Skip to content

How to use the scene C API

This example shows how to make a scatter plot using the scene C API in a standalone application.


A basic build script is provided in the examples/ folder. A better practice would probably be to use cmake but this is not documented yet. Help appreciated!

Full source code

// code from `examples/standalone/standalone_scene.c`:

/*  Example of a standalone application using the library.                                       */

/// We import the library public header. The compiler needs to be passed the path to the headers
/// and shared library, see
#include <datoviz/datoviz.h>

// Entry point.
int main(int argc, char** argv)
    // We create a singleton application using the GLFW backend.
    DvzApp* app = dvz_app(DVZ_BACKEND_GLFW);

    // We automatically choose the most capable GPU.
    DvzGpu* gpu = dvz_gpu_best(app);

    // We create a new canvas with the size specified. The last argument is for optional flags.
    DvzCanvas* canvas = dvz_canvas(gpu, 1024, 768, 0);

    // We use a white background color (RGB floating-point values in [0, 1]).
    dvz_canvas_clear_color(canvas, 1, 1, 1);

    // We create a scene, which allows us to define several subplots (panels) organized within a
    // grid. Here, we just use a single panel spanning the entire canvas.
    DvzScene* scene = dvz_scene(canvas, 1, 1);

    // We get the panel at row 0, column 0, and we initialize it with an axes 2D controller.
    // The last argument is for optional flags.
    DvzPanel* panel = dvz_scene_panel(scene, 0, 0, DVZ_CONTROLLER_AXES_2D, 0);

    // We add a new "marker" visual in the panel.
    // The last argument is for optional flags.
    DvzVisual* visual = dvz_scene_visual(panel, DVZ_VISUAL_MARKER, 0);

    // Visual data.
        // We prepare the data for the marker visual:
        // - marker positions (three double-precision floating point numbers for x, y, z)
        // - marker colors (four bytes for the RGBA value)
        // - marker sizes (a single precision floating point number with the marker size, in
        // pixels).
        // The visual reference guide provides all supported props.
        const uint32_t N = 10000;
        dvec3* pos = (dvec3*)calloc(N, sizeof(dvec3));
        cvec4* color = (cvec4*)calloc(N, sizeof(cvec4));
        float* size = (float*)calloc(N, sizeof(float));
        for (uint32_t i = 0; i < N; i++)
            // Random gaussian position.
            pos[i][0] = dvz_rand_normal();
            pos[i][1] = dvz_rand_normal();

            // Color: random value with a colormap.
            dvz_colormap_scale(DVZ_CMAP_VIRIDIS, dvz_rand_float(), 0, 1, color[i]);

            // A bit of transparency via the alpha channel.
            color[i][3] = 196;

            // Random marker size.
            size[i] = 2 + 38 * dvz_rand_float();

        // We pass our data to the visual props.
        dvz_visual_data(visual, DVZ_PROP_POS, 0, N, pos);
        dvz_visual_data(visual, DVZ_PROP_COLOR, 0, N, color);
        dvz_visual_data(visual, DVZ_PROP_MARKER_SIZE, 0, N, size);

        // We free the memory of the arrays we've created.

    // We run the application. The last argument is the number of frames to run, or 0 for infinite
    // loop (stop when escape is pressed or when the window is closed).
    dvz_app_run(app, 0);

    // We need to clean up all objects handled by Datoviz at the end.

    return 0;