I have a large VTK file with rectangular data, it seems Paraview cannot handle the size of the file, so it crashes and Visit navigation is extremely slow? Can anyone point me to good open source visualization software?

  • $\begingroup$ If the file is large, you're probably going to have some trouble visualizing it quickly on a desktop machine. How big is it? Visit is probably your best bet. $\endgroup$
    – Bill Barth
    Aug 7, 2013 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ Its 315Mb, I have visualized it on my desktop but it was extremely slow. But I did on a workstation with 80Gb of ram and it was still very slow (this is Visit by the way), and Paraview simply crashes. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2013 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ You simply have to expect things to be slow for files of this size unless you split the files into pieces and use a parallel visualization program (both visit and paraview can do this) to use multiple processors to traverse your mountain of data. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2013 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ 315 Mb shouldn't problem to visualize with Paraview. I have viewed at the max, ~3 Gb files with some difficulty on my desktop and very smoothly on a workstation (~24 Gb ram). Can you show the header of your VTK file? $\endgroup$
    – Sidhha
    Aug 8, 2013 at 2:55
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    $\begingroup$ One of the solutions could be to use binary instead of ascii. You can also try some suggestions made here. $\endgroup$
    – Sidhha
    Aug 8, 2013 at 6:31

2 Answers 2


ParaView should be your best bet.

  • I would try different versions as each behaves differently (go back as far as 3.12)
  • You also need to make sure that parallel is switched on (New versions have a "Use Multi-core" checkbox in settings)
  • You might need to compile your own version if you are unlucky (I had to do this once to get 64 bit headers working)

You could also try opendx, not sure if the performance will be there


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