Fill out the form to download

Required field
Required field
Not a valid email address
Required field
Required field
  • Set up your own cloud-native simulation in minutes.

  • Documentation

    How to Use the Plot over Line Feature in Paraview?

    How to Use the Plot over Line Feature in Paraview?

    In most of the CFD and FEA simulations, it is possible to identify improvement areas just by using a qualitative approach, however sometimes, it is important to post-process the simulation results using a more quantitative way.

    In SimScale, before running the simulation it is possible to set up result control plots to check the simulation convergence, for example, we can work with an area average, forces and moments plots, and probe points with the Incompressible model. And if more information is required along a line through the geometry, you can use a third-party post-processing platform, such as ParaView to plot over line simulation results.

    Using ParaView to Create a Plot Over Line

    Before starting this tutorial, please make sure that you have uploaded the simulation results from SimScale to Paraview.  

    After downloading the simulation results, you can start ParaView and open the results by going to the Open option or File > Open and selecting the folder with the results and opening the file with the format .foam.

    Paraview interface opening file
    Figure 1: Opening the simulation results in Paraview downloaded from SimScale
    paraview opening case.foam file
    Figure 2. Opening the folder with the downloaded results from SimScale

    ParaView will open a new ribbon where you can select the faces and properties. You can keep the default settings, just click to select all the Mesh Regions and hit ‘Apply’.

    properties mesh region selection
    Figure 3. Loading the results

    Now you should be able to see the domain inside the Pipeline Browser, where you can hide or show it. You have access to the Properties of this domain and with the Coloring option you can use the variables as contours, for example, you can use this option to see the pressure contours, temperature, velocity, etc. Using the Color Map Editor, you can change the legend and work with different presets to analyze the results.

    coloring and legend in paraview
    Figure 4. Using the Coloring and Legend options in Paraview

    Creating a Plot

    The first step to create a plot consists of selecting the domain, for this case, we are using the default name called “Case.foam”. Next, select the ‘Plot Over Line’ option from the top ribbon. 

    plot over line
    Figure 5. Selecting the Plot over line option

    Now, ParaView will open an arrow to help you with positioning the line and it is possible to move the arrow and select the line just by moving it. Still, if you want to be more accurate, you can use the Line Parameters feature to input the line coordinates and the line will respect the values you have set. 


    ParaView works with the units of your simulation results, so the units will be the same as the ones you were using to run the simulation.

    plot over line adjusting
    Figure 6. Adjusting the line parameters

    For this particular case, a line along one of the inlet zones is plotted. Click ‘Apply’ to generate the plot.

    plot over line creation
    Figure 7. Creating the plot over the specified line coordinates

    ParaView will generate the plot of the results along the plotted line. All variables will be plotted, but you can use the Series Parameters feature to filter out unwanted variables within the plot.

    series parameters paraview
    Figure 8. Using the Series Parameters function to filter the parameters of interest

    For example, if you want to check the temperature behavior, you can select the Temperature variable and use the Title option to change the axis names.

    plot over line axis title change
    Figure 9. Changing the axis titles

    If you want to create a figure, it is possible to save a print with the Cam feature.

    create plot figure using cam
    Figure 10. Generating a plot figure with the Cam option

    Spreadsheet view

    It is also possible to see the results using a spreadsheet view which is very useful to see the quantitative results generated along the line. To use this function you can go to the Pipeline browser, and click on ‘PlotOverLine’ to create a new layout, so the interface will open a new window where you can select the option SpreadSheet View.

    spreadsheet view in plot over line
    Figure 11. Creating a spreadsheet view
    spreadsheet data export
    Figure 12. Exporting the plot data as a spreadsheet

    You can also export the data to post-process it using a different tool using the Export Spreadsheet tool shown above.

    Last updated: August 16th, 2023