Postprocessing and Visualization Updates

COMSOL Multiphysics® version 6.0 brings a new feature to cap faces when using interactive clipping, arrays of plots, and new color tables. Browse all of the postprocessing and visualization updates below.

Cross Sections in Interactive Clipping

To make it easier to work with complicated geometries, you can now use the interactive clipping functionality to add cross sections when clipping a solid domain. This feature works throughout the Model Builder and is available from the Graphics window toolbar.

A gas turbine model showing the interior faces using two clip planes. Two planes used for interactive clipping of a gas turbine model.
A gas turbine model with capped interior faces. The new Cross Section functionality used in a gas turbine model.

Array of Plots

A new feature allows you to create arrays of plots to visualize multiple results side-by-side in the Graphics window. When the plot array functionality is enabled, you can control the behavior of each plot such as the array shape and array plane in the Settings window under the Plot Array section.

A 2D plot showing three different results of a beer fermentation model. An array of plots that shows correlations between variables in a beer fermentation model.
An array of four plots showing different solution times in a beer fermentation model. An array of plots that shows the solution at different times in a beer fermentation model.
An array of four test strip plots showing the spreading of a liquid sample. An array of plots that shows the liquid saturation in a rapid test strip. The spreading of the liquid sample is shown at four different time steps.

Ambient Lighting Improvements

The Ambient light settings used for providing light around the geometry now includes a new feature to better define 3D models. The new Ambient Occlusion option available in the Graphics window toolbar is a new rendering technique that uses soft shadows to make your geometry appear more realistic. This new feature works by calculating the ambient light exposure of each point in a 3D geometry.

A permanent magnet motor model with three-phase winding on the stator and surface-mounted magnets on the rotor. The Ambient Occlusion feature enabled in a permanent magnet motor.
The geometry of an inductor motor vibration model. An induction motor vibration model without the Ambient Occlusion applied.
An induction motor vibration model with realistic shadows. An induction motor vibration model with the Ambient Occlusion applied.

Transparency Improvements

For transparent visualization of plots, transparency can now depend on the incidence angle to help improve realism. In COMSOL Multiphysics® version 6.0, it is now more user friendly to set the mouse rotation center while transparency is enabled.

A laminar mixer model with blue-yellow streamlines and transparency. The transparent outline of the mixer in a laminar mixer has angle-dependent transparency enabled.

Filtered Lists of Postprocessing Features

The COMSOL® software contains a large number of postprocessing features, but in any given model only a subset of the features is likely to be useful. Version 6.0 brings dynamic filtering in menus based on the physics interfaces that are used in the model. This is especially useful for users who have licenses for many different add-on products.

The COMSOL Multiphysics UI showing the Model Builder with a 3D Plot Group node highlighted, the corresponding Settings window, the More Plots options shown in the Graphics toolbar, and an acoustic model in the Graphics window. The More Plots menu in a 3D structure-acoustics multiphysics model.
The COMSOL Multiphysics UI showing the Model Builder with a 3D Plot Group node highlighted, the corresponding Settings window, the More Plots options shown the Graphics toolbar, and a telescope model in the Graphics window. The More Plots menu in a 3D ray optics model.

Logarithmic Color Scale

When plotting expressions that have value ranges that cover multiple magnitudes, it can be easier to interpret the results if the logarithm is plotted instead. The obvious way to do this is to plot log(EXPR) or log10(EXPR) instead of EXPR, but doing so has some drawbacks:

  • The unit of EXPR is lost, as log(EXPR) is dimensionless.
  • The description of log(EXPR) does not automatically contain the description of EXPR.
  • The values shown next to the color legend are the logarithms.
  • The expression has to be changed when changing between linear and logarithmic scales.

In COMSOL Multiphysics® version 6.0, it is possible to use a logarithmic color scale without changing the expression.

