Version 3.0 is the first major release of ITK-SNAP that is funded by the NIH grant R01 EB014346, “Continued development and maintenance of the ITK-SNAP 3D image segmentation software.” This version includes an almost complete rewrite of the software, along with new features focused on multi-modality image support.
The biggest change in ITK-SNAP is how the tool handles multi-modality images. Even though overlay images were supported in version 2.x, they really shine in ITK-SNAP 3. There are new tools for visualizing and managing overlays, and crucially, you can use multiple modalities for automatic segmentation.
It took two years, but we created a next-generation user interface for ITK-SNAP using the Qt4 library, replacing the outdated FLTK library, and ensuring future viability of the tool. The new GUI provides greatly improved interactivity and added functionality. It takes fewer mouse clicks to accomplish common actions, making ITK-SNAP easier to use and learn. The code behind the new GUI is much better structured, which will make it easier to add new functionality in the future.
Complementing the tool’s improved support for multi-modality image segmentation is the new functionality for saving and opening workspaces. A workspace describes all of the images loaded into ITK-SNAP, as well as associated settings, such as label descriptions, color maps, and segmentation parameters. Workspaces are small XML files that can be distributed along with the images they reference. This makes sharing with collaborators much easier.