VisPy – Interactive Scientific Visualization in Python

VisPy is a high-performance, interactive, 2D/3D data visualization open source Python library. VisPy leverages the computational power of modern Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) through the OpenGL library for visualizing massive datasets in real time. It’s a high-level, high performance plotting toolkit in a fairly early stage of development.

Vispy offers a Pythonic object-oriented interface to OpenGL, useful to those who know OpenGL, or who want to learn it.

OpenGL is an open standard for hardware-accelerated interactive visualization. It’s widely used in video games, industry software (Computer-Aided Design, or CAD, virtual reality) and scientific applications (medical imaging, computer graphics, and so on).


  • High-quality interactive scientific plots with millions of points.
  • Direct visualization of real-time data.
  • Fast interactive visualization of 3D models (meshes, volume rendering).
  • OpenGL visualization demos.
  • Colormaps.
  • Support for “collections” (batched GL draw calls).
  • HiDPI support.
  • Support for high-level visualizations.
  • Support for Jupyter Notebooks.
  • Set of classes provides a friendly (Pythonic) interface to OpenGL, and is designed to provide OpenGL’s full functionality.
  • Scenegraph – high-level, flexible, and easy to use functionality for creating scenes composed of multiple visual objects.
  • Support for matplotlib plotting.
  • Scientific GUIs with fast, scalable visualization widgets (Qt or IPython/Jupyter notebook support with WebGL). The IPython/Jupyter notebook is an increasingly popular platform for data analysis and visualization.

VisPy runs on Python 2.7+ and Python 3.3+ and depends on NumPy. You also need a backend (PyQt4/PySide, PyQt5/PySide2, glfw, pyglet, SDL, or wx). You can also use a Jupyter notebook (version 3+) with WebGL for some visualizations.

Support: Documentation, Mailing List, GitHub
Developer: Vispy Development Team
License: Modified BSD License (also known as New or Revised BSD)


This example shows a 3D cloud of a million anti-aliased and stroked points.

Glumpy is the sister project of VisPy. It’s also a high-performance interactive 2D/3D data visualization library.

Return to Python Visualization Packages Home Page

Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.