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ParaView is an open source multiple-platform application for interactive, scientific visualization. It has a client–server architecture to facilitate remote visualization of datasets, and generates level of detail (LOD) models to maintain interactive frame rates for large datasets. It is an application built on top of the Visualization Tool Kit (VTK) libraries. Where VTK is a set of libraries that provide visualization services for data, task, and pipeline parallelism, ParaView is an application designed for data parallelism on shared-memory or distributed-memory multicomputers and clusters. It can also be run as a single-computer application.

ParaView offers the possibility to extend its functionality in several directions. This encompasses modifications to the GUI, implementation of new sources (i.e. generation of predefined curves and bodies), definition of new selection functions etc. The most useful category of plugins are the Filters.

menu 2

Figure: ParaView custom filters

Any extension to ParaView comes in a form of a shared library (something.dll in Windows or libsomething.so in Unix-like systems). The library can be loaded into ParaView using the plugin manager. The plugin manager is accessible through Tools > Manage Plugins. All new plugins have to be loaded there and optionally set to auto-load (see fig. crossref 3).

plugin manager 1

Figure: ParaView custom filters

 NOTE: the filters tend to disappear from their categories after use. This is a feature of ParaView, which moves the last used filter menu item into Filters > Recent. That list is, however, limited. Nevertheless, all filters are alwys accessible through the Filters > Search option.