University of Manchester


SPIERS (Serial Palaeontological Image Editing and Rendering System) is a complete, free, multi-platform and fully documented software suit, which allows the reconstruction of any tomographic data into a three-dimensional model. It is especially well suited to the production of carefully prepared models from difficult data. The suite comprises three pieces of software:

  • SPIERSalign - tool to allow manual and automated alignment (registration) of images in serial datasets, and to crop data to 3D region of interest.
  • SPIERSedit - tool to prepare and manipulate (aligned/registered) tomographic datasets for viewing.
  • SPIERSview - 3D viewer for SPIERS and VAXML datasets.

As well as allowing the creation and interactive modeling/analysis of meshed datasets, these can be exported for other pieces of software. Furthermore, it is a free viewer for models saved in the STL-based VAXML data format, a candidate for a standard dissemination format for virtual specimens. The SPIERS suite is capable of both visualising and exporting VAXML files, designed to support the viewing of complex datasets on relatively low-powered systems.

SPIERSedit and SPIERSview were coded by Mark Sutton (Imperial College, London), and SPIERSalign by Russell Garwood (MXIF).

The software, and more information can be found at: