Accelerated Filters in ParaView 5

February 5, 2016

As described in previous blog posts, the VTK community is working hard on adding new parallel computing techniques into VTK and ParaView. These capabilities are now rolling into production, and ParaView 5 enables you to try some of the new filters out. To do this,  you’ll need to enable the AcceleratedAlgorithms plugins. This article shows you how to do this, using the new vtkFlyingEdges3D algorithm for high-speed isocontouring. vtkFlyingEdges3D uses the vtkSMPTools multi-threading framework described by Dr. Berk Geveci. It is a simple abstraction that enables the use of TBB and OpenMP among other threading facilities.

To enable the AcceleratedAlgorithms plugins, first select Tools -> Manage Plugins from the ParaView menu. You will then see a popup as shown below.


Select AcceleratedAlgorithms and then press Load Selected… Once you’ve done so, the plugins are loaded and new filters appear in the Filters menu as shown below:


As you can see, 2D and 3D versions of Flying Edges is available, as well as a specialized filter to cut volumetric data with a plane (vtkFlyingEdgesPlaneCutter). Now to actually exercise the filter (and change its state from greyed out inactive to active) either load or synthetically generate some data. Here we’ll use the menu selection Sources -> Wavelet and create a modest dataset (500x500x500). Next choose Filters ->Accelerated Algorithms -> Flying Edges 3D as shown below:


A GUI panel appears, where you can set the isovalue. Using the default value of ~160 produces nearly 17 million triangles very quickly, depending on the number of cores/threads that you have on your system (below).


New filters will be showing up in the near future, so use the Accelerated Algorithms plugins to try them out as they emerge.


1 comment to Accelerated Filters in ParaView 5

  1. This was also made the default in our recent release of Tomviz 0.7.2, and we have been really pleased with the performance boost seen with flying edges. Thanks for all the work on this, and to others who tirelessly updated our packaging code to add TBB support!

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