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J Microsc. 1989 Feb;153(Pt 2):123-32.

Three-dimensional visualization methods for confocal microscopy.

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Department of Electron Microscopy and Molecular Cytology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Three-dimensional images of microscopic objects can be obtained by confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM). The imaging process in a CSLM consists of sampling a specific volume in the object and storing the result in a three-dimensional memory array of a digital computer. Methods are needed to visualize these images. In this paper three methods are discussed, each suitable in a specific area of application. For purposes where realistic rendering of solid or semi-transparent objects is required, an algorithm based on simulation of a fluorescence process is most suitable. When speed is essential, as for interactive purposes, a simple procedure to generate anaglyphs can be used. Both methods have in common that they require no previous interpretation or analysis of the image. When the study of an object imaged by CSLM involves analysis in terms of a geometrical model, sophisticated graphics techniques can be used to display the results of the analysis.

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