Reading Particle Trajectory Data into Paraview


I’ve been doing some digging and unfortunately haven’t come across anything close to a clear answer, so hopefully someone here has some guidance or insight.

I currently have a dataset of fluid particle trajectories saved in netCDF files, and I would like to be able to load them into Paraview for visualization. The arrays are structured such that they have dimensions (time, parcelID) and there are arrays for particle positions (x, y, z) as well as fields of interest (vectors, vorticity, etc). So far I can’t get Paraview to recognize this data as individual points.

My question: is there an established method for reading in this type of fluid particle trajectory data, and if so, how should I structure my netCDF file to accommodate that? NOTE: I’ve seen stuff about CSVs, and that’s out of the question. Millions of points at very frequent time intervals, so netCDF or HDF5 is preferred.

Alternatively, some guidance on a way to build a plugin to read in the data could also be useful. Ultimately, I want to animate the particle motions alongside our volumetric data, as well as color the particles by specific fields.


I made a prototype reader Plugin for this in PVGeo-HDF5. I am hoping to use this new offshoot of PVGeo to create a Python-based framework for making HDF5 and netCDF file readers.

Here’s an animation of what @keltonhalbert asked for: