imageImageJ, your own VP-8-like image analyzer, is now easier to install and use except that you are going to have to get used to calling it Fiji. Fiji nonsensically stands for Fiji is Just ImageJ. Fiji is a packaging improvement. It is easier to install – just download a zip file, unzip it, and start it. And useful plugins are built right in.

ImageJ, is written in Java, which means you can run it on just about anything. This very powerful but easy to use graphics program was developed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland and is in the public domain. Downloadable distributions are available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

I downloaded the latest version from, unzipped it, and had it up and running in less than ten minutes. 1) I launched the program using the provided program, 2) clicked on open a file, 3) selected an image of the face from the Shroud that I had saved to my computer, 4) clicked on Analyze > 3D Surface Plot and 5) tweaked some settings (see the image below – smoothing is essential).

It is highly interactive and re-plots 3D views almost instantaneously when you change a setting. You can drag the image right, left, up and down to change the viewing angle. It works with many image formats and, to my amazement, worked well with color and b&w images as large as 3072 by 2304 pixels and as small as 150 by 112.

Others including Colin Berry and Hugh Farey on this blog have used ImageJ effectively.  See: It’s a negative. It’s 3D. Yes? Maybe? Sort Of? and Should we be reassessing the VP-8 results (Continues Previous Post)