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4.14.1 Using the Graphics Hardcopy Panel

To set hardcopy parameters and save hardcopy files, use the Graphics Hardcopy panel.

File $\rightarrow$ Hardcopy...

Figure 4.14.1: The Graphics Hardcopy Panel

The procedure for saving a hardcopy file is as follows:

1.   Choose the hardcopy file format.

2.   Specify the file type, if applicable.

3.   Set the coloring.

4.   Define the resolution, if applicable.

5.   Set the appropriate options.

6.   If you are generating a window dump, specify the command to be used for the dump.

7.   (optional) Preview the result.

8.   Click the Save... button and enter the filename in the resulting Select File dialog box. See Section  4.1.7 for information on special features related to filename specification.

If you are not ready to save a hardcopy but want to save the current hardcopy settings, click the Apply button instead of the Save... button. The applied settings become the defaults for subsequent hardcopies.

Choosing the Hardcopy File Format

To choose the hardcopy file format, select one of the following items in the Format list:

EPS   (Encapsulated PostScript) output is the same as PostScript output, with the addition of Adobe Document Structuring Conventions (v2) statements. Currently, no preview bitmap is included in EPS output. Often, programs that import EPS files use the preview bitmap to display on-screen, although the actual vector PostScript information is used for printing (on a PostScript device). You can save EPS files in raster or vector format.

HPGL   is a vector file format designed for pen plotters. The HPGL driver supports a limited set of colors and is not capable of rendering some scenes properly.

IRIS Image   is the native raster image file format on SGI computers. The IRIS Image driver may not be available on all platforms.

JPEG   is a common raster file format.

PPM   output is a common raster file format.

PostScript   is a common vector file format. You can also choose to save a PostScript file in raster format.

TIFF   is a common raster file format.

VRML   is a graphics interchange format that allows export of 3D geometrical entities that you can display in the FLUENT graphics window. This format can commonly be used by VR systems and the 3D geometry can be viewed and manipulated in a web-browser graphics window.


Non-geometric entities such as text, titles, color bars, and orientation axis are not exported. In addition, most display or visibility characteristics set in FLUENT, such as lighting, shading method, transparency, face and edge visibility, outer face culling, and hidden line removal, are not explicitly exported but are controlled by the software used to view the VRML file.

Window Dump   (UNIX systems only) selects a window dump operation for generating the hardcopy. With this format, you need to specify the appropriate Window Dump Command.

Choosing the File Type

When you save an EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) or PostScript file, choose one of the following under File Type:


For the quickest print time, you can save vector files for simple 2D displays and raster files for complicated scenes.

Specifying the Color Mode

For all formats except the window dump, specify the type of Coloring you want to use for the hardcopy file.

Most monochrome PostScript devices render Color images in shades of gray, but to ensure that the color ramp is rendered as a linearly-increasing gray ramp, you should select Gray Scale.

Defining the Resolution

For raster hardcopy files, you can control the resolution of the hardcopy image by specifying the size (in pixels). Set the desired Width and Height under Resolution. If the Width and Height are both zero, the hardcopy is generated at the same resolution as the active graphics window. To check the size of the active window in pixels, click Info in the Display Options panel.

For PostScript and EPS files, specify the resolution in dots per inch ( DPI) instead of setting the width and height.

Hardcopy Options

For all hardcopy formats except the window dump, you can control two additional settings under Options:

Hardcopy Options for PostScript Files

FLUENT provides options that allow you to save PostScript files that can be printed more quickly. The following options is found in the display/set/hard-copy/driver/ post-format text menu:

fast-raster   enables a raster file that may be larger than the standard raster file, but will print much more quickly.

raster   enables the standard raster file.

rle-raster   enables a run-length encoded raster file that is about the same size as the standard raster file, but will print slightly more quickly. This is the default file type.

vector   enables the standard vector file.

Window Dumps (UNIX Systems Only)

If you select the Window Dump format, the program uses the specified Window Dump Command to save the hardcopy file. For example, if you want to use xwd to capture a window, set the Window Dump Command to

xwd -id %w >

When the dump occurs, FLUENT automatically interprets %w to be the ID number of the active window.

When you click the Save... button, the Select File dialog box appears. Enter the filename for the output from the window dump (e.g., myfile.xwd).

If you are planning to make an animation, save the window dumps into numbered files, using the %n variable. To do this, use the Window Dump Command ( xwd -id %w), but for the filename in the Select File dialog box enter myfile%n.xwd. Each time a new window dump is created, the value of %n increases by one. So there is no need to tack numbers onto the hardcopy filenames manually.

To use the ImageMagick animate program, saving the files in MIFF format (the native ImageMagick format) is more efficient. In such cases, use the ImageMagick tool import. Set the default Window Dump Command enter

import -window %w

Click Save... to invoke the Select File dialog box. Specify the output format to be MIFF by using the .miff suffix at the end of filename.

The window dump feature is both, system and graphics-driver specific. Thus the commands available for dumping windows depends on the particular configuration.

When saving window dumps is that the window dump captures the window exactly as it is displayed, including resolution, colors, transparency, etc. For this reason, all of the inputs that control these characteristics are disabled in the Graphics Hardcopy panel when you enable the Window Dump format. If you are using an 8-bit graphics display, use one of the built-in raster drivers (e.g., TIFF) to generate higher-quality 24-bit color output rather than dumping the 8-bit window.

Previewing the Hardcopy Image

Before saving a hardcopy file, you have the option of previewing what the saved image looks like. Click Preview to apply the current settings to the active graphics window. Now, you can investigate the effects of different options interactively before saving the final, approved hardcopy.

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