Vesalius3D is a revolutionary way of working with 3D data allowing users to make better decisions faster.

  • 3D and 4D volumetric medical data (3D + time)
  • Multimodality imaging, simultaneous imaging of multiple 3D data sets
  • Interactive Dynamic live rendering, this makes it feel intuitive and natural.
  • Quantification, measurements in 2d and 3d environments. point and measure.
  • Traditional 2D interfaces and viewing next to all the 3D possibilities
  • Customize your preferences per data type, user, source machine or procedure
  • 3D print medical structures fast with the 3D printing module

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Intuitive medical image analysis application

Fast understanding of complex volumes is key to Vesalius3D. Vesalius3D combines very fast live 3D rendering with easy interaction.Vesalius3D supports 3D interaction and can be used in conventional setups as well as dedicated 3D workstations such as the C-station and the PSS. It exploits their 3D interaction and visualization capabilities.Our vision is that in order to intuitively interact with 3D medical images the application must be able to:• Support two handed interaction• Render the 3D data live without perceived loss in qualityThese basic requirements are core to Vesalius3D. Vesalius3D picks up where other applications fall short; “really looking at the data and analyzing it easily and quickly in 3D”.

Advanced volumetric rendering engine

Powerful advanced volumetric rendering engine

For Vesalius3D a dedicated 3D rendering engine was developed that renders volumetric data in 3D, in real-time. This engine maintains a high frame rate during live 3D interaction without sacrificing quality. This engine is in the core of Vesalius3D.


  • Memory management including a caching mechanism to increase speed when memory is available.
  • Real time and frame sequential animation (4D rendering)
  • Multiple rendering modes: alpha compositing and maximum intensity projection
  • Lighting support
  • Depth shading support
  • Pre-integrated rendering for improved quality, especially when using steep transfer functions
  • Multi modality rendering. Vesalius3D supports rendering multiple (overlapping) data sets at interactive rates. The number of data sets that can be visualized simultaneously limited only by GPU memory
  • Full control over rendering settings (transfer functions, lighting, depth shading, etc) for each data set
  • Stereoscopic rendering support (interlaced, side-by-side, frame-sequential, anaglyph)
  • Data animation support with real-time and frame sequential modes:
    • Real-time plays the data at the same rate as it was recorded (frame dropping may occur if the rendering cannot keep up with the animation speed)
    • Frame sequential tries to play real-time, but slows down if necessary to ensure playing each frame
  • Support for orthogonal cropping planes relative to patient coordinate system, i.e. in the LR, AP, and IS directions for each data set
  • Support for an arbitrary number of oblique cropping planes that operate on all data sets simultaneously

Seamless integration of 2D and 3D interaction tools

Seamless integration of 2D and 3D interaction tools

Vesalius3D was created to give the user the right tools for the task at hand. Access to both 2D and 3D interaction tools is therefore an integrated part of working with Vesalius3D. Standard classical menu operations like selecting, scrolling and typing are done using classical 2D interfaces such as a mouse and keyboard. For complex 3D tasks, 3D interaction devices are used. The interaction device in one hand is used to position and orient the data directly in 3D, utilizing the wrist and hand functionality of the user to the fullest. The interaction device in the other hand is used for activities such as pointing, slicing, measuring, selecting, erasing and cropping.

2D and 3D views

Vesalius3D offers both 2D and 3D views side by side and customizable to the user’s requirements. Any number of 3D and 2D views can be opened side by side. Vesalius3D has a fully customizable view layout, simply by splitting views horizontally or vertically. Views have have full screen support, are detachable, and can be arranged on multiple monitors and screens.

2D views

2D views are used to present a cross section of the 3D data. These cross sections can be moved in the traditional axial, coronal and sagittal directions. Mouse/keyboard interaction is used for moving and zooming in/out, window level and center manipulation, and resetting the view settings.

3D views

The 3D views present data directly in 3D and have several strong benefits.

The 3D data is always presented in the patient coordinate system, enabling users to quickly understand how the data is presented.

