Building VTK User Interfaces: Part 0 – Project Outline

At the moment, my after-hours and weekends are totally dedicated to working on a small academic project with a group of friends at MIT. Whoa, it’s a learning curve, a steep one, getting up to speed…

We are working with KitWare’s visualization products – specifically VTK – for development of a sandbox user interface. This is software is pretty (…to throw in a Barny Stinson-ism…) legendary! But I’m a self-confessed Microsoft-spoilt developer and used to documentation overload. VTK’s guides are somewhat skimp compared. So the next few posts of this blog will be dedicated to my findings, the pitfalls, and the recommendations on how to start with the following technologies: VTK, Python, PyQt, and LCM.

I’ll split this into a set of articles:

  1. What these technologies do and why they’re so appealing
  2. Installing and setting up VTK and Python
  3. Essentials of VTK – drawing models, handling cameras, building shapes
  4. Adding a 2D front-end to the 3D front-end with PyQt
  5. Integrating in some communication channel components with MIT’s LCM

More to follow in the next few weeks!

– Sam


2 thoughts on “Building VTK User Interfaces: Part 0 – Project Outline

  1. Interesting, but may I interject as I always do with what may be a silly question.

    Why use Python and PyQt over just using Qt?

    Otherwise I look forward to the rest of your blog posts on the topic. (And your awesome documentation)


    • That’s a fair question. I’ll definitely address that in the next post about the technologies (scratching it together as speak, vacations rock lol).

      Glad you like my code comments bud, most people have said ‘…man, there’s a lot of green in there, you expect me to read that? where’s the code?…’

      FYI – William also made a good reference to ‘mayavi’ on the Google+ link to the article. Haven’t heard about it, if you’re reading up on alternative technologies might want to look into that one as well.


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