Upfront Data Loader

A new workflow emphasizing upfront data loading for standard crash post processing use cases.

Once the upfront data loading profile is enabled in HyperWorks Desktop using a Preference file, a new mode with a different approach to loading data and post-processing will be available to use.

Some of the highlights and key benefits of this profile are:

  • Uses a multi-threaded, asynchronous data loading engine resulting in faster load times.
  • New Load Data Browser designed to:
    • Select upfront and load only animation steps and results data of interest.
    • Load several results at once, monitor load progress and cancel loading.
  • Automatic caching of loaded data with option to unload data when no longer necessary.
  • Interact with the application and do other tasks while data is loading instead of waiting until loading completes.
  • Memory monitoring to warn if usage reaches a certain threshold and cancel any ongoing loading.
Note: Support is restricted to transient outputs from specific solvers. Also note that this profile functions a bit differently from standard HyperView due to infrastructural and workflow changes. As a result, not all tools are enabled in this profile at this point. Furthermore, memory usage for loading data in this profile is different compared to standard HyperView. Refer to the Coverage section for additional details.

Load Data Browser

The Load Data Browser is displayed in the tab area and is broken down into three major sections, each of which corresponds with the process order of using the tool (see the figures below).

Figure 1. Load Data Browser
  1. Load Model and Results: Choose the model and result file to load into the HyperView window.
  2. Loadcase Tab: Choose the steps to load for viewing animation/deformation.
  3. Results Tab: Choose the results to load for contour/vector/tensor/iso plotting by creating result definitions.
The suggested data loading workflow is as follows:

Figure 2. Suggested Upfront Data Loading Workflow

Access Upfront Data Loader

When you launch HyperView, the Upfront Data Loader preferences file is automatically registered. However, you must activate the Upfront Data Loader preferences file before you can use the browser.
  1. Start HyperView from the installation folder.
    The HyperView window is displayed.
  2. From the File Menu, click Load > Preference File.
    The Preferences dialog is displayed.
  3. Select Vehicle Safety Tools + Upfront Data Loader from the Preferences dialog.
    Note: As this profile is targeted towards crash post-processing, vehicle safety tools are also packaged.
  4. Click Load.
    The Load Data Browser and the Safety Tools menu are displayed.
Note: A new mode is enabled through this preference file which means that in addition to enabling the Load Data Browser, certain icons and menu items are disabled as these tools are not supported in Upfront Data Loading profile (please see the Coverage section for more details).

Load Model and Results

The Load Model and Results section allows you to load model and result files.
Note: The Load Data tab replaces the Load Model panel when the preference file is activated.
Tip: You can also open the Load Data tab by clicking the Open Model button on the Standard toolbar.
Activate the Model and Results check boxes, browse to the desired files, and click the Load Model button to load model and result files. The progress of the model loading can be seen in the message prompt.

Figure 3.
Note: Loading an input deck as Model and output as result (for example, *.rad+A001 or *.key file+ d3plot) is not fully supported. Please see the Coverage section for more details.
By default, model and results are loaded from the same file. However, you can load model and results from different files (for example, an LS-DYNA .key input deck as model with H3D as results), or load only a model or only results by using the Model and Results check boxes. If you load a result file other than the one initially selected, it will load new results that will replace the existing results on the same model file.
Overlaying Multiple Models
You can load one or more models and their associated results into one window by activating the Overlay check box. The last model you load automatically becomes the current model. To make a previous model the current one, you must manually set it as your current model. From the Results Browser, right-click on the name of the model file that you would like to set as the current model and select Make Current from the context menu.

When models are overlaid, the Loadcase tab has a drop-down menu to switch between the models so that the you can choose steps from a model to load. In the case of result definitions, the create definitions dialog will display data from all models, allowing you to create a single definition for data that is available in both models rather than creating one per model. At the time of loading a definition, HyperView will check if the requested data is available in all models and if not, it will display a warning message.

Loadcase Tab

The Loadcase tab allows you to load the desired steps for viewing the animation.

Once the model/results are loaded, the Loadcase tab automatically populates to show the available steps in the file.

Figure 4.
You can choose to load all steps or load only selected animation steps of interest. As the steps are loading, a green check mark will appear next to the steps that are loaded. In addition, a loading message appears in the bottom left of the tab and next to it a red X button is displayed. The X button allows you to cancel loading, if desired. Also, while data is loading, you can interact with the application and do other tasks instead of waiting until loading completes. The loaded steps are cached in memory and can be unloaded when no longer needed.
Tip: Memory monitoring is available to warn if usage reaches a certain threshold allowing you to cancel any ongoing loading. See the Memory Monitoring section for additional details.

