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Voreen Logo
The development mode in Voreen allows rapid prototyping of interactive volume visualizations.
Stable release
4.4 / December 20, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-12-20)
Written in C++ (Qt), OpenGL, GLSL, OpenCL. Python
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Volume rendering, Interactive visualization
License GNU General Public License Version 2
Website voreen.uni-muenster.de

Voreen (volume rendering engine) is an open source volume visualization library and development platform. Through the use of GPU-based volume rendering techniques it allows high frame rates on standard graphics hardware to support interactive volume exploration.


Voreen has been initiated at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Münster, Germany in 2004 and was first released on 11 April 2008 under the GNU general public license (GPL). Voreen is written in C++ utilizing the Qt framework and using the OpenGL rendering acceleration API, and is able to achieve high interactive frame rates on consumer graphics hardware.[1] It is platform independent and compiles on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The source code and documentation, and since July 2009 also pre-compiled binaries for Windows and Mac OS X, are available from its website and via Subversion. Although it is intended and mostly used for medical applications,[2] any other kind of volume data can be handled, e.g., microscopy, flow data or other simulations.[3]


The visualization environment VoreenVE based on that engine is designed for authoring and performing interactive visualizations of volumetric data. Different visualizations can be assembled in form of so-called networks via rapid prototyping, with each network consisting of several processors.[4] Processors perform more or less specialized tasks for the entire rendering process, ranging from supplying data over raycasting, geometry creation and rendering to image processing. Within the limits of their respective purposes, the processors can be combined freely with each other, and thereby granting a great amount of flexibility and providing a uniform way of handling volume rendering. Authors who need to implement a certain rendering technique can confine their work basically on the development of new processors, whereas users who only want to access a certain visualization simply need to employ the appropriate processors or networks and do not need to care about technical details.




  • Up to 6 axis aligned clipping planes
  • Editors for 1D and 2D transfer functions
  • Editable lighting and material parameters
  • Distance measurements (not yet publicly available)

Data I/O

  • Support for several volume file formats (DICOM, TIFF stacks, RAW, interfile, Vevo, …)
  • Preprocessing capabilities (volume cropping, gradient calculation, downscaling, filtering)
  • High-resolution screenshot and camera animation generation with anti-aliasing
  • Python scripting for offline image processing and visualization

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smelyanskiy, M.; Holmes, D.; Chhugani, J.; Larson, A.; Carmean, D. M.; Hanson, D.; Dubey, P.; Augustine, K.; Kim, D.; Kyker, A.; Lee, V. W.; Nguyen, A. D.; Seiler, L.; Robb, R. (2009). "Mapping High-Fidelity Volume Rendering for Medical Imaging to CPU, GPU and Many-Core Architectures" (PDF). IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. 15 (6): 1563–1570. ISSN 1077-2626. PMID 19834234. doi:10.1109/TVCG.2009.164. 
  2. ^ Eisenmann, U.; Freudling, A.; Metzner, R.; Hartmann, M.; Wirtz, C. R.; Dickhaus, H. (2009). "Volume Rendering for Planning and Performing Neurosurgical Interventions". World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, September 7 - 12, 2009, Munich, Germany. IFMBE Proceedings. IFMBE Proceedings. 25/6. pp. 201–204. ISBN 978-3-642-03905-8. ISSN 1680-0737. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-03906-5_55. 
  3. ^ "Flight through Rayleigh-Benard field". 
  4. ^ Meyer-Spradow, J.; Ropinski, T.; Mensmann, J. R.; Hinrichs, K. (2009). "Voreen: A Rapid-Prototyping Environment for Ray-Casting-Based Volume Visualizations". IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications. 29 (6): 6–13. ISSN 0272-1716. doi:10.1109/MCG.2009.130. 

External links[edit]