What is DeltaViewer?

DeltaViewer is an application program for Apple Macintosh. DeltaViewer reads in a sequence of cross sectional images of an object like those obtained by confocal laser microscopes, CT, MRI, optical microscopes, and electron microscopes. It then computationally reconstructs the surface of the object, and shows it on computer display. The image on the screen can then be freely rotated by mouse, so that one can easily recognize the 3-dimansional shapes of the objects and their spatial relationships.

TIFF+TIFF->3D image

Main Features

Easy to use

Usually the most difficult part of operation of such a program is how to specify the boundary of the object you want to see. With DeltaViewer, you are free from the headaches of experimenting with the best threshold values. All you need to do is click a few points inside the object, and click another few points outside the object on some cross section view. DeltaViewer's powerful interpolation algorithm does the rest.


DeltaViewer makes use of OpenGL graphics library, and allows you to rotate the resulting view as you like.

Works on personal computers

DeltaViewer runs on Macintosh computers. So you do not need to buy expensive workstations, nor run to the computer center every time you want to work on your data. You can view your data right at your office.


You do not need to spend money on software either. DeltaViewer is freeware. You can download it from this site and start using it today.

System Requirements

Operating system

DeltaViewer 2.0 runs on Apple Macintosh computers with Mac OS X. DeltaViewer has been tested under Mac OS X 10.2.4. It probably works under older versions of Mac OS X, too, but older Mac OS X's are known to contain OpenGL related bugs, so we suggest you use DeltaViewer under the newest system available.

Previous versions of DeltaViewer were built to run under both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. But to take advantage of the newest technology of Mac OS, we needed to restrict ourselves to Mac OS X. Mac OS X is actually much more powerful and easier to use than Mac OS 9. If you are upgrading from DeltaViewer 1, please move on to Mac OS X.


Generally speaking, 3D image processing requires a lot of memory. Since DeltaViewer uses 4 bytes of memory to store color information of each pixel, reading in a 3D image of size 512 x 512 x 256, for instance, already consumes 256MB of memory. Any serious reconstruction would require at least 512MB of memory. If there is not enough memory, DeltaViewer will crawl to death.

Video card

DeltaViewer makes full use of OpenGL. High performance video cards greatly accelerates DeltaViewer.

To use texture mapping in 3DView, you need a video card which supports 3D texturing. Also, the more VRAM you have, the larger textures can be applied to objects, resulting in the more beautiful final picture.

These high-performance video cards are usually BTO options. You may need to order one when you buy the next Macintosh, or buy an add-on card and replace the older one yourself.

For your reference, here is a list of video cards for Macintosh. DeltaViewer may run with older video cards not on this list, but it would probably be too slow for serious works.

Manufacturer Video Card 3D Texture VRAM
nVidia GeForce 4 Ti Available 128MB
ATI Radeon 9000 Pro Available 64MB
nVidia GeForce 3 Available 64MB
ATI Radeon 8500 Available 64MB
nVidia GeForce 4 mx Not available 64MB
ATI Radeon 7500 Available 32MB
ATI Radeon Available 32MB
nVidia GeForce 2 mx Not available 32MB

Who makes DeltaViewer?

DeltaViewer Project Team:

Masaaki Wada (Department of Information and Computer Sciences, Nara Women's University)

Hideko Sugiura (April, 2000-March, 2002)

Sachiko Fujihara (April, 2002-)

Yuno Ho (April, 2002-March, 2003)

Eriko Hosoi (April, 2002-March, 2003)

Tomoe Isa (April, 2002-March, 2003)


Satoshi Tamotsu (Department of Biological Science, Nara Women's University)

Nobuko Katagiri (Tokyo Women's Medical University)

Birgit Zipser (Department of Physiology, Michigan State University)