VisIt is an Open Source, interactive, scalable, visualization, animation and analysis tool.
From Unix, Windows or Mac workstations, users can interactively visualize and analyze data ranging in scale from small (<10 core) desktop-sized projects to large (>10,000 core) leadership-class computing facility simulation campaigns.
Users can quickly generate visualizations, animate them through time, manipulate them with a variety of operators and mathematical expressions, and save the resulting images and animations for presentations. VisIt supports a rich set of visualization features to enable users to view a wide variety of data including scalar and vector fields defined on two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D) structured, adaptive and unstructured meshes. Owing to its customizeable plugin design, VisIt is capabable of visualizing data from over 120 different scientific data formats.
VisIt was originally developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Simulation and Computing Initiative (ASCI) to visualize and analyze the results of terascale simulations. It was designed with a high degree of modularity to support rapid deployment of new visualization technology. This includes a plugin architecture for custom database readers, operators and plots as well as the ability to support multiple different user interfaces.
Following a prototyping effort in the summer of 2000, an initial version of VisIt was developed and released in the fall of 2002. Since then, over 140 database readers, 70 operators and 20 plot plugins have been added to the open source code. In addition, commercial, government and academic organizations in the US, Europe and elsewhere have developed and maintained proprietary plugins and user interfaces for their own needs.
Although the primary driving force behind the original development of VisIt was for visualizing ASCI terascale data, VisIt has also proven to be well suited for visualizing smaller scale data from simulations on desktop systems. Because of its applicability beyond visualizing terascale data, we are making VisIt freely available as a BSD licensed open source product.