution time.
You can load this add-on by adding the following line to your tecplot.add file.
$!LoadAddon "timeseriesplot"
This add-on can be accessed by going to Tools>Time Series Plot and selecting one of the following menu options:
• Probe To Create Time Series Plot - This option sets the mouse mode to probe. You
can use either the mouse or the Probe At dialog to probe a point. The probed location
will be sampled over time (for transient data) and a resulting XY Line Plot will be
created. If a nearest point probe is done (CTRL-click), a dialog appears that asks if you
want to track the node or the XY(Z) location through time. If you track the node, it is
important that your data has the same node map for each zone through time.
• Send Time Series Data To New Frame - This option creates a new frame for each
point extracted. By default, the frame used for the time series data is reused to avoid
proliferation of frames.
• Keep Probed Frame On Top - When probing the same frame multiple times, this
menu option can be toggled-on in order to keep the probed frame on top of the frame
stack after the Time Series frame is created. When toggled-off, the Time Series frame
will remain on top of the frame stack.
See also: Section 32- 3.9 “Extract Over Time”, Section 32- 3.8 “Extend Time Macro”, Section 323.13 “Solution Time and Strand Editor” Section 32- 3.7 “Extend Macro”, Section 32- 3.11 “Link
Time”, Section 7 - 2 “Time Aware”.
32- 3.19 View Binary
The ViewBinary add-on allows you to view the information in a Tecplot 360 binary data (.plt) file.
You can load this add-on using “viewbin” as the libname in one of the methods discussed in Section
32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”.
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Add-ons
The ViewBin dialog has the following option:
• Show Raw Data - Select this option to view zone data.
On some machines the font used to display the header information may not be a mono-pitched font,
and consequently, some of the results may not line up directly below the table header.
32- 3.20 Write Data as Formatted Text
Data will be written to a text file with the format *.csv for comma separated data or *.txt for any
other data separators. You can load this add-on using “excsv” as the libname in one of the methods
discussed in Section 32 - 1 “Add-on Loading”. All frames with data are shown in the list. You can
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Working with Tecplot 360 Add-ons
choose whether frame names, variables names, and additional text from the data will be included in
the text file. Values will be written in the “best format”, except variables named “Time” or “Date”.
The following options for choosing frames to write are allowed:
• Choose Frames - Use the Choose Frames region of the dialog to specify which frames
to include in the text file. The following options are available:
• Current Frame - Select “Current Frame” to include the active frame only.
• Selected Frames - When “Selected Frames” is active, the box to the right will
become sensitive. Use the SHIFT and CTRL keys to select from the list.
• All Frames - Select “All Frames” to include all frames in the text file.
• Choose Zones - Toggle-off the “All” option to select a subset of Zones to include the
in text file. Because different frames may have different zones, this option is available
only when “Current Frame” is selected in the Choose Frames region of the dialog.
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Add-ons
• Choose Variables - Toggle-off the “All” option to select a subset of variables to
include in the text file. Because different frames may have different variables, this
option is available only when “Current Frame” is selected in the Choose Frames
region of the dialog.
• Value Separator - Use the Value Separator options to specify the delimiter to use in
the text file.
• Other Text - Toggle-on any of the options below Other Text to include the values in
the text file.
• Change Variable Format - Select the [Change Variable Format] button to launch the
Change Format dialog. If you choose not to change the variable format, values will be
written in the “best” format.
Change Format
Use the Change Format dialog to change the format for one or more variables. The Change
Format dialog is accessed via the [Change Variable Format] button in the Write Data as Text File
dialog. The format for all variables can be changed simultaneously by toggling on “Select All Variables”. A new format is chosen with the [Select Format] button.
Use the Width.Precision box to specify the width and precision of your new variable format. Width
refers to the total number of characters, while Precision refers to the number of places beyond the
decimal point. Leading zeros (other than the first) are not displayed.
For example, a Width.Precision of %10.2f yields:
Month,Seattle Rainfall,Dallas Rainfall,Miami Rainfall,Error 1,
1.00,
4.30,
4.00,
4.00,
0.20,
2.00,
4.50,
4.00,
4.10,
0.22,
3.00,
4.00,
3.50,
4.50,
0.24,
4.00,
4.20,
3.40,
4.20,
0.24,
While a Width.Precision of %3.2f yields:
Month,Seattle Rainfall,Dallas Rainfall,Miami Rainfall,Error 1,
1.00,4.30,4.00,4.00,0.20,
2.00,4.50,4.00,4.10,0.22,
3.00,4.00,3.50,4.50,0.24,
4.00,4.20,3.40,4.20,0.24,
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Part 8 Appendices
Appendix A
Command Line Options
A - 1 Tecplot 360 Command Line
The general form of the Tecplot 360 command line is:
tec360 [options] [layoutfile] [datafiles] [macrofile]
where:
[layoutfile] - File with extension *.lay or *.lpk. See also Section 23 - 1 “Layout Files, Layout
Package Files, Stylesheets”.
[datafiles] - One or more data files. If both a layout file (*.lay only) and data files appear on
the command line, Tecplot 360 substitutes the data files referenced in the layout file with the
data files listed in the command line.
[macrofile] - Macro file name. See also Chapter 27 “Macros”.
[options] - one or more of the following:
[layoutfile]
List the layout file you would like to load (*.lay, *.lpk).
[datafiles]
List the data file(s) you would like to load. If both a layout file (*.lay
only) and data files are listed, the data files referenced in the layout file
will be substituted with the data files in the command line.
[macrofile]
List the macro file you would like to load (*.mcr).
-addonfile filename
List the add-on(s) you would like to load.
-b
Run in batch mode.
-c cfgfile
Use cfgfile for the configuration instead of the default configuration file,
tecplot.cfg.
-d or -display computername
Display on computer computername (UNIX/Linux only). The computer,
computername, must have X-server capability with the GLX extension.
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Tecplot 360 Command Line
-datafile filename
Load data file filename.
-debug dbugfile
Send debug information to the file dbugfile. Information is displayed to
aid in debugging a new configuration file, macro file, or binary data file.
You may specify the minus sign (“-”) for dbugfile to send the debug output
to the “standard output” (UNIX/Linux only).
-develop
Launch in a mode used to develop add-ons (UNIX/Linux only).
-f fontfile
Use fontfile instead of the default font file, tecplot.fnt.
-h homedir
Use homedir for the home directory instead of the default home directory.
-loadaddon “addonname”
Load an add-on named addonname.
-m colormapfile
Use colormapfile as the initial color map file.
-n
List node information (UNIX/Linux only).
-nobatchlog
Suppress creation of the file batch.log during batch mode operation.
-nostdaddons
Do not load the add-ons listed in the tecplot.add file.
-notoolbar
Run with the toolbar deactivated.
-p scriptfile
Play the macro commands/python modules in the file scriptfile (*.mcr,
*.py).
-q
Use quick playback mode. Ignores delay and pause commands.
-qm quickpanelfile
Place the macro functions in quickpanelfile in the Quick Macro Panel,
instead of using the macros from the default file, tecplot.mcr.
-quiet
Turns off all standard-out messages (UNIX/Linux only).
-r printfile
Set the filename for routing Print Files to printfile.
-s stylefile
Use stylefile as a stylesheet for the first frame (*.sty).
-showpanel
Open the Quick Macro Panel upon startup.
-v
Display the version number.
-x
Run in full screen mode.
-y exportfile
Set the filename for export files to exportfile.
-z
Display macro commands in the Macro Viewer. This allows you to see
macro commands prior to their launch.
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Command Line Options
Most of the Tecplot 360 command line options are available for Windows operating systems. To use them, you should start Tecplot 360
from the Run command or the command prompt
Command Line Input
Result
tec360
run Tecplot 360 without pre-loading any data files
tec360 ex1.plt
run Tecplot 360 loading the data file ex1.plt as the first
dataset
tec360 ex1.plt ex2.plt ex3.plt
run Tecplot 360 loading the data files ex1.plt,
ex2.plt, and ex3.plt as the first dataset
tec360 -h /usr/myhome -c /usr/
myhome/myset.cfg
run Tecplot 360 using /usr/myhome as the Tecplot 360
home directory and loading the Tecplot 360 configuration
file /usr/myhome/myset.cfg
tec360 sumtr1.lay
run Tecplot 360 using layout file sumtr1.lay
tec360 calc.lay temp.plt
read a Tecplot 360 layout file calc.lay and replace the first
dataset referenced in the layout file with the data file
temp.plt
tec360 -p a.mcr
run Tecplot 360 and play a macro called a.mcr
Table A - 3: Tecplot 360 Command Line Examples
A - 2 Using Command Line Options in Windows Shortcuts
All of the command line options that can be entered at the DOS or Command prompt by using the
Run command can also be used in a Windows shortcut.
If you frequently run Tecplot 360 using the same command line flags, it may be useful to create a
shortcut on your Windows desktop that launches Tecplot 360 with the desired command line flags.
