By Elaine Jiang


Amira is a 3D platform for visualizing scientific data. It has a flexible user interface and modular architecture that makes it easy to analyze different types of data, including CT scans, PET scans, and Ultrasounds. One of the key features is Amira's set of tools for image segmentation, which allows users to segment structures and regions of interest in 3D image volumes.


  • Has a VR option that supports to visualization of data in VR environments and 3D navigation devices

  • Developer option allows creation of new custom components for visualizing or data processing

  • Support for visualization of image data exceeding the available main memory

  • Application areas include microscopy in life and material sciences molecular biology, anatomy, and biochemistry

  • Molecular option has special tools for modeling molecules as well as hardware-accelerated volume rendering


On a Mac/Linux: [1 hour, no additional dependencies needed]

Data Visualization - Tutorial

See page 77 in this guide for a sample volume rendering tutorial.


Accessibility: The estimated time for someone to create a simple data visualization in VR

  • Beginner: No coding or graphics experience |5 hours

  • Intermediate: Some coding or graphics experience | 2 hours

  • Advanced: Both coding and graphics experience | 1 hour

  • Expert: A lot of experience with computer graphics | 30-45 min

Power: The engine's power - i.e. how much one can do with this

  • High: Intended for developers with years of graphics experience

Usage: Evaluation of software's use for the following purposes

  • Scientific visualization - main use for ParaView


User Support

Final Thoughts

  • Trial request application required; 1 hour to install; no additional dependencies needed

  • As a beginner, quite difficult to use. I've been browsing user guides and video tutorials (about 5 hours total) and still haven't figured out how to volume render without having segmented planes


Amira for Life Sciences. 2018 Thermo Fisher Scientific.