Display Controls

Display Controls

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Display Controls

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The functions on the toolbars allow you to control the view of your model. The view commands are accessible even when you are using other panels. The viewing functions allow you to:

hmtoggle_plus1greySet Basic Views

Use the buttons in the 2D View Controls toolbar to apply pre-set views, such as XY Top or XY Bottom views.  

hmtoggle_plus1greyUse View Rotation

There are multiple methods you can use to rotate a displayed model.

Use the left, right, up, and down arrow keys to rotate the model incrementally.
Hold down the Ctrl key, then click-and-drag on the model in the graphics area.
Use the buttons in the Standard Views toolbar to apply pre-set views.
hmtoggle_plus1greyChange the Window

The window viewing options allow you to zoom in and out of the currently displayed window, specify an area to see in closer detail, fill the window with the model, and refresh the screen.

The following window viewing options are included as default keyboard shortcuts:




Circle zoom: click-and-drag the mouse to draw a circle.  The view zooms to that circle when you release the mouse button.

+ and -

(Numeric keypad) Current Window Zoom


Fit to screen


Plot (refreshes the rendering in the graphics area).


Slide zoom; click-and-drag the mouse to zoom in and out.  Release the mouse button to stop zooming.

Ctrl + right-click allows you to drag the model.

hmtoggle_plus1greyPerform View Translation

Translation of the model, also called panning, is performed by selecting a new center for the current window.

To change the screen center

1.Press C on the keyboard.
2.Move the mouse into the graphics area. The current center is indicated by a small white box.
3.Move the mouse to the point where you want the new center located and click the left mouse button. The center relocates.
4.Exit by moving the mouse into the menu area, by clicking the right mouse button, or by pressing any key.
hmtoggle_plus1greyReturn to the Previous View

To return to the previous view of your model, click the previous view icon on the Standard toolbar or press B on the keyboard. This returns the screen graphic to the view before a rotation, zoom, center, or other viewing manipulation was performed.  You can toggle between two views of a model by clicking (or pressing) repeatedly.

hmtoggle_plus1greySet View Options

The Options panels (accessible by pressing <O> on the keyboard, or by selecting individual items from the Preferences menu) allow you to define several viewing options on the various subpanels.    

Viewing option settings include, but are not limited to:



rotate angle
(geometry subpanel)

The rotate angle field specifies the number of degrees that your model rotates when you use the arrow keys. Increasing or decreasing the angle makes the model appear to rotate faster or slower. For smaller models, setting the rotation angle to a lower value allows a smooth transition from frame to frame.

pick tol
(geometry subpanel)

The pick tolerance field specifies the maximum distance, in pixels, that the cursor can be from the pick handle of a graphical entity in order to select it. When the pick tolerance is increased, it is easier to pick an entity.

zoom factor
(geometry subpanel)

Zoom factor specifies the multiplication factor that is used to increase or decrease the scale of the current view when you press the + and – keys on the numeric keypad.

surf lines
(geometry subpanel)

The surf lines parameter specifies the default number of u-v lines to draw on new surfaces when they are created. Displaying surface lines can help you to visualize a surface better, but it can slow down the redraw speed of a large model. The number of surface lines on existing surfaces can be changed by using the surf lines panel.

element handle
(graphics subpanel)

The element handle option specifies whether or not to draw element handles. An element handle is a single-pixel dot at the centroid of an element. Turning off pick handles can speed up the redraw time.

The element handles option also allows you to display the center of gravity for multibody collectors and text labels for 1D elements.

fixed points
(graphics subpanel)

The fixed points option allows you to specify whether or not to display fixed points. This does not affect the display of free points. Fixed points can also be turned on and off from vis opts in the Geometry Cleanup panel.

geom handle
(graphics subpanel)

The geom handles option allows you to specify whether or not to display line and surface handles.

coincident picking
(graphics subpanel)

The coincident picking option allows you to graphically select a desired entity from a stack of coincident entities when there are multiple entities at the same location. For example, if multiple loads are detected at the same location, a circular insert pops up containing various loads displayed separately with their IDs turned on. You can then pick the appropriate load. This function is activated by turning on coincident picking in the Options panel. The entities supported for coincident picking are nodes, elements, loads and systems.

template labels (type) (graphics subpanel)

This option allows you to display the element labels as template names or BasicFEA names.

(graphics subpanel)

The shrink option controls the shrink factor to be used when drawing elements. If no shrink is selected, each element is drawn so that its corners directly connect to its nodes. If a shrink value is applied, the element is scaled by the specified value about its centroid, so that its corners do not appear to touch its nodes. The shrink value must be between 0 and 1. Shrinking elements is a convenient way to detect holes in a mesh and to improve wireframe element picking.

menu font
(menu config subpanel)

Pick from several different font sizes to use in menus, including panels and tabs.

graphic font
(menu config subpanel)

Pick from several different font sizes to use for labels of entities in the graphics area.

cursor size
(menu config subpanel)

Toggle between normal and large-sized mouse cursor.

pg 1, pg 2, and so on
(page names subpanel)

Allows you to rename the pages in the Page menu; panels are grouped into the pages.

graphics file options
(graphics files subpanel)

The graphics files subpanel includes options related to captured jpeg image files and AVI clips, including the image quality, color/grayscale and whether or not to include the graphics area background.

hmtoggle_plus1greySet Tolerances

The Options panel (accessible via the toolbar or the Tools menu) allows you to define tolerance values on its mesh and geometry subpanels.  These tolerance values include:



node tol

Node tolerance is essentially the resolution to which HyperMesh maintains the finite element data in the model.  When you specify a node tolerance, HyperMesh considers any two nodes to be coincident if the distance between them is less than the value.

cleanup tol

"Cleaning up" refers to cleaning up the CAD geometry data by equivalencing edges, deleting fillets, and eliminating extraneous vertices.  The cleanup tolerance value specifies how much HyperMesh is allowed to modify the geometry in the course of "cleaning" it.  Since you will approximate the geometry with a finite element mesh, you need to work with a cleanup tolerance that is less than the node tolerance used in the mesh generation.

Since the objective is to make a finite element mesh for the geometry, the tolerance values are determined by the demands for that mesh.  You need to approximate the size of the elements that make up the smallest feature of importance in your model. HyperMesh attempts to make a reasonable guess at this value when you import a CAD file, and initializes the tolerances as appropriate, but without additional input it uses a cautious estimate.

Element size

Node tolerance

Cleanup tolerance


min   max

min        max


1e-4   0.01

1e-4        0.01  


1e-3   0.1

1e-3        0.1    


0.01   1.0

0.01        1.0


0.1    10.0

0.1        10.0

hmtoggle_plus1greySet Global Parameters

The Global panel, accessed only by clicking G on the keyboard, controls model parameters that are accessed by several different panels. These parameters remain constant until changed.    

Use this panel or the template subpanel on the Files panel to specify the template file you want to use.

The Global panel controls which components or collectors are active; any entities created are stored in the active collectors.

Elements are designated as first order elements by default. If you want to create second order elements, click the toggle after element order: to second.

In addition, the Model browser allows you to determine what entities display in the graphics area.