Gaël Varoquaux

Sun 14 March 2010

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New Mayavi release

A week ago, the Peter Wang released a new version of the Enthought Tool Suite (ETS). With it came a new version of Mayavi2.

Prabhu and I have been horribly busy we real life, and I had the bad feeling that we were not giving enough love to Mayavi. I was surprised when I put together the list of features and bugs fixes that went in Mayavi for the last two releases. The full list can be found in the documentation.

Contributors

We are not being terribly good at tracking external ideas and patches, so I hope that I haven’t forgotten anybody, but I am very happy to say that Prabhu and I have received a fair amount of help from non core contributors:

  • Chris Colbert
  • Darren Dale
  • Dave Martin
  • Dave Peterson
  • Emmanuelle Gouillart
  • Erik Tollerud
  • Evan Patterson
  • Gary Ruben
  • Kyle Mandli
  • Michele Mattioni
  • Ondrej Certik
  • Ram Rachum
  • Robert Kern
  • Scott Warts
  • Suyog Jain

On top of these people, I wish to thank the people making sure that the Mayavi packages are available in the different Linux distributions: Varun Hiremath, Lev Givon, Andrea Colangelo, Rakesh Pandit, as well as Pierre Raybault for integrating in Pythonxy.

Important features added in 3.3.0

3.3.0 was released last fall. We had not compiled the list of changes at the time, I am giving it here:

  • An example gallery in the documentation.
  • A sync_camera helper function to synchronize camera between two scenes.
  • A text3d module, for position text in 3D that is scaled and hidden like a data object.
  • A close function to close scenes, similar to that in pylab or matlab.
  • A new filter to crop datasets: DataSet Clipper. This filter is terribly useful.
  • All the mlab.pipeline functions now take a figure= keyword argument. This is very useful when coding with several figures embedded in GUIs, as in a GUI you can’t rely on a context. This is illustrated in this example.

Important features added in 3.3.1

In latest release the following important features were added:

  • mlab.savefig can now reliably save images of a size larger than the window.
  • The interactive VTK documentation browser is now available in the GUI.
  • New functions added to mlab to control position of the camera: move, yaw, and pitch. These complement the existing view and roll.
  • Make the lines smoother when using mlab.plot3d (use a VTK Stripper filter)
  • Add a screenshot function to mlab for easy screen capture as a numpy array. This is very useful when creating figures that combine 3D using Mayavi and 2D using pylab. I use it all the time.
  • Add a probe_data function to return the data values of Mayavi objects at given locations as numpy arrays. This is very useful to combine numerics with Mayavi.
  • Add a auto mode to mlab.view to compute position and distance based on the objects on the image.
  • Add a helper function to easily interact with the data: a callback can easily be registered to picking data with the mouse. Two examples illustrate this new functionality. This is a major step forward in making life easier for people using Mayavi to build custom interfaces.
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