DataSetFilters.compute_implicit_distance(surface, inplace=False)[source]#

Compute the implicit distance from the points to a surface.

This filter will compute the implicit distance from all of the nodes of this mesh to a given surface. This distance will be added as a point array called 'implicit_distance'.

Nodes of this mesh which are interior to the input surface geometry have a negative distance, and nodes on the exterior have a positive distance. Nodes which intersect the input surface has a distance of zero.


The surface used to compute the distance.

inplacebool, default: False

If True, a new scalar array will be added to the point_data of this mesh and the modified mesh will be returned. Otherwise a copy of this mesh is returned with that scalar field added.


Dataset containing the 'implicit_distance' array in point_data.


Compute the distance between all the points on a sphere and a plane.

>>> import pyvista as pv
>>> sphere = pv.Sphere(radius=0.35)
>>> plane = pv.Plane()
>>> _ = sphere.compute_implicit_distance(plane, inplace=True)
>>> dist = sphere['implicit_distance']
>>> type(dist)
<class 'pyvista.core.pyvista_ndarray.pyvista_ndarray'>

Plot these distances as a heatmap. Note how distances above the plane are positive, and distances below the plane are negative.

>>> pl = pv.Plotter()
>>> _ = pl.add_mesh(
...     sphere, scalars='implicit_distance', cmap='bwr'
... )
>>> _ = pl.add_mesh(plane, color='w', style='wireframe')

We can also compute the distance from all the points on the plane to the sphere.

>>> _ = plane.compute_implicit_distance(sphere, inplace=True)

Again, we can plot these distances as a heatmap. Note how distances inside the sphere are negative and distances outside the sphere are positive.

>>> pl = pv.Plotter()
>>> _ = pl.add_mesh(
...     plane,
...     scalars='implicit_distance',
...     cmap='bwr',
...     clim=[-0.35, 0.35],
... )
>>> _ = pl.add_mesh(sphere, color='w', style='wireframe')

See Clipping with a Surface and Voxelize a Surface Mesh for more examples using this filter.