ParaView Release Notes

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ParaView 3.10.1 (April 2011)

ParaView 3.10.1 is a patch release to address a few issues detected in 3.10.0.

ParaView Binaries:

  • Fixed crash on 32 bit Windows when opening CGNS files.
  • Resolved crash issue when opening Xdmf files on 64 bit Windows.
  • Fixed an issue where playing an animation would cause an increase in memory.
  • Corrected a performance slowdown when parsing python array calculator expressions.


  • Removed install rule for ParaViewLibraryDepends as it is no longer is being generated.
  • Corrected Install rule for vtkPVApplicationComponents that was not exporting correctly causing link errors when compiling the SpreadSheet example on Fedora.
  • Removed duplicate vtkVector class that was in ParaView but not used.
  • Added exclusions to the wrapping parser that would inadvertently attempt to wrap gl.h which would subsequently cause builds to hang on some systems.

ParaView 3.10.0 (March 2011)

This release features notable developments, including mechanisms to incorporate advanced rendering techniques, improved support for readers and several usability enhancements and bug fixes.

For the 3.10 release, we have added 60 new readers. The new readers include: ANSYS, CGNS, Chombo, Dyna3D, Enzo, Mili, Miranda, Nastran, Pixie, Samrai, Silo, and Tecplot Binary. A full listing of supported readers can be found in the ParaView Users Guide. We also added the ability for developers to create ParaView reader plugins from previously developed VisIt reader plugins. You can find a full guide on how to do this on the VisIt Database Bridge:

With this release we have rewritten the ParaView User's Guide and are making it freely available for the first time. The complete guide can be obtained in the help system or online at:

We have included a Python-based calculator which makes it possible to write operations using Python. The Python calculator uses NumPy, which lets you use advanced functions such as gradients, curls, and divergence easily in expressions. Also the NumPy module is packaged in the ParaView binary and is importable from the ParaView Python shell.

There should also be a marked performance improvement for users dealing with large multi-block datasets. We have cleaned up the rendering pipeline to better handle composite datasets, avoiding the appending of all blocks into a single dataset as was done previously.

To better utilize multiple cores on modern multi-core machines, by default ParaView can now run using a parallel server, even for the built-in mode. This enables the use of all the cores for parallel data processing, without requiring the user to start a parallel server. ParaView binaries will also be distributed using an MPI implementation, making this feature available to users by simply downloading the binaries. Since this is an experimental feature, it is off by default, but users can turn it on by checking the Auto-MPI checkbox in the application settings dialog.

Additionally, the 3.10 release includes several usability enhancements. 3D View now supports smart context menus, accessed by right-clicking on any object in the 3D View to change its color, representation, color map and visibility. Left-clicking on an object in the 3D View makes it active in the pipeline browser. Within the spreadsheet view, sorting is now supported and an advanced parallel sorting algorithm ensures that none of the benefits of the spreadsheet view, such as streaming and selection, are sacrificed. Python tracing and macro controls are no longer hidden on the Python shell dialog and instead are now easily found on the Tools menu.

For developers interested in adding support for advanced multi-pass rendering algorithms to ParaView, this release includes a major refactoring of ParaView's rendering pipeline. View and representations have been redesigned and users should see improved performance in client-server mode from reduced interprocess communication during rendering.

LANL's MantaView interactive ray tracing plugin has been restructured to make it easier to use. Version 2.0 of the plugin is now multi-view capable and no longer requires ParaView to be run in a client/server configuration. Similarly both of LANL's streaming aware ParaView derived applications have been merged into ParaView proper in the form of a new View plugin. The underlying streaming algorithms have been rewritten to be more usable and extensible. Both plugins are available in standard binary package for the first time in this release.

For an exhaustive list of the new features and bug-fixes, please refer to the change log at:

As always, we rely on your feedback to make ParaView better. Please use or click on the "Tell us what you think" link on to leave your feedback and vote for new features.

ParaView 3.8.1 (Sept 2010)

The ParaView team is pleased to announce the availability of the ParaView 3.8.1 binaries for download on the ParaView download page.

