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SOLIDCast UNIT 37: Making Movies

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SOLIDCast allows you to create movies from the results of running simulations. These movies are in the form of WMV files. WMV files are standard animation files that can be viewed on any Windows system, as long as the Windows Media Player program is installed. Media Player is a Windows system accessory and is normally found in most Windows installations. A current version of the Media Player can be downloaded from the Microsoft web site,  http://www.microsoft.com.

There are several types of movie files that can be created in SOLIDCast, as noted below. Each type is then described in a following section.


Iso-Surface Movies –
Each frame of the movie is an iso-surface plot. The progression works best on time-related data. For example, an iso-surface movie of solidification time would show the progression of solidification in a casting. The surfaces would show what metal had not yet solidified at that point in time.


Cut-Plane Movies – 
Each frame of the movie is a cut-plane plot. A cut-plane plot is a 2D plot, taken from a slice of the 3D model. Again, this progression works best on time-related data. This movie shows only the 2D cut plane, and not the full 3D model.


CastPic Movies – 
Each frame shows a CastPic plot. This is 3D and in color, and can be cut into up to three directions to show internal features. The plot can be set to go gray when outside the plot area, or to fade to blue . This can be quite effective in showing a casting cool down after solidification.


CastScan Movies – 
CastScan movies come in two flavors, Progressive and Rotating. Progressive CastScan movies plot a different range of data in each frame, to show, for example, the progression of solidification. Rotating movies, on the other hand, plot the same data in each frame, but the view is rotated in each frame, to give the impression that the casting is moving about, as on a rotating turntable. You can specify many colored layers, which give a very attractive visual effect.

 

 ISO-SURFACE MOVIES

Iso-surface movies are a series of iso-surfaces at progressive values in a casting model. Each iso-surface plotted becomes a single frame or picture in the movie. At the end of the movie creation function, all individual images are included in a single WMV file.

Creating an Iso-surface movie is similar to plotting a single Iso-surface plot (see the section on Iso-surface plotting). Load your simulation. Then rotate the casting to the angle want displayed for the movie. Now, double-click on the simulation icon on the Project Tree to display the Simulation Summary box, then close the Simulation Summary box and select Simulation… Plot Iso-Surface from the main menu. Select the data item that you want to plot.

For Iso-surface movies, the type of data that is plotted is usually either Critical Fraction Solid Time or Solidification Time, since both of these are time-based criteria and making a movie of progression of time makes the most intuitive sense.

If you select Critical Fraction Solid Time, for example, you will see a window like this:

Notice on this window that there is a small box labeled Movie. If you click this box, some additional fields appear in the window as shown here:

Now there are items labeled “Ending Value”, “Movie Filename”, “Frames” and “Fps” .

“Plot This Value” indicates the value of the iso-surface plot in the first frame of the movie.

“Ending Value” indicates the value of the iso-surface to be plotted in the final frame of the movie. Typically you might want this to be slightly less than the Maximum value, so that the final area to solidify will appear with a definite shape in the last movie frame.

“Movie Filename” refers to the name of the WMV file that will contain this movie. In this example, the movie file will be called Sample CFS.WMV. This file will be placed into the current folder where the System Parameter for Import Files is set.

“Frames” refers to the number of individual pictures that will make up the movie. The more frames that are specified, the smaller will be the change from one surface to the next, however, with more frames it will take longer for the system to make the movie and the size of the WMV file will be larger.

“Fps” stands for frames per second, and controls how fast the individual images are displayed.

After specifying the above information, click on OK. The system will display a window showing the progress of the movie creation. An example is shown here:

Note that for Iso-Surface movies, the only plot color available is a dark blue. Future versions of SOLIDCast will allow for other colors.

Once the movie is complete you should see a screen like this:

You can click on the icons to run the movie in the Windows Media Player or go to the movie folder. The normal procedure is to set your movie player to repeat, so you can see the movie several times without having to restart it manually each time. Once you have finished watching the movie, close the Media Player to return to SOLIDCast.


Note
: While a movie is being created, you can still do other things, either in SOLIDCast or in any other software package. The movie creation process takes place in the background.

Any time that you want to later view the movie, or send it to another person to view, you just need to locate the WMV file that was created and double-click its icon to start viewing, or send the file as an email attachment to another person. When the other person receives the file, they can just double-click the icon to view the movie. It is not necessary to have SOLIDCast installed on a computer to view these movie files.

 

CUT-PLANE MOVIES

Cut-Plane movies show the progression of a selected type of data on a single 2D slice cut through a casting model. A series of images are created which show the progression of the chosen data item on the cut plane. At the end of the movie creation function, all individual images are included in a single WMV file.