Load Animation Steps

Select the animation frames/steps that you want to load and click the Load Selected button (or right-click and select Load from the context menu).

Figure 5.
Note: Multi-select is possible using Ctrl and Shift buttons.
Tip: Click the Load All button to load all the animation steps.
The step entry in bold is the current active step in the modeling window, however you can change it to another other step by right-clicking and selecting Make Current from the context menu.
Click on the Start/Pause Animation button on the Animation toolbar to animate the loaded steps.
Attention: In the Upfront Data Loader profile, only the animation steps that have been loaded through the Load Data Browser will be animated in the modeling window.

Loadcase Context Menu

Clicking the right mouse button on a folder or entity/item within the Load Data browser’s tree structure brings up a menu with a variety of useful options.

The visibility of browser context menu items is dependent on the current selection. Only menu items belonging to the type of selected items will appear. Options selected in an empty space apply to all items.

Option Description
Create Not used.
Edit Not used.
Delete Not used.
Rename Not used.
Make Current Makes a selected item current (when more than one is available).
Collapse Collapses all items in the tree structure so that only the top-most level of items displays.
Expand Expands all items in the tree structure, exposing every item nested at every level.
Model Info Opens the Model Info dialog for the current model.

The General tab provides information about the model and results file, and the Statistics tab displays the model and results files in a tree-like structure.

Load Loads the selected animation steps.
Unload Unloads the selected animation steps.

Results Tab

Once model/results and the required animation steps have been loaded, click on the Results tab. The Results tab allows you to choose the results to load for contour/vector/tensor/iso plotting.

Two options are available when it comes to loading and viewing results as contour, vector, iso, or tensor plots.
  1. Current Plot: Use current contour, vector or tensor results to plot data. This is an 'on-demand' approach to plotting. If you want to change the plot to a different result, use the Entity Editor section to modify the definition. In this approach, data remains in memory as long as the plot is displayed. Once you clear the plot or edit the definition to view a different result, data is again read from the file.
  2. Definitions: Define upfront what you would like to view as a contour, vector, iso or tensor plot. This is the 'upfront' approach to plotting. Definitions are loaded and remain cached in memory whether the plot is displayed or not and therefore, plotting is instantaneous.

Figure 6.

Current Plot

Current Plot allows you to quickly plot results in the form of contour, vector, or tensor plot without having to create definitions first. You can choose to plot the default current contour/vector/tensor or make a change using the Entity Editor and click Plot. Data is loaded and kept in memory only when the plot is visible in the graphics window. If you want to save the result for future access, you can click on the Cache button below the Entity Editor or right click on the item in the browser and click Cache. A cached entry is created under the definitions folder with a default label specifying the datatype/component/layer/resolved in system.
  • The current plot workflow follows the same 'on-demand' approach as the contour/vector/tensor panels in standard HyperView (non-Upfront Loading mode).
  • There is a relationship between the current folder items and definition folder items. When you plot any definition from the definitions folder, depending on its type, the corresponding current item definition is updated and shown as plotted (the plot icon is highlighted). Similarly, when a current item is plotted, any cached entry created from it is also shown as plotted.


Definitions can be created using one of the following methods:
  1. Create Definitions Dialog
  2. Import an XML File
  3. Preference Statement
Create Definitions Dialog
Launched by clicking the “+” button or by right-clicking in browser, this dialog allows you to create multiple definitions across data types at one time.

Figure 7.

Results in the file are grouped into Scalars, Vectors, and Tensors tabs. The options column allows you further select the necessary sub-types such as data components, data layers, resolved in systems, etc. A default set of options is selected for each result (for example, displacement will automatically create a definition of displacement magnitude in the analysis system and stress defaults to vonMises).

You can select multiple definitions to create and edit them by changing the "default" settings in the Create Definitions dialog.

Figure 8.
Note: Created definitions can be deleted by selecting them in them in the browser and clicking or right-clicking and selecting Delete from the context menu.
One of the advantages of using this dialog is that it allows you to create multiple definitions of a specific data type very quickly. For example, in the figure below, three components, two layers and two resolved in systems have been selected under data type stress. This will create twelve definitions of type stress in a single step.

Figure 9.
Attention: Creating too many definitions may cause some application slow down.
Once definitions are created, they can further be edited by selecting a result definition in the browser and editing its attributes in the Entity Editor.
Restriction: Only the definitions that have not been loaded can be edited.
Definition labels are auto generated based on the following scheme: <datatype_name>, <datatype_component>, <datatype_layer>, <resolved in system>. If any of these are not present for that data type, 'None' is used in the label. If the definition attributes are edited, the label is not auto updated. You are free to rename the label.
Note: The Create definitions dialog prevents duplicate definitions from getting created by checking if definitions with same attributes are already present.

