In-cylinder flow pattern was evaluated during diesel combustion and post-oxidation in a heavy duty optical engine and compared with CFD calculations. In this work the recently developed optical method combustion image velocimetry (CIV) is evaluated. It was used for extracting the flow pattern during combustion and post-oxidation by tracing the glowing soot clouds in the cylinder. The results were compared with CFD sector simulation on the same heavy duty engine geometry. Load was 10 bar IMEP and injection pressure was varied in two steps together with two different swirl levels. The same variations were done in both the optical engine and in the CFD simulations.The main results in this work show that the CIV method and the CFD results catch the same flow pattern trends during combustion and post-oxidation. Evaluation of the CIV technique has been done on large scale swirl vortices and compared with the CFD results at different distances from the piston bowl surface. The flow field according to CIV is shown to resemble the flow quite near the optical piston bowl surface during the diffusion combustion period in the CFD results. During the after-oxidation period, the observed CIV data coincide with mean velocity data from CFD, calculated on the total depth from cylinder head to piston surface. Both methods indicate that the in-cylinder flow is strongly deviating from solid body rotation during the diffusion flame and after-oxidation period. This deviation is not so significant before injection. During the after-oxidation period, the deviation from solid body rotation increases with injection pressure.