ParaView/Vector Graphics Export

From KitwarePublic
Jump to navigationJump to search

Exporting Vector Graphics

In ParaView 3.98, the ability to export 3D scenes and 2D charts as publication-quality vector graphics was added. This new functionality uses gl2ps to generate the following formats:

  • PostScript (.ps)
  • Encapsulated PostScript (.eps)
  • Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg)


Note that the ParaView 5.0 release does not support vector export when using the OpenGL2 backend. This functionality has been restored for later versions.

How to Export a Scene or Chart

  1. If multiple views are open, make the one you wish to export active by clicking in it.
  2. Open File >> Export Scene
  3. Enter a file name and select a vector graphics format (see list above for full list). Click OK.
  4. Configure the export options in the window that pops up (note that not all options are available for all formats):


  • Plot title: Name of exported document. This is used for the image metadata, and is unrelated to the filename.
  • GL2PS depth sort method: How to sort the depth of the graphics primitives in the exported image. Since vector graphics formats don't consider depth in their drawing commands, it is essential to properly sort the primitives so that they render correctly. When in doubt, select "Simple sort" for 3D scenes, and "No sort" for 2D charts.
    • No sorting: No sorting is performed -- primitives are exported in the same order that they are drawn in ParaView. Use this for exporting 2D plot.
    • Simple sort: Fast sorting method that gets most things right, but may incorrectly order objects in certain conditions.
    • BSP sorting: Use a binary space partitioning algorithm to sort the primitives. This will produce the best results, but can be slow and use a lot of memory.
  • Compress output file: Produce a gzip'd file. This reduces the file size on disk using a lossless compression algorithm.
  • Draw background: Use the background color of the scene/chart as the background of the image.
  • Cull hidden primitives: Reduce the size of the exported file by completely ignoring any primitives that are clipped or obscured by other geometry.
  • Rasterize 3D geometry: Renders the 3D primitives and surfaces in the scene as a rasterized (i.e. bitmapped) image. This produces lower quality output for these primitives, but is necessary for more complex scenes (e.g. those with texture maps). 2D primitives and text objects will be rendered as vector primitives on top of the rasterized image, which may cause some depth sorting issues.
  • Render text as paths: If checked, any text is explicitly drawn into the image using Bezier paths, otherwise the text is embedded as raw character data to be rasterized by the viewer/printer. Enabling this will ensure that text will appear exactly as shown in ParaView -- without it, the appearance of text will depend on the fonts available to the viewer/printer.
  • Use shfill shading operator (PostScript only): From the gl2ps documentation: Using shfill enhances the plotting of smooth shaded primitives but can lead to problems when converting PostScript files into PDF files.