Release Notes:

ParaView 3.8.1 is a patch release over 3.8.0 with a a small set of improvements. Some of noteworthy improvements/fixes are:

ParaView now comes HDF5 1.8.5. This enables developers to create readers/plugins for ParaView that use newer versions of HDF5 easily. Also we are now including the C++ and the high level (hl) versions of the libraryfor those who wish to use their newer API.

Along the same note the version of NetCDF included in VTK has also been upgraded to version 4.1.1 allowing users to take advantage of the latest enhancements to NetCDF. Additionally the C++ version of the library is now also available.

Among the improvements are two new file formats. The first is a netcdf based reader for MPAS format ocean and atmosphere data sets. The second, available in source form only is a reader plugin that allows ParaView to read multi-resolution wavelet compressed VAPOR data format files. Thanks to John Clyne and Dan Legreca for contributing the VAPOR plugin.

We have improved the support for animation scripting through Python. The new API is more coherant with the rest of ParaView Python API avoid the need for script writers to know the minute details of how to create animations using proxies. Tracing capabilies for animation were also revised.

GPU volume ray cast mapper for voxel datasets now works in tile display mode as well.

In keeping with our on going improvements of the ParaView's charting capabilities, we have included a few more fixes regarding labels and axes placements.

We also cleaned up ParaView build and install rules so that developers don't have to worry about 'rpath' anymore. Also "make install" has been vastly improved on all platforms.

This release also includes a material interface extraction filter thattakes a cell data volume fraction and generates a polydata surface. It also performs connectivity on the particles and generates a particle index as part of the cell data of the output. It computes the volume of each particle from the volume fraction. The filter is accessible from the Material Analysis category in the Filters menu.

Also, CoProcessing/in-situ processing has been added to ParaView. It includes 2 parts: a client side plugin that creates python scripts and a server side library that can be called from a simulation code to output both images and data sets based on the created python script. For more details go to

Updated development installers will also follow shortly.

As always, we rely on your feedback to make ParaView better. Please use or click on the "Tell us what you think" link on to leave your feedback and vote for new features.

ParaView 3.8.0 (May 2010)

Kitware, Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory are proud to announce the release of ParaView 3.8.0. The binaries and sources are available for download from the ParaView website ( This release includes several performance improvements, bug fixes for users, and plenty of new features for plugin and application developers. We have made it easier to locate cells/points in your dataset using queries. Search the ParaView Wiki for "Find Data using Queries" for more information.

The plugin loading and management dialog was redesigned to make it easier to load plugins. It's now possible to configure plugins to be auto-loaded every time ParaView starts. We've added support for plotting over curves and intersection lines using the filters "Plot On Sorted Lines" and "Plot On Intersection Curves".

A couple of GPU-based rendering/visualization techniques have been incorporated along with GPU-based volume rendering support for 3D image volumes, which is accessible through the "Volume Mapper" option on the Display tab. Support for Line Integral Convolution (LIC) is available as a plugin; this support can be used for visualizing vector fields over arbitrary surfaces.

ParaView now includes (in source form only) an interface to the University of Utah's Manta interactive software ray tracing engine. The Manta plugin provides a new 3D View type which uses Manta instead of OpenGL for rendering. The plugin is primarily being developed for visualization of large datasets on parallel machines. In single processor configuration it has the benefit of allowing realistic rendering effects such as shadows, translucency and reflection.

In terms of performance improvements, we've greatly improved the first render time for datasets with large numbers of blocks. Raw image reading for parallel file systems underwent a major overhaul making it fast and efficient. Options were added to the Settings dialog to fine tune image compression, improving interactivity when remote rendering over connections with varying bandwidths.

After the introducing Python tracing in the previous release, we have expanded the purview of tracing to include selections, lookup tables, and implicit functions.

For climate simulation folks, this release includes support for NetCDF with CF (Climate and Forecast) conventions. For cosmology researchers, the Cosmo plugin has been substantially revised. The major improvement is that the plugin now works in a data parallel fashion, so that it can be used with higher resolution simulation results. We have reintroduced basic support for CAVE rendering which was lost since the major overhaul for ParaView 3.0.

Several new readers have been contributed: WindBlade a reader for wind turbine and fire simulation data, VPIC a reader for particle and cell physics simulation data, and netcdf POP a reader for POP ocean simulation data in a netcdf container format.

