Image Magick

The Image Magick suite is used to manipulate image frames and movies within the VQ. These options are particularly useful for generating appealing and informative dynamic movies for use in conferences and presentations.

Getting There

Image Magick may be reached via the Tools menu.

Function

The Image Magick options available in VQ provide an excellent tool for generating informative movies for dynamic and gated data acquisitions. These tools allow the user to combine data sets in meaningful ways to reflect the dynamic nature of the physiological processes taking place.

Five options are provided in the Image Magick suite, Split Movie into Frames, Join Frames to Movie, Change Movie Delay, Image to Poster, and Image to Capture. A short How To for generating dynamic movies is provided below.

Split Movie Into Frames

This option takes a movie (options include .gif, mpg, .mng, and .mpeg) and splits it into individual frames (options include .png, .bmp, .jpeg, .jpg, and .tif).

Join Frames to Movie

This tool provides the opposite function of the previous tool, allowing the user to take individual images (options include .png, .bmp, .jpeg, .jpg, and .tif) and combine them into a movie (options include .gif, .mng, .mpg, and .mpeg).

Change Delay

Depending upon the size and style of movie made, the default frame time may be too fast or too slow. This tools allows the user to select a pre-existing movie and change the frame time (given in milliseconds).

Image to Poster

The ImageMagick suite enables the creation of high-quality images; the kind of images often used at conferences and in presentations. To help facilitate the ease of use of such images, this option automatically allows the user to place an image into a poster. This function is not yet implemented. Please check back soon.

Image to Capture

The Image to Capture feature allows an image or movie to be loaded from a file on the local machine, edited, and then re-saved. The Capture Viewer also supports importation of the image/movie into a DICOM/iPACS repository by using the "Save Capture" button.

How to make a dynamic movie

NOTE: See the BatchTool Generator to learn how to quickly generate reconstructions for use in dynamic movies!

Dynamic and cardiac-gated images and movies are a useful tool for illustrating the changing distribution of radioactivity governed by a dynamic physiological process. This guide provides step-by-step instructions on the proper generation of such files. Use the links to visit the VQ Manual for more details on any particular feature.

Before using this guide, it is important to understand how to process images so that they are color-comparable across multiple frames. Matching color scales between two images is not enough to insure that they are directly color-comparable. Instead, it is necessary to insure that the colors in each image correspond to the same physical voxel values. It is possible to achieve this relationship using the Min/Max tool to define the range of voxel values spanned across the color bar.

1) Load all relevant data sets. These data sets may be only SPECT images (as in this example) or a reference CT image in addition to multiple SPECT images.

2) The Data Manager automatically manages these multiple data sets.

3) Adjust the Zoom and Color Palettes to your liking.

4)Use the Cropping Tool to select only the region of interest.

5) If desired, now is a good time to employ the Smoothing Operator. Note that if the Input* box is checked, then smoothing will be applied to loaded data sets not displayed in the Main Window, but visible in the Data Manager.

6) One of the most critical steps is the application of the Min/Max Tool. To begin with the tool, use the Re-Calc button to display the curren minimum and maximum values being used for color scaling.

7) Choose common Min/Max values across all three data sets. Use the Apply button to adjust the color scaling accordingly. The three visible data sets are now color-comparable. In other words, the same colors represent the same voxel values across each data set.

8) Further adjustment of the scale is possible in the Slice Control. Again, it is important that the scale values are common across data sets.

9) Save images for each data set using the Save Image option. The "All images separately" option automatically saves five images (sagittal, coronal, transverse, MIP, all-in-one) simultaneously.

10) Use the Slice Control or appropriate Keyboard Shortcuts to toggle between visible data sets and save the appropriate images.

11) After collecting the images for the first three frames, use the Data Manager to save these processed frames (if desired) and to unload these data sets so that the next three frames in the queue will become visible data sets. All operations (Cropping, Quantification, Smoothing, etc.) that were applied to the original three data sets have also been applied to the queued data sets, with the exception of the Min/Max tool.

12) To adjust the color scale to the appropriate values for the three newly loaded visible data sets, just press the Apply button in the Min/Max Tool.

13)The newly loaded data sets are now properly prepared. Save the images and data as in Steps 9-11.

14) After saving all desired images, generate the dynamic movie using the Image Magick "Join Frames to Movie" option.

15) Select the images that you wish to be included in the movie. In this example, we use the all-in-one images to generate the movie.

16) Type in a name for the movie file. The default file format is .gif.

17) Use the Image Magick "Change Movie Delay" option to speed up or slow down the movie frame rate.

18) Congratulations! Just double-click to open and watch the new movie.