FluoRender is an interactive rendering tool for confocal microscopy data visualization. It combines the rendering of multi-channel volume data and polygon mesh data, where the properties of each dataset can be adjusted independently and quickly. The tool is designed especially for neurobiologists, allowing them to better visualize confocal data from fluorescently-stained brains, but it is also useful for other biological samples.




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



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.




Drishti (from Sanskrit  word for "vision" or "insight") is a multi-platform, open-source volume-exploration and presentation tool. Written for visualizing tomography data, electron-microscopy data and the like.


VMTK: Vascular Modeling Toolkit


vmtk is a collection of libraries and tools for 3D reconstruction, geometric analysis, mesh generation and surface data analysis for image-based modeling of blood vessels.

vmtk is composed of

  • C++ classes (VTK and ITK -based algorithms)
  • Python classes (high-level functionality - each class is a script)
  • PypeS - Python pipeable scripts, a framework which enables vmtk scripts to interact with each other




ClearVolume is a real-time live 3D visualization library designed for high-end volumetric microscopes such as SPIM and DLSM microscopes. With ClearVolume you can see live on your screen the stacks acquired by your microscope instead of waiting for offline post-processing to give you an intuitive and comprehensive view on your data. The biologists can immediately decide whether a sample is worth imaging. ClearVolume can easily be integrated into existing Java, C/C++, Python, or LabVIEW based microscope software. It has a dedicated interface to MicroManager/OpenSpim/OpenSpin control software. ClearVolume supports multi-channels, live 3D data streaming from remote microscopes, and uses a multi-pass Fibonacci rendering algorithm that can handle large volumes. Moreover, ClearVolume is integrated into the Fiji/ImageJ2/KNIME ecosystem. You can now open your stacks with ClearVolume from within these popular frameworks for offline viewing.

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ICY 3D Rotation


The 3D Rotation plug-in allows you to record a 360 degree rotation of the current focused 3D VTK viewer about the vertical screen axis.

The 'angle step' parameter indicates the deviation in degrees between two consecutive snapshots. Increasing the angle will increase rotation speed (up to a point where it might look like jumping more than rotating) and reduce the final movie length.

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