EnSight 10.2 Release Notes

EnSight 10.2 Release Notes


EnSight is proud to announce it’s latest version, EnSight 10.2, is officially available for download. Visit our secure downloads site to retrieve your latest version of EnSight.

Below  are the full release notes:

Help System

Under Windows the help system relies on Adobe Acrobat to view the documents.  CEI no longer distributes a version of Acrobat – you must install it.  Recommended is version X of Acrobat.  Earlier versions do not necessarily pop up ( it’s iconified on the bottom icon bar of the windowing system) when you open the Help document from EnSight.

Under Linux the help system uses okular, evince, or xpdf as the .pdf file viewer.  CEI no longer distributes a pdf viewer.  You must install one of these viewers, or set the environment variable CEI_PDFREADER to point to the pdf reader of your choice.

EnSight Capabilities

With the 10.2 release the EnSight product family includes EnSight Free, EnSight Desktop, EnSight Standard, EnSight HPC, and EnSight VR.  A chart comparing features can be found here:  http://www.ensight.com/feature-table/

Release notes from EnSight 10.1 to EnSight 10.2

One of the big changes to EnSight from 10.1 to 10.2 is the rendering pipeline.  This is the “engine” of EnSight which you unfortunately do not directly see (we’re quite proud of it).  The changes are dramatic and complex.  The end result that you can see and appreciate are:

  • Better rendering quality with the introduction of per pixel shading, reflection mapping, and the GGX high light model
  • Dramatic decrease in memory use for rendering (especially the flipbook) and thus the ability to draw larger scenes on your graphics card
  • Realtime palette manipulation by shifting texture coordinate computation to the GPU side
  • The flipbook now draws scenes at the same performance as non-flipbook.  The overall effect on our test cases has been a speedup of 7x compared with 10.1 flipbook speed

Visual Symmetry

    • Can now specify the origin for the symmetry
      • Or revert to the frame definition which continues to be the default
    • For rotational symmetry we no longer specify the rotation angle but rather N slices out of M where M defines the number of slices in a 360 degree rotation

Periodic Particle Traces

    • Can now compute and display particle traces in a periodic dataset without having to create the periodic geometry
    • Periodicity is defined in the Visual Symmetry dialog and is separate from the display of the symmetry.
    • Particle Traces have a new Option to “Compute Using Periodicity” which must be toggled ON.

Surface Property Editor

This editor is all new and replaces the former color editor for parts.  The variable list(s) show a column view of the variable where the Comp column allows you to switch from magnitude, X, Y, or Z components.

  • The texture settings have now been brought into this dialog (previously a stand alone dialog)
  • A list of predefined materials (more on this below) define surface properties for commonly used materials
  • The Surface Flow Display is contained within this dialog.Surface Flow Display

The technical term is “line integral convolution”.  Which is a noise texture that is then integrated using the surface velocity.  You end up with a texture on the entire part showing the surface flow (direction and magnitude).  Keep in mind that this is a texture representation – you do not get any analytic information nor can you animate the information which you can if you produce surface restricted streamlines.  

  • This feature is found at the bottom of the Surface Property Editor
  • It requires a non-zero vector on the surface of the part
    • Most often you will compute it using the Variable Offset calculator function
      • A wizard can be used to compute the surface velocity from the Surface Property Editor

Surface Materials

A number of predefined materials are defined such as plastic and metal.  The predefined material adds a great deal of realism to the part.  In some case the materials include an environmental reflection map.  

Opacity by a Variable

From the Surface Property Editor you can now specify a variable palette to be used for transparency.  Previous versions of EnSight allowed opacity by a variable only if the color by variable was the same as opacity.  10.2 allows these two variables to be different

An “off-line” rendering system has been developed such that you are free to continue your work in EnSight while the PBRT Photo Realistic Rendering system renders your image.

Images or animations can be output to a photo realistic rendering system called PBRT (Physically Based Ray Tracer).  This rendering system has a multitude of rendering options which EnSight attempts to simplify into a small subset of useful settings.  If the scene has been defined with the proper materials and light sources, the end result will be imagery that includes shadows and reflections as well as better lighting calculations.


