Tech Briefs

Engine Model (~ 1.65 million nodes, 1.34 million elements) - Courtesy of AB Volvo Penta

New ADINA Graphics Engine for Fast Visualization

Over the years, finite element models solved using ADINA have become larger and larger. To increase the speed of processing of very large models with several million nodes and elements, and specifically the speed of manipulating the graphics dynamically in the ADINA User Interface (AUI), we have implemented in ADINA v. 9.0 a new 3D graphics engine* that is optimized for the industry standard OpenGL 3.3. This engine significantly improves the real-time graphical performance and quality for large models. In addition, this new "fast graphics mode" includes certain features to improve the ease of modeling that we highlight in this Brief. The fast graphics mode is provided as an alternative to the standard graphics mode and users can switch between the two modes by simply clicking an icon.

Real-time model sections

In the fast graphics mode, the dynamic rotation of large models can be performed significantly faster than in the standard graphics mode. Models can also be sectioned in real time by multiple section planes for easier visualization, as illustrated by the movie above.

Easier selection of entities

When performing the selection of entities, the model can be dynamically panned, zoomed and rotated to pick entities that are hidden in the original view. Also, circular and lasso selection tools are implemented in addition to the standard rectangular tool. The new polygonal and free-form lasso tools allow users to select any irregular-shaped region by simply clicking or dragging the mouse. The speed of selecting a group of entities has also been improved.

Improved label display and highlighting

The fast graphics mode avoids that, in a large model, element or node labels are displayed too crowded for proper visualization. Instead, the density of the labels is dynamically adjusted as the model is zoomed in or out, making it easier to see the labels. A switch to quickly turn the labels on or off is also implemented. The highlighting of entities is enhanced so that the hidden entities are visible when highlighted and labels of highlighted entities are magnified. This enhancement makes it much easier for users to locate visually the position of the entities.

Other enhancements in the new fast graphics mode include:

  • the use of a solid or gradient color, or an image for the background
  • viewing in orthogonal or perspective projections
  • adjustment of surface transparency
  • various lighting and shading options
  • enhanced visualization of original and deformed model (see movie below)

  • Deformation of rubber boot

    The fast graphics mode currently does not support all features in the AUI. Hence, we will continue to develop this capability to expand its usage with more AUI features, to implement new features that enhance interactions with large models and to further improve performance. Our goal is to make the AUI a powerful tool for the processing of very large models which are becoming more commonplace as users solve increasingly more complex multiphysics problems involving interactions between structures, fluid flows, heat transfer and electromagnetics using the ADINA System.

    Graphics engine, visualization, OpenGL, large models, real-time graphics, lasso selection

    *available in ADINA v. 9.0 on 64-bit Windows version