Here's how this can be done:
1. Right click in any blank space on your Windows desktop.
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Using Command Line Options in Windows Shortcuts
2. Select New>Shortcut from the resulting Menu.
3. In the Create Shortcut dialog, type the location of the Tecplot 360 executable, along
with any command flags you want to specify. An example command line is:
"C:\Program Files\Tecplot\Tec360 2008\BIN\Tec360.exe" -p C:\Me\mymacro.mcr
4. Click [Next].
5. Select a name for your shortcut, then click on [Finish].
6. A new shortcut icon will be placed on your Windows desktop.
A- 2.1 Changing Shortcuts
You can alter an existing shortcut by doing the following:
1. Right-click on the shortcut icon you want to change and select Properties.
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Command Line Options
2. On the Shortcut page, modify the command line by changing the setting for Target. To
change the working directory that Tecplot 360 runs under, change the Start in location.
A - 3 Additional Command Line Options in UNIX
On UNIX platforms, you can use additional command line flags which are passed to the window
manager to control how the application window is displayed. These include -geometry (for specifying the location and position of the application window), -fg and -bg (for specifying foreground
and background window colors), and others. See the X11 reference for your system for complete
details on these options.
To determine the path or alias that the tecplot command calls, you would use:
which tecplot
644
Appendix B
Tecplot 360 Utilities
The following utilities are included with the Tecplot 360 distribution:
• Excel Macro - Allows you to load Excel spreadsheet data directly into Tecplot 360.
• Framer - A shareware utility for viewing Raster Metafile animations created by
Tecplot 360.
• LPK View - A utility to catalog, preview or unpack a layout package file into its
component data and layout files.
• Preplot - A utility to convert an ASCII data file into a Tecplot 360 binary file.
• Raster Metafile to AVI (rmtoavi) - A utility to convert a Raster Metafile animation into
an AVI animation.
• Pltview - A utility to view the header information for a Tecplot 360 binary file.
B - 1 Excel Macro
The Excel Macro provides a convenient way to load data directly from your Excel spreadsheet into
Tecplot 360. When loaded it adds an option to Excel’s Tools menu called Tecplot 360, and a toolbar
containing a button marked Tecplot 360. Both launch Tecplot 360 and load the data in the highlighted region of the spreadsheet. The Excel macro offers many advantages over the Excel loader in
Tecplot 360 (accessed from the Load Data File(s) option from the File menu).
The Excel Macro is available on Windows
platforms only.
These include:
• Highlight and Plot - The Excel Macro is easier to use than the conventional Excel
loader. Click in the upper left cell of the region or highlight the entire region, and then
click on the Tecplot button in the tool bar or on the Tecplot option in Excel’s Tools
menu.
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Tecplot 360 Utilities
• Multiple Zones - The Excel Macro makes loading multiple zones much easier.
Highlight the entire region and then click on the Tecplot button in the tool bar or on the
Tecplot option in Excel’s Tools menu. If your zones are separated by blank rows or
columns, then the macro will load them to Tecplot 360.
• Formulas - The highlighted region of the spreadsheet can contain formulas, or can be
created entirely with formulas. Tecplot 360’s Excel Loader (accessed via the Load
Data File option from the File menu) does not work where formulas are present.
A Read Me file, located in the Util/Excel directory, further describes installation and use of
this macro.
As an example, let’s say you have 3D data obtained by drilling a number of wells and measuring
contaminant concentrations of various chemicals at different depths. Your data is in Excel spreadsheet software, and you want to load the data into Tecplot 360 to get a visual representation of the
contamination. The data has nine variables and twenty-seven zones, as shown in Figure B-8.
Figure B-8.
The beginning well data displayed in Excel.
Perform the following steps to import your data and visualize the contaminant plumes:
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Excel Macro
1. Load your Excel data using the new Excel Macro. (Accessing this dialog is shown in
Figure B-9))
Figure B-9.
Accessing the Excel Loader macro via Excel’s
menu bar.
Make sure you have a blank row separating the
zones in your Excel spreadsheet.
2. Starting with the top left-hand cell, highlight all twenty-seven zones and nine variables.
3. Click on Tecplot in Excel’s Tools menu. The menu option launches Tecplot 360 with
the selected data loaded.
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Tecplot 360 Utilities
4. Switch to 3D Cartesian plot mode to see the location and measurement depths of the
well samples. The resulting plot is shown in Figure B-10.
Figure B-10. The Excel well data plotted in Tecplot 360.
Your wells have different depths, so the number of measurements are not the same for
each well (there are only three measurements at well five).
B - 2 Framer
Framer is a shareware utility for viewing Raster Metafile animations created by Tecplot 360. To
launch Framer from a command line, use the following command:
framer [options] [rmfile]
where [rmfile] is the name of a file containing Raster Metafile bitmaps created by Tecplot 360, and
[options] is one or more of the following:
-b [nf]
Use buffered mode. Framer reads nf frames into memory and displays
only those frames. Frames not read are not displayed. This mode displays
images much faster, but requires extra memory. If nf is not specified,
Framer reads as many frames as possible up to the total limit on frames
(see -max parameter).
-c nc
Use no more than nc colors (X-Windows only). On some machines, you
may need to use “-c 128” to allow two copies of Framer to run at the
same time.
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Framer
-cycle nn
Start Framer in “cycle” mode (as if C were pressed), and continue for nn
complete cycles, and then exit.
-d dfile
Send debug information to dfile. Use “-d2,” “-d3,” “-d4,”, etc., for more
detailed debug information.
-f start,end,skip
Display frames starting with frame number start and ending with frame
number end, skipping by skip frames.
-g
Use gray scale
-help
Print help information.
-loop nn
Start Framer in “loop” mode (as if L were pressed), and continue for nn
complete loops, and then exit.
-m
Allow for multiple color maps. Without this flag, Framer assumes the first
color map in the Raster Metafile is valid for all images in that file.
-max nn
Specify upper limit on total number of images in the Raster Metafile. The
default value is 512.
-noinfo
Do not print initial copyright notice, help info, or count of buffered
frames.
-p ms
Pause at least ms milliseconds between each frame. This does not affect
the rate of the single frame keys (+ and -).
-s
Use only a single color map for all images in the file. This option may
result in better performance and reduce flickering on some platforms.
However, image files that use multiple color maps will not be displayed
correctly.
-w wc
Width correction. (Use “-w -1” for Tecplot Version 4 images.)
-x
Run full screen.
If you do not specify a file name, Framer prompts you for one. You can choose to set buffering
(equivalent to the -b flag) and/or multiple color maps (equivalent to the -m flag).
While Framer is running, you can press the following keys to control it:
B
Move backward through frames (or left mouse button).
C
Cycle forward and backward through frames.
F
Move forward through frames (or middle mouse button on a three-button mouse or right mouse
button on a two button mouse).
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Tecplot 360 Utilities
L
Loop repeatedly forward through frames.
Q
Quit Framer (or right mouse button on three button mouse) or ESC key.
S
Stop cycling or looping (or spacebar).
R
Redraw the current frame.
1
Move to the first frame.
+
Move forward one frame.
-
Move backward one frame.
<
Increase the minimum delay between frames by 50 milliseconds. This decreases the speed at
which frames are displayed.
>
Decrease the minimum delay between frames by 50 milliseconds. This increases the speed at
which frames are displayed.
On Windows platforms, these Framer commands are also available from the Go and Step menus.
See also Section 30- 5.3 “Raster Metafiles Viewing in Framer”.
B - 3 LPK View
As a convenience a command line utility, lpkview, is provided to catalog and unpack layout
packages. In its simplest form (when no options were included), the utility to unpack the preview
image (if present), the layout, and all associated data files into the directory in which the utility was
run.
For example:
lpkview myplot.lpk
might unpack the following files in the current directory:
myplot.png
myplot.lay
myplot_1.plt
myplot_2.plt
myplot_3.plt
Tecplot 360 determines the names for unpacked files when the package is created. Tecplot 360
eliminates name conflicts within the package by appending unique numbers to non-unique names.
However, no attempt is made by lpkview to ensure that names are unique with other files located
in the directory where the items are unpacked.
The utility's syntax is as follows:
lpkview [[-t] | [-ild] | [[-c <preview command>] -p]] filename
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LPK View
Brackets ([]) surround optional parameters and the vertical bar (|) separates one mutually exclusive set of options from another. The options are described as follows:
-t
Show table of contents.
-i
Extract image (for example, a Portable Network Graphics or .png format).
-l
Extract layout.
-d
Extract data.
-c
(UNIX only) Specify preview command.
-p
(UNIX only) Preview image.
Option -t may not be used with any other options, and options -i, -l, and -d may not be used
with options -c and -p. If no command line options are specified -i, -l, and -d are assumed by
default.
Note: (UNIX only) if the -p option is specified without specifying a preview command, -c, the
following default preview command is used:
$MOZILLA_HOME/netscape -remote “OpenURL(%s)”
where %s is substituted by lpkview with the file name of the temporarily extracted preview
image. The default command assumes: the environment variable $MOZILLA_HOME is set,
Netscape is installed under $MOZILLA_HOME, and that lpkview has been added to Netscape as
a helper application.