An all new lighting interface has been created for 10.2.  The lights can be made visible in the graphics window and moved interactively using the touch-n-go handles.  

  • Spot, directional, or point light sources
  • Light color and intensity
  • Up to 8 different light sources/types.


Auxiliary Geometry

A box, any combination of walls, ceiling, or floor can be included in the scene.  

  • Can grab the walls via touch-n-go
  • The geometry does not map any variable information – it is only geometry
  • The geometry has attributes like any other part such as color and texture
  • Intended use is in conjunction with the lighting/PBRT rendering for shadows.

Variable Color Map Efficiencies

When manipulating the color palettes, EnSight no longer rebuilds the entire part for display but rather rebuilds the color (texture) information.  This allows significantly improved color palette interaction by the user.

Timelines for multi case data

When comparing multiple cases it is now possible to specify a master timeline based on each loaded case.  It’s also possible to freeze and move the timeline for each case independently.

3D Viewers

    • EnLiten has been discontinued
    • Reveal has been discontinued
      • 10.2 continues to have the ability to write Reveal files
    • All new 3D viewer, named EnVision 
      • Free (EnVision Standard)  and Licensed (EnVision Pro) version
      • GUI based on EnSight
      • Much faster display (similar to EnSight 10.2)
      • Smaller data files

Multi-variable support Query of a Constant vs. Moving Part

We have added the ability to query a constant variable on a created part range.  Most common is a constant vs. a clip sweep.  This capability was formerly a python tool available with similar capability from the Tools dialog.  This new capability has several advantages including (a) updates over changes in time, (b) command and context file inclusion.

Query Legends

When queries are plotted on a plotter the legend has historically indicated the name of the query.  We have now added a query legend name such that the query name is independent of the legend description.

Client/Server/SoS Communication

With a SoS configuration, the servers can now directly communicate heavy weight data to the clients bypassing the SoS


From the time dialog, EnSight can be set to monitor for newly available time steps.  When a new timestep becomes available it can simply update the solution time dialog or it can automatically step to the latest timestep available.

  • Queries over time also get an option to update themselves over the full time range available
  • This feature is currently implemented only for EnSight Case file format

Per Part Constant Variable Type

A new Constant per Part variable type has been added to 10.2.  As the name implies, the new variable type allows a constant variable to exist independently in each part.

  • When using the calculator any function which produces a constant can produce either a per Case constant (the default and what EnSight has always produced) or a Per Part constant
  • Any calculator function that can compute with a constant variable can define either a per Case or per Part constant
  • Coloration
    • palette similar to a scalar variable
    • The user interface shows a Range for a Constant per Part variable
  • A table annotation can be created from the Constant per Part variable showing a column for the part name and a second column for the value

PNG Images can be saved with transparent backgrounds

When coloring a part by a variable you can now color Undef values by the part color.  Previous choices were invisible and zero.

SoS Data Handling

When running with the Server of Servers, the limitation has always been that the same number of parts and variables had to exist on each decomposed dataset.  This limitation has been removed.

However…  Part names must be unique and each decomposed dataset must use the same part and variable names.

This capability was developed specifically to address decomposed OpenFOAM datasets such that the data can be read directly from the processorN directories.  See:  https://support.ceisoftware.com/hc/en-us/articles/216521717-Parallel-OpenFOAM-to-Parallel-EnSight-SoS-without-Merging-or-reconstructPar

Incompatibilities and current limitations

  • As is usually the case between major releases, archive files are not compatible between V10.1 and V10.2

Product Quality Program

In 10.2 we have implemented a system to assess product quality and feature usage.  This is  intended to assist CEI in determining possible problem areas in the product and allow your usage to have impact on both future product development as well as product support.  

The Product Quality program collects a small amount of data from your usage and sends it to an internet collection site via standard http protocols where CEI can review the data as needed.  The data collected is as follows:

  • The EnSight license ID
  • EnSight version and system architecture
  • An indication that the session ended in a system crash
  • An indication that 3D data was saved, ie.., scenario file, stl, VRML, or brick of floats
  • What type of image formats were used to save an image
  • Stereo was used
  • Which OpenGL version and renderer was in use
  • Preferences dialog was used
  • Interactive Python or command language was used
  • What data reader was used and any error that resulted
  • Any error messages that were displayed
  • What EnSight features were used (e.g. batch mode, part creation, calculator functions, queries, etc)

Please note that no information is collected regarding your data or results other than the file format.  We are only collecting what features in EnSight are being used and what error messages may have resulted.

