We've been working on a new evolution of the mechanism to annotate the coordinate axes in 3D views for ParaView. This will eventually replace the Cube Axes in ParaView. For this post, I will stick with sharing a series of screenshots demonstrating the functionality. The plan is to include the details on how to use this new Axes Grid annotation in The ParaView Guide for the next release of ParaView.
Just to remind us of what the Cube Axes currently looks like, here a little refresher. (This may be a little unfair, but hey! I am promoting new developments here, I have to make the reader want, nay need the new stuff!)
Now, here's the new Axes Grid. The name is a little weird, but if anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears! It uses dynamic labelling for the axes labels (similar to what the chart view like Bar Chart and Line Chart do). It also tries to place labels at pretty locations. Thus, despite the Z axis bounds being a [-10, 10.2], the axis decides to label -10 and +10.
Of course, no ParaView user will be happy without complete control of pretty much everything! Fret not! You can pick which faces of annotate (here, we're labelling only the min-XY face), which axes to label (here, we're picking not to label the axis with Y=min), where to place the labels (here, the X axis is labelled explicitly at 2.5, 0.5, -0.5, and -4.5), as well as individual text properties for each of the axes titles and labels. Also note that we can now use Mathtext in axes titles — similar to the chart views.
The default setting is to keep the grid behind the data always i.e. cull the front faces, but you can change that too. Here, the dynamic face culling is entirely disabled and we are annotating a specific face.
Now, we pick 2 faces to annotate without dynamic culling. Also notice the changed axes titles as well as different title, and label text properties for each of the axes — nothing too fancy there.
Similar to the Cube Axes's default, you can hide the grid and just show the ticks.
Finally, here's the Axes Grid in action for the case when we have a change-of-basis matrix provided.
Here's the dialog showing some of the configuration options available for setting up the Axes Grid. There are quite a few knobs to twiddle, but remember, once you have the axes looking just right, you can save your preferences for later so you don't have to keep on messing with these options. Just click on the button at the bottom of the dialog to save current settings.
A few caveats:
- The Axes Grid currently requires that it wraps around all 3D geometry in the scene. Hence, you cannot show the grid for a specific dataset alone in the 3D view, it's always for the entire scene.
- The Axes Grid doesn't shrink as one zooms in — this is a feature we'd like to add soon, however.
- The Axes Grid doesn't support anchoring at the origin i.e. fix axes planes at the origin rather than the bounds.
Update 2015/04/06: The is now available in ParaView master branch as of revision v4.3.1-401-g196623f.