I am pleased to announce the release of MacVol v1.3, a freeware
volume-rending application for MacOS.
MacVol takes a three-dimensional data set (as might be generated by
microscopy, MRI, simulation, etc.) and generates a view of this data
from any angle, with complete control over lighting, material
properties, and so on. It is fully Applescriptable, and includes two
sample scripts for generating stereo pairs and rotation series.
MacVol's primary advantage over other rendering programs is speed; on
our data, it is typically 10-50 times faster than commercial rendering
software costing hundreds of dollars. Speed is important because to get
the best view of your data, you often go through many iterations of
angle, lighting, etc.
Version 1.3 of MacVol adds an important feature: you can now scale your
dataset in the Z dimension. In previous versions of MacVol, the voxels
had to be the same width, height, and depth. But many scientific
datasets -- e.g., those taken by confocal microscopy -- have a Z-spacing
much greater than the X and Y pixel size. Such datasets can now be
properly rendered by MacVol.
MacVol is based on VolPack, a public-domain rendering library originally
written for Unix. MacVol requires a PowerPC, MacOS 7.1 or higher, and
large amounts of memory (depending on the size of the dataset).
Software and documentation are available on the World Wide Web at:
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.