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Displaying Medical Imagery in Voxler 3

Displaying Medical Imagery in Voxler 3

Though many users of Golden Software products display data used in geology, oil and gas, and other geoscience-based industries, many other types of data can be modelled in our software! This week, I'll show you an example by displaying MRI and CT scan imagery in Voxler. I'll be using data in the form of DICOM files and Voxler VDAT files. Please note that DICOM is a container format, so the data may be formatted differently in different DICOM files. This means it is possible that some files may be formatted in a manner that Voxler cannot understand.


Single DICOM file displayed with an ObliqueImage module

Many DICOM files can be imported directly into Voxler as a lattice or as a bitmap. The DICOM files I use in this example are imported as lattices. You can import a single DICOM file, or you can select multiple files from the same data set, and import them into the same data module. Importing more than one file will give you more graphics output modules to choose from when displaying the data. The image above is an example of a single DICOM file imported and displayed with an ObliqueImage module.


CT scan image saved as VDAT file, displayed with a VolRender module

Voxler 3 also comes with several examples of medical imagery that have been saved in the Voxler VDAT file format. By default, these files are located at C:\Program Files\Golden Software\Voxler 3\Samples. The image above was created using the CT_foot.VDAT file.

Medical imagery from MRI and CT scans is traditionally displayed in grayscale. However, the colormap is a useful tool for highlighting areas of interest! For example, I adjusted the colormap for the VolRender module displaying the data for the foot to reveal a closer look of the bone in the image at the top of the post. One more example is below. In this example, multiple DICOM files were imported into a single data module and displayed using a VolRender module. Below is a comparison of displaying the VolRender in grayscale versus adjusting the colormap to add color and to understate areas that are not of interest by adjusting the opacity.


MRI scan image presented using a VolRender module, displayed in grayscale and colored with a custom colormap

Additionally, DICOM files that import as a lattice into Voxler can be used as grids in Surfer and Grapher! DICOM files that import as a bitmap can be used in Surfer, Grapher, MapViewer, and Strater! Do you have unique or interesting data visualized with Golden Software products? We'd love to see how you display it! Send your images directly to me, post them on our Facebook page, or tweet them to us!

Do you have any questions about this post? Do you have an idea for a blog post or have a topic you'd like to see featured? Let me know! Leave a comment, or send an email to

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Tuesday, 21 March 2023

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