Drishti : Volume Exploration and Presentation Tool


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Stable versions now available for download at


Drishti interface and engine has been rewritten using QT with an aim towards presenting a better user experience.

Ancient version

Drishti-0.1.8 is still available.


Drishti comes with 5 modules - Renderer, Prithvi, Import, Paint, Composite.

Graphics Hardware Requirements

Only the Renderer and Prithvi module needs high-end graphics cards, the others can do without one. Development of Renderer and Prithvi has being done on NVIDIA Quadro FX 1000. Both the modules should work on any NVIDIA card from FX 5200 and above. The programs should also work on any GPU supporting OpenGL 2.0 feature set (NVIDIA/ATI/3DLabs/...).


Import utility converts the volume files from users' own format into the format that Drishti 3d Renderer understands - i.e. .pvl.nc (NetCDF format).

  • Import data from various volume/image files
  • Downscaling volumes
  • Cropping and scaling
  • Filtering


Paint utility is helpful in generating/modifying the masking information for volumes.


Composite utility is helpful in touching up/modifying the already generated images.


Source Code

  • C++ + OpenGL + QT
  • Uses GPU for rendering (using glsl shader language)
  • Portable (in principle)

Data Sets

  • Large volumes (upto 1024^3)
  • Upto 4 volumes together
  • Upto 4 Volumetric time-series
  • Coloured (RGB/RGBA) volumes

Classification / Segmentation

  • Two-dimensional transfer functions
  • Transfer function sets for various purposes
  • Region growing using user provided seeds
  • 2d and 3d paint interface for masking


  • Unified keyframe animation interface
  • Transfer function animation
  • Sub volume animation
  • Overlapping subvolume possible
  • Each subvolume can have its own transfer function set
  • Time-series animation
  • Camera path
  • Clip plane animation
  • Light/shadow animation

Rendering and Shading

  • User controlled quality of rendering to suit GPU capability
  • Self shadowing and subsurface scattering for volumetric objects.
  • Back Lighting
  • Emissive Color
  • Shadows on backplane


  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Interrogation of raw voxel values
  • Distance/Angle measurements
  • Volume estimation
  • Volume masks
  • Caption Editor
  • Slices
  • Clip planes
  • Stereo viewing
  • Place points directly on volume data
  • Paths
  • Captions and images sharing 3d space with volumes
  • Inbuilt help
  • Triangular meshes
  • Network (Graph) visualization
  • Saving Movies
  • Saving Image sequences
  • Saved Images/Movies can be larger than screen size


Prithvi provides direct volume rendering facility for volumetric data defined over spherical grids. The input volume for Prithvi has the same format as Renderer. Prithvi supports all the features available in Renderer including RGB/RGBA volumes, volumetric time series and simultaneous visualization of multiple volumes

Drishti : Volume Exploration and Presentation Tool