AdaptiveParaView, a new experimental application developed using the ParaView application framework is also now available in source format. Like StreamingParaView, AdaptiveParaView processes structured datasets in a piecewise fashion, omitting pieces which are unimportant, in order to make it possible to visualize datasets which do not otherwise fit in RAM. AdaptiveParaView differs from prior work in that it renders pieces in a multi-resolution manner, initially producing low-resolution images and then progressively filling in greater detail within the viewing frustum. This application still contains many experimental features and is not yet documented, but we encourage users to try it out and report bugs and feature requests.

PVBlot is a command tool for batch or interactive processing of Exodus data files. It is provided as a plugin. The commands create various mesh visualzations and XY plots of variable versus time, or variable versus variable. The plugin adds an interactive pvblot console to the ParaView Tools menu. Documentation for PVBlot is built into the tool, just type 'help' or 'help '. The SierraTools plugin provides pvblot-like features but exposes the functionality through toolbar buttons and dialogs in place of text commands.

There are several other fixes including those for charting and plotting, wireframes for quadratic surfaces, and for dealing with temporal ranges.

For developers, this release includes major changes to the core ParaView libraries making it easier to create and deploy custom applications based on the ParaView framework. This enables developers to create applications with fundamentally different workflows than that of ParaView while still leveraging ParaView's parallel processing and large data visualization capabilities. Search for "Writing Custom Applications" on the ParaView Wiki for details.

The plugin framework has undergone an overhaul as well, making it easier to debug issues with loading of plugins as well as support for importing plugins in static applications.

Starting with ParaView 3.8, we will be releasing development binaries for ParaView, which will make it easier for developers to build and distribute plugins that are compatible with the binaries downloaded from our website. These development binaries will be available shortly.

As always, we rely on your feedback to make ParaView better. Please use or click on the "Tell us what you think" link on to leave your feedback and vote for new features.

ParaView 3.6.2 (Jan 2010)

Kitware, Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Lab are proud to announce the release of ParaView 3.6.2. The binaries and sources are available for download from the ParaView website ( ParaView 3.6.2 contains the following new features and improvements.

The Python interface has been revamped, an exciting new extension to the Paraview Python interface is Python trace. The goal of trace is to generate human readable, not overly verbose, Python scripts that mimic a user's actions in the GUI. See the "Python Trace" article on page 6 of the October 2009 Kitware Source for more details.

ParaView 3.6.2 includes a collection of statistics algorithms. You can compute descriptive statistics (mean, variance, min, max, skewness, kurtosis), compute contingency tables, perform k-means analysis, examine correlations between arrays, and perform principal component analysis on arrays. More information about these filters is available on the ParaView Wiki at

ParaView 3.6.2 includes the VisTrails Provenance Explorer plugin in the Windows and Linux packages. VisTrails is an open-source scientific workflow and provenance management system developed at the University of Utah that provides support for data exploration and visualization. The VisTrails Pplugin brings provenance tracking and many of the benefits of provenance to ParaView users. It automatically and transparently tracks the steps a user followed to create a visualization. In contrast to the traditional undo/redo stack, which is cleared whenever new actions are performed, the plugin captures the complete exploration trail as a user explores different parameters and visualization techniques. A tree-based view of the history of actions allows a user to return to a previous version in an intuitive way, undo bad changes, compare different visualizations, and be reminded of the actions that led to a particular result. Also, there is no limit on the number of operations that can be undone, no matter how far back in the history of the visualization they are. Last, but not least, the history is persistent across sessions. The VisTrails plugin can save all of the information needed to restore any state of the visualization in .vt files, which can be reloaded across ParaView sessions and shared among collaborators. This also allows multiple visualizations to be shared with a single file.

LANL's cosmo plugin is now distributed with ParaView 3.6.2. This plugin allows ParaView to read and process *.cosmo format files, in which particles are described by mass, velocity and identification tags. These particles typically represent stellar masses. The halo finder filter is a friend-of-a-friend particle clustering algorithm. It creates groups containing particles that satisfy a tolerance/threshold linking distance criterion. The cosmology data format, halo finding algorithm, and related (experimental) filter implementations are made possible by the LANL cosmology researchers, the LANL visualization team, and international collaborators.

