1. Beginning: ParaView

1.1. Introduction

This tutorial will describe how to start paraview, find information and help about paraview, and describe some of the more important controls used by ParaView.

The ParaView web site is located at https://www.paraview.org. New versions of paraview can be found here, along with different tutorials and advice. ParaView versions include 32 and 64 bit versions of Linux, Windows and macOS. Training (practice) data is included in all ParaView downloads, and can be accessed through File → Open → Examples.

Did you know?

paraview now has an integrated help. It is found under the menu item Help → Help.

1.2. A simple example

1.2.1. Start ParaView

  • On Windows, go to Start → All Programs → ParaView x.x.x → and click ParaView.

  • On Mac, in the finder, go to the ParaView directory (in the Application directory where you installed ParaView) and click on paraview.

  • On Linux go into the ParaView directory (where you downloaded ParaView), then bin and type paraview.

1.2.2. Startup Screen

  • The Startup Screen includes two important links. Both of these links can also be found from the Help menu. They are the Getting Started Guide and Example Visualizations. If desired click the Don’t show this window again, and then click Close.


1.2.3. Getting Started Guide

  • The Getting Started Guide is a two page mini tutorial that shows fundamental ParaView usage.

  • Example Visualizations provide six finished visualizations. You can then play around with a ParaView pipeline.


1.2.4. Help Menu

  • The Help menu looks like this. Step through each menu option, then close the Help menu.


1.2.5. Open can.ex2

  • Open can.ex2.

    • can.ex2 is one of the datasets included with ParaView in the Examples folder.

    • In paraview, File → Open.

    • In the upper left corner, there is a folder called Examples. Go into this folder.

    • Select can.ex2.

    • OK.

    • Under the Properties tab, all Block Arrays will be selected.

    • Apply.

  • Turn off the node variables for VEL. Since any variable that is selected takes up memory, and since some datasets are huge, often the user will only read in the data that is needed for a run.

    • Click VEL, turning the check box OFF.

    • Apply.

  • The screen should now look like this. (The square will show up as red, since ParaView defaults to coloring by block, and the block we are seeing is red.) You are looking at the bottom of the plate that the can is sitting on.

  • Lets move the 3d object. Grab the can using the left mouse button. Try the center button. Try again with the right button. Try all three again holding down the SHIFT key. Try again holding down the X, Y and Z keys.

  • Place your mouse on a corner of the can. Now, hold the CTRL key down, and move the RIGHT mouse button up and down. You can zoom into and out of that location. Note that Macs use the Command key instead of the CTRL key.

  • The Reset icon is used to recenter your data. Select it now. To the right of this is the Zoom to Box icon, which looks like a magnifying glass. Select it, and rubber band select the edge of the can. Reset. Try using the SHFT key and Zoom to Box.

  • Telling the camera to look up and down the X, Y and Z axes is done with the +X, -X, +Y, -Y, +Z, and -Z icons.

  • Now the screen looks like this:

  • To change the representation, change Surface to Wireframe (right below Help).

  • Then, change it to Surface with Edges.

  • Cycle through all of the other representations. In order, these are: 3D Glyphs, Feature Edges, Outline, Point Gaussian, Points, Slice, Surface, Surface LIC, Surface With Edges, Volume, and Wireframe. Note that we usually use the Slice filter for slices.

  • Finally, turn the Representation back to Surface.

  • Notice that the can dataset is being painted in two colors. We are currently painting by Block.

  • Change the variable used for color. Change this from Solid Color. to Acceleration (Point ACCL). (This is found just below the Sources menu.) Everything should go blue.

  • Animate the can one frame forward using the Next Frame controls. Right above the window of the can are animation controls. Click the right arrow with a bar to its left once. The plate turns red. Next to that is the Play button. The leftmost control is First Frame. It has a matching Last Frame.


Did you know?

The can dataset has displacement information in it. We are actually running the plate into the can, and the whole object is moving.

  • Notice that our color map is not set correctly. It needs to be set over the whole range of displacement, so that it grades from blue to red.

Be careful!

Very, very large data can take a long time to process. Don’t animate your data unless you have to with very large datasets.

  • Click the Play icon, running to the end of the simulation.

  • Click the Rescale to Data Range button.

  • Play. First Frame.

  • Click the Rescale to Custom Data Range button. Change the range to be 0.0 to 3.0e9.

  • Play. First Frame.

  • Click the Rescale to Data Range over All Timesteps button.

  • Play. First Frame.

1.2.6. Getting back GUI components

  • If you accidentally close the Properties tab, the Information tab or the Pipeline Browser tab, open them again from the View menu.

  • If you accidentally undock one of the tabs, just drag it back into place, wait for a gray shadow to appear, and drop it into place.