As mentioned above, Sessions link, or back SMTK model entities to a solid-modeling kernel’s representation of those model entities. Not all of the model entities in a model manager need to be backed by the same session; SMTK can track models from multiple modeling kernels in the same model manager. However, in general you cannot perform modeling operations using entities from different sessions.

Sessions (1) transcribe modeling-kernel entities into SMTK’s storage and (2) keep a list of Operators that can be used to modify the model. As part of the transcription process, sessions track which entities have been incompletely transcribed, allowing partial, on-demand transcription. SMTK’s opencascade and discrete session types use their respective attribute resource’s modeler to hold SMTK-generated universal, unique IDs (UUIDs) for each model entity; modeling-kernel sessions may also provide a list of UUIDs in an unambiguous traversal order. This is useful if UUIDs cannot be stored in a model file but also in the event where you do not wish to modify the file by rewriting it with UUID attributes included.

When a model operation is performed, — depending on how much information the modeling kernel provides about affected model entities — entities in SMTK’s storage are partially or totally marked as dirty and retranscribed on demand.

Transcription involves mapping unique identifiers to Entity records, to Tessellation records, to Arrangement records, and to property dictionaries. A property dictionary maps a name to a vector of string, floating-point, and/or integer values of arbitrary length per model entity. While property names are arbitrary, there are some special property names used by the modeling system:

  • SMTK_GEOM_STYLE_PROP marks models with a ModelGeometryStyle enum indicating whether the model is discrete or parametric.

  • SMTK_TESS_GEN_PROP marks cells that have tessellations with an integer “generation” number indicating the age of the tessellation.

  • SMTK_MESH_GEN_PROP marks cells that have an analysis mesh with an integer “generation” number indicating the age of the mesh.

When a property value can be reliably determined by a session’s modeling kernel (independent of the model manager), the session should add that property name to the list reported to the model manager for erasure when a model entity is being deleted. (Other user-assigned properties are not deleted by default when an entity is erased.)

Registration and initialization of Sessions and Operators

Because sessions usually back SMTK model entities with representations in a solid modeling kernel, constructing a session (and thus initializing a modeling kernel) can be an expensive operation. This expense is even higher if the actual session must live in a separate process or even possibly on a remote machine.


Update how modeling sessions are exposed via plugins.


Discuss Remus and ParaView client/server sessions