Mac application bundle and comand line tools are now built as universal binaries (PPC and Intel i386). This simplifies managing ParaView on Mac as now there is only a single binary to download for any architecture.

As always, we rely on your feedback to make ParaView better and powerful. We are experimenting with a new user-feedback mechanism. Please use or click on the "Tell us what you think" link of to leave your feedback and vote for new features.

ParaView 3.6.1 (July 2009)

The ParaView 3.6.1 release is now available for download from the ParaView web site ( It is also available through CVS; the tag is ParaView-3-6-1. This release includes several new features along with plenty of bug fixes addressing a multitude of usability and stability issues including those affecting parallel volume rendering. For a more exhaustive list, please refer to

Based on user feedback, ParaView's Python API has undergone a major overhaul. The new simplified scripting interface makes it easier to write procedural scripts mimicking the steps users would follow when using the GUI to perform tasks such as creating sources, applying filters, etc. Details on the new scripting API can be found on the Paraview Wiki.

We have been experimenting with adding support for additional file formats such as CGNS, Silo, Tecplot using VisIt plugins. Since this is an experimental feature, only the Linux binaries distributed from our website support these new file formats.

ParaView now natively supports tabular data-structures thus improving support for CSV files including importing CSV files as point-sets or structured grids. We have completely redesigned the charting/plotting components with several performance fixes as well as usability improvements. It is possible to plot arrays from arbitrary datasets directly using Plot Data filter. Upon hovering over the plots tooltips are shown which detail the plotted values.

In an effort to better support animations involving the camera, we have added support for specifying camera movements along splines or for orbiting around objects in space. This version has many GUI usability improvements including, but definitely not limited to:

  • Color palettes which make it easier to switch between color schemes that are suitable for printing and for screen.
  • Improved support for temporal readers and filters.
  • Axes annotations and scalar bar for 2D render view.
  • Zooming to selected region in 3D view.
  • Quick launch for creating sources and filters using Ctrl+Space or Alt+Space.

Apart from these enhancements, ParaView includes a pre-alpha release of OverView, an application developed using the ParaView application framework. OverView is a generalization of the ParaView scientific visualization application designed to support the ingestion, processing and display of informatics data. The ParaView client-server architecture provides a mature framework for performing scalable analysis on distributed memory platforms, and OverView uses these capabilities to analyze informatics problems that are too large for individual workstations. This application still contains many experimental features and is not yet documented, but feel free to try it out and report bugs and feature requests.

StreamingParaView, another application developed using the ParaView application framework. StreamingParaView processes structured datasets in a piecewise fashion, on one or many processors. Because the entire dataset is never loaded into memory at once, StreamingParaView makes it possible to visualize large datasets on machines that have insufficient RAM to do so otherwise. Piece culling, reordering and caching preserve ParaView's normally high interactivity while streaming. This application still contains many experimental features and is not yet documented, but we encourage users to try it out and report bugs and feature requests.

Currently, both OverView and StreamingParaView are available through source alone.

Bugs, feature requests and any questions or issues can be posted to the ParaView Mailing List at

As always, we rely on your feedback to make ParaView better and powerful. We are experimenting with a new user-feedback mechanism. Please use or click on the "Tell us what you think" link of to leave your feedback and vote for new features.

ParaView 3.4.0 (October 2008)

The ParaView 3.4 release is now available for download from the ParaView web site ( It is also available through CVS; the tag is ParaView-3-4-0. Since the 3.2 release, we have been focusing on usability and 3.4 contains many improvements and bug fixes.

