This module contains the Scene class, which serves as a “universe” or context for all actions performed by a script. The global scene object is accessible as module-level variable ovito.scene. The scene manages a list of Pipeline objects, which will be visible in images and videos when rendering the scene through a Viewport. Furthermore, you can save the entire scene including all pipelines to a .ovito session state file, which can be opened in the graphical OVITO application.


This module-level variable points to the global Scene object, which serves as context for all operations performed by the script. The Scene object represents the program state and provides access to the contents of the visualization scene:

import ovito

# Retrieve the output data of the pipeline that is currently selected in OVITO:
data = ovito.scene.selected_pipeline.compute()

A module-level attribute reporting the OVITO program version number (as a tuple of three int).


Module-level attribute reporting the OVITO program version (as a string).

class ovito.Scene

This class encompasses all data of an OVITO program session (basically everything that gets saved in a .ovito state file). It manages the list of objects (i.e. Pipeline instances) that are part of the three-dimensional scene and which will show up in rendered images.

From a script’s point of view, there exists exactly one universal instance of this class at any time, which is accessible through the ovito.scene module-level variable. A script cannot create another Scene instance by itself.


Loads the pipeline(s) stored in a .ovito session state file. This function works like the Load Session State function of the graphical OVITO application. It can load session state files that were produced with the interactive OVITO application or which have been written by the Scene.save() method.


filename (str) – File path of the .ovito session file to load

After the state file has been loaded, the pipelines list will be populated with exact copies of the data pipelines that were part of the scene when it was saved. See also this section for more information.

property pipelines

The list of Pipeline objects that are currently part of the three-dimensional scene. Only pipelines in this list will display their output data in the viewports and in rendered images. You can add or remove a pipeline either by calling its add_to_scene() or remove_from_scene() methods or by directly manipulating this list using the standard Python append() and del statements:

from ovito import scene
from ovito.io import import_file

pipeline = import_file('input/simulation.dump')

# Insert the pipeline into the visualization scene.
# It's now part of the 'scene.pipelines' list.
assert(pipeline in scene.pipelines)
# If needed, we can take it out again.

Saves the scene to a .ovito session state file. The scene comprises, in particular, all data pipelines currently in the pipelines list, the modifiers and visual elements in these pipelines, and their parameters. This function works like the Save Session State As function of the graphical OVITO application. Note that Pipeline objects that have never been added to the scene will not be saved.


filename (str) – Output file path

The saved session state may be restored again from disk at a later time via

After loading the state file, the pipelines list will contain again all data pipelines that were part of the scene when it was saved. See also this section for more information.

property selected_pipeline

Returns the Pipeline that is currently selected in the graphical OVITO application, or None if no pipeline is selected. Typically, this is the last pipeline that was added to the scene using Pipeline.add_to_scene().

This field can be useful for scripts running in the context of the graphical OVITO application which want to perform some action on the currently selected pipeline, e.g. insert a new modifier.


Calling this function at the beginning of a Python script enables activity logging for OVITO’s internal operations. When performing long-running operations, OVITO will print messages to stderr indicating the current activity, e.g. file reading and writing, modifier execution, or rendering.