Visualization of astrophysical simulations using IDL Object Graphics

D. Pomarède, E. Audit, A. S. Brun, V. Gautard, F. Masset, R. Teyssier, B. Thooris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


The ability to interactively visualize the complex products of three-dimensional simulations is a key aspect in the validation and verification process of numerical algorithms and frameworks. Computational astrophysics, which benefits from the rapidly increasing computing resources offered by the use of massively parallel mainframes, is a challenging playground to scientific visualization. In this paper, we describe a graphical package developed in the framework of IDL Object Graphics. The requirements governing its design are defined in the context of the COAST software project which aims at providing an ensemble of enabling tools and techniques for the development and the validation of major simulation codes. This covers a wide range of applications, including cosmological formation of large-scale structures, turbulences in the interstellar medium, stellar magnetohydrodynamics, and formation of proto-planetary systems. The use of IDL Object Graphics provides an interactive and immersive visualization of complex scenes where various fields of different nature are entangled. Three-dimensional scalar and vector fields distributed over regular mesh grids or more complex structures such as Adaptive Mesh Refinement data, as well as N-body systems, can be visualized in a number of different, complementary ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Graphics, Imaging and Visualisation
Subtitle of host publicationNew Advances, CGIV 2007
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventComputer Graphics, Imaging and Visualisation: New Advances, CGIV 2007 - Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: Aug 13 2007Aug 16 2007

Publication series

NameComputer Graphics, Imaging and Visualisation: New Advances, CGIV 2007


ConferenceComputer Graphics, Imaging and Visualisation: New Advances, CGIV 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


  • Data visualization
  • Scientific visualization
  • Visualization frameworks and infrastructures
  • Visualization tools and applications


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