About the Interactive Body Browser


The Interactive Body Browser (IBB) is a byproduct of my Ph.D. thesis work on parallel volume rendering. The male and female datasets were the example datasets I used to develop and demonstrate my volume rendering code.

For the IBB web page, I have prerendered a large number of different views of the two datasets. Controls powered by JavaScript let you, the user, navigate among the views.


The male dataset was created by freezing a donated cadaver (this person was actually an executed murderer), and shaving it down 1mm at a time, taking a color photograph of each slice. This was done by the folks at the Visible Human Project. The female subject died of a heart attack and donated her body to science; this data is in 1/3mm slices.

I downloaded the slices from the Visible Human Project web site (where you may also obtain the data), reconstructed them into a solid volume, and used my parallel volume rendering code to generate views of them from different viewpoints, with three different color maps.


The best way to figure this out is to start clicking the controls until you start to get it. Use the reset button to get back to the starting view if you get stuck.

The arrow buttons, in the upper right of the screen, move you along "latitude" and "longitude" lines on a sphere around 7 "center points", which are placed within the body from the head, down the center of the torso, in the left knee, and in the left foot. You can pan up and down among these 7 center points with the pan up and pan down buttons.

The zoom in and zoom out buttons take your orbit to a smaller or larger sphere. Because the views are rendered with a "front clipping plane", you can zoom in close, and the region of volume data in front of the clipping plane will be removed, allowing you to see inside the body.

You can also choose between male and female datasets, and among three different color maps: normal, muscles, and translucent.

Color maps

The three available color maps are called "normal", "muscles", and "translucent". The colormap named "muscles", strictly speaking, does not show only the muscles; more precisely, it removes voxels (3D pixels) that are close to grey (unsaturated). This has the general effect of removing the skin, fat, connective tissue, and bones, presenting a view which I named "muscles". If you notice, you can also see some bright blue areas in this view. This is due to blue latex that was injected into the intestines, sinuses, and some blood vessels of the cadaver before it was frozen.

(Tip for advanced users: For the "normal" colormap, there are 7 different levels of zoom; however, for the other two colormaps, there are just two levels of zoom - the two furthest out.)

Parallel Volume Rendering

Here are some more images generated by my parallel volume rendering code. When present, the colored rectangles indicate how the image generation task is partitioned among 32 parallel processors. Sorry, you can't reach all of these views in the IBB web site - they are not part of the precomputed set of views.

Back to the IBB

Here's a link to go back to the IBB.

Copyright Michael E. Palmer 1996-2003.