The major changes since 3.4 are:

  • VTK and ParaView are now licensed under the BSD license as opposed to modified BSD.
  • The multi*block and AMR support was improved significantly. Almost all filters, spreadsheet view and charts now support these datasets.
  • The selection capabilities of ParaView were significantly improved. For details, see Kitware Source, issue 6 or
  • Some of other improvements and fixes are

New features

  • Added support for plotting multiple point/cell values over time.
  • Save screenshot now allows saving of all views.
  • It is not possible to save higher resolution screenshots.
  • Added support for picking end*points of lines widgets (used in plot over line and streamlines) using 'p'.
  • Added support for scene exporters. Supported formats are X3D (binary and ascii), VRML 2 and POV (Persistence of Vision Raytracer).
  • Added ability to open multiple CTH and Exodus restart files.
  • Added temporal statistics filter that can be used to find average, min, max and standard deviation of arrays over time.
  • Added support for choosing (picking) custom center of rotation.
  • Added volume rendering support for multi*block datasets. The user now chooses which block to volume render.
  • Added filter to append all blocks of a multi*block dataset to one unstructured grid. Can be used to volume render the whole multi*block dataset.
  • Added support to color by block.
  • Added 2D views / slice representation for volumes (vtkImageData).
  • Added box and sphere widgets for slicing and clipping.
  • Added cube axes that can be used to show scale of a dataset.
  • Added support to color by AMR level.
  • Added support to turn on/off the visibility of multiple objects. Select multiple objects in the pipeline browser and click on one of the eyeballs.
  • Added multiple selection using ctrl (command on Mac). When performing selection after the first time, hold ctrl to add to the existing selection.
  • Added "Normal Glyphs" custom filter.
  • Added "zoom" to individual arrays in the spreadsheet view. Double*click on the title*bar to activate/deactivate.
  • Added support for displaying textures on polygonal data.

Improvements to Existing Features

  • Plugin improvements. See the plugin page on the wiki for more information.
  • Added option to disable offscreen rendering while saving images. This option should be turned on if ParaView crashes when saving images. This is to get around an OpenGL bug that is on some Linux Intel drivers.
  • Added option to disable depth peeling when rendering translucent geometry. Some graphics card drivers claim to support everything that is needed for depth peeling while not implementing them. If you are experience crashes when transparency is on, disable depth peeling.
  • Added easily accessible menu to select the component of a vector to color by.
  • Added support for plotting more than one component of a vector on the same chart.
  • Plot over line now works with multi*block and AMR data.
  • CTH reader now combines X, Y and Z velocity components into a vector.
  • Added button to rescale to data range in bar charts.
  • Changed the default width of the scalar bar to a more reasonable size. Also tweaked the way scalar bar scaling works.
  • Improved partial array support (when an array exists only in some of the blocks of a multi*block dataset).
  • Added selection support for composite datasets.
  • Added chooser for unstructured volume rendering algorithm.
  • Added support for selecting array in gradient filter for image data. Removed gradient magnitude. Use gradient + array calculator.
  • Many comparative view fixes.
  • Many tiled*display fixes.
  • Many widgets used a few digit precision for floating point numbers making it impossible to use higher precision. Fixed.

Reader and Writer Improvements

  • Added readers for MFIX and Fluent files to the GUI.
  • Added support for loading file series from the command line as well as from the recent file menu.
  • Added SILO reader. Needs more work. Needs compilation from source due to Silo license (it is not open-source).
  • Added support to save multi*block polygonal datasets as a collection of STL or PLY files.
  • Added support for file series of XML based VTK files.
  • Updated XDMF reader to XDMF 2.

Bug Fixes

  • Point coordinates were not shown in the spreadsheet view if there were no point arrays. Fixed.
  • Calculator function was not reloaded with state. Fixed.
  • Annotation text was not scaling properly when rendering high*resolution animations/images. Fixed.
  • Color by menu was not updated in some cases. Fixed.
  • CTH reader was not handling missing files gracefully. Fixed.
  • Selection inspector could not display labels for global element ids. Fixed.
  • Loading state reseted to time step 0, fixed.
  • Pipeline was not always updating when time was shifted. Fixed.
  • Fixed crash when using Edit *> Delete All.
  • Fixed installation with VTK_USE_RPATH on.
  • Selection did not work in parallel if compositing was off. Fixed.
  • Selection labels were not updated during animation. Fixed.
  • Several undo/redo fixes.

ParaView 3.2 (November 2007)

Release notes for 3.1 (development version) and 3.2 can be found here.

ParaView 3.0

Release notes for development snapshots and 3.0 can be found here.

ParaView 2.6

Release notes for ParaView 2.6 can be found here.