ParaView 4.4 available for download

ParaView 4.4 is now available for download. This is will be the last major release in the 4.* series. ParaView 5.0 will be released in the near term with a brand new rendering backend. A thorough list of over 160 issues and feature requests addressed by this release can be found here. Some of the major highlights of this release are as follows.

Axes Grid (aka Cube Axes 2.0)

This release introduces a new annotation type: Axes Grid. Axes Grid is designed as a Cube Axes replacement and can be used to render a grid for the coordinate axes. With improved labeling and formatting capabilities, Axes Grid is intended to completely replace Cube Axes in coming releases.

Artist-constructed colormaps

Several new color maps have been added that were designed through close collaboration between COSIM climate modelers at LANL, and artist Francesca Samsel.  The color maps move through changes in hue, saturation and value to create a longer line through color-space.

Quartile Chart View (Plotting multiple elements over time)

Quartile Chart View makes it easier to visualize summaries for values from multiple selected cells or points over time using the Plot Selection Over Time filter. This is now the default view used to show results from this filter.

Selection enhancements

A multitude of selection enhancements have gone into this release. Interactive selection allows users to interactively select and label elements in a dataset by simply moving their mouse pointer over the visualization. Modifier buttons make it easier to add/subtract selected elements even in the Render View.  Finally, Select Points On will find the closest point, retiring the need to rubber band select points.

Multiblock enhancements

Multiblock datasets are now automatically colored so that it’s easier to distinguish different blocks. Furthermore, the Multiblock Inspector reflects this coloring and allows users to override block colors and opacities as needed.

Display only available annotated values in the data set

An option has been added to the the Color Map Editor when interpreting values as categories to show only colors for annotated values actually in the data set. The data range concept has been extended to categorical data values to represent the list of categories in the data set. Updating the data range updates the colors displayed in the scalar bar.

Scalar bar and other scalar coloring improvements

Scalar bars used to automatically change orientation based on their placement in the view. The orientation can now be fixed to enable greater control of their placement. A bug that sometimes made setting a desired font size difficult or impossible has been fixed. The default number of digits of precision has also been changed from 20 to 6, given more readable scalar bar labels. As a side note, a brand new implementation for the scalar bar is currently underway, so stay tuned!

A new setting makes it possible to set a list of regular expressions defining array names that should not be displayed in the list of color arrays. This makes it easier to avoid cluttering the UI with internal arrays.

Furthermore, the Choose Preset dialog was completely revamped. It now allows searching for present using their name. Also the format for color preset files was changed from XML to a simpler JSON. Although importing older XML files is still supported, color presets can only be exported using the new JSON format.

Additionally, it is now possible to save a default color map for an array with a particular name so that any time an object is first colored by that array, the default for that array will be used. In the JSON settings file, a color map entry for a named looks like:


     “array_lookup_tables” : {

       “<array name>” : {

        <state for the lookup table properties>




Lightweight Periodic Dataset Generation

New in this release, Angular Periodic Filter allows users to generate an output dataset from a periodic block provided as the input with minimal memory overhead.

Snap points to surfaces

Points in Spline Source and Poly Line Source can be snapped to surfaces with the ‘p’ key. Select the point in the table in the Properties panel and type ‘p’ while hovering the mouse cursor over a point on the surface to snap the point to the surface.

Simplified Copy/Paste

Copy/Paste for copying filter properties has been supported in ParaView for several releases. In this releases, we made it easier to access (using buttons on the Properties panel) and extended the ability to including display and view properties.

Simply use the Copy/Paste to copy parameter values between filters, views, etc.

Reading image stacks as volume

To better handle tomography use-cases, we now support opening image stacks, e.g. a series of tiff files, as a 3D volume rather than a temporal dataset. On opening an image file series, users can choose to treat the dataset as a 3D volume using options on Properties panel.

The ParaView Guide is being updated to include documentation for several of these new features and the updated version will be made available with ParaView 5.0.

Blog posts

Here is a list of blog posts that describe some these features and more.


  1. Interacting with views in ParaView Python (pvpython)

  2. ParaView and Project Tango: Loading Data

  3. Zero copy arrays

  4. PHASTA + ParaView Catalyst: In Situ CFD Analysis at 256K MPI processes on BG/Q Mira

  5. NVIDIA IndeX Plug-in for ParaView: Analyze and Visualize Large Volume Datasets

  6. New in ParaView: Axes Grid Annotation

  7. Adding in Logic to a ParaView Catalyst Python Script

  8. Buildbot Primer for VTK and ParaView

  9. Colormaps Constructed with an Artist in the Loop

  10. New in ParaView: Quartile Chart View

  11. Project Tango at Kitware: Update at CVPR 2015

  12. Lightweight Periodic Dataset Generation

  13. Simple, Parallel Computing with vtkSMPTools

  14. New in ParaView: Rotating about a coordinate axis

  15. Selected ParaView 4.4 features

  16. Tomviz 0.6.1 Released: Tomography for Materials Science

  17. Color Multiblock Datasets

  18. New in ParaView: Changes to color/opacity presets

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