PMVIS (Partitioned Mesh Visualizer),
A Program to view partitioned meshes


PMVIS (Partitioned Mesh Visualizer) is a program to view partitioned, unstructured meshes, consisting of triangular, quadrilateral, tetrahedral, or hexahedral elements. Partitioned meshes are commonly used in high performance computing to distribute the computation into a number of processors. PMVIS is developed to view these meshes, allowing users to examine partitions by means of explosion, zooming, rotation, translation, scaling, and applying a clipping cube.


  • 2009-02-22 License changed to GPL3. Source code updated to latest ISO C++ specs.
  • 2001-04-11 Fixed a few compatibility issues.
  • 2001-04-20 Version 1.07 is up, original partition order is preserved.
  • 2001-03-16 PMVIS home page is moved to this location.
  • 2001-01-20 Online manual in html format is available.
  • 2000-04-29 Modified source code to handle scope changes in ANSI C++.
  • 1999-11-28 PMVIS is online and it is submitted to


  • High performance, portable program using OpenGL hardware acceleration
  • Support up to thousands of partitions, millions of elements
  • Support for triangles, quadrilaterals, tetrahedrons, and hexahedrons
  • Easy to use user-interface using mouse and keyboard
  • Optional preprocessing to remove nonboundary elements, increasing performance and memory usage
  • Optional, on the fly sorting of partition centers to improve transparency effects
  • Different levels of anti-aliasing balancing speed and quality
  • Optional backface or frontface culling
  • Ability to zoom, rotate, translate, scale and move clipping cube
  • Autoselection of distant colors for a given number of partitions
  • Selecting subsets of partitions, ability to hide or apply different transparency values for each
  • Adjustable explosion factor to separate partitions
  • Ability to use a clipping cube with adjustable position and size to focus on a subvolume
  • Optional preview mode to obtain better interactivity with larger meshes
  • Bounding boxes and partition labels drawn in preview mode to locate relative position of partitions
  • Optional interface to METIS to partition the mesh on the fly for a given number of partitions

PMVIS is pretty flexible in various aspects and does not necessarily require a partitioned mesh. If no partition vector is given, the mesh is treated as a single partition and can be used with full functionality.


PMVIS is written in C++ using OpenGL and GLUT libraries. It is quite portable and should work on various platforms such as various flavors of Unix, Windows, OS/2, and MacOS. It is tested for SGI Iris 6.2, Windows 98/NT, and GNU/Linux.

For more information on OpenGL and GLUT see


All platforms: Source code, manual, test dataset

Binaries for compilation challenged platforms (use at your own risk): Windows


PMVIS is available under the GNU General Public License, Version 3


Feedback/suggestions are always welcome. Please feel free to contact me at oztekin at cs dot umn dot edu.
Copyright © Bilgehan Uygar Oztekin

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.