How to Create High-Resolution Images of COMSOL Models for Articles and Papers

Niklas Rom August 2, 2012
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It has been some time since we’ve had the “Tips & Tricks” column in COMSOL News. Many people have asked me for tips on how to use COMSOL Multiphysics, so I figured I would share some with you here on the blog. The first in this new series of tips and tricks explains how you can create high-resolution images of COMSOL models.

If you have seen one of our ads or magazine prints, you’ll notice that we tend to incorporate actual multiphysics models. When we create these high resolution images we use a simple trick, which is also useful to anyone looking to use a high-res image of their model in an article or paper.

Here’s how, in two ways:

  1. The fastest way is to click on the Image Snapshot button at the top of the current graphics window.

    Image snapshot feature in COMSOL Multiphysics

    A dialog box will appear where you can define the image quality and image target (clipboard or file). First specify the DPI value for the intended hardcopy output. For instance, if you intend to print it on a 300 DPI printer, set 300 DPI. This will adjust font sizes and lines to correspond with the size of the hardcopy. Then, set the resolution. If you are using the image for an article or high quality printed material, I recommended setting the width to 4,096 pixels, the height to 4,096 pixels, and the DPI to 300. This will produce a high-res image that is 34.7×34.7 cm (~13.66×13.66 in) in a 300 DPI hardcopy output.

    Image snapshot in COMSOL Multiphysics, entered dimensions

  2. To export an image programmatically, you can place the operation in the Export node under Results. This enables parametric sweeps and allows you to save an image for each parameter step, for instance. Furthermore, by using the Export node the model file retains the image specification between sessions. Note that in order to add an image export to the Export node, you need to first right-click the Result node you want to export and select “Add Image to Export”. The Image subnode will then appear under the Export Node (also under the Results node). If you click on the Image subnode you will be able to set the resolution of the image.

    Exporting images programmatically in COMSOL Multiphysics

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  1. Chris Levy October 11, 2014   7:31 pm

    export to eps?

  2. Mohammad Rahmani January 29, 2015   5:53 am

    Very useful!

  3. Mohammed AL-DALOO May 30, 2018   1:48 pm

    very good.

  4. Nitish Gadgil July 5, 2018   5:22 am

    Thank you. It was extremely helpful. One question: The image so generated contains an ample white space around it. What can be done to get rid of the white space without having it to post-process in some other software?

    Thank you.

  5. Niklas Rom July 9, 2018   4:45 am

    Hi Nitish. Since I wrote this blogpost, we have added a new checkbox called “Zoom extents”, in the Image Snapshot dialog box. That should fix it.

  6. Niklas Rom July 9, 2018   8:22 am

    …and by the way. EPS is supported for 1D plots.

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