Techniques have been developed for extracting three-dimensional (3D) measurements directly and interactively from 3D representations of surface anatomy. In order to obtain 3D measurements the anatomical surface is interrogated directly through the use of morphometric tools. Morphometric tools include points, 3D graphical "probes", and logical sectioning functions which interact with the surface through depth buffer compositing operations. Tools are interactively positioned on or through the surface to measure surface dimensions and partial volumes, or to define intersecting functions which allow surface anatomy to be visualized in the context of
surrounding anatomy. Visualization is also enhanced because tools reveal much pertaining to surface morphology while providing valuable depth cuing for visual feedback and probe placement. Since tools are implemented using a general depth buffer, the techniques are applicable to a variety of 3D imaging algorithms. Moreover, it is believed that the morphometric tools described in this paper will greatly enhance the diagnostic utility of 3D visualization techniques.
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