MV-100: Introduction to the MotionView Environment

In this tutorial you will learn how to open and save a model in MotionView, work with pages in a session, and switch HyperWorks Desktop clients.

This tutorial contains an introduction to the MotionView graphical user interface.
Invoking MotionView
  • In Windows, click Start Menu > Programs > Altair HyperWorks Installation > MotionView..


  • In Linux, invoke ~hw_install/altair/scripts/mview in an open terminal (where ~hw_install is the location where HyperWorks is installed).
The MotionView Interface
MotionView is one of the clients that reside under the HyperWorks Desktop (HWD) framework. The framework provides a common layout for all clients. Other clients that are available under this framework are: HyperMesh, HyperView, HyperGraph 2D, HyperGraph 3D, MediaView, TextView, and TableView. The client is selected, or changed, using the Client selector drop-down menu:

Figure 1.
The image below shows the HWD graphical user interface with MotionView activated as the client:

Figure 2.
The HWD graphical user interface can be broadly categorized into six segments:
Main Menu
The Main menu bar includes all functionalities that are available through the various toolbars. Additionally, the Main menu contains other useful utilities like FlexPrep, Import CAD/FEM, Macros, etc.

Figure 3.
Note: The Main menu varies between the different clients of HyperWorks Desktop.
The following table summarizes the functionalities available in the Main menu of MotionView:
Main Menu Item Functionality Alternatives
File Provides options to manage files (Creating new models, Opening and Saving models/Sessions, Importing and Exporting a Solver Deck, etc.). The same options are available through HWD Standard Toolbar also.
Edit Provides options to manage the pages and windows of a session (Cut, Copy, Paste, and Overlay of the page and window). Same options are available through Page Edit Toolbar also.
View Allows you to manage the display of the graphical user interface (the display of Browsers, Command Window, Panel Area, Tab Area, Toolbars, etc.).  
Solver Mode Allows you to switch between solvers modes (MotionSolve, ADAMS, and Abaqus).  
Model Allows you to access the following:
  • Assembly Wizard
  • Attachment Wizard
  • Set Wizard Paths
  • Implicit Graphics
  • Data Summary
  • Topology Summary
Analysis Allows you to access the following:
  • Task Wizard
  • View Reports
Tools Provides you with access to various tools and special utilities:
  • Check Model
  • Freeze Output Ids
  • Import CAD or FE using HyperMesh
  • Model Identification Tool
  • CG/Inertia Summary
  • Custom Wizards
  • Reports
  • MS UserSub Build Tool
  • Templex Functions
  • Options
Check Model – Available in Run panel.
Flex Tools Provides you with access to various utilities:
  • Flex Prep – Used for generation and translation of flexbody files.
  • Flex File Gen - Generates an animation file for ADAMS flexbody results.
  • Fatigue Prep – Helpful in the translation of MBD result files to other formats useful in fatigue analysis.
  • Load Export – Allows you to export loads from an MBD analysis.
Macros Provides you with access to macros that are useful for modeling and model debugging.  
Applications Allows you to invoke other HyperWorks applications from the MotionView graphical user interface.  
Help Provides you with access to the online help.  
HWD Standard Toolbars
Toolbars provide quick access to commonly used features. HyperWorks Desktop toolbars are static and will not change, regardless of which application is active. Some of the toolbars become inactive when different clients are selected. In the table below, all of the HWD toolbars are introduced. Please be sure to note the toolbars that are not applicable to the MotionView client.
Toolbar Purpose Image
Client Selector Selecting the HWD client from the drop-down list.
Standard Options for file management (Creating, Editing, Saving, Importing, and Exporting of files etc.).
Page Controls Options to:
  • Create and Delete pages and windows.
  • Expand, Swap, and Synchronize selected windows.
Note: To navigate through different pages of a session, use the Previous Page or Next Page buttons (located at the upper right corner of the window, below the menu bar area and above the graphics area). See the Page Display and Navigation Area topic for additional information.
Page Edit Options to manage pages and windows of a session (Cut, Copy, Paste, and Overlay of a page and window).
Animation Toolbar Provides controls for the animation of results.
Note: Available in HyperView and HyperGraph only.
Standard Views Options to view model in different orthogonal views.
3D View Controls Options to control the 3D view of the model (Rotate, Pan, Zoom, etc.).
2D View Controls Options to control the 2D view of plots (Pan, Zoom, etc.).
Note: Available in HyperGraph only.
Reports Options to Create/Open/Define Report Templates.
Scripting Options to Create/Open/Debug/Run Tcl and HyperMath scripts.
Image Capture Capture Image/Video of the active page.
Note: Please refer to the HyperWorks Desktop User’s Guide > Graphical User Interface > Toolbars topic for a detailed explanation of each toolbar listed above.
Client Specific Toolbars
Client specific toolbars provide access to options required for pre- or post-processing of FEA/MBD models. MotionView has a set of toolbars for building an MBD model. Each MotionView toolbar group provides access to entities with similar characteristics. For example, all entity such as Joints and Motions are grouped in the Constraint toolbar. The table below shows MotionView toolbars with a brief explanation of their usage.
Toolbar Purpose Image
General Actions

Options to render graphics, provide access to the Run panel (change solver settings and submit jobs to the solver), and the Entity Selector.

