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COVISE Online Documentation


Working with Modules


After having read this chapter you will be familiar with:


COVISE separates the processing steps of an application into separate modules. A module realizes a certain functionality. Modules are grouped into categories. The general categories are:

These categories reflect the typical steps in the analysis of 3D data e.g. coming from flow simulations.

Figure: Category and Module Lists
Figure 3.1: Category and Module Lists

Categories and modules within them are shown in the Module Browser in the MapEditor window (see Figure 3.1).

If the hosts are colored (configurable in the file covise.config), modules running on this host appear in the same color. To start a module click on the category name and then drag the module name to the working area. To remove the module see the section Actions with Modules later in this chapter.

Filter modules typically extract data from larger datasets. The CuttingSurface module interpolates on a plane or cylinder surface data coming from a 3D data volume.

The computation of an isosurface belongs to the category Mapper, because data is mapped to a geometric object, that can be rendered.

The category Tools contains many useful functionalities such as the module DomainSurface that computes the outer surface of a computational grid or CutGeometry, which cuts off portions of polygonal geometric objects like the ones created by DomainSurface.

Modules in the category Renderer display data. The 3D Inventor based Renderer belongs to this category as well as the 2D Plot module.

Input and Output Ports

Figure: Module Icon
Figure 3.2: Module Icon

Figure 3.2 shows a typical module icon. The violet and green ports at the top edge are input data ports, the blue and yellow ports at the bottom edge are output data ports. Violet input ports mean that the port has to be connected to another port, green ones mean that the connection is optional.

Be aware that certain green input ports can become violet - and thus have to be connected - when the corresponding output port is connected.

Connection lines between the ports indicate the flow of data objects between the modules. You connect modules by clicking with the left mouse button onto the ports. To remove a connection between modules, double-click on the connection line.

Data Types

Data is exchanged between modules through COVISE data objects. If both modules which need to exchange data objects run on the same machine, the data objects are located in shared memory and thus allow an efficient exchange of data. If the modules run on different machines, the data objects are exchanged through tcp socket connections.

Input ports of one module and output ports of another module can only be connected if the data types are compatible. The most important data types are:

Geometry is a container to hold geometric primitives (lines, points, triangle strips, polygons), colors, and normals. A set is used as a container for other objects. Sets can be used to group objects or to hold different time steps of an object.

Figure: Port Data Type
Figure 3.3: Port Data Type

If you click on the port with the right mouse button, the data type is displayed in the message window. Figure 3.3 shows the result of clicking on the output port of the RWCovise module.


You see the parameter list when you click with the left mouse button on the book icon. The module info window pops up (Figure 3.4).

Figure: Module Info Window
Figure 3.4: Module Info Window

The first page of this notebook contains the parameters. Use the button with the parameter names on the left to attach interactors to this parameter which appear in the control panel. The next column contains the type of the parameters. After this you see an area which allows the user to change the parameter values. The content of each line depends on the parameter type.

If a module has a filebrowser as parameter, a filebrowser window automatically pops up as soon as the module is started.

When you add an interactor to the control panel, you usually have a choice between different types of interactors. To select the interactor click on the "Map to Control Panel Button" with the right mouse button. A small menu window pops up.

Module Actions

Clicking with the right mouse button on the module icon pops up a menu with the module actions (Figure 3.5)

Figure: Module Actions
Figure 3.5: Module Actions

The most important actions are "Execute" and "Delete".

executes the module pipeline starting from this module. It is typically more efficient to execute only a part of the module network after having changed some parameters instead of executing the whole network. I/O-modules often need a lot of time to read in large data files which is not necessary if you have just modified a module parameter further down the processing chain.

To remove a module from the working area choose this item.

To rename a module (can also be used to label a module group).

With this action an user can move this module to another host for execution. This is only possible, if an additional host was added to the session via "Add Host/Partner". All parameters and connection lines are moved too.

With this action an user can copy this module to another host for execution. This is only possible, if an additional host was added to the session via "Add Host/Partner". The current parameters values and connection lines are copied too.

If you click on this item the online module documentation is loaded into the netscape browser.

All actions can also be used for a group of selected modules.


Authors: Martin Aumüller, Ruth Lang, Daniela Rainer, Jürgen Schulze-Döbold, Andreas Werner, Peter Wolf, Uwe Wössner
Copyright © 1993-2016 HLRS, 2004-2014 RRZK, 2005-2014 Visenso
COVISE Version 2016.3