2010 Winter Project Week Orthogonal Planes Issues

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Home < 2010 Winter Project Week Orthogonal Planes Issues

Key Investigators

  • MIT: Michal Depa
  • Isomics: Steve Pieper


Following the last Summer Project Week, a new functionality was added to 3D Slicer which keeps the slice planes orthogonal to each other when they are linked. This is particularly useful when for example dealing with cardiac images because the reformat widget can now be used to align the slice views with the true axes of the heart, which are generally not the same as the axes of the image.

However, some issues have been discovered where the orthogonal planes reformat widget doesn't function like it is expected to. Specifically, sometimes a plane falls into a "translate mode" where it cannot be rotated as usual with the reformat widget, but can only be translated instead.

Approach, Plan

We will look into this problem and try to fix it. If we have enough time left, we might work on modifying the widget itself to make it better suited for the reformat operation.


The problems with the orthogonal planes reformat widget were caused by picking issues inherent to using many such widgets at the same in Slicer. In other words the wrong widget or part of widget was being selected when clicking in the 3D view.

To both solve this problem and improve the usability of the widget, we modified the behavior in Slicer so that when the slice planes are linked, only one reformat widget can be turned on at a time. This is an improvement because it reduces the clutter in the 3D view, making the manipulation of the widget easier.

We did consider changing the widget to a different one, but we determined that there isn't one available which would be as suitable for the reformat mode as the one currently in Slicer.

The new code has been tested and will make its way into the Slicer trunk in the next few days.