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3-D Data Visualization on Mac OS X
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4

Moment of Truth

The installation and builds are now complete. Try running a simple demo from the /Develop/osxBin/bin directory.




cd /Develop/osxBin/bin

./vtk -f /Develop/VTK/Examples/Modelling/Tcl/expCos.tcl

Figure 3 displays the Bessel function generated by VTK. Pretty impressive, huh?

Figure 3
Figure 3. Running the expCos.tcl Bessel function example.

Another interesting test to run to verify installation is the VisualizationAlgorithms/Tcl directory script, bandContourterrain.tcl.

./vtk -f /Develop/VTK/Examples/VisualizationAlgorithms/Tcl/
bandContourterrain.tcl

Figure 4
Figure 4. Running the bandContourterrain.tcl example.

The VTK is now installed on your system. Now the fun and the learning curve begins!

Visualization on the Mac

I guess a whole new world has been opened up to you. Now what? To completely embrace the power of VTK, I opted to pick up the accompanying book, The Visualization Toolkit, An Object-Oriented Approach to 3D Graphics, 2nd Edition, by Schroeder, Martin, and Lorensen. The book isn't light reading--it's a textbook. If you're using the Visualization Toolkit this is a must-have. I have it open on my lap while I am looking through old MatLab source code trying to figure out how to port it over to VTK. There is a learning curve but the toolkit is well worth the effort.

Some truly impressive work with VTK is being carried out in medical research. Yves Starreveld, the key Mac OS X developer for VTK, and the person to whom I owe a great deal in helping me out, has his Web site at www.atamai.com. At Starreveld's site computer science meets brain surgery. Pretty cool! Sebastian Barre has another interesting site using VTK for biomedical engineering.

As for me, there are still some projects in computational fluid dynamics I would like to explore. Well, I guess it's time to see if the G4 is really worthy of its supercomputer reputation.

Michael J. Norton is a software engineer at Cisco Systems.


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