To add lpkview as a helper application, bring up Netscape's Preferences dialog and select the
Applications page. Within the Applications page select New and add lpkview as a new helper
application by entering the following information:
Description- <optionally leave this blank>
MIMEType- application/x-tecplot-lpk
Suffixes-
lpk
Handled By- <select “Application”>
Application- $TEC_360_2008/bin/lpkview -p %s
If you choose to specify your own preview command, there are several requirements:
• The path to the preview command must be fully specified.
• If relative, it must be located in one of the directories specified in your $PATH
environment variable.
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Tecplot 360 Utilities
• The command must contain a %s that can be substituted by lpkview with the file
name of the temporarily extracted preview image.
For example, if you want the preview command to be the UNIX file utility. Then, running the
following command:
lpkview -c "file %s" -p myplot.lpk
might produce the following output:
/var/tmp/aaaa005L7:
data
Where file /var/tmp/aaaa005L7 is the temporarily extracted preview image. The temporary file is
removed as soon as the preview command completes.
B - 4 Preplot
Preplot converts Tecplot 360 format ASCII data files to binary data files. The following options
are used with standard Tecplot 360 data files:
-d
Turn on debug echo. Use -d2, -d3, -d4 for more detailed debug information.
-r
Reverse the bytes of the output binary data file (generally not required).
-iset [zone], [start], [end], [skip]
Create the binary data file using only the specified range and skipping for the I-index. The
zone parameter specifies which zone this option affects; if not specified, all zones are
affected. The start parameter is the starting I-index; the default is one. The end parameter
is the ending I-index; the default is the last index value. The skip parameter specifies the Iinterval, that is, the distance between indices; one means every index is used, two means
every other index, and so on.
For example, -iset 1, 3, 7, 2 indicates that for zone 1 only I-index values of 3, 5, and 7 are
used. Only one -iset option is allowed per zone.
-jset [zone], [start], [end], [skip]
Same as -iset above, except with respect to the J-index.
-kset [zone], [start], [end], [skip]
Same as -iset above, except with respect to the K-index.
-zonelist start[:end[:skip]], ...
Specify the zones to process. You may supply more than one specification. By default Preplot processes all zones.
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Raster Metafile to AVI (rmtoavi)
The following options are used with PLOT3D data files:
-d
Turn on debug echo. Use -d2, -d3, -d4 for more detailed debug information.
-r
Reverse the bytes of the output binary data file (generally not required).
-plot3d
Input file is in PLOT3D format. This flag is required for PLOT3D data.
-b
Input file is binary.
-f
Input file is binary-FORTRAN, that is, there are record markers.
-foreign
Reverse bytes of input file.
-function
The .q file is a .f file.
-functionandq
There are both .f and .q files present.
-gridonly
Read grid variables only.
-i
Input file includes PLOT3D IBLANK variable.
-m
Input file is multi-grid (usually more than one grid block).
-ip ilist
Extract planes of constant i for all i in ilist. (Requires 3D whole data.)
-jp jlist
Extract planes of constant j for all j in jlist. (Requires 3D whole data.)
-kp klist
Extract planes of constant k for all k in klist. (Requires 3D whole data.)
-1d
Input PLOT3D file is 1D.
-2d
Input PLOT3D file is 2D.
-3dp
Input PLOT3D file is 3D planar.
-3dw
Input PLOT3D file is 3D whole.
See also: Section 4 - 6 “ASCII Data File Conversion to Binary” in the Data Format Guide.
B - 5 Raster Metafile to AVI (rmtoavi)
The rmtoavi utility will convert a Raster Metafile animation to an AVI animation. The following
is a description of the utility's syntax. Brackets ([]) surround optional parameters. Options must be
specified separately.
rmtoavi [options] filename[.rm] [outputfilename]
Filename is the name of the Raster Metafile to convert. Only one file name may be specified. The
input file must end with the.rm extension.
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Tecplot 360 Utilities
The [outputfilename] is the name of the converted output AVI file. If the output file name is not
specified, the input file name is used with a .avi extension. If any of the file names contain spaces,
they must be enclosed in quotes.
For example, the command rmtoavi test.rm will create the file test.avi. If the output file
exists, rmtoavi will prompt to overwrite it unless the -y option is used (see below).
The [options] are described as follows
-help
Prints help information.
-q
Suppress startup banner and information message.
-y
Suppress query to overwrite an existing AVI file.
-d [nn]
Progress indicator. This prints a dot (.) every [nn] frames processed. If
[nn] is not specified, it defaults to ten.
-m
Use multiple color palettes in the converted AVI file. Each frame of an
AVI or Raster Metafile animation is limited to 256 colors. AVI animations
can use either one set of 256 colors for the entire animation or a separate
set of 256 colors for each frame. If you use the -m option, then each frame
of the output AVI file will use a separate set of 256 colors. Since color
information is read from the input Raster Metafile, this option only affects
the output AVI animation if the Raster Metafile was originally exported
using multiple color palettes.
-speed nn
Sets the speed of the output AVI file to nn frames per second. The default
is ten.
B - 6 Pltview
Pltview is a command line utility to examine the header information for binary Tecplot 360 data
files. It is included in your Tecplot 360 distribution and installed in $TEC_360_2008/bin. To run
pltview:
1. Launch the Command Prompt
2. navigate to $TEC_360_2008/bin
3. in the command prompt, type:
pltview “fullpath/filename.plt”
You must enter the full path for your file.
4. The command prompt will display:
• File Name
• File Version
• File Type
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Pltview
• Data Set Title
• Number of Zones
• Number of Variables
• Variable Names
• Auxiliary Data
• I, J and K Max for each ordered zone
• Total number of Nodes, Elements, Faces, as well as the element type, for each
finite element zone
An example session using the pltview utility is shown in Figure B-11.
Figure B-11. The Pltview utility.
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Tecplot 360 Utilities
656
Appendix C
Shortcuts
On UNIX platforms, Num Lock interferes
with keyboard shortcuts.
C - 1 Keyboard Shortcuts
C- 1.1 3D Rotate Tools
Click-and-drag
Rotate about the rotation origin.
ALT-Click-and-drag
Rotate about the viewer position using the active Rotate tool.
Middle-click-and-drag/ALTRight-click-and-drag
Smoothly zoom in and out of the data.
Right-click-and-drag
Translate the data.
C
Move the rotation origin to the probed point, ignoring zones.
O
Set the center of rotation.
R
Switch to Rollerball rotation.
S
Switch to Spherical rotation.
T
Switch to Twist rotation.
X
Switch to X-axis rotation.
Y
Switch to Y-axis rotation.
Z
Switch to Z-axis rotation.
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Shortcuts
C- 1.2 Contour Add Tool
ALT-click
Place a contour line by probing on a streamtrace, slice, or iso-surface.
Click
Place a contour line.
CTRL-click
Replace the nearest contour line with a new line.
Click-and-drag
Move the new contour line.
-
Switch to the Contour Remove tool.
C- 1.3 Contour Remove Tool
Click
Remove the contour line nearest to the probed location.
+
Switch to the Contour Add tool.
C- 1.4 Geometry Polyline Tool
A
Allow translation of polyline segments in all directions.
H
Restrict translation of the current polyline segment to horizontal.
U
End the current polyline and start a new one.
V
Restrict translation of current polyline segment to vertical.
658
C- 1.5 Probe Tool
Click
If the pointer is over a single valid cell, the interpolated field values from all
nodes in the cell are returned.
If multiple cells are candidates, the action is dependent upon the plot type:
For 2D, the cell from the highest number zone is used.
For 3D, the cell closest to the viewer is used.
If the pointer is over a single valid cell, the field values from the nearest node
in the cell are returned.
CTRL-click
If multiple cells are candidates, the action is dependent upon the plot type:
For 2D, the cell from the highest number zone is used.
For 3D, the cell closest to the viewer is used.
If the pointer is not over any cell, then the field values from nearest data point
(as measured in distance on the screen) are returned.
SHIFT-CTRL-click
The field values from the nearest point on the screen are returned (ignoring surfaces, zone number, and depth of the point).
This is useful in 3D for probing on data points that are on the back side of a
closed surface without having to rotate the object. In 2D, this is useful for
probing on data points for zones that may be underneath other zones.
Probe only on streamtraces, iso-surfaces, or slices.
ALT-click
If multiple cells are candidates, the action is dependent upon the plot type:
For 2D, the cell from the highest number zone is used.
For 3D, the cell closest to the viewer is used.
Probe only on streamtraces, iso-surfaces, or slices.
ALT-CTRL-click
If multiple cells are candidates, the action is dependent upon the plot type:
For 2D, the cell from the highest number zone is used.
For 3D, the cell closest to the viewer is used.
If the pointer is not over any cell, then the field values from nearest data point
(as measured in distance on the screen) are returned.
ALT-CTRL-SHIFTclick
Probe only on streamtraces, iso-surfaces, or slices. The field values from the
nearest point on the screen are returned.
X, Y
T, R
When probing, press X or Y in XY Line to switch dependencies, or R or T in
Polar Line.
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Shortcuts
C- 1.6 Slice Tool
+
Turn on start/end slices, or increment the number of intermediate slices.
-
Turn off start/end slices, or decrement the number of intermediate slices.
Click
If no slices are displayed for the current slice group, place the primary
slice. Otherwise, move the closest displayed start, end, and primary slice
from its current position to the clicked position.
