VAPOR provides an interactive 3D visualization environment that can both produce animations and still frame images.  VAPOR runs on most UNIX and Windows systems equipped with modern 3D graphics cards.

The newest version of Vapor can be downloaded from

To use Vapor effectively for visualization on a remote machine with a graphics card -- like  astro06-09 -- it needs to be executed in a VNC session and the vgl software needs to be installed on the remote machine. Use vglrun vaporgui to start the program.


Data conversion

Before starting VAPOR your 3D data needs to be converted into a VAPOR specific format. This conversion depends on the format of the original data.

  • Stagger data
    • The data from the stagger codes are stored in snapshots files with 8 variables on their staggered mesh positions (rho, px, py, pz, e, Bx, By, Bz).
    • The data needs to be unstaggered before conversion (one way is to use the stagger idl routines)
    • There is a general idl routine, vdf, that converts the data to vapor format (THIS SHOULD BE PART OF THE STAGGER IDL LIB IF NOT???   Klaus/Troels has a copy)
      • vdf, rho=rho, vx=vx, vy=vy, vz=vz, bx=bx, by=by, bz=bz, temperature=t, file=file, lmax=lmax, level=level, datadir=datadir, lb=lb, ub=ub, verbose=verbose, shm=shm, create=create, help=help, r=r, deltar=deltar, cratios=cratios, nt=nt, timestep=timestep, au=au,pc=pc
      • This routine may easily be extended to include other variables
  • Ramses data
  • PIC data