top2maya is a script written in MEL (Maya Embedded Language) which runs in Alias|Wavefront's Maya 2.5 and higher. It is a 3D visualization tool which analyzes images in 256 shades of gray and then displaces the individual pixels based on their color. It is a very effective tool for viewing 2D atomic force microscope images as 3D objects. As well as giving you a 3D image, it can also allow you to visualize multiple variables by doing the 3D displacement with one variable, for example the topography, then doing the shading on the new 3D object with another variable, for example surface friction.

top2maya runs from inside Maya and has a very easy to use graphic interface to make the process as simple as possible. It also has the option to set up animations for you for use in visualization and/or video. It supports outputting animations as well as stills as stereo images to be viewed in 3D using crystal-eyes glasses and Entomon, a program for viewing stereo images written by Daniel Weber.

An AFM image of red blood cells

The same image run through top2maya to make a 3D object

There are 2 scripts used to run this program. They are available for download below. One is the main program, geo.mel, and the other is the launcher. The launcher, titled top2maya, must be placed in the shelf in Maya. top2maya must be edited to point to geo.mel on your computer. Please open, read and change this script accordingly. Directions are in the script (it is very short.) For more detailed directions on how to do this, also refer to the top2maya documentation.




top2maya Documentation

To find out more about top2maya, click here to view the documentation page.