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Can I adjust the transparency and the layers of vector arrows?

Dear Ovito team,

Thanks for your always amazing work on this software.

Recently I am using the python script to generating arrow vectors to represent the velocity, while I got two issues here:

  1. Can i change the transparency of vector arrows? If so, could you please suggest me how to do? If not, could you please consider adding this feature?
  2. As you can see from the screenshot, the arrows have been laid under the particles which make it unclear, so I am wondering, like in the 2D situation, can I set the arrows always appeared in the top?
Best regards,

Jintao Li
PhD Student, Trans. Phenom. Lab, Dept. Chem. Eng., Kyoto University
Uploaded files:
  • Screen-Shot-2020-08-05-at-5.01.33-PM.png

Dear Jintao,

Thank you very much for your positive feedback!

  1. Currently, it is not possible to make the vectors visual element transparent, but we will consider your request for the next program release. I will let you know here as soon as it's available.
  2. In the Vector display settings, have you tried the shading mode "normal" yet? Maybe this already solves your problem.
    If you prefer the two-dimensional representation (flat shading), you could draw them with a Python script viewport overlay,
    I have marked in the attached screenshot, how you can make the python script layer appear in front of the 3D scene layer.

Let me know if that works for you.


Uploaded files:
  • viewport_overlay.png

As a quick work around you could also do the following: Simply clone the pipeline and position the cloned pipeline on top of the first one.

In the first pipeline you should deactivate all visual elements except for the particles and the simulation cell. In the second one then deactivate all visual elements except for the vectors. You can use an Affine Transformation Modifier to translate the vectors visible in the second pipeline - simply give them a small offset in the direction of your viewing direction.

Hope that helps.

Dear Jintao,

to follow up on this, Alex now has extended the Vectors visual element options, such that you can make them transparent and give their positions an offset vector. This will allow you to shift them on top of the atoms as you have asked before.

You can download and test the current development builds of OVITO Basic here:

Let us know what you think,


Uploaded files:
  • transparent_vectors.png

Dear Constanze:

Thanks for your detailed and patient explanations!

Sorry for the late reply and I should check the forum more frequently.

For the issues, the update within in the latest version solved the problem elegantly and I do believe this will be helpful for many other people.

And the attached plot is exactly what I want, now it can be easily settled in the Vector option.

Thanks again for your work and swift modifications.




Uploaded files:
  • Screen-Shot-2020-08-11-at-14.10.46.png