The VisTools library from Visual Kinematics, Inc. is an object-based software development toolkit designed for use in creating pre- and post-processing applications for science and engineering. It contains modules to support finite element related data structures and visualization.

Complete simulation models, including element physical properties, material properties, restraints, loading conditions and solution parameters, may be unambiguously described. VisTools is differentiated by its rich feature set, computational efficiency and modular, object-based architecture.

- Discrete scalar, vector or tensor field visualization as 2D or 3D icons or numerical values.
- Isovalue display in 1D, 2D and 3D domains.
- Contour line, color filled contour, continuous tone
- Isosurface, point filled volumes

- Perform line, surface and volume integrations associated with the isovalue visualization modules. For example, VisTools is able to compute the area of an isosurface or the volume of material lying between sets of isosurfaces.
- Unique isosurface clipping feature. Any type of visualization entity may be clipped to a set of arbitrary isosurfaces.
- Streamline generation in 2D and 3D domains.
- Tangent curves may be produced in vector (velocity) or tensor
- Stream ribbon for streamwise curl visualization
- Stream tube for streamwise divergence visualization
- Streamlines may be constrained to lie on a surface in 3D domains. (stress) fields

- All discrete visualization entities may be value mapped to size and/or color. All filled entities (e.g. isosurfaces, color filled contours) may be value mapped to color and/or transparency.
- Complete coverage of computational cell topologies.
- Points, Lines
- Triangles, quadrilaterals, general polygonal cells
- Tetrahedra, pyramids, pentahedra, hexahedra, general polyhedral cells
- Linear, parabolic and cubic Serendipity and Lagrange topologies
- Regular meshes of the same cell type
- Applicable to conventional finite element unstructured grids or higher order, p-element finite element grids and multi-block structured grids

- Normal vectors may be either automatically generated by VisTools or supplied by the user for light source shading. Both facet and vertex normals are supported.
- Global domain modules support finite element connectivity management and query. Features include very efficient topological queries such as external faces, free or unique edges and geometric queries such as feature edges or corner nodes of any finite element subset. Element adjacency queries across element faces, edges or nodes are also supported.
- Results data is managed by VisTools state and history modules.
- General scalar, vector and tensor fields
- Beam and shell stress resultants, strains and curvatures
- Beam section points and shell layer and layer position
- Compute vector and tensor invariants, principal values and directions
- Compute derivatives
- Map result data from elements to nodes
- All vector and tensor results data carries a coordinate system attribute so that coordinate system transformations and accurate representation of results in local coordinate systems may be made

- Spatial searching allows groups of elements intersected by points, lines, planes and volumes to be quickly determined. The module uses an adaptive spatial decomposition technique to allow searches to be efficiently performed over millions of elements. This technology is ideal for 3D graphics picking and point, line or surface probes. A complementary technique, termed range searching, determines elements which intersect isosurfaces of solution results.
- Beam element visualization and automatic beam section calculation.
- Arbitrary beam cross sections are analyzed using the finite element method to solve for the warping function over the beam section
- Composite beam sections constructed of multiple isotropic or orthotropic materials
- All properties, including shear center, effective shear area and warping constant, are computed automatically
- Options are provided to adaptively refine the analysis mesh to compute properties to a user defined error tolerance
- The full 3 dimensional nature of beam elements may be reconstructed for visualization
- Detailed stress may be recovered across the entire beam

- Shell element visualization and automatic shell wall calculation.
- Automatically calculate the material stiffness of laminated composite shell walls
- Like beam elements, the full 3 dimensional nature of shell elements may be reconstructed for visualization

- Visualize specialized zero and one dimensional elements.
- Gap elements
- Multi-point constraints
- Rigid elements
- Concentrated masses
- Spring and dashpot elements, etc

- Color legends and coordinate system triads have modules dedicated to draw them. The coordinate system triads have options to support rectangular, cylindrical and spherical coordinate systems.
- Hardware and graphics device independence.