Versions: 2D 2017.01 and later, 3D 2017 and later
The PLAXIS Output program offers the possibility of using the command line to configure the plot settings to export a plot to an image file to be used in post-processing. In this article, different options are explained providing information on the relevant options that are available.
For automation purposes, the equivalent Python commands are provided in the article Export and format plots from PLAXIS Output using Python
To view the current settings applied to the last plot created in Output, one can use the echo Plots[-1] command:
Figure 1. Current settings of Plots[-1] (last plot created)
In the picture above you can identify different options that can be edited with the set command using the syntax below:
Show the rulers in your plot:
Hide the axes:
Exclude the legend of the plot:
Figure 2. Current view of the plot in PLAXIS Output
Below are some special items in the properties of a plot object that concern every plot to be exported:
These will be explained in more details below.
The ResultTypes is the property that controls which result is visualized in the plot. This is related to the numerous options available via the menus, e.g. Deformations, Stresses, Forces, etc.
Some examples are provided below:
Set the plot result to Total horizontal displacement ux:
Set the plot result to Incremental vertical cartesian strains: Δεyy:
Set the plot results to Active pore pressures:
Figure 3. Plot set to show the Active pore pressures
For every plot you can also switch between the available visualisation options of the results:
Set the plot type to show the Contour lines instead of the Shadings:
Set the plot type to show the Coloured principal directions of a plot. Note that this is relevant to some of the plots, such as the stresses and pore pressure plots:
In any case that a typo is made, the error message contains all allowed values for the command.
Figure 4. Coloured principal direction with legend shown
Figure 5. Error message displayed for assistance
This allows for changing the settings of the legend that is next to the plot. For example:
Change the number of intervals of the legend to 10:
Set the minimum value of the legend to -160 in project units:
Figure 6. Minimum value specified for legend
Various options about the current visualisation of the mesh are stored in the MeshSettings of a plot. For example:
Show the Phreatic level in the plot:
Show the Fixities of the model:
Hide the Cluster contours of the model:
Figure 7. Fixities displayed without a phreatic level representation
Every plot in PLAXIS Output has a Phase property, which corresponds to the phase for which the results are being displayed.
By default, the Phase property is set to the phase selected in Input when the command is run to view the results, or it is set to the phase selected when a project is opened directly in Output.
In the GUI (Graphic User Interface) it is possible to switch to any other phase in Output program using the dropdown box from the top bar, however, the internal Phase property of the plot remains unchanged.
You can query the Phase property using the echo command:
To change the Phase property, you can directly set it using the command:
set Plots[-1].Phase Phase_x
Along with the Phase property, the PhaseBehaviour property allows for controlling to which phase the Phase property will be set to for the current plot when used in automation.
The PhaseBehaviour property has two options:
By default, the PhaseBehaviour is set to plotphase, which means that any change via the GUI does not make any change to the internal Phase property. The Phase property is used for export options via command line and/or with remote scripting facilities (Python).
You can change the PhaseBehaviour behaviour with the command:
set Plots[-1].PhaseBehaviour "projectphase"
An Output plot can contain various objects (soil elements, plate elements, interfaces, loads,etc). In complex models where many objects are included, it is possible to hide or show them in order to make the plot easier for review. A few examples for the hide command are given below. Note that in order to show the objects you can use the show command in place of the hide command.
In many cases to review the results, the focus needs to be adjusted to a smaller part of the model. On this occasion, the zoom command can be used.A few examples for the zoom command are given below:
The different viewpoints in PLAXIS 3D can be used to view the plot at a certain angle/side. A few examples for the view command are given below:
After setting up the plot the final step is to use the command line to export the plot to an image file.The export command has the following structure:
An example is given below:
This command will export the lastly created plot (Plots[-1]) to the location specified within the quotation marks using the width of 1920 and height of 1080 pixels.Note that the width and height are optional parameters which can be omitted. If those parameters are not mentioned the program will export the plot using 2880 x 2160 pixels.
Note that the export command for Plots[-1] will use the value of the Phase property according to what the PhaseBehaviour dictates.
Figure 8. Exported plot