What is ParaView?
ParaView is a general-purpose application for scientific visualization. Built on top of the popular Visualization Toolkit (VTK), ParaView allows you to harness the power of a fully featured visualization library in a convenient and easy user interface. With freeform pipeline building of pluggable components, the visualization possibilities are endless. And ParaView can be run nearly anywhere, from just about any personal computer to some of the world’s largest and most powerful supercomputers.
Built from the ground up to efficiently process data on large distributed-memory computers, ParaView provides world-class visualization and rendering algorithms. ParaView’s client-server architecture allows you to process billions of cells on a visualization cluster interactively via your local desktop. Now with embedded Python scripting, ParaView can go where visualization algorithms typically cannot, such as the Cray XT and BlueGene/L supercomputers.
With its many facets of customization, ParaView is an excellent tool for the rapid deployment of visualization development. Capture a visualization state with a lookmark to later recall or apply to new data. ParaView’s two levels of Python scripting allow you to both automate visualization tasks and to rapidly prototype new parallel visualization algorithms. With ParaView’s plugin management you can deploy your custom visualization filters and rendering algorithms, complete with tailored GUI components, to users’ existing ParaView distribution. Those that wish to develop their own parallel visualization applications can use any and all of the ParaView framework embedded in libraries to build their own “vertical application.” And, as always, ParaView is open source with a liberal BSD license. Anyone wishing to modify ParaView, and contribute back if possible, is encouraged to do so.
Selection is now a first-class operation in ParaView, greatly enhancing your ability to drill down, quantify, and inspect data. Select points, cells, or blocks from any object at any time using a variety of specifications including id list, rubber banding, 3D probing, and scalar thresholding. Label selected components, inspect their data in spreadsheet form, or extract them for further processing. Selections within views are always linked to help maintain context between visualizations.
VTK now supports time dependent processing within its pipelines. Visualization components can request temporal extents, modify time information, and control pipeline execution based on temporal information. ParaView takes full advantage of this ability particle tracing, annotation, time shifting, mode shapes, interpolation, and many other temporal features. Furthermore, you can now provide “time-enabled” readers and filters without tying the features to private conventions or GUI hacks.
AMR and Multiblock
ParaView has long supported AMR and other multiblock-type data sets. With the release of ParaView 3.4, support is better than ever with more filtering and rendering options. Scale is being addressed too as we test with AMR data containing over 10,000 blocks that are more than 10 levels deep.
What is Next?
One of the most exciting new developments for the ParaView framework is the introduction of
information visualization technologies into the framework.
The Titan project is developing their OverView information visualization application over the
ParaView framework, and OverView is now in the ParaView CVS repository. As the scientific and information visualization applications are developed together, we expect to see a merging of features and powerful combinations of the two visualization types.
How Do I Get It?
ParaView is available for download now at www.paraview.org
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