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Unfortunately this function is not built in directly, but rather quite convoluted to call. This is an easy to use wrapper.


#include <vtkSmartPointer.h>
#include <vtkCell.h>
#include <vtkImageData.h>

static void GetCellCenter(vtkImageData* imageData, const unsigned int cellId, 
                          double center[3]);

int main(int, char *[])
  // Create an image data
  vtkSmartPointer<vtkImageData> imageData = vtkSmartPointer<vtkImageData>::New();
  // Specify the size of the image data
  imageData->SetDimensions(3,3,2); // This will cause 18 points and 4 cells
  imageData->SetSpacing(1.0, 1.0, 1.0);
  imageData->SetOrigin(0.0, 0.0, 0.0);
  std::cout << "Number of points: " << imageData->GetNumberOfPoints() << std::endl;
  std::cout << "Number of cells: " << imageData->GetNumberOfCells() << std::endl;

  double center[3] = {0,0,0};
  for(vtkIdType cellId = 0; cellId < imageData->GetNumberOfCells(); ++cellId)
    GetCellCenter(imageData, cellId, center);
    std::cout << "Cell " << cellId << " center: " << center[0] << " " 
              << center[1] << " " << center[2] << std::endl;
  return EXIT_SUCCESS;

void GetCellCenter(vtkImageData* imageData, const unsigned int cellId, double center[3])
  double pcoords[3] = {0,0,0};
  double *weights = new double [imageData->GetMaxCellSize()];
  vtkCell* cell = imageData->GetCell(cellId);
  int subId = cell->GetParametricCenter(pcoords);
  cell->EvaluateLocation(subId, pcoords, center, weights);

Please try the new VTKExamples website.


cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.8)


find_package(VTK REQUIRED)

add_executable(GetCellCenter MACOSX_BUNDLE GetCellCenter.cxx)

  target_link_libraries(GetCellCenter ${VTK_LIBRARIES})
  target_link_libraries(GetCellCenter vtkHybrid vtkWidgets)

Download and Build GetCellCenter

Click here to download GetCellCenter. and its CMakeLists.txt file.

Once the tarball GetCellCenter.tar has been downloaded and extracted,

cd GetCellCenter/build 
  • If VTK is installed:
cmake ..
  • If VTK is not installed but compiled on your system, you will need to specify the path to your VTK build:
cmake -DVTK_DIR:PATH=/home/me/vtk_build ..

Build the project:


and run it:


WINDOWS USERS PLEASE NOTE: Be sure to add the VTK bin directory to your path. This will resolve the VTK dll's at run time.