Making the Right Choices for Faster Postprocessing

Putting together a workstation boasting 3GB of VRAM, an NVIDIA graphics card from the Quadro family and 64 GB RAM does prepare users for a seamless postprocessing experience in FlowSight. But there is more that can be done to speed things up.

When it comes to postprocessing, a commonly-used feature is stepping through time, which allows users to understand the evolution of their simulation and analyze changes in relevant variables. While extremely important, stepping through time tends to use up computational resources. FlowSight has two modes for stepping through time – Original and Flipbook. Making the right choice between the two can lighten the computational load on your machine.

Original Mode

FlowSight’s default, Original mode generates new data (e.g., isosurface clips) on the fly when cycling through time. If the problem requires frequent cycling back and forth through time, then this mode can be very time consuming, depending on the size of the problem. Although this operation can be slow, it has the advantage of smooth and fast graphic interaction. Additionally, Original mode allows the user to cycle through variable data and is overall much more memory-efficient than using a Flipbook.

Flipbook Mode

Flipbook is the second mode available in FlowSight. When a Flipbook is created, all temporal data for an isosurface or clip is generated and stored in memory ahead of time. The advantage of this approach is that cycling through time is very fast since each frame is already in memory. For the same reason however, Flipbooks can consume large amounts of memory, and generating one takes a lot of time. Additionally, this mode doesn’t allow for cycling through variables, which means that a separate Flipbook must be generated for each variable. And depending on the number of frames and size of the problem, graphic interaction with a Flipbook may not be as smooth as in Original mode.

To cut the time to generate frames and reduce memory consumption, Flipbook allows for incremental loading. Flipbooks can also be generated as an Object or Image. An Object means the Flipbook object on the screen can be fully interacted within the graphics window (zoomed, rotated, panned, etc.) like any other object on the screen.

What to Use and When

The choice between Flipbook and Original mode depends on several factors, such as problem size, memory availability, processor type, and GPUs. We’ve created the table below so that you can quickly determine which mode is best for postprocessing your simulations.



Good for


Memory efficient, fast graphical interaction, quicker changing of variables

Time consuming to step through time

Small RAM, cycling through variables, stepping through few timesteps


Very quick to step through time, flexibility

Takes a long time to generate, memory intensive, reduced graphics interaction performance, does not allow variable cycling

Large RAM, stepping through many timesteps

Wisely choosing the correct mode in addition to the recommended hardware, allows users to fully leverage the advanced features of FlowSight. Please visit the FlowSight page on our website to see more cool features.