Paintera is a general visualization tool for 3D volumetric data and proof-reading in segmentation/reconstruction with a primary focus on neuron reconstruction from electron micrographs in connectomics. It features/supports:

  •  Views of orthogonal 2D cross-sections of the data at arbitrary angles and zoom levels
  •  Mipmaps for efficient display of arbitrarily large data at arbitrary scale levels
  •  Label data
    •  Painting
    •  Manual agglomeration
    •  3D visualization as polygon meshes
      •  Meshes for each mipmap level
      •  Mesh generation on-the-fly via marching cubes to incorporate painted labels and agglomerations in 3D visualization. Marching Cubes is parallelized over small blocks. Only relevant blocks are considered (huge speed-up for sparse label data).

Paintera is implemented in Java and makes extensive use of the UI framework JavaFX

Paintera screenshot



shinyHTM is an open source, web-based tool for data exploration, image visualization and normalization of High Throughput Microscopy data. Within shinyHTM the user is guided through a linear workflow which follows the following best practices:

  • Inspect the numerical data through plotting
  • Measurements are linked to raw images
  • Perform quality control to exclude images with aberrations or where image analysis failed
  • Perform a reproducible data analysis
  • Normalize data and report statistical significance

Image visualization relies on Fiji/ImageJ, along with its wealth of analytical tools.

shinyHTM can be used to analyze image features obtained with CellProfiler, ImageJ or any other bioimage analysis software. The output of analysis is a publication-ready scoring of the data.

shinyHTM is based on the R shiny package.


TTK the Topology Toolkit


The Topology ToolKit (TTK) is an open-source library and software collection for topological data analysis in scientific visualization.

TTK can handle scalar data defined either on regular grids or triangulations, either in 2D or in 3D. It provides a substantial collection of generic, efficient and robust implementations of key algorithms in topological data analysis. It includes:
 · For scalar data: critical points, integral lines, persistence diagrams, persistence curves, merge trees, contour trees, Morse-Smale complexes, topological simplification;
 · For bivariate scalar data: fibers, fiber surfaces, continuous scatterplots, Jacobi sets, Reeb spaces;
 · For uncertain scalar data: mandatory critical points;
 · For time-varying scalar data: critical point tracking;
 · For high-dimensional / point cloud data: dimension reduction;
 · and more!


TTK makes topological data analysis accessible to end users thanks to easy-to-use plugins for the visualization front end ParaView. Thanks to ParaView, TTK supports a variety of input data formats.

TTK is written in C++ but comes with a variety of bindings (VTK/C++, Python) and standalone command-line programs. It is modular and easy to extend. We have specifically developed it such that you can easily write your own data analysis tools as TTK modules.

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ParaView is an open-source, multi-platform data analysis and visualization application. ParaView users can quickly build visualizations to analyze their data using qualitative and quantitative techniques. The data exploration can be done interactively in 3D or programmatically using ParaView’s batch processing capabilities.

ParaView was developed to analyze extremely large datasets using distributed memory computing resources. It can be run on supercomputers to analyze datasets of petascale size as well as on laptops for smaller data, has become an integral tool in many national laboratories, universities and industry, and has won several awards related to high performance computation.




The software FishInspector provides automatic feature detections in images of zebrafish embryos (body size, eye size, pigmentation). It is Matlab-based and provided as a Windows executable (no matlab installation needed).

The recent version requires images of a lateral position. It is important that the position is precise since deviation may confound with feature annotations. Images from any source can be used. However, depending on the image properties parameters may have to be adjusted. Furthermore, images obtained with normal microscope and not using an automated position system with embryos in glass capillaries require conversion using a KNIME workflow (the workflow is available as well). As a result of the analysis the software provides JSON files that contain the coordinates of the features. Coordinates are provided for eye, fish contour, notochord , otoliths, yolk sac, pericard and swimbladder. Furthermore, pigment cells in the notochord area are detected. Additional features can be manually annotated. It is the aim of the software to provide the coordinates, which may then be analysed subsequently to identify and quantify changes in the morphology of zebrafish embryos.

FishInspector Logo



This is a classical workflow for spot detection or blob like structures (vesicules, melanosomes,...)

Step 1 Laplacian of Gaussian to enhance spots . Paraeters= radius, about the average spot radius

Step 2 Detect minima (using Find Maxima with light background option to get minima). Parameter : Tolerance to Noise: to be tested, hard to predict. About the height of the enhanced feautures peaks

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spot detection

Creating an ImageJ plugin / command


The best way to start writing an ImageJ2 plugin (ImageJ2 developers call it command and not plugin) is to download the example command from github and modify it. There is a video tutorial on the whole workflow on how to do this on youtube.

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3-D Density Kernel Estimation


3-D density kernel estimation (DKE-3-D) method, utilises an ensemble of random decision trees for counting objects in 3D images. DKE-3-D avoids the problem of discrete object identification and segmentation, common to many existing 3-D counting techniques, and outperforms other methods when quantification of densely packed and heterogeneous objects is desired. 

Microscope autopilot


AutoPilot is the open source project that hosts the general algorithm for fast and robust assessment of local image quality, an automated computational method for image-based mapping of the three-dimensional light-sheet geometry inside a fluorescently labeled biological specimen, and a general algorithm for data-driven optimization of the system state of light-sheet microscopes capable of multi-color imaging with multiple illumination and detection arms.

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Minimum cost Z surface projection


This plugin detects a minimum cost z-surface in a 3D volume. A z surface is a topographic map indicating the altitude z as a function of the position (x,y) in the image. The cost of the surface depends on pixel intensity the surface is going through. This plugin find the z-surface with the lowest intensity in an image.

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