VTK/GSoC 2011

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Project ideas for the Google Summer of Code 2011



These ideas were contributed by developers and users of VTK and ParaView. If you wish to submit a proposal based on these ideas you may wish to contact the developers to find out more about the idea you are looking at, get to know the developers your proposal will be reviewed by and receive feedback on your ideas.

The Google Summer of Code program is competitive, and accepted students will usually have thoroughly researched the technologies of their proposed project, been in frequent contact with potential mentors and possibly have submitted a patch or two to fix bugs in the project they intend to work. Kitware makes extensive use of mailing lists, and this would be your best point of initial contact for any of the proposed projects you would like to apply for. The mailing lists can be found on the project pages linked to in the preceding paragraph. Please see GSoC proposal guidelines for further guidelines on writing your proposal.

Adding Ideas

When adding a new idea to this page, please try to include the following information:

  • A brief explanation of the idea.
  • Expected results/feature additions.
  • Any prerequisites for working on the project.
  • Links to any further information, discussions, bug reports etc.
  • Any special mailing lists if not the standard mailing list for the VTK.
  • Your name and email address for contact (if willing to mentor, or nominated mentor).

If you are not a developer for the project concerned, please contact a developer about the idea before adding it here.

Project Ideas

Project page, mailing lists, dashboard.

Project: New 2D Charts

Brief explanation: Implementation and augmentation of features in the existing 2D charts. Also exposure of these charts in the ParaView user interface. Additional features could also be added to existing charts such as error bars, mapping of more properties, enhanced interactivity features and/or performance improvements.

Expected results: New chart types, improved interactivity with existing chart types and additional exposure in the ParaView GUI.

Prerequisites: Experience in C++, some experience with VTK/OpenGL ideally, but not necessary.

Mentor: Marcus Hanwell (marcus dot hanwell at kitware dot com).

Project: Chemistry Visualization

Brief explanation: Addition of new data types, mappers and visualizations for chemistry visualization. VTK has already been used in several open source chemistry applications, but lacks specialized support for this area. Features such as marching cubes, GPU accelerated volume rendering and glyph mappers could be leveraged here, along with BSD licensed projects such as OpenQube to read in a wider range of inputs. A CML reader could also improve general chemistry I/O. This could also make use of existing work in infovis and 2D charting to display numerical output.

Expected results: Support for standard chemical representations, advanced visualization techniques of electronic structure using volume rendering, surfaces, contours etc.

Prerequisites: Experience in C++, some experience with VTK/OpenGL ideally, but not necessary.

Mentor: Marcus Hanwell (marcus dot hanwell at kitware dot com).

Project: Volume Rendering in WebGL

Brief explanation: Write an initial implementation of ray-cast volume rendering functionality in WebGL. This should allow web developers to use this library to perform volume rendering in the browser. The student should explore each technology and work on shader programs which emulate behavior implemented in the C++ VTK library.

Expected results: A Javascript library that takes a 3D image data as input and produces interactive volume rendering in the browser. The student should evaluate performance and accuracy of implementations WebGL compared to the existing C++ implementation.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with OpenGL and Javascript, some experience with CMake and C++ preferred.

Mentor: Jeff Baumes (jeff.baumes at kitware dot com).

Project: Protovis in C++

Brief explanation: Protovis is a Javascript library that uses SVG to do information visualization in the browser. Its compact, expressive language allows developers to build complex visualizations. We would like the similar capabilities in the C++ VTK library for use in C++ applications that would scale to larger data. This effort has started in January 2010, but there are still many capabilities not offered in the C++ API. The accepted student would work to replicate several complex Protovis examples in C++, and implement new features in VTK that are missing to allow those examples to work in C++. This project relies heavily on C++ libraries such as the boost::lambda library for inline lambda functions in order to write compact visualization descriptions.

Expected results: The student should provide C++ examples using VTK that emulate behavior in corresponding Protovis examples, and patches to VTK that allow the new features these examples require. Depending on the interest of mentor and student, this may involve animation support, advanced interaction techniques, new mark types, performance enhancements, or other features.

