MayaVi is a scientific data visualizer. It is written in Python and uses the Visualization Toolkit (VTK) for the visualization. An easy to use GUI using Tkinter is provided. MayaVi is free software and is distributed under the conditions of the BSD license. It is also cross platform and should run on any platform where both Python and VTK are available (which is almost any *nix, Mac OSX or Windows).
In Sanskrit "Mayavi" means magician. The name wasn't exactly chosen for its meaning but was the result of a long and hard search with the author pestering a lot of people for suggestions. My sincere thanks to all of those who offered suggestions.
MayaVi has a quite a few useful features:
An easy to use GUI.
MayaVi can be used as a Python module from other Python programs. MayaVi can also be used interactively from the Python interpreter.
Provides modules to visualize grids, scalar and vector data fields. Rudimentary tensor support is also available.
It provides support for any VTK dataset using the VTK data format. This includes rectilinear, structured and unstructured grid data and also polygonal data. Both the original VTK data formats and the new XML formats are supported.
Support for PLOT3D data. Both ASCII and binary files work. Only the structured grid format works because of current limitations in the vtkPLOT3DReader. Simple support for multi-block data is also incorporated.
Support for EnSight data. EnSight6 and EnSightGold formats are supported. Only single parts are supported at this time.
Many datasets can be used simultaneously.
Multiple visualization modules can be used simultaneously.
Quite a few basic data filters are also provided.
Supports volume visualization of data via texture and ray cast mappers.
Support for importing a simple VRML scene or a 3D Studio file. Texturing is not yet supported due to limitations in VTK's vtkVRMLImporter.
A pipeline browser with which one can browse and edit objects in the VTK pipeline. A segmented pipeline browser is used to make it easier to look at parts of the VTK pipeline.
A modular design so one can add ones own modules and filters.
A Lookup Table editor to customize lookup tables easily while visualizing data!
The visualization (or a part of it) can be saved and reloaded in the future.
Export the visualized scene to a Post Script file, PPM/BMP/TIFF/JPEG/PNG image, Open Inventor, Geomview OOGL, VRML files or RenderMan RIB files. It is also possible to save the scene to a vector graphic via GL2PS. This is only available if VTK is built with GL2PS support.
Support for picking data points or cells and also configuring the lighting of the visualization.
And a lot more. MayaVi is free software and hence can be modified to do things differently. The rest of this manual will provide information on how to use it.