Amira: ZIB's Advanced 3D Visualization System
Amira is a research software package for the development of new advanced high-end visualization methods, developed by the
visualization department of the
Konrad-Zuse-Center for Information Techniques Berlin(ZIB).
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.
A free time-limited, but renewable demo version is
from ZIB after registration.
In addition you need the (free)
Numerical Relativity extension for handling Cactus data.
commercially through Template
Please enquire at this site for a fully qualified version.
Special Arrangements for Cooperation Partners
Special arrangements can be established for partners
contributing to the Amira development process. Cooperation
partners may receive renewable free updates of the internal
development version of Amira including the newest features
Amira is designed for an end-user who has minimal experience
with visualization tools, meaning that anything deemed
untrivial is considered to be too complicated and
should be treated as a bug.
Amira provides a kind of visualization network, which
graphically displays the current settings and relationships
among the visualization components.
In contrast to other tools like AVS or IBM DX, you don't see
a (possibly complicated) data flow diagram, instead the data
is directly displayed
as (green) icons and the appropriate displays
pop up from right-mouse button clicks on the green icons.
While it is easy, with only a little experience,
to construct simple visualization
networks from scratch, a couple of
`standard' visualization networks which arise in
with Cactus data are predefined. To get a list of all these
(daily growing) list of networks, simply issue
on the command line. This will print a list of available
networks and, for example, starting Amira with
will launch Amira ready for retrieving data from a
Working with 3D data
As an example of looking at some data set, for example 3D
data in FlexIO format written by Cactus, simply invoke
Amira with the appropriate filename, e.g.
Note that large datasets beyond the 2GB limit are
supported and can be handled, conveniently fast, with
A green data icon will appear, named according to the
From that, use the right-mouse button to select a
`timeslice' data set, for which a number of
visualization modules can be applied.
Amira is used by the following projects
(as part of a ZIB-AEI cooperation):
ART Project -
Visualization of General Relativity
AMR Project -
Visualization of Hierarchical Datasets
TIKSL Project -
GriKSL Project -
Please write to the individual peoples associated with these
projects with specific questions, or write to
for general inquiries.