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ParaView is an open-source, multi-platform visualization software based on the Visualization Toolkit VTK. ParaView is able to run in parallel on supercomputers or visualization clusters, so that very large data sets can be processed and visualized interactively. Furthermore ParaView can be used for the remote visualization of data stored on the server without the need to transfer the data to the local workstation.
ParaView uses a client/server approach. The ParaView server (pvserver) runs on the visualization cluster, here on JUVIS, either in parallel mode for large data sets or as a single process for smaller data sets. The server loads the data from the JUVIS filesystem and performs the necessary steps for visualization, namely running filter and mapper processes. The user has to start a ParaView client on his local workstation. This client connects to the server and displays the output of the server onto the screen of the local monitor. The output of the ParaView server can either be an already rendered image (called server side rendering or remote rendering) or a stream of intermediate geometry data, so called graphical primitives, which have to be rendered by the client (called client side rendering or local rendering). In the case of remote rendering, the ParaView server uses the graphics boards of the render cluster (JUVIS) to render the image. The rendered image is send to the client and is shown in the client window. This mode may be chosen when

  • the client is not equipped with a sufficient graphics hardware, so that rendering on JUVIS and sending the image to the client is faster than local rendering, and/or
  • when the size of the graphical primitives is very large, it may take a longer time to transfer the primitives over the network to the local client for local rendering than rendering on JUVIS and transfering the image.

When a data set with a lower complexity is visualized and/or the local client is equipped with sufficient graphics hardware, the client side rendering mode of ParaView can be selected. In this case, the rendering capabilities of JUVIS are not used, but the ParaView server sends the geometry data to the client, which renders this geometry locally.

ParaView Server

The ParaView server version is installed on JUVIS. The ParaView base directory is '/direct/Software/ParaView'. The executable for the ParaView server, 'pvserver', is placed in '/direct/Software/ParaView/bin'.

ParaView Client

As mentioned above, the ParaView client, which is a part of the ParaView package, has to be installed on the local workstation. Precompiled versions of ParaView for Linux, Windows and Macintosh, as well as the source code and sample data can be downloaded here: Please note that VTK is part of the ParaView package and needs not to be downloaded and installed seperately.

Important Links

ParaView Homepage
Download of ParaView
ParaView Online Hel
ParaView Wiki
ParaView FAQ
Input File Formats:
List of ParaView Readers
Output File Formats:
List of ParaView Writers
ParaView on Wikipedia
Tutorial for Paraview 2.4.3 at Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
ParaView WIKI at DAAC
VTK Homepage
VTK Download
VTK Documentation