[vtk-developers] Charts in VTK and ParaView

pat marion pat.marion at kitware.com
Wed Mar 24 14:21:48 EDT 2010

Thanks for the great feedback!

For 6., the chart proxy tries to be fancy and automatically set axis labels
and hide/show the legend depending on which series are shown.  I think I'll
submit a patch (code freeze) to remove this feature.  It is a nice feature
in theory but since it is not smart enough to know if the user already set a
custom label, I will disable the feature for the release.


On Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 12:08 PM, Eric E. Monson <emonson at cs.duke.edu>wrote:

> Hey guys,
> A lot of the chart stuff is working well now, but I'm going to send
> problems in as I discover them since I can't always spend a big block of
> time testing this out. So far:
> 1. The default column widths in the Line Series list view of the Display
> tab are quite narrow and don't fill the width of the list view. (Looking at
> 3.6.2 binary, it seems this was the same then, too, so I guess it's sort of
> a separate issue.)
> 2. The View Settings for the Chart Legend don't work. Unchecking Show
> doesn't hide the legend and changing the Location combo box doesn't activate
> the Apply button or do anything to the legend position.
> 3. When a plot first comes up, the X-axis range over which the data is
> plotted takes the size of the legend into account. If you change which line
> series are plotted in such a way that the line series names are now shorter
> (so the legend now takes up less space along the x-axis), the data doesn't
> automatically fill the new available space (even when you change which block
> is plotted), it always remembers the original space allowed. Since it is
> automatically using the space in such a way to not overlap the legend at the
> beginning, it looks strange that it never updates itself with the new
> information about how much space the legend is now taking up.
> 4. I can't get the Chart Axes combo box on the Display tab to do anything
> to the plot.
> 5. The legend doesn't show any symbols, only the line style used for that
> data series.
> 6. The left axis title disappears right after I set it. I see it show up
> for a split-second after I _first_ hit Ok on the View Settings, but then I
> can't tell what happens and I can't get it to show up again. •• Okay, it
> looks like this is part of suppressing the Y axis label if more than one
> line series are being plotted. The system doesn't allow you to override the
> Y axis label (either shown or suppressed) through the View Settings panel.
> You can override the X axis label through the dialog, but not the Y. If only
> one line series is plotted, the correct label is shown and can be changed
> from the list view. The problem is that if you have something common among
> multiple line series, like all of the values are concentrations, you can't
> label the Y-axis with "Concentration".
> 7. The old charting system didn't insist on including 0 in the automatic
> axis ranges. I think I liked the old way better, or would at least like an
> option to turn this off in the View Settings. If I have a value that stays
> very high over time, I don't always want to see the level compared to zero,
> I want to see the variations that are there without having to do a bunch of
> zooming. This is just my preference -- people can argue about it if they
> disagree.
> Okay, time to move on to some other things today. I'll let you know if I
> run across any other issues. Overall it's looking good.
> Thanks,
> -Eric
> On Mar 23, 2010, at 10:25 AM, pat marion wrote:
> Hi Eric,
> I just pushed some fixes to the paraview proxy classes that manage the
> charts.  If you have some time this week could you try banging on the charts
> in paraview to make sure they work for what you're trying to do.  I'm mostly
> interested in knowing about any functionality/behavior changes from the
> previous charts.
> Some of the fixes include- visibility icon in pipeline browser works, state
> is remembered, adding sources to the chart doesn't clear what was already in
> the chart.
> Pat
> On Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 11:50 AM, Marcus D. Hanwell <
> marcus.hanwell at kitware.com> wrote:
>> On Tuesday 09 March 2010 14:46:19 Eric E. Monson wrote:
>> > Hey Marcus,
>> >
>> > I'll attach my little python script that I've been using to try out the
>> > Charts stuff, but I'm not sure that it will be helpful to you because,
>> > even though I wrote it by translating TestLinePlot into Python, it uses
>> an
>> > interator and a render window and isn't written as a python "test"
>> (which
>> > I don't really know how to do...).
>> I would be happy to work on converting it. It will be my first Python
>> test, but
>> I think it would be good to ensure the Python bindings the the new charts
>> is
>> working everywhere. I will see about getting something added soon.
>> >
>> > I'll bring up two issues I've run into, and then I promise I'll break it
>> > off into another thread in the future. :)
>> The feedback is great, sorry about the delay in getting back to you.
>> >
>> > 1. (I noticed this in ParaView, too.) On my machine CIRCLE marker style
>> is
>> > drawn as a solid square rather than a circle. It looks like since you're
>> > using painter->DrawPoints(f,n) for drawing circles in vtkPlotLine, you
>> > must be relying on OpenGL vertices being circles? On my graphics card
>> they
>> > get rendered as squares... Do you think it would be too confusing to
>> call
>> > this one something else (like point or vertex) and make the circle
>> marker
>> > paint option call DrawEllipse()?
>> I was thinking of doing this. I just got a Windows test system set up,
>> with a
>> much less fancy graphics card in it and am seeing the same issue. I could
>> may
>> be go with points and then draw ellipses (would be the slowest of the
>> shapes).
>> I may also looking into rendering the shape once, and then drawing point
>> sprites or textured quads. That would be much more efficient than the
>> current
>> approach.
>> >
>> > 2. It would be kind of nice to be able to control the width of the pen
>> used
>> > to draw the markers, as well as the marker size (and it doesn't look
>> like
>> > this would be too hard to expose).
>> No, I would just need to add an extra field in the dialog. I will see
>> about
>> getting this in, but I am currently working through a list of bugs that
>> must
>> be fixed before we make the next release... You are right that the API is
>> already there.
>> >
>> > 3. (Sorry if this is ignorant since I've only looked at the code for a
>> > little while now) Are you sort of straddling two charting models right
>> > now? When I look at something like vtkPlotLine, it looks like a
>> > traditional "plot one hard coded shape for each point" model. When I
>> look
>> > at vtkMark and vtkDataElement (as used in TestMarks.cxx) it looks like
>> > more of a Protovis type model (which I've only glanced at and not really
>> > used)... So, I guess I'm just curious whether you're still playing with
>> > which type of model to support, or might they both exist in the new API
>> as
>> > it solidifies? (Or, maybe these things aren't as much two separate ways
>> of
>> > working as I'm imagining.)
>> You are very astute. I see the charts as becoming a simpler, but probably
>> less
>> configurable, API on top of the marks. The mark API is still quite new,
>> and
>> will likely not make it into the next VTK release. I do hope to have the
>> charts using the marks API to take care of the rendering, but I think that
>> both APIs have a place in VTK.
>> I would certainly welcome your thoughts if you have a chance to take a
>> look at
>> it. We are working on the marks API with the Protoviz developers and
>> Sandia
>> (TITAN), and that API is still in flux, we need to ensure things still
>> scale
>> and balance the use of things like lambda functions with existing VTK
>> conventions.
>> Thanks,
>> Marcus
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