The data collection and transmission do not impact EnSight performance.  And if you have no connection out to the internet there is no performance penalty – the collection and transmission will simply fail and will have no other impact on your usage.

The data is collected and sent if you opt into the program or in the case that EnSight has crashed you may give permission to send the data (on next EnSight start-up).

The usage information is gathered to a UsageLog file in your .ensight102 directory.  You may view the data with an editor if you desire.

You may use the -usage_feedback_never start parameter to force EnSight to NEVER send data – even if the user opts in or indicates he wishes to send a crash usage log.  Or you may set the environment variable ENSIGHT_USAGELOG_DISABLE.

You may use the -usage_feedback_always start parameter to force EnSight to ALWAYS send data – even if the user opts out.  Or you may set the environment variable ENSIGHT_USAGELOG_ENABLE.


Upgrading EnSight


The development team at CEI is constantly working to fix bugs and add new features in EnSight. On average, each minor update of EnSight contains between 50 and 100 bug fixes and feature implementations. These minor updates are released every 3-4 months. Major releases of the software are avaliable every 18-24 months and include more substantial changes.

Each new version comes with additional python scripting functionality, so users who take advantage of python scripting are strongly encouraged to consider using the latest version of EnSight.

Below is an update on our latest major releases:

EnSight 9.2

If you are still on version 9.2 or earlier, you may find this transition guide useful for understanding the new Graphical User Interface. 

EnSight 10.0

This version contains a major change and update in the Graphical User Interface. 

EnSight 10.1

This version has a major re-writing of the algorithms involving polyhedral elements, which results in performance improvements when handling datasets with these elements. There will be another 10.1.x patch fix release before the end of the year. 

Future Release: EnSight 10.2

EnSight 10.2 will release in the fall of 2016. This version will implement a new graphics pipeline, which will allow advanced rendering features, including the capability to create photorealistic ray-traced images directly inside EnSight, no POV-ray needed. Users will also be able to interactively use materials like gold, steel, rubber and aluminum to create more realistic looking scenes in real time as well as improved lighting models for better looking and more helpful visualizations of complex scenes.

The 10.2 release will be broken into stages, planned for Q4 2016 and Q1 2017:

  • Release 1: for Windows and Linux only
  • Release 2: including EnVision, a new 3D viewer that will replace EnLiten and Reveal
  • Release 3: which includes support for Mac

Stay tuned to EnSight news for more information about 10.2, EnVision and other software developments.

Keeping your version of EnSight up to date will allow you to take advantage of the work of our development team. EnSight is highly tested to ensure that each version is backwards compatible, so you will be able to use any scripts in new versions, without any modifications.

Feature Requests

If you have any suggestions for features you would like to see implemented in EnSight, please submit using our ideas forum. This site helps us organize feature requests from staff and customers. You can vote for previously submitted ideas, to help more popular requests make their way into our development pipeline. When a feature that you have voted for is implemented, we’ll send you an email so that you can start using it right away. .

Bug Reporting

Users may report bugs by emailing support@ensight.com. User-reported bugs are usually fixed within two weeks.

Getting Started

If you are just getting started using EnSight, you may find the following tutorial journeys helpful:


If you aren’t already receiving EnSight’s monthly newsletter, please consider signing up. Each month you’ll receive EnSight tutorials, customer stories and other news from EnSight.



EnSight Announces Version 10.1.6d

EnSight is proud to announce the newest version, EnSight 10.1.6d is now avaliable for download. This update provides bug fixes and enhancements that make EnSight an even more powerful tool for engineering visualizations. Below you will find some highlights of our enhancements. You can also download a full list of updates here.


