Kitware is planning to release VTK 5.6 this spring. Since the previous release, 270 new C++ classes have been added. The new features in VTK include improved support for line charts and bar charts that don’t depend on Qt. With this release VTK provides a new text analysis module. Another major improvement is support for parallel rendering.

This release also includes changes that improve performance. VTK can now locate and insert non-uniformly distributed points three times faster than the previous version.

We’ve improved GPU support in VTK. The vtkGPUVolumeRayCastMapper has been migrated from VTKEdge to VTK. VTK 5.6 contains a GPU-based real time Line Integral Convolution (LIC) with enhanced image contrast and LIC + geometry compositing for dense vector field / flow visualization. These are just the highlights. For a complete list of changes, visit the VTK Wiki and search “VTK 5.6 Release Planning.”

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