ALT-click
Place the start, end, or primary slice (whichever is closer to the click position) on the nearest derived object (streamtrace, slice or iso-surface).
CTRL-click
Place the start, end, or primary slice (whichever is closer to the click position) on the nearest data point.
I, J, K
Switch to slicing constant I, J, or K-planes, respectively. Available for
ordered zones only.
X, Y, Z
Switch to slicing constant X-, Y-, or Z-planes, respectively.
1-8
Switch between slice groups.
NOTE: Slice Groups are available for Tecplot 360 only.
C- 1.7 Streamtrace Placement tools (3D Cartesian plots only)
D
Change the streamtrace style to streamrods.
R
Change the streamtrace style to streamribbons.
S
Change the streamtrace style to surface lines.
V
Change the streamtrace style to volume lines.
1-9
Change the number of streamtraces to be added when placing a rake of streamtraces.
C- 1.8 Translate/Magnify Tool
-
Reduce the magnification of the data.
+
Increase the magnification of the data.
Drag
Translate the data.
SHIFT-drag
Translate the paper.
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SHIFT - -
Reduce the magnification of the paper.
SHIFT - +
Increase the magnification of the paper.
C- 1.9 Zoom Tool
Click
Center the zoom around the location of your click.
CTRL-click
Center the zoom around the location of your click and zoom out.
Drag
Draw a box to set the frame view.
C- 1.10 Picked Object Options
-
Reduce the size of the object. If multiple objects are selected, all object positions will be
shifted towards the first object selected.
+
Increase the size of the object. If multiple objects are selected, all object positions will be
shifted away from the first object selected.
DEL
Delete picked object(s).
CTRL-C
Copy picked object(s) to the clipboard.
CTRL-V
Paste picked object(s) from the clipboard.
CTRL-X
Cut picked object(s).
C- 1.11 Other Keyboard Operations
CTRL-A
Paste View - Paste stored frame view to current frame.
CTRL-D
Redraw all frames.
CTRL-F
Fit Surfaces (3D Only) - Resize plot so that all surfaces are included in the frame, excluding any volume zones.
Fit to Full Size (2D, XY, Polar, Sketch) - Fit the entire plot into the frame (including data,
text and geometries).
CTRL-E
Fit Surfaces (3D Only) - Resizes plot so that all data points, text, and geometries are
included in the frame.
CTRL-L
Last - Restore the last frame view.
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Shortcuts
CTRL-O
Open a layout file.
CTRL-P
Print.
CTRL-Q
Exit.
CTRL-R
Redraw the current frame.
CTRL-S
Save the current layout to a file.
CTRL-W
Save the current layout to a specified file.
C - 2 Extended Mouse Operations
The middle and right mouse buttons are powerful tools you may use to immediately zoom and
translate your data without having to switch to the Zoom or Translate tools on the Toolbar. This
advanced mouse/keyboard functionality is available when using any 3D rotate, Contour, Geometry
(except Polyline), Probe, Slice, Streamtrace Placement, Translate, Zoom, or Zone Creation tools. If
you have a two button mouse use the CTRL key in conjunction with the right mouse button to
achieve middle mouse button capabilities.
The following table lists all of the capabilities of the middle and right mouse buttons, when the
active mouse tool is the “Selector”
Action
or the “Adjustor”.
Middle Button/
CTRL+Right Button
Right Button
Click
Redraw. If the pointer is in the current
frame then the current frame is redrawn.
Otherwise, redraw all frames.a
Switch from the current tool to the Selector.b
Drag
Smoothly zoom in or out. An upward
motion zooms out. A downward motion
zooms in.
Translate.
ALT-drag
In 3D Cartesian plots, move the viewer further from (upward motion) or closer to
(downward motion) the object. In all other
plot types, this behaves like the Drag action
Same as the Drag action.
a. This is the default action for a click. It may be configured with the
MOUSEACTIONS {MIDDLEBUTTON... command.
b. This is the default action for a click. It may be configured with the
MOUSEACTIONS {RIGHTBUTTON... command.
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$!INTERFACE
$!INTERFACE
Refer to the following sections for information regarding Toolbar buttons with special capabilities
tied to mouse buttons or keyboard keys.
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Shortcuts
664
Appendix D
Glossary
The following terms are used throughout the Tecplot 360 User’s Manual and are included here for
your reference.
2D
Plotting in two dimensions. Line plots of one or more variables (XY
and Polar Line plots) are not considered.
2D Cartesian Plot
A plot displaying a 2D scattering of points, surfaces, or volumes
using two orthogonal axes.
3D
Plotting in three dimensions. Three-dimensional plotting can be
subdivided into 3D surface and 3D volume.
3D Cartesian Plot
A plot displaying a 3D scattering of points, surfaces, or volumes
using three orthogonal axes.
3D Sorting
The process that Tecplot 360 uses to determine which surface to plot
first. In this process, the cells are sorted relative to the viewer and
plotted beginning with the farthest point away and ending with the
closest. Sorting is used when printing 3D plots or rendering translucent 3D objects on the screen.
3D Surface
Three-dimensional plotting confined to a surface. For example, the
surface of a wing.
3D Volume
Three-dimensional plotting of data that includes interior data points
of a volume, as well as those on the surface. For example, the vector
field around a wing.
Active Zone
A zone that is displayed in the current plot, as determined in the
Zone Style dialog.
Add-on
Any component or program which provides additional functions to
Tecplot 360.
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Glossary
ADK
Add-on Developer’s Kit designed to create add-ons for use with Tecplot 360.
Anchor point
The fixed point of an object on the plot.
Antialiasing
The process of removing or reducing the jagged distortions in
curves and diagonal lines.
ASCII Data File
A data file composed of code representing English characters as
numbers, where each letter is assigned a number from 0 to 127.
Aspect Ratio
The ratio of lengths of the sides of an object. In the 3D Cartesian
plot type, the ratio is that of the longest side to the shortest side.
Auxiliary Data
Metadata attached to zones, datasets, and frames.
Banded Contour Flooding
A field plot where the region between contour lines is filled with a
constant color that corresponds to each variable.
Bars Mapping Layer
Mapping Layer (XY line plots only) where bars are used to depict
the relationship between the dependent and independent variables.
Binary Data File
A data file composed of machine-readable data. This type of file is
created by converting ASCII data files with Preplot, or by directly
creating them from an application.
Blanking
A feature of Tecplot 360 that excludes certain cells and points from
a plot. There are three types of blanking: Value-Blanking, IJKBlanking, and Depth Blanking.
Block
A data file format in which the data is listed by variable. All the
point values of the first variable are listed first, then all the point
values of the second variable, and so forth.
Boundary Cell Faces
A set of un-blanked cell faces in a 3D volume zone which have only
one neighboring volume cell. In contrast, interior cell faces have
two neighboring volume cells, one on either side, which share the
face. For an IJK-ordered zone the boundary cell faces are on the
exterior of the zone. That is, the first and last I-planes, the first and
last J-planes, and the first and last K-planes. For a finite element
3D volume zone, boundary cell faces are on the exterior of the zone
and the surface of any voids within the zone.
Bounding Box of Data
The smallest rectangular box, aligned with the coordinate axes,
which completely encloses all data points.
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Brick
An element type of finite element volume data composed of eight
node points arranged in a hexahedron-like format. This element
type is used in 3D volume plotting.
Carpet Plot
A 3D surface plot formed by a 3D plot where the variable is plotted
in the third dimension and is singular-valued with respect to the
independent variables.
Cartesian Plot
A plot of some variable by location on a single plane using two
axes.
Cell
Either an element of finite element data, or the space contained by
one increment of each index of IJK or IJK-ordered data.
Cell-centered Values
Values located at the center of the cell (assumed to be the centroid).
Code Generator
Add-on that generates style value code for any style changes made
in the Tecplot 360 user interface.
Coordinate
Any of a set of numbers used in specifying the location of a point on
a plot.
Configuration File
File containing initial Tecplot 360 defaults.
Color Map
A color spectrum used to plot contour flooding and multi-colored
objects.
Connectivity List
The portion of a finite element data file which defines the elements
or cells by listing the relationships between points. The number of
points per cell is determined by the element type.
Continuous Contour
Flooding
A field plot where a color is assigned to each point in a mesh, based
upon the contour variable and the color map. Each face is filled
with colors interpolated between the corner nodes. This results in a
smooth variation of color over the surface.
Contour
A field plot type that plots iso-valued lines, or color flooding based
on the values of a specified variable.
Curve Type
The function used to fit the data points in an XY-plot.
Custom Labels
Text strings contained within a data file or text geometry file which
define labels for your axes or contour table. You may select Custom
Labels anywhere you can choose a number format, the result is the
text strings in place of numbers.
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Glossary
Cutaway Plot
A 3D volume plot where a portion of a 3D volume zone is cut-away
by blanking to reveal the interior.
Cutting Plane
A planar surface used to slice 3D volume or surface zones.
Data File
A file that contains data used for plotting in Tecplot 360.
Data Format
The type of zone data as specified by the format parameter in a Tecplot 360 data file, such as BLOCK or POINT.
Data Loader
A Tecplot 360 add-on which allows you to read non-Tecplot 360
data files.
