FieldView is an advanced scientific visualization post
processor developed by Intelligent
Light. FieldView provides extensive capabilities for visualizing
3D data sets using color-mapped planes, isosurfaces, vector fields,
particle tracking, streamlines and numerous other entities. FieldView
provides all the advantages of professional commercial software
including robustness, cutting edge features and excellent technical
support. Reaction Engineering International uses FieldView as
the core visualization software for our consulting services.
OpenDX was originally developed by IBM. Its long history
as a commercial software package shows in its polished core visualization
capabilities and extensive documentation. Since being released
to open source, DX has been widely accepted as the visualization
package of choice for many research groups in national laboratories,
universities and large industrial research laboratories. The large
user base for DX ensures that modules exist to manipulate, transform,
process, realize, render and animate data based on points, lines,
areas, volumes, images or geometric primitives. These modules
can be quickly arranged to provide popular data analysis tools,
such as: display point values (point probe); one (XY), two (carpet/surface
plots) and three dimensional plots; line and solid shaded contours,
iso-surface extraction, data and vector value slices and solid
particle trajectories through flow fields. More complicated networks
can be built for nearly every conceivable visualization task.
REI currently uses OpenDX to perform customized
visualization tasks for our computational workbench environments.
The package requires significant expertise to use and to enhance,
and thus has been somewhat restricted to research efforts at REI.
Further information about OpenDX is available on the web at: http://www.opendx.org.
VTK (Visualization ToolKit) is another powerful scientific
visualization engine used by REI. VTK
is an extensive open-source class library which supports a full
range of scientific visualization operations including color mapped
planes, streamlines, isosurfaces, picking, texture mapping, stereoscopic
viewing etc. REI makes use of VTK for numerous customized visualization
An example is a custom visualization tool which
is coupled directly coupled to our computational workbench environments.
This visualization tool provides a drop-in alternative to OpenDX.
The tool adds the capability of being able to easily generate
active stereoscopic views for desktop VR. The viewer supports
a full range of visualization capabilities including color-mapped
planes, isosurfaces, streamlines, particle trajectories and volume
REI has recently untaken efforts to augment and utilize
multi-platform, open source VR software. The goal of these efforts
will be to enable users of our workbench environments to visualize
complex data sets in a myriad of ways on a full range of visualization
hardware, from a simple CRT all the way to a multi-walled, immersive
The VR software being integrated with the workbench
environments is Iowa State University’s VRAC VRExplorer.
VRExplorer is currently undergoing further development to meet
the needs of the workbench environments. This work is being done
through collaborative efforts of both Reaction Engineering International
and VRAC center personnel. This collaboration will result in powerful
VR capabilities for the workbenches and the resulting software
will be compatible with nearly all VR hardware.
REI has access to a full range of VR hardware. At
our offices, we make use of active stereographic visualization
via IR controlled LCD glasses. This provides excellent 3D visualization
on high-end computer monitors. As a result of our working relationship
with Iowa State’s VRAC, REI has access to some of the top
multi-walled visualization environments in the world located at
Iowa State University.