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Saving & Opening Pipelines

A current Pipeline in the Pipeline View can be saved to the disk by selecting the Save option in the File menu. Once saved to the disk, the files can be Bookmarked for quick access. For more information on Bookmarks, visit the user interface section. A saved Pipeline file can be opened by choosing the Open... option in the File menu and selecting the desired Pipeline file.

DREAM.3D utilizes a document model when dealing with saving and opening Pipelines. Whenever a Pipeline file is opened, it will appear in a new DREAM.3D window. If the Pipeline is modified and the user selects the Save option, the Pipeline file will be updated with the changes.

Pipeline File Formats

DREAM.3D allows the user to export and import Pipelines to a variety of file formats. The currently supported file formats are

  • .json
  • .dream3d

The information written to a Pipeline file includes:

  • The list of Filters in the Pipeline, in sequential order
  • All the variables for each Filter and their settings
  • The name of the Pipeline file
  • The version of DREAM.3D used to create the Pipeline

"0": {
    "CreatedDataContainer": "DataContainer",
    "FilterVersion": "1.0.606",
    "Filter_Human_Label": "Create Data Container",
    "Filter_Name": "CreateDataContainer"
"1": {
    "AttributeMatrixType": 3,
    "CreatedAttributeMatrix": {
        "Attribute Matrix Name": "AttributeMatrix",
        "Data Array Name": "",
        "Data Container Name": "DataContainer"
    "FilterVersion": "1.0.606",
    "Filter_Human_Label": "Create Attribute Matrix",
    "Filter_Name": "CreateAttributeMatrix",
    "TupleDimensions": {
        "Column Headers": [
        "DefaultColCount": 0,
        "DefaultRowCount": 0,
        "HasDynamicCols": true,
        "HasDynamicRows": false,
        "MinColCount": 0,
        "MinRowCount": 0,
        "Row Headers": [
        "Table Data": [
"2": {
    "FilterVersion": "1.0.606",
    "Filter_Human_Label": "Create Data Array",
    "Filter_Name": "CreateDataArray",
    "InitializationRange": {
        "Max": 0,
        "Min": 0
    "InitializationType": 0,
    "InitializationValue": "0.785398",
    "NewArray": {
        "Attribute Matrix Name": "AttributeMatrix",
        "Data Array Name": "Eulers",
        "Data Container Name": "DataContainer"
    "NumberOfComponents": 3,
    "ScalarType": 8
"PipelineBuilder": {
    "Name": "(02) Small IN100 Initial Visualization",
    "Number_Filters": 2,
    "Version": "6"

An Example Pipeline in .json Format

The .json file format is an open standard that most scripting languages, such as Python and MATLAB, can easily understand. Therefore, it is straightforward to parse the .json file with an external program to make modifications as necessary. You can even set up scripting to create many version of a Pipeline file and execute them from the command line using the PipelineRunner tool.

The .dream3d file format is a binary file based on HDF5. More specific information about this file format can be found in the Native DREAM.3D File Format section. The .dream3d format is also how the data structure objects are stored to disk. Whenever a user writes a new DREAM.3D file, the Pipeline used to create it will be written into the .dream3d file alongside the data structure objects. This means that the data structure is always accompanied by the workflow that was used to create it, adding provenance to the data. If you select a .dream3d file from the Open option of the File menu, the Pipeline from within that .dream3d file will be extracted and opened in a new window. This allows users to recover the workflow used to create a particular DREAM.3D file. Additionally, a .dream3d file can be dragged from the file system and dropped into the Pipeline View. The user is then asked if they would like to extract the Pipeline from the file or read the data structure objects out of the file into the current Pipeline.

Note that if you select to save a Pipeline file as a .dream3d file, the resulting .dream3d file will only have the current Pipeline in it, not any of the data structure. To save the actual data structure along with the Pipeline, you must run the Write DREAM.3D Data File Filter.