Image feature detection

Image feature extraction

Phindr3D is a comprehensive shallow-learning framework for automated quantitative phenotyping of three-dimensional (3D) high content screening image data using unsupervised data-driven voxel-based feature learning, which enables computationally facile classification, clustering and data visualization.

Please see our GitHub page and the original publication for details.


Dragonfly is a software platform for the intuitive inspection of multi-scale multi-modality image data. Its user-friendly experience translates into powerful quantitative findings with high-impact visuals, driven by nuanced easy-to-learn controls.

For segmentation: It provides an engine fior machine Learning, Watershed and superpixel methods, support histological data .

It offers a 3D viewer, and python scripting capacities .

It is free for reserach use, but not for commercial usage.


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

Maxima finding algorithm implemented in Python recreated from implementation in Fiji(ImageJ)

This is a re-implementation of the java plugin written by Michael Schmid and Wayne Rasband for ImageJ. The original java code source can be found in: 

This implementation remains faithful to the original implementation but is not 100% optimised. The java version is faster but this could be alleviated by compiling c code for parts of the code. This script is simply to provide the functionality of the ImageJ find maxima algorithm to individuals writing pure python script.

The algorithm works as follows:

The first stage in the maxima finding algorithm is to find the local maxima. This involves processing the image with a 3x3 neighbourhood maximum filter. Once filtered this image is compared back to the original, where the pixels are the same value represents the locations of the local maxima. Typically there are far too many local maxima to be meaningful so the goal is then to merge and prune this maxima using some kind of measure of quality. In the case of algorithm a single parameter is used, the noise tolerance (Prominence). If a maxima is close to another then the maxima will be merged or removed based on the below criteria.

Starting with the brightest maxima and working down the intensities:

  • Expand out (‘flood fill’) from each maxima location. Neighbouring pixels within a noise tolerance (notl) of the maxima are scanned until the region within tolerance is exhausted.
    • If the pixels are equal to the maxima, mark this as equal.
    • If a greater maxima is met, ignore the active maxima.
    • If the pixels are less than maxima, but greater than maxima minus the noise tolerance, mark as listed.
    • Mark all ‘listed’ pixels 'processed' if they are included within a valid peak region, otherwise reset them.
    • From the regions containing a peak, calculate the best pixel to be considered as maxima based on minimum distance calculation with all those maxima considered equal.

For a video detailing how this algorithm works please see:

Or for examples of it being used in practise, please see:


find maxima comparison.