  • An orientation marker is used to quickly distinguish data orientation in relation to the patient coordinate system (orientation markers indicates left, right, anterior, posterior, inferior and superior directions)
  • Live rendering during interaction. This results in a lifelike experience of the data, avoids strain and makes the analysis easier as resolution is kept at high levels.
  • Stereo viewing of 3D views can be switched on and off.
  • Any type of 3D interaction can be linked to Vesalius3D as Vesalius3D uses the standard VRPN interface. VRPN provides a unified interface to input devices like motion trackers and joystick controllers.
  • Next to the 3D interaction capabilities Vesalius3D also allows for mouse interaction. (dataset and cropping plane manipulation)

Multiple view support

Vesalius3D is a very flexible environment. It is easy to adjust to the specific needs of the user. For example Vesalius3D has:

  • A fully customizable view layout, simply by splitting views horizontally or vertically
  • Views have full screen support, are detachable, and can be arranged on multiple monitors and screens.
  • An automatically adapting UI, showing only panels and settings that apply to the active view and type of visualization
  • A view system architecture that is extendable to support other types of views (e.g. for displaying ECG/EEG data or measurements)
  • A native Windows appearance where appearance is customizable through normal Windows settings/themes (font sizes, colors, etc)

Presets (protocols), state saving and transfer functions

Presets (protocols) and state saving

Vesalius3D allows users to store and reuse specific settings of a dataset (state) or the possibility to use the same settings of a dataset for another dataset (protocol).

Protocols are descriptions of the view layout and visualization parameters for datasets with predefined properties. Upon opening a dataset, all protocols and presentation states that apply to this dataset are listed, such that physicians can efficiently view the data in the way most suitable for their needs.

The state saving functionality stores all settings with a specific data set: view layout, render objects and settings, cropping planes, transfer functions, quantification objects, etc.


Transfer function editor

Vesalius3D uses a transfer function to map data densities to displayed color and transparency. A transfer function defines a mapping from densities to colors. This function can be adjusted to highlight certain structures in the data or to hide irrelevant information.

Vesalius3D features a transfer function editor which can be used to independently edit multiple curves to highlight different tissues.

Transfer functions are part of a presets and protocols. Transfer functions can be saved also separately and reused in other datasets. Vesalius3D comes with a number of predefined transfer functions.



The quantification tools assist users to perform specific measurements during the analysis of volumetric medical images. There are 2D and 3D quantification tools.

  • 2D quantification tools include: distances, angles, and contour areas.
  • 3D quantification tools include distances, contours, angles, and volume segmentation.

Quantifications are time frame aware and bounds to a data set. Quantifications can be independently controlled by manipulating their handles. The visibility of a quantification can be toggled and can be removed independently using the UI.

Data Library

Data Library

Vesalius3D features a data library that is used to import a variety of 3D image formats, including 2D image stacks in most common formats, various RAW formats, and DICOM images (“.dcm” extension). Vesalius3D is compliant with the DICOM standard for image communication and image file formats. The PACS module allows for query and retrieve of image files from PACS. Some features:

  • Multiple data types support (including: Philips DICOM in Cartesian format (US), GE VolDICOM (US), DICOM sliced 3D data (MR, CT, etc), sliced 3D data in all major image formats, including png, jpg, bmp, tiff, gif, etc, ICS format, MRC format, Tomtec DAT format
  • Easy to use import functionality (Scan one or more folders (recursively) and automatically identify all data sets and order slice based sets)
  • PACS support to integrate within hospital workflow
  • Imported data is kept in the original state (no conversion), so no information is lost.
  • Supports selecting and opening multiple sets.





Traditional Analysis applications

Vesalius 3D

Live 3D rendering

Live interactive (stereo) 3D rendering of medical images without perceived loss in quality


During interaction the frame rate and resolution often drops


A 3D rendering engine was specifically developed that renders volumetric data in 3D, in Real-time. This engine maintains a high frame rate during live 3D interaction without sacrificing quality.

Even 16 Bit and multimodality rendering is supported.

Ability to interact with both hands.

(The difference between peeling an apple with two hands and with one hand behind your back)

Not possible

This logical addition of using both hands in a 3D interface is unfortunately not supported by the overwhelming majority of 3D applications. If 3D navigation is possible it is only for one device at the time


Seamless integration of 2D and 3D interfaces. Two handed interaction is fully supported.

Ready for use in (3D) environments.

Using the application on desktops, tablets, 3D workstations, 3D powerwalls etc.

Limited to 2D interfaces

Most applications do not support a multitude of 2D and 3D environments.


Vesalius3D can be used from tablets to VR power walls. It has been optimized for use in 3D workstations

Multimodality rendering