Figure 10.
Import XML Files Containing Definitions
Definitions that have been created can be exported and reused on a different model easily. Simply select and right-click on the definitions that you want to reuse and click Export, save it to an XML file, and import it on a new model. You can choose to either append or replace the existing definitions or replace them.

Figure 11.
Preference Statement
The preference statement, *DefaultResultDefinitionFile, defined in the preferences_post.mvw file, allows you to point to an XML file containing definitions, thus saving the time required to manually create the definitions each time. Every time a model is loaded into the session, the definitions contained in the file are automatically created and shown in the Results Tab.
Tip: HyperView only checks if the data type and component necessary to create the definition are available in the file. You are therefore expected to set this option only when you load files containing all the relevant data required to create the definitions.

Cache and Plot Results

After creating a definition, you can cache the desired results by selecting them (one or multiple) and clicking on the Cache button located at the bottom of the tab, or by right-clicking and selecting Cache from the context menu.

The results will start loading and a progress bar is displayed next to the definition label. While the data is loading, you can interact with the application/modeling window. Once a definition is fully loaded, the progress bar turns into a green check mark. This means that the data is cached and if you plot now, the data is instantly available for all the loaded steps. You can unload, delete from cache, any definition when it is no longer necessary.

Figure 12. Various states of a result definition
Plot the result definition using one of the following methods:
  • Click the icon next to the definition entry in the browser.
  • Select the definition and click the Plot button.
  • Right-click on the definition and select Plot from the context menu.

Figure 13. Different methods to cache and plot a result definition
Iso plots can also be viewed for scalar results by clicking on the Iso icon in the browser.

Figure 14. Iso plot of any scalar result definition
A slider bar is added to the legend which allows you to adjust the iso plot display if the same scalar is also contoured.

Figure 15.
Tip: You can also click on the Contour/Iso/Vector/Tensor panel icons on the Results toolbar and use the pop-up dialog to quickly switch between different result definitions.

Figure 16. Pop-up to switch a contour plot between different scalar definitions
In the case of an iso plot, this dialog has a slider bar to adjust the iso display.

Figure 17. Pop-up to switch an iso plot between different scalar definitions

Results Context Menu

Several useful options can be accessed by right-clicking on a definition(s):
Option Description
Delete Deletes the selected result(s).
Copy Copies the selected result(s).
Cache Adds the selected result(s) to an internal cache.
Delete Cache Removes the selected results(s) from the internal cache.
Plot Apply a contour, tensor, or vector plot to the model.
Clear Plot Clear a contour, tensor, or vector plot or clear all the plots applied to the model.
Create Definitions Create result definitions using the Create Definitions dialog.
Edit Legend Displays the Edit Legend dialog.
Import Append or replace a previously saved .xml result definition file.
Export Export the current result definition to an .xml file.

Updating Result Definitions

In the Upfront Data Loading profile, result definitions are cached only for the animation steps that have been loaded in the Loadcase tab. If additional steps/frames are loaded at a later stage, the cached (but not plotted) definitions are not automatically updated. You will see the green check mark on the cached definitions turning into a partially loaded progress bar, indicating that the data is not available for the additional steps. Also, if you plot a cached definition and animate, you will see an N/A plot on the additional frames. To get the data for the additional steps, simply cache the definition again.

Cancel Loading

Loading of data can be canceled any time by clicking on the red X button that will be displayed at the bottom of the Load Data browser or by clicking Yes on the Memory Usage Warning dialog. You can resume loading at any time and the application will only load remaining data.
Note: All ongoing loading will be cancelled, it is not possible to cancel the loading of selected steps or definitions.

Memory Monitoring

Memory monitoring is a useful feature available only in the Upfront Data Loading profile. It is enabled by default and can be turned off by going to Preferences > Options dialog, clicking on Performance tab and unchecking the box.

If it is enabled, the tool monitors total system memory (RAM) usage when any HyperView application is loading data. Once usage reaches the set threshold, a warning dialog is shown asking if you want to cancel loading.

Figure 18.
Note: If you select No without checking the Disable memory usage warning box, then the tool continues to monitor memory usage and will pop up the dialog at approximately 5% increments.

Once memory usage reaches 100%, the operating system starts swapping and this will cause the cause the system to slow down. Therefore, it is recommended that the monitoring is kept enabled with an optimum threshold value.

Once loading is canceled, the monitoring threshold gets set to the percentage at which it was canceled so that the next time any data is loaded, the tool uses this new value as the threshold.


