What it is not- It is important to differentiate between scientific visualization and presentation graphics. Presentation graphics is primarily concerned with the communication of information and results in ways that are easily understood. In scientific visualization, we seek to understand the data. However, often the two methods are intertwined.
From a computing perspective, SciVis is part of a greater field called visualization. This involves research in computer graphics, image processing, high performance computing, and other areas. The same tools that are used for SciVis may be applied to animation, or multimedia presentation, for example.
As a science, scientific visualization is the study concerned with the interactive display and analysis of data. Often one would like the ability to do real-time visualization of data from any source. Thus our purview is information, scientific, or engineering visualization and closely related problems such as computational steering or multivariate analysis. The approaches developed are general, and the goal is to make them applicable to datasets of any size whatever while still retaining high interactivity. As an emerging science, its strategy is to develop fundamental ideas leading to general tools for real applications. This pursuit is multidisciplinary in that it uses the same techniques across many areas of study..