Depressing the Entity Selector icon indicates the graphic screen is in entity selection mode. If no other entity icons are depressed, the selection is not filtered to a particular entity (any entity that has a graphical representation on the screen can be selected).

Container Entity Select/Add container entities like Assemblies, Systems, and Analyses.
Reference Entity Select/Add entities like Points, Bodies, Vectors, Markers, etc.
Constraint Select/Add constraint entities like Joints, Motions, Couplers, etc.
Force Entity Select/Add force entities like multi-axial Forces, Spring Dampers, Bushings, Beams, Contacts, etc.
Control Entity Select/Add entities like Solver Variables, Solver Arrays, SISO Controller, Differentials, and Sensors which are useful in defining controlled simulations.
General MDL Entity Select/Add general MDL entities like Datasets, Templates, Forms and Output Requests.
Model Check Checks the model.
Point Macros Access point creation macros useful in adding points with respect to a reference frame, along a vector, along a curve and at an arc center.
Other Macros Other macros useful in modeling and debugging: calculate angles, find connected entities, create markers for a deformable surface and contact properties editor.
A left click on an entity icon sets the filter to select that particular entity from the graphic screen, while a right-click on a toolbar icon enables adding that entity to the model (see the Points example below):

Figure 4.
  • Left mouse click - Filters selection to a Point entity.
  • Right mouse click - Opens the Add Point dialog to add a Point.
Note: Mouse over the icons to display a tip about the type of entity that can be selected or added.
Tab Area
The tab area docks different browsers, the purpose of the browsers is to navigate through the hierarchy tree and execute some operations specific to the selected items. Available for all clients is the Session Browser Browser, which allows you to browse to the different pages or windows in an HWD session, as well as execute certain page and window operations. In addition to the Session Browser, client specific browsers are shown based on the active window. For example, when the MotionView is active client in the working window, the MotionView Project Browser is shown; similarly, when HyperView is active, the Results Browser is shown. Specifically, the MotionView Project Browser helps you browse/select different modeling entities, in addition to executing certain modeling operations. Other browsers include the Organize browser (used for data management and collaboration) and the Process Manager (used for process automation). Please refer to the client specific online help regarding the available browsers. Finally, browsers can be placed on either side of the graphic window (Left/Right/Both) through the Menu bar by using the View > Tab Area menu options.
Mouse Options in the Project Browser
A left mouse click on an entity in the Project Browser selects that entity and the details of entity are displayed in the Panel area (see the example below):

Figure 5.

Figure 6.

A right click on an object brings up a context menu with options that are relevant to the selected object.

For example, a right click on a Point entity brings up a context menu that provides options to either: Deactivate, Rename, Add, Delete, or Cut the point entity along with options to filter entities.

Figure 7.
Similarly, a right mouse click on the Model (the topmost folder in the browser hierarchy) displays up a context menu with options useful in model building.

Figure 8.
Panel Area
Below the client specific toolbar is the panel area where you can view and modify the various values and properties of a selected entity. Panels may have several tabs which organize the various properties and values of the entity type selected. For example, the Spring Damper panel has the connectivity information and properties displayed in three tabs (as shown below):
Connectivity tab
Allows you to specify the type of spring, the bodies to attach, and the attachment points.

Figure 9.
Properties tab
Allows you to set the stiffness and damping properties of a spring.

Figure 10.
Connectivity tab
Allows you to set a 'preload' on a spring by specifying a force value or spring free length.

Figure 11.
Graphics Window
Graphics window is the model visualization area where you can interactively work on the model.
The following table illustrates the various mouse clicks available for model visualization:
Operation Action
Left click on an entity like a Point, Graphic, etc. (while the Entity Selector and an entity icon is depressed in the toolbar). Selection (the selected entity is highlighted by a white boarder around it).
Hold the left mouse button and move over the model (while the Entity Selector and an entity icon is depressed in the toolbar). Displays the entity name on the mouse tooltip and selects the entity upon releasing mouse button.
Right-click on a model entity. Displays a context menu with various options: Select, Cut, and Delete against each entity name.
Ctrl + Left mouse button Rotates the model (observe the mouse tooltip).
Ctrl + Left click Picks the center of rotation.
Ctrl + Right mouse button Translates/Pans the model.
Ctrl + Middle mouse button Selects the window to fit.
Ctrl + Middle click Fits the model to the window.
The controls for the mouse can be found under Tools > Options > Mouse:

Figure 12.
You can customize the mouse controls using this dialog.
Note: The items under the Main Menu, Browser, and Client specific toolbars differ from client to client.