A closeup view of the Model Builder with the Multislice node highlighted and the corresponding Settings window. The Logarithmic color scale option in the Settings window.
A dipole antenna modeled as a circle with a thin rectangle in the middle; the model is mostly very dark blue. The norm of the electric field in the dipole antenna model plotted with a linear color scale.
A dipole antenna modeled as a circle with a thin rectangle in the middle; the model is dark blue around the perimeter of the circle and gets lighter toward the center. The norm of the electric field in the dipole antenna model plotted with a logarithmic color scale.
A closeup view of the Model Builder with the Slice node highlighted, the corresponding Settings window, and an extruder model in the Graphics window. The Logarithmic color scale used to visualize results in an extruder model.

Evaluation of Geometry Measures

The Volume, Surface, Line, and Distance measurement features make it easy to perform measurements in postprocessing. This functionality is analogous to the measure functionality in the geometry sequence.

The COMSOL Multiphysics UI showing the Model Builder with the Evaluation Group node highlighted, the corresponding Settings window, the Measure drop-down options in the Graphics toolbar, and a reactor model in the Graphics window. Volume measurement of a reactor once heaters and impellers have been placed inside the reactor.

Cumulative Integration

Cumulative integration can be enabled in the numerical evaluation features in Derived Values and Evaluation Groups. It makes it possible to evaluate cumulative integral values for all time steps.

A closeup view of the Model Builder with the Global Evaluation node highlighted, the corresponding Settings window, and a carbon deposition model in the Graphics window. Cumulative integration applied to reaction rates in a carbon deposition model.

Color Table Transformations

Under the Coloring and Style section, the new Color table transformation options make it possible to tweak a color table by applying a nonlinear transformation to it. You can use this to emphasize or de-emphasize variations in the expressions being plotted.

A closeup view of the Model Builder with the Surface node highlighted and the corresponding Settings window. The available color table transformations.
A bracket model showing the von Mises stress in the Rainbow color table. The von Mises stress in a bracket without a color table transformation applied.
A bracket model showing the von Mises stress in the Rainbow color table. The von Mises stress in a bracket with the Nonlinear color table transformation applied.

Transformation Datasets

New Transformation 3D and Transformation 2D datasets make it possible to perform affine transformations of the geometry defined by another dataset. You can use this feature to visualize movements that are not captured by the model's frames or make objects move during an animation, such as in the case of frozen rotor analysis in CFD, for example.

Color Table Improvements

To further enhance your postprocessing, COMSOL Multiphysics® has expanded its range of visualization capabilities by making the color tables smoother and introducing several new color tables, including but not limited to:

  1. Inferno
  2. Magma
  3. Plasma
  4. ThermalWave
  5. Viridis
The geometry of a wrench model in the Prism color table. The new Prism color table used in a wrench.
A car door model in the Prism color table. The new Prism color table used in a car door model.
A chimney on a building model shown in the Viridis color table. The new Viridis color table used in a chimney model.
A corrosion model shown in the Viridis color table. The new Viridis color table used in a corrosion model.
A monolithic reactor model shown in the Magma color table. The Magma color table used in a monolithic reactor.
An RF car model shown in the Thermal Wave color table. The Thermal Wave color table used in an RF car model.

Evaluating Expressions in Graph Plot Legends

A new Evaluated legend type allows you to use the eval function to create an evaluated legend text in the Legend field that includes evaluated global expressions such as global parameters used in sweeps. It is also possible to evaluate expressions defined in the points that are plotted.

A closeup view of the Model Builder with the Point Graph node highlighted, the corresponding Settings window, and a 1D plot in the Graphics window. Legends settings and the resulting legend in a spherical cap model.

Plot Information Section

There is a new Plot Information Section in the Settings window for all plots and graphs to display different quantities useful for benchmarking against different settings and setups, such as the time that it took to prepare the data for the plot. The information appears in a table that is saved with the model and updated each time the plot had to be redrawn. This section is hidden by default, and you can enable it in the Show More Options dialog box by selecting the Plot Information Section check box.

A closeup view of the Show More Options window with the Plot Information Section node highlighted. The Show More Options dialog box.
A closeup view of the Model Builder with the Radiation Pattern node highlighted, the corresponding Settings window, and an antenna model in the Graphics window. The information section for a far-field plot of a Vivaldi antenna model.