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CEETRON Envision vs. HOOPS Communicator & HOOPS Visualize: Which is Right for You?

By Andres Rodriguez-Villa • 
February 13th, 2024

CEETRON Envision, HOOPS Visualize, and HOOPS Communicator are all graphics engines that support different aspects of engineering workflows. Specifically, CEETRON products generally focus on computer-aid engineering (CAE) and its related disciplines including computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite element modeling (FEM), and finite element analysis (FEA).

HOOPS Visualize and HOOPS Communicator are more general graphics engines and may be better suited for computer-aid design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) software. 

Here, we will discuss the areas each product specializes in, how these features can benefit you, and what limitations may exist outside of their specialties. By understanding the differences, you can better choose which SDK will support your development needs. 

CEETRON Envision vs HOOPS Communicator/Visualize Overview

Product Name CEETRON
Platform Web and Desktop Web Desktop, Mobile, and AR/VR
GPU Driver Support OpenGL WebGL, OpenGL (Server streaming) DirectX and OpenGL, Metal Graphics
Data Model CAE focused Scene Graph Scene Graph
Rendering Capabilities Standard Advanced Advanced

CEETRON Envision as a CAE Powerhouse

CEETRON Envision is available as both a desktop and cloud version with near-identical feature sets.

CEETRON Envision is a powerful, all-in-one CAE data processing toolkit with graphics support. It is important to note that this is a platform in and of itself, capable of reading, extracting, rendering, and exporting CAE data. The SDK is built on a CAE data structure, and will be familiar with the common elements that are used in CAE applications: this is an SDK that is going to know how to read a mesh, nodes and all, and can recognize CAE results (scalars, vectors, tensors) and result mappings, and knows about the different element types used in the simulation (beams, triangles, quads, tets, hexes, etc).

Embedded data extraction capabilities include isosurface/isovolumes, particle traces, detailed animation support, and cutting planes available right out of the box. The visualization features are customizable, attractive, and made with CAE as the primary use case in mind. The cloud version of this tool is well-optimized for streaming CAE data and offers two-way communication with the server, which allows users to apply custom algorithms in response to a user's query on the client.

A bridge to HOOPS Exchange is provided with CEETRON Envision. This allows you to import over 30 different CAD file formats into CEETRON Envision. This is typically useful during the CAE preprocessing stage.

  • Finite element surface and volume data model 

    • Meshes (static and adaptive) 

    • Element shapes: points, lines, triangles, quads, tets, hexes, pyramids, wedges and polyhedrons 

    • All elements in linear and quadratic versions – except for polyhedrons (linear) 

  • Results: 

    • Scalar, vector, and symmetric tensors 

    • Interpolations: per node, per element, per element-node and per element-surface 

    • Displacements (per node) 

    • Rigid body transformations (per part) 

  • Other data models 

    • Geometry model: efficient handling of large numbers of tessellated parts 

    • Markup model: annotations, distance, measurements, … 

  • Data Import 

    • CEETRON Access integration: 20+ industry-standard CAE formats: Nastran, Abaqus, Ansys, LS-Dyna, Fluent, openFOAM, Vtu/Vtm, Ensight, ... 

    • HOOPS Exchange bridge: 30+ industry-standard CAD formats: Catia, SolidWorks, Parasolid, JT, IGES, STEP, OBJ, … 

    • Custom reader framework 

  • Data extractions 

    • Cutting planes 

    • Isosurfaces and isovolumes 

    • History and length plots 

    • Particle traces 

    • Transient, mode-shape and particle trace animations 

  • Visualization 

    • Multiple views including any number of models 

      • CAD and CAE models can live in same view 

    • Complete set of visualization settings for parts, results, and data extractions 

    • Envision Web

    • WebGL client-side rendering based on highly optimized progressive 3D object streaming, allowing use of servers without GPU 

    • Full data model for use on stateful server to build interactive post-processing applications 

    • Constant data model for use on stateless servers to build interactive viewing applications 

  • Automation 

    • Full feature set available through Python interface. Useful to efficiently post-process and display results in simulation dashboards (web) or HTML reports

Got a question? Let one of our experts help you find the answer

HOOPS Visualize

HOOPS Visualize is a 3D rendering engine designed to help you across desktop, mobile, and AR/VR applications.

