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. By default, .csv plot files saved from callout plots, pop-out plots, or the Plot Manager are saved to the Motion Run History folder specified under Motion Preferences. 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 appears.
  2. Right-click the plot to see a list of available motion analysis results that can be plotted for the selected entity.

    Note: The list of options changes based on the type of entity selected.
  3. Select the type of result to plot.
    To Do this
    Reposition a callout plot Click near the border of a callout plot, then drag it.
    Go directly to a pop-out plot Use the Ctrl key while selecting an item.
    Open a larger pop-out plot in a new window Double-click outside of the plot grid area.
    Dismiss the callout plot Click empty space.
  4. Right-click and mouse through the check mark to exit, or double-right-click.
    • If you make a change to the model that requires rerunning an analysis, the check icon disappears, and you will not be able to review or plot results until you run another motion analysis.
    • 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.

The following actions apply to both callout and pop-out plots:
To Do this
Animate the results in the modeling window Drag the vertical time slider.
View values on curves Hover over (x,y) coordinates.
Hide curves Click the associated icon in the legend.
Zoom, pan, and fit the plot in the window Use the Ctrl key to keep the x-axis fixed while zooming. 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 from current or past runs, 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:
  • From under the Review drop-down on the main ribbon

  • From the icon on the animation panel

  • Press Ctrl+F to find and open the tool. For more information, see Find and Search for Tools.
  • Note: Regardless from where it is launched, the Plot Manager is the same. The only difference is in what gets displayed in the Plot Manager Browser:
    • If there is a blue check mark next to the Analyze Motion ribbon icon, the Plot Manager will show the current run result objects in the browser, along with any frozen curves (shown as CSV Files) or plotted Run History data.

    • If there is no blue check mark next to the Analyze Motion ribbon icon, the Plot Manager will display only frozen curves (shown as CSV Files) or plotted Run History data.

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.
  • The currently active plot is shown with a red title.
  • When the Plot Manager is open, you can select an object in the modeling window or Model Browser to plot results.
To Do this Notes
Import data from a previous motion run
  • ​Run History data will not be available for the most recent analysis of the current model. Instead, the most recent results are plotted directly from the results in the Plot Manager. Each time a new run is performed, the previous run results are moved into the Run History.

  • If Run History data is loaded into the Plot Manager, and then the associated files or folders for the history are deleted, the Run History data will continue to display in the Plot Manager until the model is reloaded. Once reloaded, the Run History data will be missing from the Run History Explorer and the Plot Manager.
    Note: You can also access the Plot Manager from the Review drowdown menu on the main ribbon:
    1. Click the Review dropdown menu.
    2. Select Plot Manager .

      The Plot Manager appears.

    3. Select the Run History icon in the Plot Manager.
Quickly preview the curves without committing them Make sure Surf mode is enabled. Surf mode is enabled by default. Alternatively, you can turn surfing off and use the Apply button to see and commit the curve at the same time.
Commit the curves to the plot Choose data of the same type on the Y axis, then click Apply. If you see an asterisk next to the legend label, it means that result has not been committed to the plot.
Remove all results from the plot Click Clear.
Load data from a .csv file to plot alongside motion analysis results 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. This is useful for comparing results to test data or to overlay results from a different model or analysis.
Important: When importing .csv data, specify the units in the column headers, as shown below:

Creating Pages

Use the icons at the top of the Plot Manager to manage plot templates and pages:
To Select Notes
Import and save plots as templates
Delete all pages and restore a single blank page
Load a saved template 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.
Create and delete plot pages
Undo or redo 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

Creating Cross Plots

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

  • When plotting data 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
Note: When in the Edit tab, you can also replace a curve using the right-click context menu.


To Do this Notes
Plot the same result for several components at the same time Use Ctrl+click to select multiple objects. Right-click, 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.
Populate the first page of the Plot Manager with data from a callout plot Select an object in the modeling window. A small callout plot appears. On the motion animation toolbar, click Plot Manager .
Create a two-line plot title Click the title to edit it, then press Enter after the first line. Changes can be finalized by pressing Shift+Enter or by clicking outside the entry dialog.
Recover autosaved changes If you forgot 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.
To Do this
Enable Freeze Right-click a live plot, then select Freeze.

Show During Analysis

Freeze 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.

To Do this
Enable Show during analysis Right-click a live plot, then select Show during analysis.
Delete all frozen curves at once Right-click a live plot, then select Remove frozen curves.


To Do this
Choose what can be plotted/exported Right-click the chart.
Pop out a plot (interactive) Press Ctrl and click an object.
Pan the plot (interactive) Right-click and drag.
Zoom in on 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.