DIGSTATS Java 3D Slicer works best with Netscape Communicator 4.0 since it uses the Netscape's Internet Foundation Classes (IFC) to provide an advanced user interface. Other browsers will take longer to load the applet, depending upon the speed of your internet connection since they have to download the IFC files in addition to the applet. After the required files are loaded (which may take some time), a brown start button will appear in your browser window. Click once on this button to start the program. The window displaying these instructions will remain so you can refer to them as you begin to use the applet.
The program starts with no data displayed. Choose a dataset from the drop down box in the upper right corner of the program window. Some datasets are larger than others and will take more time to load.
The standard controls are selected by default. With these controls, the angle of the slice can be changed by choosing one of the three buttons, "adjust x," "adjust y," and "adjust z." The "adjust x" button will produce a slice that is parallel to the y/z plane. Moving the "position" slider will move the plane in the x direction. You can move the slider either by clicking and dragging on the handle, or by clicking once anywhere along the length of the slider. On the left side of the "position controls" box is a representation of the slice within a wireframe cube that shows where the slice you select is in the 3Dspace. The slice displayed is scaled and stretched to fit the viewport, the square box on the left side of the window.
Select the advanced controls by clicking on the "advanced controls" button under "control complexity." These controls allow you to view slices that are angled; not parallel to one of the axes. Using these controls causes the slice display to update more slowly and the program my take several seconds to reflect position changes. The viewport for slices does not scale or stretch slices to the maximum size, it instead scales the slices smaller so that wide slices, such as those that stretch diagonally across the 3d space, will still have room to display. Areas outside of the space are colored black in the viewport.
The first slice displayed is parallel to the x/y axis and lies near the center of the space. The "vertical angle" slider rotates the slice up or down, and the "horizontal angle" slider rotates the slice left or right. The "position" slider moves the plane forward or backward in the direction perpendicular to the plane (the normal vector).
The depth of the current data set is shown in the box below the position control box. It indicates how many data points are in the data set. Additionally, a small display box below the viewport shows the 3d location of the mouse cursor when it lies over the slice display viewport. This information is useful for understanding the orientation of the slice and the position of features within the 3d space.