[PySide] Binding C++/VTK code using Shiboken

Matthew Woehlke matthew.woehlke at kitware.com
Thu Dec 12 18:07:47 CET 2013

On 2013-12-12 11:09, Nicolas SAUBAT wrote:
> I'm trying to bind to Python a C++ framework, called CamiTK
> (http://camitk.imag.fr) which is based on Qt and VTK (http://www.vtk.org/).
> For binding Qt C++ classes, no problem, we can tell Shiboken how to use
> Qt in Python, thanks to the provided typesystem.xml files.
> But I was wondering, how we can do the same stuff using VTK ?

Well. That's a good question.

If you just want to generate bindings for VTK-based objects, VTK has its 
own wrapping system that will allow you to do that. (IME it's rather 
limited compared to Shiboken; no support for enums, STL containers, 
etc.) However, getting the two to talk to each other is likely to be an 

What you would ultimately need to do, I think, is to be able to teach 
Shiboken how to get a vtkObject* from a PyObject. As far as the Shiboken 
architecture, I think you should be able to write custom converters for 

The problem comes with how VTK implements its conversions, which depends 
on having a pointer to the call arguments, which is not available in 
Shiboken. As such, I'm not sure that (at the C++ level) it is possible 
to get the vtkObject* from *just* a PyObject.

TBH, I have the same problem and haven't solved it, except that I 
decided the best thing to do would be to rewrite VTK's wrapping to just 
use Shiboken and be done with it ;-). If you find a solution, please let 
me know. (If you can throw $$ at making VTK use Shiboken, please also 
let me know ;-).)

Note that it's probably impossible to wrap a VTK-derived object with 
Shiboken in any useful way.


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