Solid materials can now be viewed non-destructively with x-rays by tomography; a technique for taking many 2D images of an object at many angles and reconstructing the images into a 3D data cube. The data is next rendered into 2D or 3D still images or movies. By nature, x-ray tomography yields a very large amount of data in three dimensions. Effectively displaying this data to an audience is a challenge.

In this work techniques are explored to improve the presentation methods of movies of both 2D and 3D tomographic data for visual appeal and correct perspective. Finding the optimal ways to present the wealth of image data is explored with post-production techniques.

Zeiss/ Xradia software accompanies the x-ray tomography system and is necessary to perform the reconstruction of the original images taken at many angles into a 3D data cube. It also generates images of slices through that data (2D images) and movies of sequential slices (2D movies). Some of the Xradia software can render 3D images from the data and, by rotating those images, 3D movies. It can also generate false color images but does not crop movies, display readable scales, or combine multiple movies. Graphics require a high-end workstation running Windows. This work uses additional post-production software to produce enhanced movies.

IGOR, a scientific data processing and visualization tool, has data-friendly functions, requires users to produce programming to optimize, handles most file types, and operates in iOS and Windows.

iMovie was tested to present simultaneously both 2D and 3D movies. It has user-friend features, an intuitive user-interface, handles all file types but requires QuickTime reader or conversion application to play, operates in iOS and Windows, and has ‘Picture-In-Picture’ feature for comparison views.


Computer Engineering | Materials Science and Engineering | Other Materials Science and Engineering


Bernice Mills

Lab site

Sandia National Laboratory/California (SNL)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013 and Grant No. 0833353. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU).



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/323