2012 Summer Project Week:XTK

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Key Investigators

  • Boston Children's Hospital: Daniel Haehn, Nicolas Rannous, Rudolph Pienaar
  • Isomics Inc.: Steve Pieper


XTK is a WebGL framework providing an easy-to-use API to visualize scientific data on the web. No background or knowledge in Computer Graphics is required and a variety of file formats can be natively read and visualized with very little JavaScript code.

Nevertheless, some researchers want to share their data without writing any code so we propose a one-click WebGL export module for 3D Slicer 4.

Approach, Plan

The WebGL Export module should enable the export of Surface Models, Fiber Tracks and Volumes in 2D and 3D (including Volume Rendering) from 3D Slicer 4 to the web.

First step of further development is to update the currently existing WebGL Export module to a new XTK version. Additionally, a TrackVis file format (.TRK) writer should be implemented for 3D Slicer 4 since XTK natively supports this format for Tractography.

Also, it should be interesting to investigate if Slicer Data Bundles or Scene Views can be exported.


  • Progress:
    • A first version of the WebGL Export module is part of the latest 3D Slicer 4 release. Currently, it supports the export of Surface Models to a website (see tutorial).
    • Feedback for the tutorial.
    • HTML/JAVASCRIPT/CSS Template for exported scene.
    • Identify new requirements in XTK (vtk tensors, etc.)
    • Fixes in XTK (resize web browser)
  • Next:
    • Finish the template (design + connections)
    • Export the whole slicer scene in new HTML template

Delivery Mechanism

This work will be delivered to the NA-MIC Kit as a

  1. ITK Module
  2. Slicer Module
    1. Built-in YES
    2. Extension -- commandline
    3. Extension -- loadable
  3. Other (Please specify)


  • The XTK website including lessons, demos etc.
  • Github Project Page for the 3D Slicer WebGL Export module
  • WebGL for Baby Brains: Neuroimaging in the Browser at the WebGL Camp Orlando 2012, Video
  • Science! featuring XTK, CreativeJS.com
  • The X Toolkit for Scientific Visualization on WebGL.com
  • D. Haehn, N. Rannou, B. Ahtam, E. Grant, R. Pienaar: Neuroimaging in the Browser using the X Toolkit, INCF Neuroinformatics 2012, Abstract
  • A. Klein, N. Nichols, D. Haehn: Mindboggle 2 interface: online visualization of extracted brain features with XTK, INCF Neuroinformatics 2012, Abstract