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Better 3d Volume Rendering Tools for 3d Picture Control



It is my understanding after talking to Jonathan Meyer at  NI Week that the OpenGL 3d library is not exposed to LabVIEW users and would be of great benefit for folks like myself who need better 3d volume rendering tools WITHIN LabVIEW to render X-ray computed tomography and other slice data.   So my idea is to please expose these tools as soon as possible.  Currently I use the ActiveX 3d Surface Graph to display multiple stacked surfaces.  It is very slow with a lot of slices and totally unstable with Windows Vista operating system. HELP!

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A thought I had today was also that 3d Volume Rendering is a natural for the Vision toolkit, not only for visualization but to extend the particle analysis capabilities to volumetric quanitities. For example, Waddel disk diameter could be extended to become a Waddel sphere diameter, etc. etc. 


Vision is an expensive add-on toolkit.  It has not had many new capabilities added to it in the last several releases.  This additional capability would be a natural extension for it, and very important for me.


I don't mean to imply that we should take the focus off of this for the 3d Picture Control but it should be a major consideration also for Vision.

Message Edited by DonRoth on 10-06-2009 02:01 PM
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I want to follow this up and say Vision definitely is the place for volume rendering since it there is a stable 64-bit version and many image series sets from xray CT are now easily in the gigabyte range.  I don't think it would be tough for the Vision guys to put together a volume rendinging window and give us the ability to open raw binary images (allow user to specify header size and image type, eg. U16), tiff, png, bmp, etc. data sets.




There are some very nice open source tools for 3D reconstruction of medical images. i.e. InVesalius (, 3DIM Viewer (, Medical Imaging Toolkit (MITO: They all use 3rd Party Open source Libraries like "OpenMesh", "The OpenGL Extension Wrangler Library". Image processing and 3D reconstruction of these tools is very fast! Maybe its possible to use these libraries in Picture control?

Best regards ... Pete

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The tools for 3D rendering and simultaneous orthoviews in the 3d picture control in the NI Biomedical Toolkit are getting better.  A 64-bit version of this toolkit is in the works which should allow rendering of larger data sets, but I am not sure of the performance of the 3d picture control with very large data sets.  So slowly but surely, NI is getting there.  I still would like to see something similar in the Vision toolkit.


If you want to  reconstruct  >100 lung CT slices into a 3D Lung object, the BMT is not yet suitable. We bought the BMT to reconstruct an entire lung in LabVIEW. But unfortunately that's not possible.

The open source tools previously mentioned, reconstruct the lung within a few seconds and without any memory problems, and this software is free.
3D Rendering of large datasets (i.e. 300 Imageplanes, signed I16, 512*512 Pixel) in Vision would be nice! But this will only work with OpenGL support! Otherwise 3D reconstruction is too slow.


As far as I have understood neither Vision nor Biomedical Toolkit use OpenGL functions, is this right?


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I agree that larger data sets cause problems for BMT 3D rendering. I am hoping the 64-bit version of BMT will greatly help here.