Prerequisites: Some experience with CMake and C++, boost and template programming a plus. Javascript experience preferred but not necessary.

Mentor: Jeff Baumes (jeff.baumes at kitware dot com).

Project: Implement Select Algorithms from IEEE VisWeek 2010 in VTK

Brief explanation: VisWeek is the premier forum for visualization advances in science and engineering for academia, government, and industry. This event brings together researchers and practitioners with a shared interest in techniques, tools, and technology. During the conference, researchers present papers on advances in scientific visualization and informatics. Many of these algorithms introduce new algorithms but not necessarily release the implementations in a form usable by the larger community. Since VTK has become the ubiquitous open-source toolkit for visualization, implementing these algorithms in the VTK framework would make them available to a large group of users. The accepted student would work to implement several select algorithms from VisWeek 2009 in C++ as new VTK algorithms.

Expected results: Implementation of several leading algorithms from VisWeek 2010 in VTK. The student should also implement examples and tests that will run as part of VTK's testing system (using CMake/CTest).

Prerequisites: Experience in visualization algorithms and/or GPU programming. Experience in C++. Some experience with VTK is preferred but not necessary.

Mentor: Berk Geveci (berk.geveci at kitware dot com).

Project: AMR Volume Rendering in VTK

Brief explanation: Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) has become popular in the numerical solution of shock physics, plasma physics and astrophysics problems. AMR uses a set of overlapping rectilinear grids to discretize the domain of problems that involve feature of largely varying scales. For example, in astrophysics the problem domain include whole galaxies but the mesh has to resolve individual stars. VTK has introduced native support for AMR meshes a few years ago and most of VTK's algorithms work well with this mesh type. One important algorithm that is missing and that is widely used by the AMR community is volume rendering. The accepted student will work to implement AMR volume rendering in VTK using existing building blocks include software and GPU-based volume rendering algorithms for rectilinear grids.

Expected results: Implementation of AMR volume rendering in VTK. The student should also implement examples and tests that will run as part of VTK's testing system (using CMake/CTest).

Prerequisites: Some experience in volume rendering and/or VTK is preferred but not necessary. Experience in C++.

Mentor: Berk Geveci (berk.geveci at kitware dot com).

Project: Implementing SVG/EPS Backend for 2D API

Brief explanation: VTK has a new, abstracted 2D API. It currently only has one backend (OpenGL), with a very early proof of concept using Qt. The project would involve adding an SVG/EPS backend, implementing support classes print quality output. This would ideally lead to the possibility of producing publication quality charts using an SVG/EPS (or similar) output backend without the need for any graphical environment.

Expected results: A new backend, focused on producing publication quality output using SVG/EPS. Ideally a second interactive backend that does not require any graphical environment (headless web server etc), along with additional tests and documentation of the new feature.

Prerequisites: Experience in C++. Some experience with VTK, SVG and/or EPS ideally, but not necessary.

Mentor: Marcus Hanwell (marcus dot hanwell at kitware dot com).

Project: iPhone/iPod/iPad/Android Support for ParaView Web

Brief explanation: We have been working on developing a Web visualization framework based on ParaView. This framework has two major components: a) a Javascript API and b) Flash-based interactive 3D visualization "applet". The Flash-based applet was designed to provide interactive frame rates by keeping a persistent connection (over http) for each user session. Unfortunately, due to lack of Flash support, this applet cannot function on the widely popular iPhone/iPod Touch and the upcoming iPad. Furthermore, the Flash applet was designed for desktop use and we are not sure how well it will work on an Android device. The accepted student will extend the ParaView Web framework to support iPod/iPhone/iPad and/or Android. ParaView, [http://www.paraview.org/paraview/help/mailing.html mailing lists, dashboard.

Expected results: Interactive ParaView Web visualization applet/library for iPod/iPhone/iPad and/or Android. Example application(s) and regression tests. Note that this applet/library does not have to be a Web applet. It is OK to provide a library for stand-alone application development as long as the communication can happen over http.

Prerequisites: Experience in iPod/iPhone development and/or experience in Android development.

Mentor: Utkarsh Ayachit (utkarsh dot ayachit at kitware.com)