The success of the VTK Examples depends on the contributions from the VTK user community. If you wish to contribute to this valuable resource, please follow these guidelines. If you are a VTK Example User, go here or an Example Administrator go here.

C++, C#, Python, and Java examples are welcome! Examples should illustrate a single concept.

Follow the Coding Guidelines

When you write an example, please follow the coding guidelines. Create the example on your local repository, compile and run it before you generate a pull request.

Some additional steps need to be done for Python C# and Java, see the sections below.

Setup for Development

Fork the repository

  1. Sign into github.

    If you do not have an account, you can register on the sign-in page.

  2. Fork the VTKExamples repository

    A fork is a copy of a project. Forking a repository allows you to make changes without affecting the original project.

  3. Enable a static web site for the examples.

    Under Settings, GitHub Pages, set the Source to master branch and click Save.

  4. Clone the repository on your local machine

    git clone

    Or, if you are using SSH:

    git clone

    where YOURNAME is your GitHub username.

  5. Add the VTKExamples repository as a remote called upstream

    git remote add upstream

  6. Before adding your examples, sync your repository with the VTKExamples repository. Remember that to run the following commands, you need to be in the VTKExamples directory.

    git fetch upstream

    git checkout master

    git merge upstream/master

    git push

  7. Build the VTKExamples

    cd VTKExamples

    cd build



    where YOUR_VTK_BIN_DIR is the location of your VTK build.

Add the example

Choose a Topic

The examples are organized by topic. Current topics include Animation, DataStructures, Filters, GeometricObjects, Images, Meshes, etc.

Write the source

Note: Steps 4, 5 and 7 apply to C++. For Python, Java, and C# see the steps in the section Steps for Python, Java and C#.

  1. Create a branch in your repository

    git checkout -b MyNewExample

    where MyNewExample is the name of your new example.

  2. Check the:

  3. Save your source code in VTKExamples/src/LANGUAGE/TOPIC/

    where LANGUAGE is Cxx, Python, CSharp or Java.

    and TOPIC is the topic that you have chosen.

  4. Build and test your example (NOTE: only for cxx examples)

  5. for Cxx

    cd VTKExamples/build
    cmake ..
    ctest -V -R MyNewExample
    Note: If **MyNewExample** is not built, then in the directory where you put the file do:
    touch CMakeLists.txt
  6. If your C++ example does any rendering, the test will fail the first time and create an image in VTKExamples/build/Testing/Temporary. The image will be called TestMyNewExample.png.

  7. Copy the image into: VTKExamples/src/Testing/Baseline/LANG/TOPIC/. For Python and other languages, create an image with the proper name using a screen capture and copy that image into the proper location.

  8. Rerun ctest and the test should pass.

Steps for Python, Java and C

If you are basing your code on a Cxx example use the same name as the Cxx example. This ensures that cross-referencing works.

Keep the same directory structure as that in Cxx.

  • Follow steps 1-3 above.
  • Manually create a test image if your example does any rendering. The image should be called TestMyNewExample.png.

The following snippets can be used to write the image out:

Add the example to the language page.

Depending on the language of your example, edit the file,,, or

Find the section for your topic and add a line for your new example. The format of the line is:

[MyNewExample]\(/**LANG**/**TOPIC**/**MyNewExample**\) | doxygen | short description

where LANG is one of Cxx, Python, CSharp, Java.

Commit your changes to your topic branch

git add MyNewExample.cxx

and if you have a baseline image,

git add Testing/Baseline/LANG/TOPIC/TestMyNewExample.png
git commit

Push the changes to GitHub

git push origin MyNewExample

Go to your GitHub project and generate a pull request.

Advanced usage

Add a description

If your example could benefit from an extended description, you can create a file Store the file alongside your source code. Use markdown to format the description.

Add arguments to the test

If your example requires arguments, you will need to edit the CMakeLists.txt in the topic directory.

  1. Add the name of your example to the NEEDS_ARGS variable

  2. Add an ADD_TEST line. See other CMakeLists.txt files for examples.

Add extra files to a C++ example

Most C++ examples consist of one file. If other files are required, place them in the same directory as the example. Then add a file with the same prefix as the example name and a .extras suffix. List each extra filename in the .extras file, one filename per line.


If you add extra files to the example, but do not add their filenames to the .extras file, they will appear in the left-hand file menus and will not be included in the tar file for the example.

Review changes in a browser

If you want to preview your changes in a browser (NOTE: You must have Python installed on your system)

  1. Install the markdown package for Python. Go here

  2. Install the material theme for markdown. Go here.

  3. Sync your site with your repository

    ./src/ https::/**YOUR_NAME**/VTKExamples

  4. After a few minutes go to to see your changes before issuing your pull request.