VisAD with Jython, but 2D only

Hi, I've just joined the list, having downloaded, installed and played around with VisAD this afternoon. I'm searching for an easy way to create images based on scientific data (mass spectra) in Jython. I've searched the mailing list archives in answer of this question to no avail, so I thought I'd ask it here:

I want to be able to quickly prototype software that will draw 2D graphs, histograms, etc. Sounds (and looks) like VisAD is what I need. I don't know much about 3D graphics though, and have no need for them right now. The docs for VisAD say that I can do things in 2D, and that I only need java3d if I want 3D graphics (at least that's how I understood it). But I'm finding that even a simple jython script wants java3d:

        from graph import *
        a=[0, 7, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1, 0]
        b = field(a) # Is this the right thing to do?

gives this error message

        Traceback (innermost last):
          File "/d0/home/fgibbons/cvs/VisAD/", line 6, in ?
          File "/d0/home/fgibbons/cvs/VisAD/./", line 62, in histogram
        java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: javax/media/j3d/Behavior
                at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass0(Native Method)
                at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass(

I've gone to Blackdown's page, checked out the docs for Mesa3d, etc, and to be honest it scares me - I don't want to know about hardware! Is there any way that I can use VisAD without installing java3d?

If I could play around with VisAD for a week or two, and can convince myself that it's really what I need, I might even invest the time in java3d (the images are so cool - I'm sure I could find a way to use them in my work!).

I did find one message from 1999 ( discussing building VisAD without java3d, but the solution seems to be adding jars from 3d? I don't understand this, perhaps someone who has used this trick could elaborate?

On the other hand, maybe VisAD is overkill for what I want to do (it sure looks good though).

Thanks for your help. I'm blown away by VisAD's capabilities, especially when hooked up to Jython!

Frank Gibbons

PhD, Computational Biologist,
Harvard Medical School BCMP/SGM-322, 250 Longwood Ave, Boston MA 02115, USA.
Tel: 617-432-3555 Fax: 617-432-3557