Visualization Packages and Data Output Formats

xgraph: Animated, Easy Client for 1D Line Plots

xGraph is a freely available, lightweight and easy to use visualization client for viewing 1D data files. It includes features for animation, zooming and saving to postscript.

ygraph: Animated, Easy Client for 1D Line Plots

yGraph is a freely available, lightweight and easy to use visualization client for viewing 1D data files. It includes features for animation, zooming and saving to postscript.

Gnuplot - Powerful Visualization Tool for 1D and 2D Data

Gnuplot is a command-driven interactive function plotting program. It can plot functions and data points in both two- and three-dimensional plots in various formats (points, lines, surfaces, contours).

Amira: ZIB's Advanced 3D Visualization System

Amira can be used to view 3D data of scalar fields, vector fields, tensor fields, apparent horizon multipole expansions and gaussian curvature data, embedding coefficients, remotely computed isosurfaces (similarly to IsoView), geodesics, and more. For remote visualization a remote control interface for steering Cactus simulations is also available.

OpenDX

OpenDX is a uniquely powerful, full-featured software package for the visualization of scientific, engineering and analytical data.

DV and xvs

DataVault s a powerful visualization and data analysis package for numerical codes that solve partial differential equations via grid-based methods, in particular those utilizing adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) and/or running in a parallel environment.

IsoView

IsoView version 2 uses pure OpenGL to handle rendering, making it very lightweight. IsoView V2 is a visualization client originally developed for the CactusCode project at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and now is maintained and developed at Louisiana State University.

VisIt

VisIt is a state-of-the-art data visualization tool based on the open source visualization class-library VTK and is developed and maintained at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California. VisIt is a uniquely powerful, full-featured software package for the visualization of scientific, engineering and analytical data: Its open system design is built on a standard interface environment. And its sophisticated data model provides users with great flexibility in creating visualizations.


Cactus Output Methods and Data Formats

The following table details output formats which can currently be produced from Cactus thorns:

IO method Description Providing thorn Viz Tools
Scalar output of scalars or grid array reductions in xgraph or gnuplot format CactusBase/IOBasic xgraph/ygraph, gnuplot
Info screen output of scalars or grid array reductions CactusBase/IOBasic xgraph/ygraph, gnuplot
IOASCII_1D 1D line output of grid arrays in xgraph or gnuplot format CactusBase/IOASCII xgraph/ygraph, gnuplot
IOASCII_2D 2D slice output of grid arrays in gnuplot format CactusBase/IOASCII gnuplot
IOASCII_3D 3D slice output of grid arrays in gnuplot format CactusBase/IOASCII gnuplot
IOHDF5_2D 2D slice output of grid arrays in HDF5 format CactusPUGHIO/IOHDF5 Amira, DV, OpenDX, VisIt
IOHDF5_3D full 3D output of grid arrays in HDF5 format CactusPUGHIO/IOHDF5 Amira, DV, OpenDX, VisIt
IOFlexIO_2D 2D slice output of grid arrays in FlexIO format CactusPUGHIO/IOFlexIO Amira
IOFlexIO full 3D output of grid arrays in FlexIO format CactusPUGHIO/IOFlexIO Amira
IOJpeg_2D 2D slice output as a jpeg image CactusIO/IOJpeg web browser, xv
IOPanda   CactusPUGHIO/IOPanda  
IsoSurfacer Constant value isosurfaces of grid functions CactusPUGHIO/IOSurfacer Amira, IsoView

Cactus Postprocessing Utilities

To aid the visualisation of very large HDF5 output data, thorn CactusExternal/HDF5 provides a set of utility programs which can be used to manipulate HDF5 files, independently of their driver-specific format:

  • hdf5_double_to_single
    Copies the entire contents of an input HDF5 file to an output HDF5 file, converting all double precision datasets to single precision.
  • hdf5_merge
    Merges a list of HDF5 input files into a single HDF5 output file. This can be used to concatenate HDF5 output data created as one file per timestep.
  • hdf5_extract
    Extracts a given list of named objects (groups or datasets) from an HDF5 input file and writes them into a new HDF5 output file. This is the reverse operation to what hdf5_merge does. Useful eg. for extracting individual timesteps from a time series HDF5 datafile.

For detail please refer to the thorn documentation of CactusExternal/HDF5