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Directionality Indicator

Visualization of directional information on anatomical surfaces. The project is work-in-progress. More information and functionality will follow soon.


The software is licensed under the terms and conditions of the LGPL v3 license. As such, you are allowed to use the software and its source according to the GPLv3, LGPLv3, or any newer version of these licenses.




To compile, you will need the following libraries and software installed on your system. The packages are available via your Linux distribution's repository, MacPorts, and MSYS2.

  • Qt >= 4.8, including Qt5
  • CMake >= 2.8
  • CLang or GCC <= 4.7, supporting basic C++11 functionality.

Runtime Dependencies

  • OpenGL 3.3 Core.


The software uses CMake to create Makefiles. So, once you downloaded the source, you need to follow these steps:

$ cd /path/to/DirectionalityIndicator
# As we use out-of-source builds: Change to the build sub-directory
$ cd build
# Allow CMake to build and update the Makefiles. 
# -> Use this command everytime you do a git pull.
# -> CMake will complain about missing depenencies.
$ cmake ../src
# -> CMake does not find Qt5 although you have it installed? Help Cmake to find it by defining the QTDIR variable:
$ DI_QTDIR=/path/to/Qt cmake ../src
# -> You want to force CMake to use Qt4?
$ cmake -DDI_FORCE_QT4=ON ../src
# Build using make
$ make
# Run the software
$ bin/DirectionalityIndicator


To start, simply start the binary.

$ bin/DirectionalityIndicator

Command Line Options

Data/Project File Loading

You can specify data files and project files on the command line.


$ bin/DirectionalityIndicator "/some/path/with spaces/file2.labels" ../someProjectFile.project aMeshFile.ply  

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Paths that contain spaces should be enclosed in ""
  • You can specify data files and projects
  • Order of appearance matters
  • Latter specified files override previous ones

Especially the ordering of files can be very useful. Assume you have a project file. It contains all the paths to the data files needed. If you specify your own data file afterwards, you overwrite the one in the project file. This way, you can re-use the same project for multiple different data file combinations.


The software allows you to trigger the screenshot mechanism from command line:

$ bin/DirectionalityIndicator myProject.project --screenshot --screenshot-path="/a/path/"

This starts the software, loads the project, takes the screenshots and quits. The parameter "--screenshot-path" is optional and allows to define an explicit path where to store the screenshots.

NOTE: the screenshot is done using the settings you specify in the software's screenshot-settings.


Build GCC 4.9

This is needed if your system does not provide a modern GCC, or you are not allowed to install one from a repository. There are some prerequisites that need to be available on the build system:

  • some GCC!

Let's start building:

$ cd ~
$ mkdir -p .local/toolchains
$ cd .local/toolchains
# Now, download GCC source:
$ wget
# Extract archive
$ tar xjf gcc-4.9.2.tar.bz2
$ cd gcc-4.9.2
# Building GCC requires some dependencies. GCC provides a script to download them for us:
$ ./contrib/download_prerequisites
# Now configure the build. The environment variables CC and CXX should be set to ensure they point to GCC (and not clang for example):
$ CC=/usr/bin/gcc CXX=/usr/bin/g++ ./configure --prefix=$HOME/.local/toolchains/gcc/ --disable-multilib --enable-languages=c,c++ --build=x86_64-linux-gnu --host=x86_64-linux-gnu --target=x86_64-linux-gnu
# Start building. You can build in parallel by specifying the number of cores to use with the -j parameter:
$ make -j4
# After this is done, install to the prefiously defined set prefix (.local/toolchains/gcc in this case)
$ make install

Now, you need to tell CMake to use the alternative toolchain to build DirectionalityIndicator. Follow the instructions on how to build DirectionalityIndicator, but replace the CMake call by this one:

DI_FORCE_LIBDIR=~/.local/toolchains/gcc/lib64 CC=~/.local/toolchains/gcc/bin/gcc CXX=~/.local/toolchains/gcc/bin/g++ cmake ../src


Visualization of directional information on anatomical surfaces




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