Data Point
An XYZ-point at which field variables are defined.
Data Smoothing
A process that shifts the value of a variable at a data point towards
an average of the values at its neighboring data points to reduce
“noise” and lessen discontinuities in data.
Dataset
A set of one or more zones. A dataset may be plotted in one or more
frames. However, a single frame may only plot one dataset. A
dataset may be created by loading one or more data files.
Dependent
An axis mode requiring the axes to maintain a fixed ratio to one
another.
Depth
For image export, the number of bits stored per pixel. For depthblanking, the component of distance from the viewer position in a
screen normal coordinate system.
Depth Blanking
A blanking option which excludes cells in a 3D plot, based upon
their depth into the image. Cells closer than a plane of a certain
depth, as well as cells further than a plane of another depth, may be
blanked.
Derived Volume Objects
Graphic objects which are visible in the plot and created from zone
data, but are not zones, i.e. an Iso-Surface, a Slice, or a
Streamtrace.
Display List
A group of OpenGL commands that have been stored for subsequent
execution. Using a display list can, depending upon the hardware
involved, dramatically speed up graphics rendering. Using display
lists also requires more memory.
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Draw Level
A draw behavior setting for modifying the image quality and rendering speed during various operations, such as rotation. Options
vary from Trace (a simplified wire-frame mesh which is rendered
quickly) to Full.
Dynamic Text
Special placeholders added to text that change with the data or the
display environment.
Edge
A 2D or 3D field plot option. Plotting the edge of a zone plots the
connection of all outer lines (IJ-ordered zones), finite element surface zones, or planes (IJK-ordered zones).
Element Type
The form of individual elements in a finite element zone. There are
four types of cell-based finite element zones: Triangle and Quadrilateral (finite element surface types), and Tetrahedron and Brick
(finite element volume types). For cell-based finite elements, the
element type of a zone determines the number of nodes per element
and their orientation within an element. There are two types of facebased finite element zones: polygonal (2D) and polyhedral (3D).
For face-based elements, the number of nodes per element is variable.
Error Bars Mapping Layer
XY Line mapping layer where a second dependent variable (error)
is used to show the accuracy of the first dependent variable, typically used in conjunction with the Bars Mapping Layer.
Exposed Cell Faces
The set of those cell faces in 3D volume zones that have only one
un-blanked neighboring volume cell. By comparison, interior cell
faces have two neighboring cells, one on either side, which share
the face. The exposed cell faces include boundary cell faces and
interior cell faces exposed by blanking. (One of the neighboring
cells has been blanked.)
Extended Curve-fit
A Tecplot 360 add-on which extends Tecplot 360’s XY-plot curve-fitting capabilities.
Eye Coordinate System
Coordinate system aligned with the Grid coordinate system so that
objects that are drawn move with the data as you zoom and translate, but remain fixed when you rotate the plot.
Extra 3D Sorting
Perform extra work to resolve hidden surface problems encountered
during 3D sorting.
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Glossary
Face Neighbor
A neighboring cell whose faces share all nodes in common with the
selected cell.
FE
An abbreviation for finite element (a common means of arranging
data for calculations, often referred to as “unordered” or “unstructured”).
FEA
An abbreviation for finite element analysis.See Section 4 - 6 “FEA
Loader” for information and supported formats.
Fence Plot
A plot of planes of a 3D data field.
FE Surface
A finite element zone of the element type Triangle, Quadrilateral, or
Polygon. These zones are used for2D and 3D surface plots.
FE Volume
A finite element zone of the element type: Tetrahedron, Brick or
Polyhedron. These zones are used for 3D volume plots.
Field Map
A collection of zones for 2D and 3D field plots. A common style can
be easily applied to all zones in the selection.
Field Plot
Includes 2D Cartesian and 3D Cartesian plot types. Generally used
to display the spacial relationship of data. Mesh, Contour, Vector,
Scatter, and Shade are all considered field plots. XY and Polar Line
plots and the Sketch plot type are not field plots.
File Path
An option which specifies the directory for Tecplot 360 to search for
a given type of file. For instance, a linked layout saved with an
absolute file path contains the complete directory structure to load
the associated file.
Finite Element
A type of data point ordering. Data is arranged by listing the data
points (called nodes), and then listing their relationships (called
elements). The element type of the zone determines the number of
nodes which are contained in each element, as well as the exact
relationship of nodes within an element. There are six different element types supported by Tecplot 360: Triangle, Quadrilateral, Tetrahedron, Brick, Polygonal and Polyhedral. See also: Connectivity
List and Node.
Font Modifier
The modifier used to embed Greek, Math, or User-Defined characters in a text string.
Frame
Area within the workspace where sketches and plots are created.
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Frame Coordinate System
Coordinate system fixed to the frame that does not change when the
plot is zoomed, translated, or rotated.
Gouraud Shading
Shading used to achieve smooth lighting on low-polygon surfaces
by linearly interpolating a color or shade across a polygon.
Grid Area
One or more rectangular regions defined and bounded by the grid
axes.
Grid Axes
An axis option which displays the coordinates of the grid along the
various spatial dimensions.
Grid Coordinate System
The grid coordinate system consists of two dimensional physical
coordinates that are aligned with the coordinate system used by the
plot axes.
Gridline
A set of lines drawn from one or more axes that extend from the tick
marks on an axis across the grid area.
Grid Point
In 2D, the intersection of gridlines.
Hidden Line
Mesh type where mesh lines that appear behind other plot layers
are not drawn.
I-Ordered
A type of data point ordering where each point is listed one at a time
(that is, by one index). Used mainly in XY plots. In 2D or 3D, this
type of data point ordering is sometimes called irregular, and is only
useful for scatter plots, or for interpolating or triangulating into
2D, 3D surface, or 3D volume zones. (This type of data can also be
used for 2D or 3D vector plots if streamtraces are not required.)
IJ-Ordered
A type of data point ordering where the points are arranged in an
array used for 2D and 3D surface plotting.
IJK-Blanking
A feature to include or exclude portions of an IJK-ordered zone
based on index ranges.
IJK-Ordered
A type of data ordering where the points are arranged in a 3D
array. Used for 3D volume plotting as well as 2D and 3D surface
plotting.
Image Format
Any of the raster or bit-mapped graphic formats supported by Tecplot 360.
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Glossary
Inactive Zone
A zone loaded into Tecplot 360 which does not appear in the plot. A
zone can be deactivated using the Zone Show option on any page of
the Zone Style dialog.
Independent
Axis mode allowing each axis to have a range that is not affected by
the ranges of any other axis or axes.
Interpolate
To assign new values for the variables at data points in one zone
based on the data point values in another zone (or set of zones).
Interpolate Mode
When probing is activated using a single mouse click, the value
returned is linearly interpolated from all nodes in the cell. See also:
Section “Nearest Point Mode” on page 673.
Internal Macro Variable
A read-only macro variable which allows you to access certain key
values in Tecplot 360. For example, $NUMVARS gives the number
of variables.
I-Plane
In an ordered zone, the connected surface of all points with a constant I-index. In reality, I-planes may be cylinders, spheres, or any
other shape.
Irregular Data
Points which have no order, or at least no order which can be easily
converted to IJK or IJK-ordering.
Iso-Surface
A surface within a 3D zone where the contour variable has a constant value at all locations.
Journal
Log of data manipulation/creation/deletion instructions.
J-Plane
In an ordered zone, the connected surface of all points with a constant J-index. In reality, J-planes may be cylinders, spheres, or any
other shape.
Kriging
A technique to interpolate the value of a random field at an unobserved location from observations of its value at nearby locations.
K-Plane
In an IJK-ordered zone, the connected surface of all points with a
constant K-index. In reality, K-planes may be cylinders, spheres, or
any other shape.
Layout File
A specialized macro file with extension .lay which preserves a plot
created within Tecplot 360. When the layout is opened, it restores
Tecplot 360 to the state it was in when the layout file was saved.
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Layout Package File
A binary layout file with the .lpk extension which has the data
embedded in the file.
Line Map
A set of points from a single zone where one variable is assigned to
an X-axis and another is assigned to a Y-axis. You can define many
XY-maps for an XY-plot.
Macro
A file containing a list of instructions, called macro commands,
which can duplicate virtually any action performed in Tecplot 360.
Macro Command
An instruction given to Tecplot 360 in a macro file. Macro commands always start with a dollar sign and then an exclamation
mark. For example, $!Redraw refreshes a plot view.
Macro File
A file which contains a series of macro commands. Macro files are
run from the command line, or through the Play option of the Scripting menu.
Macro Function
A self-contained macro sub-routine.
Macro Variable
A holding place for numeric values in a macro file. There are two
types of macro variables: user-defined (you set and retrieve the
value), or internal (Tecplot 360 sets the value and you may retrieve
it).
Map Layer
One way of displaying a line mapping, such as with line, bars, symbols, and so forth. One mapping may be displayed with one or more
layers.
Median Axis
In 3D, the grid axis which when scaled is not the shortest nor the
longest axis.
Menu Bar
The top bar of the Tecplot 360 screen used to select menu options.
Mesh
A 2D or 3D field plot type which plots connections between data
points.
