Conference paper

Interactive specification and extraction of free form surfaces from the visible human

We present new interaction and visualization paradigms relying on free form surfaces for studying and exploring human anatomy. We propose an interface for building three-dimensional anatomical scenes incorporating 3D anatomical organ models, freely orientated slices and free form surfaces extracted from the Visible Human dataset. Compared with planar slices, free form surfaces allow to follow curved anatomic structures such as the aorta tree or the pelvis. In the present paper, we describe in detail 3D interaction techniques for creating free form surfaces. The interactive placement of surface boundary curves relies on the combination of an interactive slice navigator and of a 3D visualization interface integrated within a single Java applet. Surface boundary curve control points are placed with the mouse at the desired locations within the selected slices. The corresponding boundary curves are displayed in the 3D visualization interface as fat 3D cubic spline curves, which provide immediate feedback. Boundary curves may be easily duplicated, translated and modified. The specified boundary curves are interpolated by Coons patches, yielding a perfectly smooth surface. That surface may be visualized in combination with semi-transparent organ models. It may also be flattened and shown in a separate window. The presented application is available online as a Java applet (


Related material