Creating a Cut Plane movie involves first creating a Cut Plane plot on a chosen plane(see the section on Cut Plane plotting). A simulation must have been completed. Double-click on the simulation icon on the Project Tree to display the Simulation Summary box, then close the Simulation Summary box and select Simulation… Plot Cut Plane from the main menu. Select the data item that you want to plot, minimum and maximum plot values, and the direction of the cut plane. For Cut Plane movies, the type of data that is plotted is usually either Critical Fraction Solid Time or Solidification Time, since both of these are time-based criteria and making a movie of progression of time makes the most intuitive sense. Now click on OK to create a Cut Plane plot. You can now use the slider bar to position the Cut Plane where you want it to be in the model. As an example, you should see something like the following on the screen:

Notice on this window that there is a small box labeled Movie. If you click this box, a small window will appear as follows:

Notice there are items labeled “Movie Filename” , “Frames” and “fps”.

“Movie Filename” refers to the name of the WMV file that will contain this movie. In this example, the movie file will be called Cut Plane Movie – CFS.WMV. This file will be placed into the current folder where the System Parameter for Import Files is set.

“Frames” refers to the number of individual pictures that will make up the movie. The more frames that are specified, the smaller will be the change from one surface to the next, however, with more frames it will take longer for the system to make the movie and the size of the WMV file will be larger.

“fps” stands for frames per second, and controls how fast the individual images are displayed.

After specifying the above information, click on OK. The system will display a window showing the progress of the movie creation. An example is shown here:

Once the movie is complete you should see a screen like this:

You can click on the icons to run the movie in the Windows Media Player or go to the movie folder. The normal procedure is to set your movie player to repeat, so you can see the movie several times without having to restart it manually each time. Once you have finished watching the movie, close the Media Player to return to SOLIDCast.


Note
: While a movie is being created, you can still do other things, either in SOLIDCast or in any other software package. The movie creation process takes place in the background.

Any time that you want to later view the movie, or send it to another person to view, you just need to locate the WMV file that was created and double-click its icon to start viewing, or send the file as an email attachment to another person. When the other person receives the file, they can just double-click the icon to view the movie. It is not necessary to have SOLIDCast installed on a computer to view these movie files.

 

CAST PIC MOVIES

CastPic movies show the progression of a selected type of data in the form of CastPic images of a casting model. A series of CastPic images are created which show the progression of the chosen data item on the model surface. At the end of the movie creation function, all individual images are included in a single WMV file.

Creating a CastPic movie involves first creating a CastPic plot of a model at a given angle of rotation. (See the section on CastPic plotting). A simulation must have been completed. Double-click on the simulation icon on the Project Tree to display the Simulation Summary box, then close the Simulation Summary box and select Simulation… CASTPIC Plot from the main menu. Select the data item that you want to plot, minimum and maximum plot values, location of cut plane (if any), whether to plot data outside the range and the Plot Detail number. For CastPic movies, the type of data that is plotted is usually either Critical Fraction Solid Time or Solidification Time, since both of these are time-based criteria and making a movie of progression of time makes the most intuitive sense. Now click on OK to create a CastPic plot. As an example, you should see something like the following on the screen:

Notice on this window that there is a small box labeled Movie. If you click this box, a small window will appear as follows:

Notice there are items labeled “Movie Filename”, “Frames” and “fps” .

“Movie Filename” refers to the name of the WMV file that will contain this movie. In this example, the movie file will be called Cast-Pic CFS Time.WMV. This file will be placed into the current folder where the System Parameter for Import Files is set.

“Frames” refers to the number of individual pictures that will make up the movie. The more frames that are specified, the smaller will be the change from one surface to the next, however, with more frames it will take longer for the system to make the movie and the size of the WMV file will be larger.

“fps” refers to the number of frames per second that will be shown when the WMV file is displayed. This controls the speed of the movie.

After specifying the above information, click on OK. The system will display a window showing the progress of the movie creation. An example is shown here:

 

Once the movie is complete you should see a screen like this:

You can click on the icons to run the movie in the Windows Media Player or go to the movie folder. The normal procedure is to set your movie player to repeat, so you can see the movie several times without having to restart it manually each time. Once you have finished watching the movie, close the Media Player to return to SOLIDCast.


Note
: While a movie is being created, you can still do other things, either in SOLIDCast or in any other software package. The movie creation process takes place in the background.

Any time that you want to later view the movie, or send it to another person to view, you just need to locate the WMV file that was created and double-click its icon to start viewing, or send the file as an email attachment to another person. When the other person receives the file, they can just double-click the icon to view the movie. It is not necessary to have SOLIDCast installed on a computer to view these movie files.

 

CAST SCAN MOVIES – Progressive

A Cast Scan movie combines elements of both a CastPic and Iso-Surface plots. In a Cast Scan movie, the casting background is created as a solid rendered and shaded casting picture as it is in a CastPic plot. The data inside the casting is created as one or more Iso-Surfaces. If there are multiple Iso-Surfaces specified, then the Iso-Surfaces are variably colored with the brighter colors representing the more critical data areas.

Cast Scan Movies can be created showing either a progression of data with the casting image in one orientation, or with the data plot limits fixed and the casting rotating in space. We will first discuss the Progressive type of plot, and the next section will deal with the Rotating type of plot.

