CONVERTING CT SCAN DATA INTO 3D ILLUSTRATIONS

BRIEF: To produce anatomically accurate 3D illustrations from a CT scan data image set (MELANIX) available on OsiriX’s website
AUDIENCE: Physicians, medical and anatomy students
MEDIA: OsiriX, InVesalius, ZBrush, Keyshot, Adobe Photoshop
FINAL OUTCOME: Two images, with one illustrating the muscles of shoulder abduction and the other illustrating the bones of the upper limb


THE FINAL IMAGES

 
 

PROCESS

 
RAW DATA
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InVesalius was firstly used to extract two 3D layers from the CT scan data: a skeleton layer and a skin layer. InVesalius is a fantastic free medical software that allows you to generate 3D models from many types of medical imaging technologies, including MRIs and CTs. The 3D layers were then imported into ZBrush.

CLEANING THE SKELETON
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Cleaning of the 3D layers was required, which involved removing the CT bed, artefacts, irregularities and debris, as well as filling any holes in the mesh and smoothing out areas. Removing the debris around the teeth was particularly challenging! Parts of the skeleton were also remodeled due to irregularities in the mesh, including the orbital area, nasal area, and the teeth.

 
 
CLEANING AND PAINTING THE SKIN
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Whilst cleaning up the skin 3D layer, the nose, eyes and lips were remodeled, and the jaw and neck were smoothed and slimmed. Polypaint and Spotlight (features of ZBrush) were then used to add colour and features that matched the proportions of the face.

RENDERING AND DETAILS
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High resolution 2D images of the 3D skeleton and skin layers were rendered individually in Keyshot, and at different orientations. These images were then opened in Photoshop. It was decided that two images would be produced – one illustrating the muscles of shoulder abduction as the CT scan data already had the woman with her arms stretched up, and the other illustrating the bones of the upper limb. The muscles were painted with a stylish design to convey the direction of the muscle fibres, and final labels and layout design were incorporated. For the second image, use of the anterior view, labels and layout design were included to complete the image.