Plot Motion Results

If you've previously run a motion analysis, use the Review Motion Results tool on the Analyze icon to plot the results. You can export the plot in .csv format. For parts, you can also export loads.

Location: Motion ribbon, Run group, Analyze icon

Plotting Results

After running a motion analysis, select an object to plot in the modeling window.

Prerequisite: Run a motion analysis. When complete, a check icon appears and the Review Motion Results tool is activated.
  1. Select an object to plot in the modeling window or Model Browser. A small callout plot will appear.
  2. Right-click on the plot to see a list of available motion analysis results that can be plotted for the selected entity. (The list of options will change based on the type of entity selected.)

  3. Select the type of result to plot.
  4. Optional: When you find a plot of interest, double-click outside of the plot grid area to open a larger pop-out plot in a new window.
  5. Right-click and mouse through the check mark to exit, or double-right-click.
    • If you make a change to the model that requires running a reanalysis, the check icon disappears, and you will not be able to review or plot results until you run another motion analysis.
    • Click near the border of a callout plot and drag to reposition it.
    • Click on empty space to dismiss the callout plot.
    • Use the Ctrl key while selecting an item to go directly to a pop-out plot.
    • If you add a measure after running motion analysis, you'll need to rerun the analysis before you can make a plot for that measure.

Pop-Out Plots

Double-click a plot to open an interactive plot in a resizeable, dockable window.

Pop-out plots allow you to view multiple plots at the same time. Double-click the title bar to dock or undock the plot.

With both callout and pop-out plots, you can:
  • Animate the results in the modeling window by dragging the vertical time slider.
  • Interrogate values on curves by viewing (x,y) coordinates on mouse hover.
  • Hide curves by clicking the associated icon in the legend.
  • Zoom, pan, and fit the plot in the window. When zooming, use the Ctrl key to keep the x-axis fixed. To zoom in on a region, box select it. Press F or double-click in the plot area to fit the plot.

Plot Manager

Use the Plot Manager to browse and plot motion results data, create cross plots (data vs. data), define pages in different layouts, and save the plots you've defined as a template for reuse.

You can access the Plot Manager by clicking the Plot Manager icon on the motion animation toolbar.

The Plot Manager window is dockable, and you can search and filter results on both the Plot and Edit tabs. Specific features include:


Use the Plot tab to select which motion analysis results to show on the plot.

  • Quickly generate plots in the default Surf mode. Surfing allows you to quickly browse your results. Alternatively, you can turn surfing off and simply use the Apply button to plot specific components.
  • Click Apply to commit the curves to the plot. Make sure to choose data of the same type on the Y axis. If you see an asterisk next to the legend label, it means that result has not been committed to the plot.
  • Click the Clear button to remove all results from the plot.
  • The Plot Manager also allows you to load data from a .csv file that you can then plot alongside your motion analysis results. This is useful for comparing results to test data or to overlay results from a different model or analysis. To use this feature, click the folder icon underneath the Plot tab to load your data, and then plot the data channels from the CSV Files container in the plot browser tree.

  • When importing .csv data, specify the units in the column headers, as shown here:

Creating Pages

Use the icons at the top of the Plot Manager to mange plot templates and pages. You can:

  • Import and save plots as templates.
  • Delete all pages and restore a single blank page.
  • Load a saved template.
  • Create and delete plot pages.
  • Undo (Ctrl + Z) or redo (Ctrl + Y) the last operation.
  • Change the layout of the plots on the pages.
  • Swap the X and Y axes for the active plot .
  • Step through the pages using the arrow buttons .

Note that the currently active plot is shown with a red title.

Creating Cross Plots

The X-axis uses time by default, but you can also plot data vs. data (cross plots).

  • When plotting vs. time, there is a vertical time line that is draggable and is linked to the animation.
  • Click to plot data vs. data.
  • When cross plotting, you'll see a time bubble instead of a time line.

Editing Plots

Use the Edit tab to change attributes of the plot, including:

  • Curve properties such as line thickness, line style, color, etc.
  • Plot title
  • Axis labels
  • Axis limits

When in the Edit tab, you can also replace a curve using the right-click context menu.


  • To plot the same result for several components at the same time, Ctrl+click to select multiple objects, right-click, and then select the desired result type from the context menu.
    Important: The result being plotted must be an output that is common between all selected objects.
  • When the Plot Manager is open, you can select an object in the modeling window or Model Browser to plot results.
  • To populate the first page of the Plot Manager with data from a callout plot:
    1. Select an object in the modeling window. A small callout plot will appear.
    2. On the motion animation toolbar, click Plot Manager .
  • To create a two-line plot title, click the title to edit it and press Enter after the first line. Changes can be finalized by pressing Shift+Enter or by clicking outside the entry dialog.
  • If the Load Saved Template icon is grayed out, it means there isn't a plot template file with a name that matches your model name in the standard templates location ...\Documents\Altair\Inspire\MotionPlotTemplates.
  • If you have forgotten to manually save your changes, look for the last auto-saved version at this location: ...\Documents\Altair\Inspire\MotionPlotTemplates\autosave.

Live Plots

Plots of motion results update live while solving and will appear when you click entities in the Model Browser or if an entity is selected in the graphics window.

If you create or author a plot using the Plot Manager, you can use the Show during analysis option to show it live during the motion analysis. This also works for cross plots where the x-axis is not Time.

The live plot will remain displayed between runs until you manually close the plot.

Show and Freeze for Overlay Plotting

You can freeze a plot to compare results between different runs by right-clicking a pop-out plot in the modeling window or by right-clicking the plot in the Plot Manager. Select Freeze or Show During Analysis from the corresponding context menu.

Enabling the Freeze option on an authored plot specifies that, after the next run, a copy of the newly plotted curve will be automatically generated at the end of the motion analysis. This frozen copy of the curve will persist on the plot during each subsequent analysis, allowing you to compare motion runs.

This feature works best when used in combination with the Show during analysis option, which creates a persistent live plot. It allows you to compare changes against frozen curves from prior runs without needing to open the Plot Manager after each motion analysis.

The Remove frozen curves option is a convenient way of deleting all of the frozen curves at once. It is available from the context menu on a live plot when reviewing motion results.


To Do this
Choose what can be plotted/exported Right-click on the chart.
Pop out a plot (interactive) Press Ctrl and click an object.
Pan the plot (interactive) Right-click and drag.
Zoom in the plot (interactive)
  • Press Ctrl + scroll to keep the x-axis fixed (zoom y).
  • Press Shift + scroll to keep the y-axis fixed (zoom x).
  • To zoom in on a region, box select it.
Fit the plot (interactive) Press F or double-click in the plot area.
Cycle through plots using the Model Browser or Plot Manager browser Use the Up/Down arrow keys to traverse the entities in the browser.
Cycle through plot pages in the Plot Manager Use the Page Up/Page Down keys to traverse plot pages.
Exit the tool Right-click and mouse through the check mark to exit, or double-right-click.