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Vortex Studio for Altair FAQs

Detailed answers for customers looking for more details about
Vortex Studio for Altair 

Virtual Prototyping

What is Vortex Studio?

Vortex® Studio is a software platform to create real-time and interactive system-level simulations of machines operating on the virtual work site. It combines multi-body dynamics, advanced 3D graphics, easy integration with external hardware and software using both desktop simulation tools as well as applications for easy deployment to immersive driver-in-the-loop simulators.

What does it do?

Vortex Studio helps solve the challenges of engineering complex machines and building and deploying simulators for driver-in-the-loop testing and operator training applications.

  • Easily develop driver-in-the-loop and training simulators with real-time interactive control, stunning immersive visuals, motion, audio and more.
  • Test machines in a hyper-realistic virtual sandbox and evaluate mobility, accessibility and workability without physical prototypes
  • When equipment is deployed in high-risk and high-cost operations such as defense, space and offshore, nothing can be left to chance. Validate and de-risk equipment and robotic operations on the virtual worksite. 
  • Benefits and the capabilities of equipment design can be demonstrated with simulators – from portable desktop VR solutions to immersive in-cab solution.

Who uses it? 

  • Mechatronic engineering teams who want to validate equipment design ideas early in the design process and reduce the need for physical prototypes.
  • Systems engineers who want to employ worksite level equipment simulations to confirm data from model-based simulation tools such as Altair Activate.
  • Human-factors engineers who want to measure and optimize ergonomics, controls, ADAS and HMI configurations while driving/operating in-cab.
  • Training systems developers who want to build and deploy simulation-based training solutions for industrial, maritime and land defense equipment.
  • Sales and marketing organizations that want to improve commercial results by effectively demonstrating the benefits of their machine design.

What does Vortex Create include?

Vortex Studio Create is a complete modelling and simulation tool for the engineering desktop. It includes:

  • 2 applications: Vortex Editor and Vortex Player. These applications provide a complete pipeline for creation and real time simulation on a workstation.
  • Additionally, you can use the C++ and Python Software Development Kit to develop your own applications and integrate Vortex functions.
  • Pre-built assemblies such as chassis, differential and engine allow you to quickly build a vehicle and tune its parameters under simulation.
  • Advanced simulation capabilities for cables, soil mechanics and hydrodynamics.
  • Demonstrations scenes showcasing the various features of Vortex can help you build your own scene. Props and accessories can also be used free of charge.
  • Customer support and extensive documentation.

How does Vortex interact with other Altair software?

Various 3D model file formats can be imported to create Vortex Studio mechanisms.

During simulation, the UDP network protocol is used to exchange information with other applications, specifically data of various types are received, analyzed and transmitted by Vortex through any of its extensions. 

The UDP networking protocol can be used to build integrated co-simulations with Altair Activate. Custom extensions can also be developed for additional software and hardware integration capabilities.
Vortex Studio also provides tools to integrate directly with game-engines such as Unreal Engine if your project requires cinematic-quality triple-A visuals or advanced VR and AR.

CM Labs is currently researching the feasibility of translating Altair MotionSolve models for use in Vortex Studio. Contact CM Labs for more information.

What is the difference between Vortex Studio and Altair MotionSolve?

Altair MotionSolve is a multibody and NLFE simulation tool. Vortex Studio also simulates multi-body dynamics but is not a replacement for MotionSolve. 

Vortex Studio is a realtime simulation engine (MotionSolve is not realtime) and does not support flexible bodies, NLFE or high-frequency vibration analysis which is available in MotionSolve. Vortex Studio also does not support parameterized design study involving geometry changes or optimization. Vortex Studio has extensions for deformable soil mechanics as well as hydromechanics and also integrates realtime GPU accelerated shader based 3D graphics. 

Unlike MotionSolve, it can be used to build interactive realtime HIL and driver-in-the-loop simulators.

I want to develop my own simulator using Vortex and sell it to my customers. How do I do that?

CM Labs offers software and license packages that you to build and distribute networked simulators. Please contact a CM Labs sales representative for more information.

Can I develop VR and AR based simulators with Vortex Studio?

Vortex Studio does have limited VR headset support. It currently supports Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets through OpenVR. Vortex Studio does not currently support AR headsets such as Microsoft HoloLens. 

However, Vortex Studio provides integrations with game engines such as EPIC Unreal Engine. Simulations built in Vortex Studio can easily be deployed in game engines where additional tools are available for deployment on advanced VR and AR display solutions.

How many Altair HyperWorks units does it take to run Vortex Studio?

The Vortex Editor will require 20 HyperWorks units. The Vortex Player requires 10 units. Questions or support issues regarding the use of HyperWorks units should be directed to Altair customer support.

How do I get support regarding Vortex Studio?

Complete support for Vortex Studio is available through CM Labs web site once you have created a user support account. Click here to create a CM Labs account. Alternatively, you can email support at or call us at +1-514-287-1166. 

I would like to buy additional products from CM Labs, who do I contact?

Please contact a CM Labs account manager to discuss your needs in more details. You can reach us at, by email at or call us at +1-514-287-1166.