vtk::MakeSmartPointer(T*), vtk::TakeSmartPointer(T*)

One of the remaining tedious parts of using vtkSmartPointer is their creation. For instance, consider creating a new vtkCompositeDataSetIterator from vtkCompositeDataSet::NewIterator() and putting it into a smart pointer. There are two ways of doing this currently:

vtkSmartPointer<vtkCompositeDataSetIterator> cdsIter;


auto cdsIter = 

This merge request adds a couple of new functions that are similar to std::make_shared, but for vtkSmartPointer and vtkWeakPointer. This allows the above examples to be written much more concisely:

// Equivalent to the above examples.
auto cdsIter = vtk::TakeSmartPointer(cds->NewIterator());

The new methods are:

  • vtk::TakeSmartPointer(T *obj) takes an instance of type T (a subclass of vtkObject), and returns a vtkSmartPointer<T> without adding a new reference. That is, it “takes” the existing reference.
  • vtk::MakeSmartPointer(T *obj) is similar, but it “makes” a new reference to obj.
  • vtk::TakeWeakPointer(T *obj) creates a new vtkWeakPointer<T> that references obj.

I’ve found these (especially TakeSmartPointer to be very useful, would others like to see these added? Comments and reviews are welcome.

I’ve never needed more methods for vtkSmartPointer, but then again I am known as “Simple Bill.”