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Embedding VTK and ITK into a visual programming and rapid prototyping platform

: Koenig, M.; Spindler, W.; Rexilius, J.; Jomier, J.; Link, F.; Peitgen, H.-O.


Cleary, K.R. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.; American Association of Physicists in Medicine -AAPM-:
Medical imaging 2006 - Visualization, image-guided procedures, and display : 12 - 14 February 2006, San Diego, California, USA
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2006 (Proceedings of SPIE 6141)
ISBN: 0-8194-6184-9
ISBN: 978-0-8194-6184-1
ISSN: 0277-786X
ISSN: 1605-7422
Paper 61412O
Conference "Medical Imaging" <2006, San Diego/Calif.>
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()
image processing; MeVisLab; rapid prototyping; VTK; ITK

Visualization and image processing of medical datasets has become an essential task for clinical diagnosis support as well as for treatment planning. In order to enable a physician to use and evaluate algorithms within a clinical setting, easily applicable software prototypes with a dedicated user interface are essential. However, substantial programming knowledge is still required today when using powerful open source libraries such as the Visualization Toolkit (VTK) or the Insight Toolkit (ITK). Moreover, these toolkits provide only limited graphical user interface functionality. In this paper, we present the visual programming and rapid prototyping platform MeVisLab which provides flexible and simple handling of visualization and image processing algorithms of VTK/ITK, Open Inventor and the MeVis Image Library by modular visual programming. No programming knowledge is required to set up image processing and visualization pipelines. Complete applications including user interfaces can be easily built within a general framework. In addition to the VTK/ITK features, MeVisLab provides a full integration of the Open Inventor library and offers a state-of-the-art integrated volume renderer. The integration of VTK/ITK algorithms is performed automatically: an XML structure is created from the toolkits' source code followed by an automatic module generation from this XML description. Thus, MeVisLab offers a one stop solution integrating VTK/ITK as modules and is suited for rapid prototyping as well as for teaching medical visualization and image analysis. The VTK/ITK integration is available as package of the free version of MeVisLab.