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Michail December 4, 2005 23:25

Comparison: TecPlot vs. PARAview
Dear colleagues

What can do one, and what can not do the other?

Comparison: TecPlot vs. PARAview

Any suggestions are highly appreciated.


dpshaka December 5, 2005 01:27

Re: Comparison: TecPlot vs. PARAview





andy December 5, 2005 05:45

Re: Comparison: TecPlot vs. PARAview
As dpshaka says, tecplot is commercial software and paraview is freeish (ish because you need to spend about 150 euros on a couple of books to get the documentation).

We have recently looked at 3D plotters but commercial programs like fieldview and tecplot are not viable because of the cost (impoverished university requiring lots of copies on a range of platforms). The choice was effectively between paraview and visit and we opted to stick with the latter although we will support both eventually. They have different strengths and weaknesses but, extraordinarily, paraview does not seem to support multi block structured grids and we are not going to write such software for it without documentation. Anyone know of such a reader? There is no documentation available for paraview until "early 2006" whenever that may be.

Although the commercial software is still better for student use both these programs have evolved from poorish a few years ago to really quite usable today. This is encouraging for the future at least until support for one or both the projects gets axed which happened to paraview for a year or two.

Paraview has a bit more plotting capability but the better file type support (for our uses) and documentation of visit currently gives it the edge for our purposes.

Renato. December 5, 2005 07:59

Re: Comparison: TecPlot vs. PARAview
Well, you don't need to buy Paraview's books to start using it. I began to use Paraview only using a short description of the software and I thought the software so easy to work that any book was necessary to learn the main features.

Regarding the other questions:

- Version 2.4.x of Paraview supports multi-blocks structured and unstructured

- Support: I think that Paraview's mailing list is much more userful/helpful than any other kind of support. You just put your question and wait a few minutes to get your answer;

- File format: Paraview give you support for at least 30 file formats, including some famous formats such as: Ensight, Plot3D, HDF5, etc... . Ensight, for me, is the easiest file format I've ever faced with.

Another issue that must be considered is that Paraview has been frequently developed and most of the "desired" features were not implemented/tested yet. For example: the multi-block reader was just implemented in version 2.4.x.

regarding VISIT... I'm still trying to read my Ensight case files in it without any success yet. The same file that is read by Ensight and Paraview, VISIT is not able to read and I can't figure out why yet.

regarding Tecplot... I tried Tecplot some time ago but the first few minutes with a software are enough, for me, determine if this software is easy or hard (for me again) to use and I ended giving up. Tecplot realy seems to be powerful but I was not able to use it.



andy December 5, 2005 11:37

Re: Comparison: TecPlot vs. PARAview
> Version 2.4.x of Paraview supports multi-blocks structured and unstructured

I have the vtk file format documentation for 4.2 and there is no support for multi-block. Do you have a pointer to documentation of this recently added capability?

Renato. December 5, 2005 17:38

Re: Comparison: TecPlot vs. PARAview
Hi Andy,

take a look in the following message (specially the first item) to see if it's what you're looking for.



Adrin Gharakhani December 5, 2005 21:42

Re: Comparison: TecPlot vs. PARAview
I have not used either paraview or visit ... How about plotting speed, especially for large unsteady data files? How is the support for parallel/distributed data?

Adrin Gharakhani

andy December 6, 2005 04:49

Re: Comparison: TecPlot vs. PARAview
Thanks for the link. I downloaded and installed the latest stable version, read the source code and it has only partial support for multi block grids.

They have added a new class to the guts of vtk which presumably handles multiblocks although I did not read it to find out what (no documentation and C++ inheritance makes browsing someone elses code structure very hard work). There was a note about missing functionality but I did not understand the vtk-speak to appreciate what it was.

Multiblock is in the Plot3D reader but the Plot3D reader is only partially implemented and it will only read velocity and 2 thermo properties and not other variables like acoustic, electric and magnetic fields, species, etc...

Multiblock has started being added to the native vtk file format but is incomplete with most of the functions being empty in the reader. There is an example of how to write some C++ code to get multiblock into vtk but how well supported the connectivity and handling of ghost cells is I do not know. The parameters I would expect to see were not in evidence.

I did not look at the ensight code but there is no specific reader for multiblock unlike the other two formats. However, ensights format may not need something extra it in order to define multiblocks.

I could have greped to see what uses the new class but I had pretty much established paraview still cannot do what we want and we are better off sticking with visit and waiting for parview to evolve a bit more.

Of course, this whole exercise (about an hour including download) demonstrates the wisdom of using open source in a research/teaching environment. We have answered the questions we needed and could have added the code if the need to use paraview was urgent. This could not have done this with tecplot, fieldview or similar. Although I should add that I received good support getting round bugs in fieldview when I used it for a while. Cannot comment on tecplot support.

jiec827 November 16, 2012 09:09


Originally Posted by Michail
Dear colleagues

What can do one, and what can not do the other?

Comparison: TecPlot vs. PARAview

Any suggestions are highly appreciated.


Excuse me! I am new here...
I want to know how to import Fluent cases and .dat into Paraview?

Akuji July 25, 2013 09:46

Is it possible to open vtk in Tecplot?
If not, maybe you can suggest some converters form vtk to tecplot.

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