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External documentation for popular visualization packages


ParaView is a general-purpose 3D scientific visualization tool. It is open source and compiles on all popular platforms (Linux, Windows, Mac), understands a large number of input file formats, provides multiple rendering modes, supports Python scripting, and can scale up to tens of thousands of processors for rendering of very large datasets.


Similar to ParaView, VisIt is an open-source, general-purpose 3D scientific data analysis and visualization tool that scales from interactive analysis on laptops to very large HPC projects on tens of thousands of processors.


VMD is an open-source molecular visualization program for displaying, animating, and analyzing large biomolecular systems in 3D. It supports scripting in Tcl and Python and runs on a variety of platforms (MacOS X, Linux, Windows). It reads many molecular data formats using an extensible plugin system and supports a number of different molecular representations.


The Visualization Toolkit (VTK) is an open-source package for 3D computer graphics, image processing, and visualization. The toolkit includes a C++ class library as well as several interfaces for interpreted languages such as Tcl/Tk, Java, and Python. VTK was the basis for many excellent visualization packages including ParaView and VisIt.

Visualization on new Compute Canada systems

This section will be updated as the new systems come online starting with Cedar (SFU) and Graham (Waterloo) in April-May 2017.

Upcoming visualization events

  • winter semester visualization webinars in January and March - topics and dates TBA
  • winter semester full-day VisIt visualization workshops at UofCalgary (date TBA), UofAlberta (date TBA), and SFU (2017-Feb-01)

Compute Canada visualization presentation materials

Full- or half-day workshops

Webinars and other short presentations

Tips and tricks

This section will describe visualization workflows not included into the workshop/webinar slides above. It is meant to be user-editable, so please feel free to add your cool visualization scripts and workflows here so that everyone can benefit from them.

Regional visualization pages


SciNet, HPC at the University of Toronto


Visualization gallery

You can find a gallery of visualizations based on models run on Compute Canada systems in the visualization gallery. There you can click on individual thumbnails to get more details on each visualization.

How to get visualization help

You can contact us via email.