Is there a better way to view Exodus nodesets and sidesets in paraview?

If I select the advanced options and individually click on side sets and nodesets in paraview they show up but they are barely visible most of the time, is there a better way to view these boundaries in paraview?

Or a way to make the nodes and sidesets render better.

compare with ensight:

Hi Weston,
I can share how I view Exodus file in my workflow with Model Builder(a pre simulation processing software based on ParaView):

Load the file -> Right click the model view then select Assign colors operator -> Color your interested Area:

You can see that the boundaries are colored using one of the predefined color maps.
CMB 4.2 should be enough in your case. Download link.

I always load the nsets and ssets separately - I load the file with no sets, just nodes and elements - then I re-open the file and just load nsets and ssets. I seems to be better behaved.



The problem you are experiencing is that the side/node sets are coincident with the main blocks. That is, they occupy the same space. This wreaks havoc with the hidden surface removal part of rendering. The thing that is drawn comes down to minor inconsistencies with the computed depth of the two blocks (typical in any floating point computation). My bet is that when you rotate the object around in either ParaView or EnSight you get a lot of flashing effects as different polygons are chosen as “in front.” Whatever gets drawn is unpredictable and can depend on just about anything (camera angle, order of rendering, graphics hardware being used, astrological sign, etc.).

There are some rendering features in ParaView to try to separate points and lines from the surfaces they may be coincident with. You can tweak the options to try to get the points to show up better, but I found a better approach is to go to the display settings and make the points bigger (say 10 pixels) and turn on the “Render Points as Spheres” option.

Making the side set more visible is a bit more tricky. ParaView does not differentiate a surface that comes from the main mesh and one from a side set. One trick you can do is to shrink the main mesh so that the main mesh falls behind the side sets better. To do that, do the following:

  1. Load in your Exodus file. Load in only the main mesh. No node or side sets.
  2. Use the Transform filter and set the scale to 0.99, 0.99, 0.99.
  3. Load in your Exodus file again. This time, turn off the main mesh and turn on the node and side sets you want.

You should now see the node and side sets on top of the main mesh. You may need to play with the scale of the transform filter. Make the scale smaller if you still get issues of not seeing the side sets. Make the scale bigger if the mesh looks visibly smaller than it should be compared to the node and side sets.

Note that this approach is not infallible. It should work well for convex surfaces (such as your example), but there will be problems if you have concavities or disconnected components.

Thanks for the information, it looks like the ModelBuilder might be more what I was hoping for.

@Kenneth_Moreland, ensight does indeed behave similarly to paraview but by default it seems the majority of the time the side sets and node sets are still distinguishable even though they are occupying the same space

@DennisConklin’s method does seem to behave better even though it involves no transform on the scaling