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Mesh color support

Dear Community,

In the supported formats (  there are mesh types such as .obj, .ply or .vtk. Does Ovito support the individual coloring of triangles, as specified in the input file? If so, could anyone please provide a few examples of input files? I have a few generated by OpenMesh and they either cannot be read or the color information is not taken into account. In the attachment I had to rename them to .txt so that I can upload.

Thank you,


Uploaded files:

Hi Botond,

Here is the current situation in terms of mesh file format support in OVITO:

  • OBJ format: No support for external material library files yet, which store color information.
  • STL format: The format itself does not support color information.
  • PLY format: This format is not supported by OVITO at all.
  • VTK format: This currently is the only way to load colored meshes into OVITO. The VTK file must contain an UNSTRUCTURED_GRID made of triangle cells, and the cells must be associated with a COLOR_SCALARS record. Here is an example file.

We certainly can further extend the support in OVITO in the future. Let me know what your requirements are. Support for the ParaView VTP (PolyData) file format is already underway, which is capable of storing arbitrary properties with the mesh faces, including local colors.


Hi Alex,

Thank you very much for your answer. I don't know why I thought .ply was supported, now I see it's not listed among the supported formats.

I built a Monte Carlo simulation of triangular particles, on OpenMesh and I was hoping I could use one of OpenMesh's output file formats (, table Reader/Writer Feature Support List) and feed it directly to Ovito. I have triangles of different types with edges of different types. Ideally, I would need to visualize (and color by type) triangular faces and, if possible, the triangles' halfedges as well. An edge is composed of two adjacent halfedges and ideally I would need to color them separately.

I'm afraid this will be difficult with the current OpenMesh output formats so I might need to implement my own data dump function there. I was wondering, however, what format would be the best then to implement that Ovito supports. I see now that Ovito supports face coloring in the VTK format. Does it also support edge/halfedge coloring?

Note that I don't necessarily have to use a mesh file format if I'm implementing my dump function anyway so any other format which supports this (or similar) visualization would work, any suggestions are welcome.

Thank you,