Loading VTK data into Python

Hi all,

This topic has come up a number of times in recent conversations, so I thought I would share the general workflow for importing VTK data directly into python (numpy arrays).

Below is a snippet of python code that should largely work out of the box for 3D cartesian models, where all one has to do is provide the full path and name of the .pvtu in a string. Please note that lines in bold are comments, and you would need to add a # symbol before them in python. I excluded them as they produced odd formatting in the post.

Please let me know if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions.


Load modules
import numpy np; import vtk as vtk; from vtk.util import numpy_support

Load vtu data (pvtu directs to vtu files)
reader = vtk.vtkXMLPUnstructuredGridReader()

Example for how to set the file name:

Get the coordinates of nodes in the mesh
nodes_vtk_array= reader.GetOutput().GetPoints().GetData()

Convert nodal vtk data to a numpy array
nodes_numpy_array = vtk.util.numpy_support.vtk_to_numpy(nodes_vtk_array)

Extract x, y and z coordinates from numpy array
x,y,z= nodes_numpy_array[:,0] , nodes_numpy_array[:,1] , nodes_numpy_array[:,2]

Determine the number of scalar fields contained in the .pvtu file
number_of_fields = reader.GetOutput().GetPointData().GetNumberOfArrays()

Determine the name of each field and place it in an array.
field_names = []
for i in range(number_of_fields):

Determine the index of the field strain_rate
idx = field_names.index("strain_rate")

Example: Extract values of strain_rate
field_vtk_array = reader.GetOutput().GetPointData().GetArray(idx)
strain_rate = numpy_support.vtk_to_numpy(field_vtk_array)