The Visualization ToolKit (VTK) is an open source, freely available software system for 3D computer graphics, image processing, and visualization used by thousands of researchers and developers around the world. Visualization Toolkit consists of a C class library, and several interpreted interface layers including Tcl/Tk, Java, and Python.
Professional support and products for VTK are provided by Kitware, Inc. VTK supports a wide variety of visualization algorithms including scalar, vector, tensor, texture, and volumetric methods; and advanced modeling techniques such as implicit modelling, polygon reduction, mesh smoothing, cutting, contouring, and Delaunay triangulation. In addition, dozens of imaging algorithms have been directly integrated to allow the user to mix 2D imaging / 3D graphics algorithms and data.
The design and implementation of the library has been strongly influenced by object-oriented principles. VTK has been installed and tested on nearly every Unix-based platform, PCs (Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP), and Mac OSX Jaguar or later.
Many resources exist to help you utilize the full potential of VTK in your application area. These resources include:
Mailing List: Over 1900 users are subscribed to this list. A great place to post questions, and search for answers.
VTK Textbook: The Visualization Toolkit, An Object-Oriented Approach To 3D Graphics, 3rd edition, ISBN 1-930934-12-2, now published by Kitware. This is a great book to read if you want to learn the details of the visualization algorithms and data structures. The book is often used as a college text in visualization and graphics courses.
VTK User's Guide: The Visualization Toolkit User's Guide, ISBN 1-930934-13-0, published by Kitware. This is the book to get if you want to learn how to install and use VTK.
ParaView Guide: The ParaView Guide, ISBN 1-930934-14-9, published by Kitware. ParaView is a turn-key visualization system build on top of VTK, and makes VTK easier to use with an interactive, point and click interface. ParaView also supports supercomputing applications, including tiled display and distributed parallel processing.
CMake: Mastering CMake, ISBN 1-930934-11-4, published by Kitware. CMake is the premier, cross-platform build system used to compile and link VTK. A useful book if you want to use VTK in your projects.
Support: A variety of support options are available ranging from the single point-of-contact Professional Subscription to get you up and running, to custom Site Support to help you develop your next product with VTK.
What is new in this release:
- Assorted bugfixes and enhancements.
What is new in version 5.2.0:
- This release has an Infovis kit and a Views kit, a new Widgets architecture, improvements to PLY file support, and extended C++ API and C++ tests.
- There are many bugfixes, including much improved Java wrapping support. Support for the Mac OS X 10.5 SDK has been added.
- There is initial support for Resolution Independence in OS X 10.5.