Create File for ParaView to read


I have used ParaView to visualize numerical results from Open Foam and I think it is a great source to post-process hydrodynamic numerical simulations. I am currently using SI3D, a finite difference hydrodynamic model from which I get a 3D output binary file with the solution to the velocity components, pressure, Temperature and turbulence properties for different time steps and organized in a xyz domain. This file is binary and I am looking to be able to create a file with a format that ParaView can read and interpret as a numerical simulation of water flow, and thus make use of this powerful tool to analyze the numerical simulation results. I am keen to use this numerical model as this model has been tested before in lakes and estuaries with great results.

I appreciate any help that one can provide.


Hello and welcome.

ParaView can read multiples file formats, including OpenFOAM own format. What is your question here ?

Hi Mathieu,

I understand that ParaView reads the numerical results from OpenFoam. My question is, what would it be the best format for me to create using matlab/python so Paraview identifies it as the results from a fluid dynamics numerical simulation? The source code I am using is SI3D (not supported by ParaView) and it provides the results in columns for all the variables (x,z,y,u,v,w,T,nut). My goal is to created a file with an extension that Paraview will identify as CFD numerical simulation results and plot the results for each time step.

is this a more clear explanation of my goal? I apologize for not being so clear on my first message.


The best format for generic cases and in the context of ParaView is our own XML based format.

That being said, ParaView can read many file format, including column-based text file format like you described, it is not the most efficient though, especially for time varying data.

Thank you for all the help, I was indeed able to create a .vtk file that ParaView reads (for 1 time step). However, I am facing this issue with the visualization of the paraview interface once I load the velocity field. Do you know why this could be happening?

I am using ParaView 5.8.0in Windowns.

The issue I am dealing with is that the GUI of ParaView does load properly once I change the visualization to show the velocity.

Once again, thank you.

Well know Intel driver issue, see here :

Thank you for all, I was able to get it work properly by just installing ParaView 5.0. Perhaps this is a more compatible version with my intel. Thank you for all the help, I am truly grateful. Your responses allowed me to achieve my goal.

Please use ParaView 5.7 instead of ParaView 5.0.

Paraview 5.7 has the same issue as 5.8 when plotting the velocity vector.

Interesting, does ParaView 5.6 shows the same issue ?

Paraview 5.6.2 works.


Hi Mathieu,

After reading a thread of NaN values in a VTK legacy file I realized one can not use NaNs assigned from matlab to create the VTK file and open it in ParaView. Since this is not possible, I was wondering what should I replace the NaN value into so ParaView recognizes it as NaN value. Is it an option to replace the NaN into a blank space. I am afraid this configuration might loose the sequence of the data points with the data vector values.

Best, and thank you

Here is an example of a dataset containing NaN in a .vtk binary format.
nan.vtk (4.0 KB)

NaN are sadly not supported by the vtk ASCII reader. I’ve opened an issue :