By Elaine Jiang
VisIt is an open source, scientific visualization tool. VisIt can automatically generate animations on data with timestamps, and manipulate data with a variety of operators and filters. VisIt is visualize most scientific data formats due to its customizable plugin architecture.
VisIt was originally developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Simulation and Computing Initiative (ASCI) to visualize and analyze the results of terascale simulations. Because of it’s applicability beyond visualizing terascale data, VisIt is now a licensed open source product.
Official Documentation: VisIt User Manual
User Support: visitusers.org is a wiki that contains up to date information about VisIt
Installation Guide: VisIt Basic Getting Started Guide
Accessibility: The estimated time for someone to create a simple data visualization in VR
Beginner: No coding or graphics experience |10 min
Intermediate: Some coding or graphics experience | 10 min
Advanced: Both coding and graphics experience | 10 min
Expert: A lot of experience with computer graphics | 10 min
Power: The engine's power - i.e. how much one can do with this
High: Intended for developers with years of graphics experience
Usage: Evaluation of software's use for the following purposes
Scientific visualization - main use for ParaView
Recommended System Requirements
Compatible with Unix, Windows, and Mac
Data Visualization Summary
Overview: Not a big learning curve for beginner users, and automatically creates time-based animations from data sets that contain multiple time steps
Keyframe Animation Capability
Overview: Has a keyframe animation capability that allows users to create sophisticated animation.
Distributed Parallel Computation
Overview: Employs a distributed and parallel architecture in order to handle extremely large data sets interactively
Support for Multiple Mesh Types
Overview: Supports multiple mesh types including two- and three-dimensional point, rectilinear, curvilinear and unstructured
Extensible with Plugins
Overview: Extensible with dynamically loaded plugins
Very similar to ParaView; default visualizations are different -- VisIt's default visualizations have axis, labels, legends, while ParaView's default visualizations are more basic (just the model)
In VisIt you can have multiple active windows at once so you can render different models at once. In ParaView you have one active window
In both ParaView and VisIt, users can make animations of the model. Both software have underlying VTK code.
Official Tutorial master page
VisIt: About VisIt. 2018, Laurence Livermore National Security, LLC. https://wci.llnl.gov/simulation/computer-codes/visit/