Context Restore for Different Aspect Ratios 

If a user opens EnSight and creates annotations, then saves a context file and opens it on another machine with a different aspect ratio for the rendering window, annotations would be misplaced. This would also happen if a user saves the context file and applies it after manually changing the size of the rendering window in EnSight. In this new version, when you save a context file, you get the following lines added:

# Uncomment the line below if you want to restore the graphics window
# to the size that existed at the time the context was saved
#ext: tools_utilities.resize_render size:[916,755]

If you uncomment (by removing the “#”) the graphics window will be resized to its original size. This system allows for flexibility for annotations within the EnSight system.

Pressure and Shear Force Tool is Now Flexible for Coordinate Frames 

Users are now able to choose a frame, if there is more than one frame, and then calculate RTZ Cylindrical Forces in the chosen non-zero (non-global) frame. Output is also now more usable for reports.

Part Groups and Part Collections

Running command files from older (Version 9 and above) versions of EnSight with groups included results in less useful collections. 10.1.6d includes a routine in ens_utilis to convert collections into groups.

Minor Enhancements

Smaller, Easier to Read Command Files

EnSight has eliminated the numerous “ext:treecmd …” comments out of command files to make them easier to read.

EnSight Standard for CONVERGE (ESC) in Batch License Issue

Issue with licenses between interactive and batch has been corrected.

Improved Load Time for JT Files with Vector Arrows

A load-time issue with files exported from EnSight that contain vector arrow parts has been corrected.

Plotting – Query of 1D Part Over Distance 

EnSight now rescales the plotter when a user changes the type of query (with only one query in the plotter) to preserve blank plotters.

Part Constant Query Tool List of Constants 

The Part Constant Query tool now presents a shorter list of calculated constants, only presenting variables created using the selected part.

123 other fixes were also included. You can view the full list here.

EnSight 10.1.6b Release Notes

EnSight 10.1.6b is now available for download

EnSight 10.1.6b has been released.  You may download it now.

New or Major Capabilities Added

EnSight 10.1.6b is a bug fix release not focused on adding new capabilities. But there are a few new features listed below.

Virtual Reality Headsets

Virtual Reality headsets including Oculus Rift (Developer Kit 2) and Canon MREAL Mixed Reality are both supported in this release of EnSight. For Canon MREAL system an extra fee is required, licensing the native EnSight plug-in for Canon MREAL.  EnSight VR is not required for Oculus Rift or Canon MREAL system.


We have added parallel calculation of pathlines to make them much faster to compute.  And environment variables have been added so that if you already know the volume of interest for pathlines to travel you can reduce the calculation time further.


See these lists of bugs fixed:

list1.xls,  list2.pdf, list3.csv

Data Readers

Several readers/interfaces have been improved, including these:


Bug Fixes and Minor Changes

See the release notes PDF or Excel spreadsheet (same information) for specific items of interest.


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EnSight 10.1.5a Release Notes

EnSight 10.1.5a is now available for download

EnSight 10.1.5a has been released.  You may download it now.

New or Major Capabilities Added

EnSight 10.1.5a is a bug fix release not focused on adding new capabilities. But there are a few new features listed below.

Threaded Pathlines

Pathlines will now take advantage of your computer’s multiple processors to speed the calculation of pathlines.

SOS – Temporal Decomposition

Contact CEI for a demonstration of this capability to handle transient datasets using several servers each assigned to a different dataset. This is a beta release of this feature to permit early beta testing and feedback.


Improved clips, isosurfaces, and isovolumes in models with polyhedral elements.  CONVERGE users in particular should benefit.

Oculus Rift Support

Use an Oculus Rift (Developer Kit 2) unit to view models in EnSight (Free, Desktop, Standard, VR, or HPC).  Oculus Rift (developer kit version 2) headsets cost only $350.  But these units are lower resolution than the planned released Oculus Rift coming in early 2016.


Data readers/interfaces have been improved, including these:

Fluent Reader – now reads particles

Fluent Reader – improved reliability


Bug Fixes and Minor Changes

See the release notes Excel spreadsheet for specific items of interest.

EnSight_10.1.5a list of items changed.

EnSight 10.1.5a list.csv


We have also enhanced the license manager so that you can use an environment variable on the client to point to a license server machine instead of needed to use a license file.