Multi-Colored
Any Tecplot 360 object which is colored by the value of the contouring variable. Multi-colored objects may include mesh, scatter symbols, vectors, contour lines, and streamtraces.
Nearest Point Mode
When probing is activated using a CTRL+click, the value returned
is the precise value of the closest data point. See also: Section
“Interpolate Mode” on page 672.
Node
A point in finite element data.
673
Glossary
Number Format
The style of numbers to display for a data or axis label; exponent,
integer, float, and so forth.
OpenGL
A graphics library for high-end 3D graphics. It commonly takes
advantage of hardware acceleration for 3D rendering.
Ordered Data
A type of data point organization which consists of a parameterized
series of points. There are seven types of ordered data: I, J, K, IJ,
JK, IK, and IJK-ordered. I, IJ, and IJK-ordered are the most common.
Orthographic Projection
A plot view in which the shape of the object is independent of distance.This is used for displaying physical objects when preserving
the true lengths is important.
Overlay
Mesh type where mesh lines are drawn over all field-plot layers,
except for vector and scatter layers.
Pick
Select an item in the plot area by clicking on it with the mouse.
Plot Type
Determines the type of plot which is displayed in a frame. For
example, 2D Cartesian plot, 3D Cartesian plot, XY Line plot, Polar
Line plot, or Sketch plot.
PLOT3D
A plotting package developed by NASA. Useful because the file format can be converted to a Tecplot 360 binary data file by Preplot.
Polar Line Plot
A plot of radius versus angle, or vice versa. The polar axes are the
radial axis (by default zero at the origin) and theta axis (by default
zero for any data on the right running horizontal line).
Polygonal
A 2D, face-based finite element type. The number of nodes per element is variable. That is, a single polygonal zone may contain triangular, quadrilateral, hexagonal, ..., etc. elements.
Polyhedral
A 3D, face-based finite element type. The number of nodes per element is variable. That is, a single polyhedral zone may contain tetrahedral and brick (and other) elements.
Polylines
A continuous line composed of one or more line segments.
Polytope
The generalization to any dimension of polygon in two dimensions,
polyhedron in three dimensions, and polychoron in four dimensions
Pop
Bring selected geometries or text to the top of the viewstack.
674
Precise Dot Grid
The points of intersection of the imaginary lines extending from the
X- and Y-axes’ tick marks.
Primary Corner
The point in an ordered zone’s cell that has the minimum index values for that cell, or the first listed node of a finite element cell.
Probe
To obtain interpolated values of the dataset variables at a specified
location by clicking on any point in the data region.
Push
Send selected geometries or text to the bottom of the viewstack.
Quadrilateral
An element type of finite element surface data which is composed of
four node points arranged in a quadrilateral. Used in 2D and 3D
surface plotting.
Quick Macro Panel
A user-defined panel accessed from the Scripting menu which
allows quick access to your macro functions.
Rake
A specified line from which two or more streamtraces are generated.
RGB Color Flooding
The assignment of color based on Red, Green, and Blue components
defined at field data locations.
Ribbon
(See Streamribbon.)
Richardson Extrapolation
A sequence acceleration method, used to improve the rate of convergence of a sequence.
Rod
(See Streamrod.)
Scatter
A 2D or 3D field plot type which plots a symbol at each data point.
SDK
A Tecplot software development kit, providing a library that integrates visualization capabilities into an application.
Shade Plot
A 2D or 3D field plot type which plots solid color or colors with
lighting effect over the cells of the data.
Sharing
Variable sharing allows a single storage location to be used by
more than one party. For example, if the X-variable is shared
between zones five and seven, only one storage location is created.
The storage is not freed by Tecplot 360 until the number of parties
accessing the data is reduced to zero. Variables and connectivity
information may be shared.
675
Glossary
Sidebar
The bar located on the left side of the Tecplot 360 screen which provides access to frequently used plot controls.
Sketch Plot
A plot which displays only text and geometries.
Slice
A set of data created by the intersection of a plane with 3D zones.
Snap-to-Grid
Lock any object on the screen to the closest grid point. The position
and size of the object will be affected by changes to the grid.
Snap-to-Paper
Lock any object on the screen to the underlying paper. The position
and size of the object will not be affected by changes to the grid.
Sort
A measurement from one to two of the amount of work Tecplot 360
should do to resolve hidden-surface problems during 3D sorting.
Selecting two will increase the time required for each redraw and
will generate messages about the number of cells with a potential
conflict.
Specular Highlights
Rendering a surface such that it displays qualities similar to those
of a smooth reflecting surface such as metal.
Status Line
The bar located at the bottom of the Tecplot 360 screen which provides “hover” help for tools, and acts as a progress bar during calculations.
Strand
A series of transient zones that represent the same part of a dataset
at different times.
Stream
Particle traces through the vector field.
Stream Format
The current type of streamtraces being placed in Tecplot 360. For
example, Surface Line, Volume Line, Volume Ribbon, or Volume
Rod.
Streamline
A 2D or 3D line which is parallel to the vector field along its entire
length. For a steady state vector field, this is the same as a simple
particle trace which marks the path of a massless particle in the
vector field.
Streamribbon
A particle trace with a width which not only follows the flow field
(its center being a regular streamline), but which also twists with
the vorticity of the vector field.
676
Streamrod
A particle trace with a polygonal cross-section and a width which
not only follows the flow field (its center being a regular streamline), but which also rotates with the vorticity of the vector field.
Streamtrace
Any type of particle trace: streamlines, streamribbons, or streamrods.
Streamtrace Termination
Line
A polyline that terminates any streamtraces that cross it.
Streamtrace Zone
Any streamtrace which has been extracted to form a new zone.
Stylesheet
A type of file which contains the definition of how the plot in a single frame is to be plotted. The stylesheet does not contain any zone
data but does contain information about views, axes positions, zone
attributes, and so forth.
Supersampling Factor
When antialiasing an image for export, the factor Tecplot 360 uses
when creating an intermediate image that is then resized down to
the final image size. The larger the value, the smoother the resulting
image at the cost of performance. Values of more than 3 are seldom
necessary.
Surface Line
A type of 3D streamline which is confined to remain on a 3D surface. Also used to refer to streamlines.
Symbols Mapping Layer
Line plot where symbols are used to depict the relationship between
the dependent and independent variables.
Tecplot Toolbox
The Tecplot Toolbox is a convenience library that provides alternate
method for communicating with the Tecplot Engine.
Time/Date
A type of axis label format with which you can label axes by using a
multitude of codes that can display data in years, months, days,
hours, minutes, and seconds.
Toolbar
The bar at the top of the Tecplot 360 workspace.
Tetrahedron
An element type of finite element volume data which is composed of
four node points arranged in a tetrahedron. (Used in 3D volume
plotting.)
Transient Data
Data that has a time component in addition to a spatial coordinate.
677
Glossary
Translucency
A property allowing you to see through an object to areas within or
beyond it. In Tecplot 360 you may vary the amount of translucency,
controlling the extent that an object closer to you obscures an object
it overlays.
Triangle
An element type of finite element surface data which is composed of
three node points arranged in a triangle. (Used in 2D and 3D surface plotting.)
Unordered or Unorganized
Data
(See Irregular Data.)
Value-Blanking
A feature of Tecplot 360 used to trim or eliminate cells based on one
or more user-defined constraints for variable values.
Variable
One of the values defined at every data point in a Tecplot 360
dataset or data file.
Vector Layer
A field plot showing the direction and or the magnitude of vector
qualities.
Volume Line
A type of 3D streamline which is not confined to remain on a surface and may travel through 3D volume data.
Volume Zone
Any zone that is IJK-ordered, finite element tetrahedron, or finite
element brick.
Vorticity
The measurement of the tendency of a vector field to rotate about a
point. (Also called “curl.”)
Wire Frame
Mesh type where mesh lines are drawn behind all other plot layers.
Workspace
The portion of your screen where you can create Tecplot 360
frames. This includes but is not limited to the region covered by the
displayed paper.
XY-Dependent
A 3D axis mode where X and Y are fixed (dependent), but Z is free to
vary in ratio (independent).
XY Line Plot
Plots one variable assigned to one axis versus another variable
assigned to another axis. Log plots, bar charts, and curve fitted
lines are all examples of XY Line plots.
678
Zone
A subset of a dataset which is assigned certain plot types. Zones
may be activated (plotted) or deactivated (not plotted). Each zone
has one type of data ordering: I, IJ, IJK, or finite element. Zones are
typically used to distinguish different portions of the data. For
example, different calculations, experimental versus theoretical
results, different time steps, or different types of objects, such as a
wing surface versus a vector field around a wing.
Zone Layers
One way of displaying a 2D or 3D plot’s dataset. The plot is the sum
of the active zone layers, which may include mesh, contour, vector,
shade, scatter and edge.
679
Glossary
680
PLOT3D Function
Reference
Appendix E
This chapter details the PLOT3D functions available in the Calculate dialog (accessed via the
Analyze menu). Formulae, where not trivial, are given for each function. For functions that have
equivalent PLOT3D function numbers, the numbers are listed as well. Refer to Section 21- 6.4
“Selecting a Function” for a description of how to use these numbers.
