[vtk-developers] [EXTERNAL] announce: vtk 6.2.0 release candidate 1 is ready

Gerrick Bivins Gerrick.Bivins at halliburton.com
Tue Feb 17 09:22:25 EST 2015

You guys are really making great strides with VTK.
I’ve been holding off on upgrading for some time but this
feature list (not just the maven bits) is too tempting!
Great work!

From: David E DeMarle [mailto:dave.demarle at kitware.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 7:52 AM
To: Gerrick Bivins; Sebastien Jourdain
Cc: VTK Developers
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] [vtk-developers] announce: vtk 6.2.0 release candidate 1 is ready

On Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 5:10 PM, Gerrick Bivins <Gerrick.Bivins at halliburton.com<mailto:Gerrick.Bivins at halliburton.com>> wrote:
“VTK’s dashboards now automatically build redistributable packages on Windows, Linux and Mac that will allow us to feed Maven”
This is awesome!


Are there plans to upload these to maven central?

I believe that is the plan. Sebastien will have the details.

Or even something like Jcenter:


From: vtk-developers [mailto:vtk-developers-bounces at vtk.org<mailto:vtk-developers-bounces at vtk.org>] On Behalf Of David E DeMarle
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2015 3:43 PM
To: vtkdev; vtkusers at vtk.org<mailto:vtkusers at vtk.org>; Kitware Corporate Communications
Subject: [EXTERNAL] [vtk-developers] announce: vtk 6.2.0 release candidate 1 is ready

The VTK developement team is happy to announce that VTK 6.2 has entered the release candidate stage!

You can find the source, data, and new vtkpython binary packages here:


Please try this version of VTK and report any issues to the list or the bug tracker so that we can try to address them before VTK 6.2.0 final.

The official release notes will be available when VTK final is released in the next few weeks. In the meantime here is a preview:


VTK’s use of the parallelism available in modern architectures continues to mature. To set the stage for this move, we have refactored how pieces and extents are handled in the pipeline. The pipeline used to inject extent translators into the pipeline to obtain structured sub-extents for each requested unstructured piece. This approach had flaws so now the translation responsibility falls to the readers which are best able to make the computation and parallel filters are now responsible for dealing gracefully with unexpected extents. Next we have we have updated to the latest version of the Dax toolkit and begun to lay the groundwork for adopting the vtk-m project as a successor to the Piston, Dax, and EAVL efforts. There have  been a series of minor improvements to the SMP framework and vtkSMP filters too as we get ready to adopt them in a large swath of VTK’s algorithms. In related work, note that we have begun to support Xeon Phi (MIC) chips. For information about this please refer to: http://www.paraview.org/Wiki/ParaView_and_VTK_on_Xeon_Phi_%28KNC%29<http://www.paraview.org/Wiki/ParaView_and_VTK_on_Xeon_Phi_%28KNC%29>.

Similarly VTK’s support for the Web continues to advance in this release. VTK-Web has migrated to WAMP 2.0 in 6.2 and there are now complete and updated examples of using the web launcher to start vtkweb applications. vtkWeb applications now support http-only server/client configurations for situations when websockets are not acceptable. There were also improvements made to VTK to support the creation and use of Cinema and Workbench applications (in-situ deferred visualization) that are described in a SuperComputing 2015 paper “An Image-based Approach to Extreme Scale In Situ Visualization and Analysis”

Wrapped languages have gotten a share of the attention in this release. There have been several fixes for ActiViz.Net which was recently updated from 5.8 to VTK 6.1 and will soon be updated again to 6.2. The Tcl examples have finally been upgraded following modularization and note that it is now mandatory to invoke the method Start on the instance of vtkRenderInteractor from Tcl. In Java, vtkPanel’s behavior was changed to better support advanced class loader system like OSGI. VTK’s dashboards now automatically build redistributable packages on Windows, Linux and Mac that will allow us to feed Maven.

Python has received the heaviest dose of updates. Wrapped namespaces and enum types are now available in Python. We’ve also made significant improvements to the VTK-numpy integration by introducing a number of Python modules that provide numpy-compatible interfaces to VTK data structures. See http://www.kitware.com/blog/home/post/723 for details. We’ve also introduced vtkPythonAlgorithm, which makes it easier than ever to quickly extend VTK with filters that are written directly in Python. See http://www.kitware.com/blog/home/post/737 for details.

VTK’s rendering is making both evolutionary and revolutionary advances in this release. The evolutionary changes include the usual number of incremental improvements. These include such things like advanced color and display controls, "sticky" axes mode for vtkCubeAxesActor, out of range color assignments, and indexed color lookups for vtkStringArrays. There are also a number of text rendering improvements such as better  multiline, rotated, and aligned text as well as BackgroundColor and BackgroundOpacity options.

The revolutionary changes can be found in the OpenGL2 modules. These are under active development at the moment, and the API will be subject to change in the next release, but early adopters are encouraged to try it out and report their experiences with it on the mailing list. OpenGL2 is a rewrite of VTK’s rendering backend that brings VTK up to date with modern OpenGL programming practices. By replacing antiquated rendering techniques with modern ones, we have increased rendering performance by orders of magnitude in some situations. This work, funded by the NIH VTK Maintenance grant touches both surface and volume rendering techniques. You can read about OpenGL2 at: http://www.kitware.com/source/home/post/144 and http://www.kitware.com/source/home/post/154

Besides the above progress some of the most notable changes in VTK 6.2 include

•         deprecated InfovisParallel

•         vtkIOXdmf3, an interface to ARL’s greatly improved interface to HDF5 backed data storage

•         added a reader and writer for NIfTI files, including the 64-bit NIfTI-2 format

•         added support for SpaceMouse devices

•         external rendering support for immersive environments  http://kitware.com/blog/home/post/688

•         removed -fobjc-gc from VTK_REQUIRED_OBJCXX_FLAGS

•         Rewrote the OS X Cocoa mouse event handling code to make it more robust.

We hope you enjoy this release of VTK! As always contact Kitware and the mailing lists for assistance.

David E DeMarle
Kitware, Inc.
R&D Engineer
21 Corporate Drive
Clifton Park, NY 12065-8662
Phone: 518-881-4909<tel:518-881-4909>
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