To create a Progressive Cast Scan, first orient the model at the angle at which you want it to appear in the movie. The casting will remain at this angle in all frames of the movie. You must have completed a simulation prior to creating the Cast Scan movie. Double-click on the simulation icon on the Project Tree to display the Simulation Summary box, then close the Simulation Summary box and select Simulation CASTSCAN Movie. A window similar to the following will appear:

Note that when this window first appears, Temperature is the default data item. For a Progressive Cast Scan movie, the type of data that is plotted is usually either Critical Fraction Solid Time or Solidification Time, since both of these are time-based criteria and making a movie of progression of time makes the most intuitive sense. You can select a data item by clicking on the selection arrow next to Temperature (Whole Model) and then selecting either Critical Fraction Solid Time or Solidification Time.

Note also that “Rotating” appears in a window. You can change this to Progressive by clicking on the selection arrow next to Rotating.

The number of Surfaces specifies how many Iso-Surfaces will be plotted within each image. This can vary from 1 to 24.

A typical setting for this window would be as follows:

After specifying the above information, click on OK. The system will display a window showing the progress of the movie creation. An example is shown here:

Note that when making Cast Scan movies, the time to create a movie can vary widely. Some of the items that affect the time to make a movie are as follows:

Number of Frames: The greater the number of frames, the longer the time to make the movie.

Surfaces: The more surfaces, the longer the time.

Detail: The higher the detail, the longer the time. (Note that higher detail produces a larger movie when using the default size in the Media Player).

Once the movie is complete you should see a screen like this:

You can click on the icons to run the movie in the Windows Media Player or go to the movie folder. The normal procedure is to set your movie player to repeat, so you can see the movie several times without having to restart it manually each time. Once you have finished watching the movie, close the Media Player to return to SOLIDCast.


Note
: While a movie is being created, you can still do other things, either in SOLIDCast or in any other software package. The movie creation process takes place in the background.

The following image shows four frames from a typical example of a Progressive Cast Scan movie, showing a progression of solidification on an investment cast tree. Two castings are attached to the central downsprue/runner/feeder:



Any time that you want to later view the movie, or send it to another person to view, you just need to locate the WMV file that was created and double-click its icon to start viewing, or send the file as an email attachment to another person. When the other person receives the file, they can just double-click the icon to view the movie. It is not necessary to have SOLIDCast installed on a computer to view these movie files.

 

CAST SCAN MOVIES – Rotating

A Rotating Cast Scan movie is an alternative to the Progressive Cast Scan type of movie. In a Rotating movie, the range of data that is plotted stays constant, and the casting model rotates in space about a vertical axis. This allows the data that is plotted inside the casting to be viewed from all angles, and can sometimes give a viewer a more intuitive feel for where various indications inside the casting model are actually located.

To create a Rotating Cast Scan, first orient the model at the angle at which you want it to appear initially in the movie, keeping in mind that the casting will rotate horizontally about its vertical axis in the movie. You must have completed a simulation prior to creating the Cast Scan movie. . Double-click on the simulation icon on the Project Tree to display the Simulation Summary box, then close the Simulation Summary box and select Simulation… CASTSCAN Movie. A window similar to the following will appear:

Now select the type of data you want to plot. In a Rotating Cast Scan movie, any data item may make sense to plot. Our example will show Material Density.

Fill in the Movie Filename, Number of Frames and fps (Frames per Second). In a Rotating Cast Scan movie, the model will perform one full rotation. Therefore, the number of frames determines the degrees of rotation from one frame to the next, If number of frames is specified to be 36, then the model will rotate 10 degrees in each frame. If the number is 72, the rotation from one frame to the next will be 5 degrees.

After filling out the items in the window, it should look something like the following:

After specifying the above information, click on OK. The system will display a window showing the progress of the movie creation. An example is shown here:

Note that when making Cast Scan movies, the time to create a movie can vary widely. Some of the items that affect the time to make a movie are as follows:

Number of Frames: The greater the number of frames, the longer the time to make the movie.

Surfaces: The more surfaces, the longer the time.

Detail: The higher the detail, the longer the time. (Note that higher detail produces a larger movie when using the default size in the Media Player).

Once the movie is complete you should see a screen like this:

You can click on the icons to run the movie in the Windows Media Player or go to the movie folder. The normal procedure is to set your movie player to repeat, so you can see the movie several times without having to restart it manually each time. Once you have finished watching the movie, close the Media Player to return to SOLIDCast.


Note
: While a movie is being created, you can still do other things, either in SOLIDCast or in any other software package. The movie creation process takes place in the background.

The following image shows four frames from a typical example of a Rotating Cast Scan movie, showing a simulation that was run on a casting with risering. The plot is of Material Density, showing riser piping and shrinkage-prone areas in the casting.



These images were created using 8 surfaces in each image.

Any time that you want to later view the movie, or send it to another person to view, you just need to locate the WMV file that was created and double-click its icon to start viewing, or send the file as an email attachment to another person. When the other person receives the file, they can just double-click the icon to view the movie. It is not necessary to have SOLIDCast installed on a computer to view these movie files.

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