E - 1 Symbols
The following symbols are used in formulae below. Other symbols are defined in context.
Symbol
( )∞
Description
Reference or free-stream quantity.
c
cv
g
p
Ratio of specific heats, ----
r
Density, mass per unit volume (area in 2D).
ξ
Generalized curvilinear coordinate in the I-direction.
η
Generalized curvilinear coordinate in the J-direction.
ζ
Generalized curvilinear coordinate in the K-direction.
ω
Vorticity
a
Speed of sound.
cP
Specific heat at constant pressure.
cV
Specific heat at constant volume.
Table E - 1: Analyze Symbology.
681
PLOT3D Function Reference
Symbol
Description
M
Mach number.
m
Mass.
p
Pressure.
R
Specific gas constant p = ρRT
T
Temperature.
U
Velocity vector.
u
X-velocity component.
v
Y-velocity component.
w
Z-velocity component.
Table E - 1: Analyze Symbology.
E - 2 Scalar Grid Quality Functions
E- 2.1 I, J, K-aspect Ratio
The ratio of maximum edge length squared to face area:
2
( Max edge length )
AR = ----------------------------------------------Area
height
For a rectangle or square, this simplifies to: AR = ---------------width
For collapsed faces where the area is zero, the aspect ratio is set to zero.
For Polyhedral zones, the maximum aspect ratio is calculated for all faces of a given cell.
E- 2.2 I, J, or K-stretch Ratio
The ratio of the length of line segment I2-I3 to segment I1-I2 (or J or K):
length of segment I2-I3
stretch ratio = -------------------------------------------------------length of segment I1-I2
682
or
length
of segment I1-I2------------------------------------------------------length of segment I2-I3
Scalar Grid Quality Functions
such that the stretch ratio is always > 1.
I=
3
2
I=
I=1
If either segment has zero length, the stretch ratio is set to one.
Note: If you have specified on the Geometry and Boundaries dialog that adjacent zones are connected, these stretch ratios will be made continuous across connected zone boundaries provided
that the index directions are aligned.
E- 2.3 I, J, or K-face Skewness
The ratio of the two face diagonal lengths subtracted from one (the diagonals are ratioed so that this
number is always non-negative):
length of shorter face diagonal
face skewness = 1 – ------------------------------------------------------------------------- .
length of longer face diagonal
For polyhedral zones, the cell value is the maximum skewness over all cell faces.
683
PLOT3D Function Reference
E- 2.4 Cell Diagonal1 or Diagonal2 Skewness
The ratio of the lengths of two body diagonals subtracted from one (always non-negative). There
are four body diagonals. We choose pairs which would be coplanar in an unskewed cell, that is,
(i,j,k) -> (i+1,j+1,k+1) and (i,j,k+1) -> (i+1,j+1,k).
length of shorter body diagonal
cell skewness = 1 – --------------------------------------------------------------------------length of longer body diagonal
For polygonal zones, the ratio of the lengths will be zero.
E- 2.5 IJ, JK, KI, or Max Normals Skewness
The dot product of face unit normals for the two given faces.
IJ-skewness :
S IJ = n̂ I ⋅ n̂ J
The following figure illustrates this for IJ-skewness.
ac
I-f
e
J-face
E- 2.6 I, J, K, or Min Orthogonality
One minus the absolute value of the dot product of two unit vectors which point in the direction of
two adjacent edges of the given face.
For the K-face:
684
orthogonality = 1 – ˆt I ⋅ ˆt J
Scalar Grid Quality Functions
K-face
E- 2.7 I, J, K, or Min Nonplanarity
Two triangles are formed with the four nodes of the face, and the dot product of the two unit
normals of those triangles is subtracted from one.
non-planarity of the four-node face shown below = 1 – n̂ I1 ⋅ n̂ I2
I1
I2
For polyhedral zones, the max over all cell faces is found.
E- 2.8 Jacobian
For ordered zones, the Jacobian is calculated with the standard formula.
685
PLOT3D Function Reference
1
J = -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------xξ ( yη zζ – yζ zη ) – xη ( yξ zζ – yζ zξ ) + xζ ( yξ zη – yη zξ )
The subscripts above represent partial derivatives, which are approximated with finite differences.
For finite element zones, Tecplot 360 approximates the Jacobian by inverting the average areas or
volumes of the grid cells surrounding each node, 1/A or 1/V.
If the denominator of the above formula is zero (ordered zones), or all cells surrounding a node
have zero area (finite element zones), the Jacobian is set to zero.
E- 2.9 Cell Volume
For ordered zones, the cell volume for a particular node (I, J, K) is the volume of the cell between
nodes (I, J, K) and (I+1, J+1, K+1). In 2D, this function becomes cell area. Nodes on the IMax,
JMax, and KMax boundaries are assigned the same value as the nodes at IMax-1, JMax-1, and
KMax-1 respectively.
For finite element zones, the cell volume for a node is the average volume (area in 2D) of all cells
of which that node is a part.
E - 3 Vector Grid Quality Functions
E- 3.1 Grid I, J, or K-unit Normal
Vectors of unit length normal to I=, J=, or K=constant grid planes.
unit normal for I = n̂ I
For polyhedral zones, the result will be set to (1, 0, 0).
E - 4 Scalar Flow Variables
E- 4.1 Density
The mass per unit volume of the fluid:
ized), or 101 (normalized).
686
m
ρ = ---V
. PLOT3D function numbers: 100 (not normal-
Scalar Flow Variables
E- 4.2 Stagnation Density
1
----------⎧
– 1 2⎞ γ – 1
⎪ ρ ⎛ 1 + γ---------0
M
(compressible)
ρ = ⎨ ⎝
⎠
2
⎪
⎩ρ
(incompressible)
PLOT3D function numbers:
102 (not normalized), or 103 (normalized).
E- 4.3 Pressure
p = ρRT (compressible)
PLOT3D function numbers: 110 (not normalized), or 111 (normalized).
E- 4.4 Stagnation Pressure
γ ----------
γ – 1 2 γ–1
p = p ⎛ 1 + ----------- M ⎞
(compressible)
⎝
⎠
2
0
1
0
p = p + --- ρ U
2
2
(incompressible)
PLOT3D function numbers: 112 (not normalized), or 113 (normalized).
E- 4.5 Pressure Coefficient
p – p∞
C p = --------------1
--- ρ ∞ u 2∞
2
687
PLOT3D Function Reference
PLOT3D function number: 114 (not normalized). There is no function number for normalized pressure coefficient, since reference value normalization is not possible (the free-stream pressure coefficient is zero).
E- 4.6 Stagnation Pressure Coefficient
0
C
p
0
p – p∞
= ----------------1
--- ρ ∞ u 2∞
2
PLOT3D function number: 115 (not normalized). As above, there is no function number for normalized stagnation pressure coefficient.
E- 4.7 Pitot Pressure
Equals stagnation pressure for subsonic/incompressible flow. For supersonic flow:
γ ----------
p 02
γ + 1 2⎞ γ – 1
⎛ ----------M
⎝ 2
⎠
= p -------------------------------------------------1
-----------
2γ 2 γ – 1⎞ γ – 1
⎛ ----------M – ----------⎝γ + 1
γ + 1⎠
PLOT3D function number: 116 (not normalized).
E- 4.8 Pitot Pressure Ratio
The pitot pressure divided by the free-stream pressure. PLOT3D function number: 117 (not normalized).
E- 4.9 Dynamic Pressure
1
q = --- ρ U
2
2
PLOT3D function number: 118 (not normalized).
688
Scalar Flow Variables
E- 4.10 Temperature
p
T = ------- (compressible)
ρR
PLOT3D function numbers: 120 (not normalized), or 121 (normalized).
E- 4.11 Stagnation Temperature
⎧ ⎛
γ–1 2
⎪ T 1 + ----------- M ⎞⎠ (compressible)
0
2
T = ⎨ ⎝
⎪
(incompressible)
⎩T
PLOT3D function numbers: 122 (not normalized), or 123 (normalized).
E- 4.12 Enthalpy
per unit mass:
γR
c p = ----------- (compressible only)
γ–1
h = cp T
PLOT3D function numbers: 130 (not normalized), or 131 (normalized).
E- 4.13 Stagnation Enthalpy
per unit mass:
1
0
h = c p T + --- U
2
2
PLOT3D function numbers: 132 (not normalized), or 133 (normalized).
689
PLOT3D Function Reference
E- 4.14 Internal Energy
per unit mass:
R
c v = ----------- (compressible only)
γ–1
e = cv T
PLOT3D function numbers: 140 (not normalized), or 141 (normalized).
E- 4.15 Stagnation Energy
per unit mass:
1
0
e = c v T + --- U
2
2
PLOT3D function numbers: 142 (not normalized), or 143 (normalized).
E- 4.16 Stagnation Energy per Unit Volume
Stagnation energy multiplied by density. PLOT3D function number: 163 (not normalized).
E- 4.17 Kinetic Energy
Per unit mass, one-half the square of the velocity magnitude.
1
KE = --- U
2
2
PLOT3D function numbers: 144 (not normalized), or 145 (normalized).
