OVITO distinguishes between the underlying data and the visual representations produced from that data.
One typical example for this separation between data objects
and their visual representation is the
property, which holds the XYZ coordinates of a set of point-like particles. To visualize this data, OVITO automatically creates
a visual element of the Particles type, which is responsible for rendering a
corresponding set of spheres in the viewports, using the
Position particle property as input data.
The Particles visual element provides several parameters that let you control
the visual appearance of the particles, e.g. the glyph shape (spheres, discs, cubes, etc.).
This separation of data objects and visual elements provides additional flexibility with OVITO. It becomes possible to visualize the same data in multiple ways (several visual elements using the same input data) and to visualize multiple datasets side by side (one visual element rendering different input data objects).
Visual elements are usually created automatically by OVITO's data pipeline system alongside with the imported or computed data. They all appear under the "Visual elements" section of the pipeline editor as indicated in the screenshot. You can disable individual visual elements by un-ticking the checkboxes next to them in the pipeline editor. This will turn off the visualization of the corresponding data in the interactive viewports and in rendered images.
The following types of visual elements exist in OVITO:
|Visual element type||Description|
|Bonds||Renders the bonds between particles as cylinders|
|Particles||Renders a set of particles using different glyph shapes|
|Vectors||Renders arrow glyphs to graphically represent a vector particle property|
|Simulation cell||Renders the simulation box as a wireframe geometry|
|Surface mesh||Renders a smooth polygonal surface mesh|
|Triangle mesh||Renders a triangle mesh, loaded from a VTK file, for example|
|Trajectory lines||Renders continuous lines to visualize the particle trajectories created with the Generate trajectory lines modifier|
|Dislocations||Renders dislocation lines extracted by the Dislocation analysis modifier|