Isosurface Generation using VTK







3. VTK Basics


VTK is built around the notation of a pipeline.  At either end of the pipeline are sources and sinks (technically, source objects and mapper objects).  The most important thing to think about is that as you assemble the various components of the pipeline, that is, get the output of one object and set it as the input to another object, make sure that you use the expected types.  For the purposes of this tutorial, it is only necessary to worry about data making it from the source to the renderer.  Inevitably, the rendering area will have to be updated after making changes to objects in the VTK pipelines.  As a result, a rendering call will have to be issued in order to tell it the renderer to update the appropriate objects.


This chapter will focus on describing three types of VTK objects— source objects, filter objects, mapper objects, and rendering objects (though VTK does not refer to them in that manner).   Each section will describe a VTK class and allow you “play” with the class in order to get a better understanding of what is going on.  For classes that really are more geared to configuration, it is encouraged that examples are run using the Python command line interpreter.  This will also begin to introduce how to create a Tkinter UI with VTK classes.



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