E- 4.18 Velocity Components U, V, or W
The scalar velocity components. PLOT3D function numbers: 150 (u, not normalized), 151 (v, not
normalized), or 152 (w, not normalized).
E- 4.19 Velocity Magnitude
The 2-norm of the velocity vector components:
690
Scalar Flow Variables
U =
2
2
u +v +w
2
PLOT3D function number: 153 (not normalized).
E- 4.20 Mach Number
The flow speed divided by the local speed of sound, for compressible flow:
U
M = --------a
PLOT3D function number: 154 (not normalized).
E- 4.21 Speed of Sound
a =
γRT =
γp
----- =
ρ
e 1
2
γ ( γ – 1 ) ⎛ --- – --- U ⎞ (compressible)
⎝ρ 2
⎠
PLOT3D function number: 155 (not normalized).
E- 4.22 Cross Flow Velocity
This presumes that free-stream velocity is purely in the X-direction:
v cf =
2
v +w
2
PLOT3D function number: 156 (not normalized).
E- 4.23 Equivalent Potential Velocity Ratio
The ratio of velocity magnitude to the potential velocity, as calculated with the incompressible Bernoulli equation. Refer to previous sections for definitions of
U
and p
0
.
691
PLOT3D Function Reference
U -----------------0
p∞ – p
--------------0.5ρ
PLOT3D function number: 159 (not normalized).
E- 4.24 X, Y, Z-momentum Component
Per unit volume, the product of density and the scalar velocity components.
momentum x = ρu
PLOT3D function numbers: 160 (X-momentum, not normalized), 161 (Y-momentum, not normalized), 162 (Z-momentum, not normalized).
E- 4.25 Entropy
ρ
p
s = c v ln ⎛ ------⎞ + c p ln ⎛ -----∞-⎞
⎝ p ∞⎠
⎝ ρ⎠
PLOT3D function number: 170 (not normalized).
E- 4.26 Entropy Measure S1
p ρ –γ
s 1 = ------ ⎛ ------⎞ – 1
p ∞ ⎝ ρ ∞⎠
PLOT3D function number: 171 (not normalized).
692
Scalar Flow Variables
E- 4.27 X-, Y-, Z-Vorticity
ωx
ωy
ωz
∂w ∂v
------- – ----∂y ∂z
∂w
= ∂u
------ – ------∂z ∂x
∂v ∂u
----- – -----∂x ∂y
PLOT3D function numbers: 180 (X-Vorticity, not normalized), 181 (Y-vorticity, not normalized),
182 (Z-vorticity, not normalized).
E- 4.28 Vorticity Magnitude
ω =
2
2
2
ωx + ωy + ωz
PLOT3D function number: 183 (not normalized).
E- 4.29 Swirl
ω⋅U
Swirl = --------------2ρ U
PLOT3D function number: 184 (not normalized).
E- 4.30 Velocity Cross Vorticity Magnitude
U×ω
PLOT3D function number: 185 (not normalized).
E- 4.31 Helicity
H = U⋅ω
693
PLOT3D Function Reference
PLOT3D function number: 186 (not normalized).
E- 4.32 Relative Helicity
U⋅ω
H r = -----------------U ω
PLOT3D function number: 187 (not normalized).
E- 4.33 Filtered Relative Helicity
H r as calculated above, but set to zero when
2
U ⋅ ω < 0.1U ∞
.
PLOT3D function number: 188 (not normalized).
E- 4.34 Shock
For compressible flow:
U
∇p
---- ⋅ ----------a ∇p
PLOT3D function number: 190 (not normalized).
E- 4.35 Filtered Shock
Shock, as shown above, but set to zero when the magnitude of the pressure gradient
∇p < 0.1γp ∞
.
PLOT3D function number: 191 (not normalized).
E- 4.36 Pressure Gradient Magnitude
∇p =
2
2
2
px + py + pz
PLOT3D function number: 192 (not normalized).
694
Scalar Flow Variables
E- 4.37 Density Gradient Magnitude
∇ρ =
2
2
2
ρx + ρy + ρz
PLOT3D function number: 193 (not normalized).
E- 4.38 X, Y, Z-density Gradient
ρx
ρy
ρz
∂ρ
-----∂x
∂ρ
= -----∂y
∂ρ
-----∂z
PLOT3D function numbers: 194 (X-density Gradient, not normalized), 195 (Y-density Gradient,
not normalized), 196 (Z-density Gradient, not normalized).
E- 4.39 Shadowgraph
2
The Laplacian of density, ∇ ρ .
PLOT3D function number: 197 (not normalized).
E- 4.40 Divergence of Velocity
∂u ∂v ∂w
∇ ⋅ U = ------ + ----- + ------∂x ∂y ∂z
PLOT3D function number: 158 (not normalized).
E- 4.41 Sutherland’s Law
Sutherland’s Law is a method of estimating the viscosity of a fluid from its temperature. The
formula is:
695
PLOT3D Function Reference
3⁄2
T
μ = C 1 ---------------T + C2
For the constants, Tecplot 360 uses the meters/kilograms/seconds values for air,
– 6 kg
C 1 = 1.458 × 10 ----------------ms K
and C2 = 110.4 K. Unlike other functions, this function is units-specific. Tecplot 360 uses the
meters/kilograms/seconds units for this calculation, so the input temperature (data set variable)
must be in Kelvin. The resulting viscosity will be in units of: kg /m s.
E- 4.42 Isentropic Density Ratio
1----------
0
γ–1
ρ
γ–1
----- = ⎛ 1 + ----------- M 2⎞
⎝
⎠
ρ
2
E- 4.43 Isentropic Pressure Ratio
0
γ
-----------
γ–1
p
γ–1
----- = ⎛ 1 + ----------- M 2⎞
⎝
⎠
p
2
E- 4.44 Isentropic Temperature Ratio
0
T
γ–1
----- = 1 + ----------- M 2
T
2
696
Vector Flow Variables
E - 5 Vector Flow Variables
E- 5.1 Velocity
The velocity vector, U . PLOT3D function number: 200 (not normalized).
E- 5.2 Vorticity
See above for vorticity components. PLOT3D function number: 201 (not normalized).
E- 5.3 Momentum
Per unit volume, density multiplied by the velocity vector. PLOT3D function number: 202 (not normalized).
E- 5.4 Perturbation Velocity
U′ = U – U ∞
PLOT3D function number: 203 (not normalized).
E- 5.5 Velocity Cross Vorticity
U×ω
PLOT3D function number: 204 (not normalized).
E- 5.6 Pressure Gradient
The vector of pressure partial derivatives in space:
∂p----∂x
∇p = ∂p
-----∂y
∂p
-----∂z
PLOT3D function number: 210 (not normalized).
697
PLOT3D Function Reference
E- 5.7 Density Gradient
The vector of density partial derivatives in space:
∂ρ
-----∂x
∇ρ = ∂ρ
-----∂y
∂ρ
-----∂z
PLOT3D function number: 211 (not normalized).
E - 6 The Velocity Gradient Tensor
In addition to the scalar and vector variables listed in the previous sections, Tecplot 360 can calculate one tensor variable, the velocity gradient:
∂u
-----∂x
∇U = ∂v
----∂x
∂w
------∂x
∂u
-----∂y
∂v
----∂y
∂w
------∂y
∂u
-----∂z
∂v
----∂z
∂w
------∂z
Each component in the tensor is stored as a separate variable in the dataset. The names indicate
which component they represent, such as dUdX, dUdY and so on.
698
Appendix F
Limits of Tecplot 360
F - 1 Hard Limits
The following hard limits apply to Tecplot 360 Version 2008:
Table F - 1: Hard limits for Tecplot 360 Version 2008
Item
Limit
Maximum number of data points per variable
Over 2 billion
Largest floating point absolute value
10150
Smallest non-zero floating point absolute value
10-150
Maximum number of datasets
2048 (Limited by the number
of frames)
Maximum number of frames
2048
Maximum number of pages
2048 (Limited by memory)
Maximum number of macro variabless
400
Maximum number of value blank constraints
8
Maximum number of contour groups
8
Maximum number of geometries
limited by memory
Maximum number of polylines per line geometrya
50
699
Limits of Tecplot 360
Table F - 1: Hard limits for Tecplot 360 Version 2008
Item
Limit
Maximum number of points per circle or ellipse
720
Maximum number of custom label sets
Limited by available memory
Maximum number of custom labels per set
5000
Minimum frame width or height
0.1 inches
Maximum frame width
500 inches
Maximum streamtraces per frame
32,000
Maximum number of streamtrace steps
10,000
Maximum number of color map overrides
16
Maximum preview width for EPS files
1024
Maximum preview height for EPS files
1024
Maximum number of user-defined color map control points
50
Maximum number of raw user-defined color map entries
800
Maximum number of characters in variable name
128
Maximum number of characters in zone title
128
Maximum number of characters in dataset title
256
Maximum number of views per view stack
16
Maximum number of characters in an auxiliary data string
32,000
Line length limit in ASCII .dat files (character limit per line)
120,000
a. A polyline is a continuous series of line segments, and can be a subset of a line geometry.
700
Soft Limits
Table F - 2: Hard Limits for plot styles
Item
Limit
Printing G