Open a MotionView Model File

In this step, you will learn how to open a MotionView Model file.

Prior to beginning this tutorial, please copy all of the files located in the mv_hv_hg\mbd_modeling folder to your <working directory>. See Access the Model Files for additional information.
  1. Start MotionView in one of the following ways:
    • In Windows, click Start Menu > Programs > Altair HyperWorks Installation > MotionView.
    • In Linux, invoke ~hw_install/altair/scripts/mview in an open terminal (where ~hw_install is the location where HyperWorks is installed).
  2. Open the model by doing one of the following:
    • In the Standard toolbar, click the (Open Model) icon.
    • From the File menu, select Open > Model.
  3. From the Open Model dialog, click the SingleCylinderEngine_model.mdl located in your <working directory>.

    Figure 13.
    MDL stands for "Model Definition Language". MDL is an ASCII programmable language for modeling in MotionView. See the MotionView Reference Guide for details about the different MDL statements.
  4. Click Open.

    Figure 14.
    The single cylinder engine model will display in the modeling window. Upon successful loading of a model into MotionView, the status bar will display the Ready message.

    The Project Browser lists all of the entities in the model.

  5. In the browser, click the Expand /Collapse button of each entity folder (Bodies, Points, Joints, Motions, and so on.)
    This will expand the folder in the Project Browser. Use the mouse controls in the modeling window to rotate, pan, and zoom the model.
  6. Next to the Bodies folder, click the Expand button .
  7. Click on the CRANK_SHAFT body to review its properties.

    Figure 15.
    The corresponding entity panel (Bodies in this case) is displayed in the bottom of the window.
    Note: Each entity will have a label and a unique variable name. For example, the crank shaft body has a label of CRANK_SHAFT and a variable name of b_CRANKSHAFT.
  8. From the Properties tab, view the Mass and Inertia properties of the body.

    Figure 16.
  9. Click on CM Coordinates tab to review the CM point and orientation of the body.

    Figure 17.
    The Origin point defines the body CG location. The orientation is defined with respect to global reference frame using direction cosines DxDyDz.

Select and Modify a Motion

In this step you will modify the crank shaft rotational velocity to 10rad/sec.

  1. On the Constraint toolbar, left-click the (Motion) icon.
  2. Identify the CrankShaft Rotation in one of two ways:
    • In the modeling window, hold down the left mouse button to identify the Crankshaft Rotation. Hold your cursor over the Crankshaft rotation and release the button to select it.
    • In the Project Browser, find the Motions entity and click (Expand). Then select Crankshaft Rotation.

    Figure 18.
    Note: Implicit graphics are displayed for all applicable entities, allowing you to visualize their location and orientation. See the MotionSolve User's Guide for details about controlling the visualization of implicit graphics.
  3. From the Motion panel, click the Properties tab.
  4. In the Value field, enter 10.

    Figure 19.

Save a MotionView Model

In this step you will learn to save your MotionView model to your <working directory>.

  1. From the menu bar, click File > Save As > Model.
    The Save As Model dialog will be displayed.
    Note: You can also click the (Save Model) icon on the Standard toolbar to the save the file in <working directory> with the existing name. If the model is new, you will be prompted to input the name of the model.
  2. In your <working directory>, name the file SingleCylinderEngine_model_10rad_per_sec.mdl.

    Figure 20.
  3. Click Save.

Solve the Model

In this step you will invoke MotionSolve to solve your model.

  1. On the General Actions toolbar, click (Run).
  2. From the Run panel, click the Run button.
    Figure 21.
    This will invoke MotionSolve and solve the model. The HyperWorks Solver View window will appear and show the progress of the solution along with messages from the solver (Run log). This log is also written to a file with the extension .log to the solver file base name.
  3. Once the job is completed, close the solver execution window.
  4. Right-click to clear the message log.

Add Pages to a Session

In this step you will learn how to add a page, change to different HyperWorks Desktop clients, change the page layout, and navigate between pages. You will also load the result files to view the animation and the plot.

Even though there are both Animate and Plot buttons in the MotionView Run panel, clicking those buttons will result in the HyperView and HyperGraph clients opening automatically in different windows on the same page, however in this exercise you will manually do the same on a different page, in order to familiarize yourself with the concept of page and window within the HyperWorks Desktop environment.
  1. From the Page Controls toolbar, click the (Add Page) icon.
    This adds a new page with MotionView as the client.
    Note: The Add Page option adds a page with the current client (in this case, MotionView).
  2. From the Select application drop-down menu, select HyperView.

    Figure 22.
  3. Load the model.
    1. From the Load Model panel, click on the Select File icon next to Load model.

