Creating an Animation (optional)

There are two ways to create animations in CFD Post: Quick Animation and Keyframe Animation. In Quick Animation, you can animate objects like planes and streamlines for simple visualization. For longer animations, you can use keyframes where you take two "snapshots" of an object and then set how many frames you want to be interspersed between the two. In Keyframe you can also animate the camera so that you can better see certain features you might be trying to highlight in the animation. Shown below are the steps that were used to create the pressure contours animation from the Numerical Results.  In the pressure contours animation, there were 250 frames generated between the two snapshots. We also went into the options and slowed the animation down by a factor of 3. We played with the frame rate and the quality as well. All of these options are available in the Keyframe Animation Options tab.

Pressure Contours Keyframe Animation

  1. First, we create a plane where the pressure contours will be displayed. I did this at a very slight offset from the symmetry plane (in the tutorial, this is called near_side). This plane can be a very simple XY Plane, especially since we are mostly interested at looking at only the pressure contours on the plane as we move it along the span of the wing. Name your plane something appropriate like "plane for pressure animation".
  2. After we've created the plane, we can create contours of pressure on the plane. Click on the contours button and plot the contours on your plane.
  3. You can either deselect the plane so that it does not interfere with the visualization of the contours, or you can make it semi-transparent.
  4. Click on the film icon, next to the clock icon
  5. You can either do a quick animation or a keyframe animation. Keyframe is useful if you would like to move the camera and have more control over the animation as a whole. If you would just like to do a quick animation, you can simply select the plane that you are animation and click to animate it. Quick animation is good for very quickly getting an idea of how things are changing but keyframe can give you a higher quality animation. In the animation window for Quick Animation, you can select how fast you would like the object to be animated. Fast is going mean less frames and give not as smooth of an animation - but it will take a lot less time to get this animation. Slow will mean a lot more frames and will give a fairly smooth animation - this will take a long time depending on how slow you want the animation to be.
  6. To record and save the animation, you will need to select "Save Movie" and hit the play button to record.
  7. In Keyframe Animation, we take two "snapshots" and then specify how many frames we want to be between the two. More frames means a smoother animation but a lot more time to generate.
  8. To create your first keyframe, choose a view that is a good starting point for viewing the pressure contours and then click on "New Keyframe"
  9. Create your second keyframe by navigating to another view. For the pressure contours animation, you will need to move the "Plane for Animation" along the -Z axis. In our animation, it was moved to -1.3 ft. Once you are satisfied with your second view, you can add the second keyframe.
  10. Once you have added the second keyframe, the options become available for you. You can choose to animate the camera (if you wanted to zoom or rotate for instance). You can go into the options tab and choose the frame rate, quality, speed etc. as well.
  11. You will then want to specify how many frames you want between the two keyframes. More frames means that the animation is smoother but it can also take a very long time to generate. (e.g. our animation took about 30 minutes but we made another that took a few hours). The frames will be generated evenly between the keyframes as well.
  12. Once you have selected all of your options and have the number of frames you want to be generated between the keyframes, you need to go back to your first keyframe (simply double click on your first frame) and then hit the play button. See the image below.
  13. There are a lot of things you can tweak to get a really good visualization so you can play around with keyframes and animating the camera, as well as tweaking the options.