Paraview Data Conversion


  • Installation of Paraview on your machine -- make sure you can run volume data example from in-class paraview activity before class

  • A data set (We will be finding this in class, but feel free to peruse our data types and examples for ideas)

Set up wiki page

You will be documenting the entire process from start to finish on your own wiki page.

Create a new page and make it a sub-page underneath this page. Link it at the bottom of this page. After class the page should have your name, a list of what you did, how long it took, what went wrong, the data you used, images/videos of different visualizations of the data on your computer (phone photos are fine), images/videos of your data in the Yurt and VR Lab.

If you're unsure of how to do make and link a page, follow the instructions below:

Create a new page by navigating to the "Pages" tab on the right navigation menu, and find this page (VR Visualization Software>Tutorials>Paraview>Paraview Data Conversion).

When you hover your mouse over the page, three dots should appear- click them and select "add subpage"

Pick input data

Find input data to load into Paraview.

Great sources for data include:

  • Google

  • Your own project data

  • Data from the "Data Types and Examples" page

While we are working with Paraview to visualize data, be sure to document other data visualization methods for your data! For example, if you find LiDAR data in the .las format, even though it can be viewed directly in Paraview, it would be useful to note in your wiki page that it could also be viewed in the YURT by converting it to a .out file using laspy (Thanks Ross!), or by using the website

Comparing Visualizations

Be sure to document all the steps you take, and take pictures/screenshots and phone videos along the way!

Compare visualizations between Paraview and other visualization methods in your wiki page. Document how long different steps took (for example, loading a data set into Paraview vs. loading a data set into another vis software).

Try playing around with the different visualization settings in Paraview, find out what they're used for/relevance to your data set, and document that in the wiki. Google for ideas on different vis approaches you can try in Paraview.

Now we'll take what we learned and try visualizing it in the YURT and Vive!

Conversion to .vtk

Converting a file to vtk should be a relatively painless process.

If you are don't already already have a dataset open, start by retrieving your file with File>Open

Now click the eye icon to confirm that your data set can be viewed.

Then either go to File>Save Data or do ctrl + S.

The save dialog box should show up.

In the "Files of type section," be sure to select the "Legacy VTK Files" extension.

Click OK.

A new popup should now show up.

Leave the "Write timesteps as file-series" unchecked, unless you are animating a mesh (most likely you'll be working with a static data set).

For "File Type," make sure that either "Binary" or "Ascii" is selected, the press OK.

You now should have a .vtk version of your file saved in your directory!

Viewing in the YURT

Please follow Camilo's instructions to run your data set in the YURT.

  • This will require you to use your CCV account,

  • One small change however, is that instead of loading in sample data, you will be using your own data set.

    • To do this, use either SFTP or SCP on your computer to add your data set to the data/cs1951t directory in your home directory so that you can access it while ssh'ed in. An example command is:

      • "scp <FILE> <CCV-LOGIN>"

    • Use a filename that won't collide with other folks in class!

Put a link to your page below:

Viewing in a Vive

Go to the VR Lab. The left and right computers should have Paraview installed.

Once you open up your project in Paraview, and have the desired parameters for visualization set, go to Tools>Manage Plugins...

On the right side, there should be a "Local Plugins" section.

Select "OpenVR" and click "Load Selected."

You should now see a section to the left dedicated to OpenVR!

To view in the Vive, make sure a Vive is connected, and click "Send to OpenVR."

A quick intro to the controls:

  • You can use the controller trackpad to move the object towards or away from the direction that the controller is pointing.

  • You can use the trigger button to select and see information related to a small section on the 3D model.