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Algorithms exist in GSA to enable any scalar value to be contoured for 1D and 2D elements and nodes. Contours on nodes are displayed as balloons of varying diameters and colours. Contours on 1D elements are displayed as barrels of varying diameters and colours.

Contours are displayed only if the related node or element is drawn.

Contours are specified using the Graphics > Display > Settings > Contour Settings command. Contour Settings is also available on the Graphic Display toolbar. Giving this command opens the Contour Settings dialog box.

Contours can be applied just to a selection of nodes or elements. If this is required then the items should be selected prior to giving the Contour Settings command. Refer to the Applying adornments to a selection section for details.

By default the number of contours displayed is eight; the lowest and highest contour values are set at the minimum and maximum values of data being contoured and the intervening contours are equally dispersed.

The values and colours of contours or a constant contour interval can be specified.

The number of contours can be specified. No limit is imposed on the number that may be requested; the more contours drawn, the less the distinction between colours of adjacent contours (though the colours may be adjusted manually).

Contours may be drawn as lines or filled.

Contouring on elements and members when Section display is switched on displays the contouring on the surface of the section for beams and on the top and bottom surfaces of 2D elements. Note that in this mode it is not the surface values that are being contoured; the same values are being contoured as in other contour representations but displayed on the surface of the elements.

Units, numeric format, axes and scaling can be specified. Refer to the Contour settings dialog box documentation for a full list of available options.

Refer to the Displaying data and results section for a full list of data available for contouring.

Where the contouring is of data that is stored by case, the case displayed is as specified in the Cases field in the Lists toolbar. Contours are drawn for only the first case referred to in the field. Either the maximum or minimum value is contoured for enveloping cases, as specified in the Contour settings dialog box.

Note that resetting the display switches off all contours.

The Graphics > Display > Hide > Hide contours command temporarily switches any contours off. Contours may then be shown by giving the Hide Contours command again. Adjusting any contour settings or rescaling the data while the contours are hidden automatically un-hides the contours. Hide contours is also available on the right-click menu.

See also:

Scaling of diagrams, contours and deformations

Annotating diagrams and contours