PyVista has an interface for placing plots in pyvistaqt that extends the functionality of the QVTKRenderWindowInteractor class. The pyvistaqt.QtInteractor class allows you to have the same functionality of the Plotter class within a Qt application. This simplifies adding meshes, updating, and controlling them when using Qt.

Background Plotting

Normal PyVista plotting windows exhibit blocking behavior, but it is possible to plot in the background and update the plotter in real-time using the BackgroundPlotter object. This requires pyvistaqt, but otherwise appears and functions like a normal PyVista Plotter instance. For example:

import pyvista as pv
from pyvistaqt import BackgroundPlotter

sphere = pv.Sphere()

plotter = BackgroundPlotter()

# can now operate on the sphere and have it updated in the background
sphere.points *= 0.5

Example PyQt5 PyVista QtInteractor

The following example shows how to create a simple application that adds a sphere to an empty plotting window.

import sys

# Setting the Qt bindings for QtPy
import os
os.environ["QT_API"] = "pyqt5"

from qtpy import QtWidgets
from qtpy.QtWidgets import QMainWindow

import numpy as np

import pyvista as pv
from pyvistaqt import QtInteractor

class MainWindow(QMainWindow):

    def __init__(self, parent=None, show=True):
        QtWidgets.QMainWindow.__init__(self, parent)

        # create the frame
        self.frame = QtWidgets.QFrame()
        vlayout = QtWidgets.QVBoxLayout()

        # add the pyvista interactor object
        self.plotter = QtInteractor(self.frame)


        # simple menu to demo functions
        mainMenu = self.menuBar()
        fileMenu = mainMenu.addMenu('File')
        exitButton = QtWidgets.QAction('Exit', self)

        # allow adding a sphere
        meshMenu = mainMenu.addMenu('Mesh')
        self.add_sphere_action = QtWidgets.QAction('Add Sphere', self)

        if show:

    def add_sphere(self):
        """ add a sphere to the pyqt frame """
        sphere = pv.Sphere()
        self.plotter.add_mesh(sphere, show_edges=True)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app = QtWidgets.QApplication(sys.argv)
    window = MainWindow()

PyQt5 pyvista QtInteractor

Using Different Qt bindings

To use different Qt bindings you must first install them. For example, to use PySide2, you install it via:

pip install PySide2

Then you set the QT_API value to the specific binding you would like to use:

os.environ["QT_API"] = "pyside2"

Please refer to the *QtPy* documentation page for more information.