      Figure 23.
    2. In the Load Model dialog, navigate to your <working directory> and select the animation results SingleCylinderEngine_model_10rad_per_sec.h3d file.

    Figure 24.
    The file will populate the Load results field automatically.
    Note: H3D is an Altair binary file for HyperView. The H3D file contains both model and results data from a solver run. Please see the Appendix (below) for various use cases of H3D files in MotionSolve/MotionSolve.
  4. Click Apply to load the results.

    Figure 25.
  5. From the Animations toolbar, click the (Start/Pause Animation) button to animate the results.
    1. Use the mouse controls for better visualization and understanding of the results.
    2. Click the (Start/Pause Animation) button again to stop the animation.
  6. To plot the results, add a window to the current page.
    1. From the Page controls toolbar, click the arrow next to the Page Window Layout button .
    2. Select the two window layout .

      Figure 26.
  7. Click in the second modeling window in order to make it the active window.
  8. Use the Select application drop-down menu to change the application from HyperView to HyperGraph 2D .
    Note: The Client selector displays the icon of the current client (HyperGraph in this case).
  9. Open the MotionSolve results file for your model.
    1. On the Curves toolbar, click the (Build Plots) icon.
    2. From the Build Plots panel, click (Open File) next to Data File.

      Figure 27.
  10. In the Open Data File dialog, navigate to your <working directory> and select the MotionSolve results SingleCylinderEngine_model_10rad_per_sec.abf file.

    Figure 28.
    Note: ABF is the Altair Binary File for HyperGraph. Other output files from MotionSolve (.mrf and .plt) can also be used for reading results into HyperGraph.
  11. Click Open.
  12. Plot the angular velocities for the crank shaft.
    1. For X Type, select Time.
    2. For Y Type, select Marker Velocity.
    3. For Y Request, select REQ/70000002.
    4. For Y Component, select Wx.

    Figure 29.
    1. Click Apply.
      Observe Wx=10 rad/sec.

    Figure 30. Two Window Layout (with HyperView and HyperGraph 2D)
    1. From the Animation toolbar click Start/Pause Animation to animate the results.
    Click on (Expand/Reduce Window) to expand or reduce an active window.

    Click on (Previous Page) or (Next Page) to navigate between pages 1 and 2.

    Figure 31. MotionView with Single Cylinder Engine Model

Save a Session File

In this step you will learn how to save your work as a session file.

  1. From the menu bar, click File > Save As > Session
  2. In the working directory, name the file mywork.mvw.

    Figure 32.
    Note: A session file saves the complete HyperWorks Desktop data (the page, window, client, and results information). Please refer to the Appendix for details regarding the different types of HyperWorks Desktop files.
  3. Click Save.
    You have successfully saved your work as a session file.

Open a Session File

In this step, you will learn how to open a session file in MotionSolve.

  1. From the menu bar, click File > New > Session.

    Figure 33.
    1. There will be a message asking if you would like to discard all current session data and start a new session. Click Yes.
  2. From the menu bar, click File > Open > Session.
  3. In the Open Session File dialog, select mywork.mvw.

    Figure 34.
  4. Click Open.
    You have successfully opened your session file. Browse through the pages using and icons.


HyperWorks Desktop File Types:
Table 1 summarizes the different file types in HyperWorks Desktop and the location where the file can be loaded and saved.
Table 1. Options for loading and saving different file types
File Type Extension Window Mode
Session script .mvw Any
Report template .tpl Any
MDL .mdl MotionView
Animation .gra, .res (Adams and Optistruct), .h3d, .flx, .mrf HyperView
Plot .req, .mrf, .abf, .plt, .res (Adams) HyperGraph
Templex script, any text file .tpl, .txt TextView
H3D File Use Cases in MotionView/MotionSolve
H3D is an Altair format for storing model and result information. In general, an H3D file is used for post-processing results in HyperView; however the H3D file has a few other use cases in MotionView/MotionSolve.
Table 2.
Graphic H3D File This type of H3D contains Model information only. A graphical H3D file is an imported geometry into MotionView for visualization of a body.
Flexbody H3D File This type of H3D contains Model and Flexible body information. Therefore, MotionView can use it as a graphic, as well as to represent a deformable body by accessing the modes, mass, and inertia information. HyperView can read it as both Model and Results, and also animate the mode shapes, modal displacements, stresses, and so on (if available).
Results H3D File This type of H3D is written by MotionSolve. It contains Model and Results information. HyperView can read it as both Model and Results, and also animate the position, deformation, stresses, forces, and so on.
H3D contains different blocks of information based on the above needs:
  • Model Information – Nodes and Elements
  • Flexible Body Information – Modes, Interface Nodes, Mass/Inertia
  • Results – Position, Displacements, Stress, Strain, and so on