HOOPS Visualize at its Best: CAD, CAM, and AEC

HOOPS Visualize can take full advantage of your GPU through OpenGL, DirectX, and Metal driver support. It offers fast load speeds, interactive framerates, rapid selection, highlighting, and otherwise unparalleled performance. For CAD, CAM, AEC, and adjacent industries, this is a premium-level tool that can greatly improve your application capabilities. 

As we have specified, this is an engineering-focused SDK, which empowers HOOPS Visualize to:

  • Handle high tessellation count from accurate geometry

  • Have prebuilt operators for common tasks (selection, highlighting, etc.)

  • Display PMI, including GD&T, saved views

  • Support common view modes such as hidden line rendering, tessellation, wireframe, etc

As part of the HOOPS Native Platform, HOOPS Visualize integrates perfectly with HOOPS Exchange for its data import and translation needs, HOOPS Luminate for advanced, photo-realistic rendering, and HOOPS Publish for 3D PDF, 3D HTML, and interoperable CAD file publishing. 

Limitations of HOOPS Visualize for CAE 

The limitations of HOOPS Visualize, when compared to CEETRON Envision, come from its lack of CAE-specific features. There is no native support for volume elements and data, and no CAE-specific built-in data extractions. 

HOOPS Communicator 

HOOPS Communicator is a powerful web graphics engine that offers 3D engineering developers its extensive capabilities built from over 10+ years of scene graph development.

HOOPS Communicator at its Best: CAD, CAM, and AEC for Web

The benefits of having 3D visualization capabilities on the web are extensive. Companies can better collaborate, with easier sharing of data, and have access to resources impossible for desktop-only developers. The potential uses for HOOPS Communicator go beyond simply viewing models sent from colleagues. HOOPS Communicator powers software for building and construction workflows, product lifecycle management (PLM), online collaboration, and configuration systems.

Overall, HOOPS Communicator offers the ability to view and interact with huge models on the web, with powerful performance and support for more advanced features specific to CAD, CAM, and AEC including:

  • Tight integration with HOOPS Exchange for importing over 30 different CAD file formats while maintaining access to:

    • Assembly structure

    • Boundary Representation (BREP)

    • Original and recalculated tesselation

    • Semantic and visual product manufacturing information (PMI) including geometric, dimensioning, and tolerancing (GD&T) 

    • Material definitions

    • Feature trees, hole patterns, and hole definitions

  • Large model viewing via interactive data streaming

  • Client-side rendering, server-side rendering, and direct model loading

  • 30+ built in operators for web viewer interaction and interrogation

  • Cutting planes

  • Reflections

  • Shadows

  • Custom lights

  • Physically-base rendering (PBR)

  • A robust redline annotation engine

  • View management for PMI and annotation views authored in the original CAD software

  • Font engine supporting Unicode, bidirectional, and true type fonts

When compared to CEETRON Envision, HOOPS Communicator is going to offer more advanced rendering features and will cope with XXL models via its client-server streaming architecture. 

Limitations of HOOPS Communicator for CAE 

HOOPS Communicator is designed for engineering graphics and is not designed to handle quick edits and animations of meshes. When discussing comparisons to CEETRON Envision, HOOPS Communicator lacks a CAE focus in its features set. No CAE data model is present in the file, including simulation data, mesh elements, result types, and volume meshes. HOOPS Communicator can be used for preprocessing of data to set up simulations.

Partners are more than welcome to implement their own data extraction capabilities, but this does not come natively with HOOPS Communicator. 

More Resources

Licensing an SDK is a huge decision, and we want to help you have all of the information you need to guide you through that process. This includes information about pricing, documentation for CEETRON Envision, HOOPS Communicator, and HOOPS Visualize, and an overview of why working with Tech Soft 3D is unique.

For more information, to learn more about which product is the best fit for you, or to simply talk next steps, click below to get in touch.

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