EnSight is a commercial visualization package written and supported by Computational Engineering Intl. Its client-server organization allows much of the processing to take place on a powerful remote server like the Xserve cluster, while displaying the results on a local client workstation. A recent Ensight CFD incarnation includes a native Mac OS X version, but these notes still focus on an X11 version.
Online documentation in the PDF format is available under the Help menu, or by looking in the
EnSight includes translators for a variety of popular CFD data formats, such as FIDAP or PLOT3D. Its native data format is based on the concept of geometry, including nodal coordinates and a collection of model parts, such as volume or surface meshes, and result files, which include scalar and vector quantities. The conversion to EnSight data from the MIXD format data can be accomplished with the aid of the MIXD2EnSight converter.
The server runs on a remote machine for which a license is provided. The client runs on Mac OS X, or on any SGI workstation running IRIX 6.x, Sun workstation running Solaris, or on Linux 2.x, among others.
Add the following to your
# set up CEI EnSight visualizer if (-d /usr/local/cei) then setenv CEI_HOME /usr/local/cei set path = ($path $CEI_HOME/bin) endif
# set up CEI EnSight visualizer if [ -d /usr/local/cei ]; then export CEI_HOME=/usr/local/cei export PATH=$PATH:$CEI_HOME/bin fi
and source it. If the server (the part that reads the data and does pathline computations) runs on a multi-CPU machine like
hydra, set environment variable
ENSIGHT8_MAX_THREADS to 2. If the client (the part that shows the user interface) runs on a multi-CPU machine like
prandtl, set environment variable
ENSIGHT8_MAX_CTHREADS to 2 or 4. Note that with a standard non-gold EnSight license, the maximum number of threads actually used will be 2.
Some configuration information is stored in your
~/.ensight8 directory. For example, the server configuration file should look like this:
tempest(~)% cat .ensight8/ensight_generalgui_prefs.def VERSION 8.070000 prefs: icon_help_labels OFF ...
In most cases EnSight client is run on the same machine as the server, and invoked using a single executable, initialized here with a previously saved command sequence
navier(test)% ensight8 -p test.com
One can also run EnSight on a remote workstation:
The current RWTH license allows 2 clients to connect and is managed by the computing center.
Our Rice University license expired for good in 2006.
Our current RWTH license expires on December 31, 2012.
To configure EnSight for stereoscopic viewing on an SGI, create two files, namely
/usr/gfx/setmon -n 1120x840_96s
/usr/gfx/setmon -n 1920x1200_66_mfg
and make them executable. To enter stereo mode press F12 key. The screen will go blank for a second, and when it comes back, the LED on the transmitter above the monitor should be lit. Screen resolution in this mode is reduced, so you may have to experiment with window placement. It greatly helps to have a key binding available to move the window without access to its title bar. In
Mwm, one can add something like:
Meta<Key>m window f.move
to the active key bindings. Then pressing Alt+m anywhere in the EnSight window will allow you to move it. Press F12 again to exit the stereo mode. The stereo goggles were last observed at Rice MEMS 108. CATS goggles are yet to be acquired.
- EnSight features discussion
- Viz Worth Watching Blog by Darin McKinnis has EnSight news and an RSS feed
- Best practice guide (PDF) from Kent Misegades
- Since the Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update Ensight had some problems when starting up. As a workaround, start Ensight with:
- The changing geometry handling with fixed connectivity is treated in an unusual way. In these cases, only the first step contains connectivity information. On the other hand, EnSight loads the last step by default, and finding no parts defined, presents a blank viewer. The solution is to specify the starting time step in the Part Loader dialog (last seen in 7.3).
- There is no way to visualize element-level data like the element volume or divergence. Actually, there is since EnSight 6.2, but our converter does not support it yet. One can use the Visual3 program for this purpose.
- The Z-Clip feature produces unwanted clipping at extreme close-up views (6.0.3).
- EPS files generated do not appear when included in a TeX document. This can be corrected by removing the lines:
<< /NumCopies 1 >> setpagedeviceand also
1.000 1.000 1.000 Cr vpfillfrom the beginning of the file (fixed?).
- EPS files are also fatal to
gs, unless they are saved with the
.epssuffix, rather than