The Upfront Data Loading profile has been designed to work for crash post-processing, or more broadly explicit, time-based analysis. The workflow has been changed to allow you to define and select data to load upfront and once loaded, data is kept in cache for quick access. It also leverages a new result infrastructure to load results data faster and more efficiently. Due to these reasons, a few tools and features that are available in standard HyperView are either not available or not fully supported in this profile. Please be aware that coverage will be expanded in future releases and some of these restrictions will be removed. Performance and memory consumption will also be optimized.
Supported Formats
Upfront Data Loading mode is primarily targeted towards crash post processing (explicit, time-based animation and results). Accordingly, only certain formats are supported.
  • ABAQUS input (.inp, .pes)
  • ABAQUS ODB (.odb)
  • FEMZIP DSY (.fz)
  • FEMZIP Radioss Reader (.fz)
  • FEMZIP d3plot (*d3plot*, .fz)
  • Hyper3D (.h3d) - see the note below
  • LS-DYNA Keyword Input (.k*, .key, .dyn, and .bdf)
  • LS-DYNA d3plot (*d3plot*, *d3int, *intfor and .ptf)
  • PAM-CRASH DSY (.dsy)
  • PAM-CRASH HDF5 (.erfh5)
  • PAM-CRASH Input (.pc and .dat)
  • PAMCRASH2G Input (.pc and .dat)
  • RADIOSS (A) Result (*A001 and .gz)
  • RADIOSS Format (*D00 and .RAD)
  • The file will not be loaded, and a dialog is displayed if you attempt to open an unsupported file format. However, in some cases the file might load by virtue of it being a supported format, however it is important to note that this might not be fully supported (for example, H3D generated by a non-crash solver such as OptiStruct or Abaqus ODB containing modal results). It is recommended that you use HyperView without the Upfront Data Loading profile for such files.
  • Another exception to note is H3D generated by HyperView is not supported and an error message is shown when loading such files.
Unsupported Tools
The following tools are not available (access to corresponding panels is disabled):
  • Derived Results and Derived Loadcase
  • Result Math Templates and related tools such as Free Body Diagrams
  • Build Plots
  • Stress Linearization
  • FLD
  • Add Object
  • Streamlines/CFD Post-processing
  • Add Multiple Result Files
  • Reader Options Dialog
  • Export H3D
  • Modal or Linear animation mode
Unsupported model/results data
The following model/results are not supported (where possible an error message is displayed):
  • Model/results containing adaptive meshes
  • Multi-Body Dynamics result files
  • H3D created from HyperView
  • Modal complex or linear static results
Reading key model information from an input deck
  • Model geometry (nodes, elements, components) will be read.
  • Sets, Materials, Properties are not directly read at this time.
    Note: Assembly and Include Hierarchy can be directly read from an input deck starting with v2021. In addition, the Extract Solver Deck Data option from the Tools Menu can be used to import Assembly or Include Hierarchy information.
Saving and reloading Session/Report Templates
Saving and restoring sessions in Upfront Data Loading profile is different compared to standard HyperView. In the latter, only information necessary to restore the state of the active step is saved. But in this new profile, additional information about what data is cached/loaded is also saved. For example, a model may contain 50 steps however you could have loaded only 5 steps. This information gets saved.
The benefit of this is that when you reopen an Upfront Data Loading session, all this data will be automatically loaded and become readily available for you to resume work. This also means that it might take longer to restore the entire session in this profile compared to standard HyperView. In future releases, this functionality will be optimized.
Attention: It is not possible at this time to load session files/report templates saved in standard (non-Upfront Data Loading) HyperView in the Upfront Data Loading profile. The application will ask if you want to switch the mode in order to load the session.

Known Issues

The following issues are documented here for awareness and will be addressed in future releases:
  • Certain glitches with copy and pasting or overlaying of models and report templates.
  • Incorrect assembly hierarchy of models containing duplicate components.
  • Displacement contour shows N/A when using Pam-Crash modular input decks as model and ERFH5 as result file. It is recommended to not use this combination but instead use the ERFH5 as model and result.
  • Load Data Browser user interface issues when loading multiple Loadcase transient models, especially ones containing mixed analysis types, such as a transient subcase and complex modal subcase or ones where certain data types are not available across all subcases.
  • Few minor user interface glitches such as missing options in the query panel or incorrect result definition loading status are seen with repeated loading and unloading of steps.
  • Preference file does not switch to HyperWorks (Default) when loading a standard HyperView session file although Upfront Data Loading has been correctly turned off.

See the Upfront Data Loader APIs topic in the HyperWorks Desktop Reference Guide for additional information regarding the various Tcl/Tk commands that have been added for this workflow.