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Title:
VISUALIZING AN IMAGE DATA SET WITH OBJECT-DEPENDENT FOCUSING PARAMETER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/038027
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Method for visualizing an image data set, in particular a medical image data set, wherein the visualized data set displays a three-dimensional arrangement having at least a first object and a second object, comprising the steps: - providing a three-dimensional image data set including first voxels being assigned to the first object and second voxels being assigned to the second object; - identifying first voxels (11) of the-three dimensional image data; - determining a set of parameters for a volume rendering method, wherein the set of parameters includes a subset of parameters and a focusing parameter; - identifying primary rays (12) that impact on the first object and secondary rays that miss the first object; and - performing the volume rendering method (14), in particular a path tracing method, using the subset of parameters for visualizing the first object and the second object, wherein the focusing parameter used for the primary rays in the volume rendering method is different from the focusing parameter used for the secondary rays in the volume rendering method.

Inventors:
BINDER JOHANNES (DE)
ENGEL KLAUS (DE)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2018/070529
Publication Date:
February 28, 2019
Filing Date:
July 30, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SIEMENS HEALTHCARE GMBH (DE)
International Classes:
G06T15/08; G06T15/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016045701A12016-03-31
Foreign References:
Other References:
AMIRALI SHARIFI ET AL: "Using stochastic sampling to create depth-of-field effect in real-time direct volume rendering", GRAPHICS INTERFACE 2005 : PROCEEDINGS ; VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, 9 - 11 MAY 2005, CANADIAN INFORMATION PROCESSING SOCIETY, 403 KING STREET WEST, SUITE 205 TORONTO, ONT. M5U 1LS CANADA, 7 May 2014 (2014-05-07), pages 77 - 85, XP058050104, ISSN: 0713-5424, ISBN: 978-1-56881-337-0
KOSARA R ET AL: "Semantic depth of field", PROCEEDINGS IEEE SYMPOSIUM ON INFORMATION VISUALIZATION 2001. INFOVIS 2001 CONF- PROCEEDINGS 2001 INFORMATION VISUALIZA, IEEE, US, 22 October 2001 (2001-10-22), pages 97 - 104, XP008120577, DOI: 10.1109/INFVIS.2001.963286
ROBERT KOSARA: "Semantic Depth of Field - Using Blur for Focus+Context Visualization", PHD THESIS, January 2002 (2002-01-01), Vienna Univerity of Technology, Austria, pages 1 - 88, XP055419958, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20171027]
SVAKHINE N A ET AL: "Illustration-Inspired Depth Enhanced Volumetric Medical Visualization", IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VISUALIZATION AND COMPUTER GRAPHICS, IEEE SERVICE CENTER, LOS ALAMITOS, CA, US, vol. 15, no. 1, January 2009 (2009-01-01), pages 77 - 86, XP011344518, ISSN: 1077-2626, DOI: 10.1109/TVCG.2008.56
GROSSET A V PASCAL ET AL: "Evaluation of Depth of Field for depth perception in DVR", 2013 IEEE PACIFIC VISUALIZATION SYMPOSIUM (PACIFICVIS), IEEE, 27 February 2013 (2013-02-27), pages 81 - 88, XP032480358, ISSN: 2165-8765, [retrieved on 20130911], DOI: 10.1109/PACIFICVIS.2013.6596131
KARTHIK SATHYANARAYANA ET AL: "Generating highly realistic 3D animation video with depth-of-field and motion blur effects", PROCEEDINGS OF SPIE, vol. 7798, 19 August 2010 (2010-08-19), pages 1 - 11, XP055110188, ISSN: 0277-786X, DOI: 10.1117/12.861339
TIMO ROPINSKI ET AL: "Visually Supporting Depth Perception in Angiography Imaging", January 2006, SMART GRAPHICS LECTURE NOTES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE;;LNCS, SPRINGER, BERLIN, DE, PAGE(S) 93 - 104, ISBN: 978-3-540-36293-7, XP019041530
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Claims:
Patent claims

1. Method for visualizing an image data set, in particular a medical image data set, wherein the visualized data set (16) displays a three-dimensional arrangement having at least a first object (31) and a second object (32), comprising the steps :

- providing a three dimensional image data set (19) including first voxels being assigned to the first object and second voxels being assigned to the second object;

- identifying first voxels (11) of the three-dimensional image data set (19);

- determining a set of parameters for a volume rendering method (14), wherein the set of parameters includes a subset of parameters and a focusing parameter;

- identifying primary rays (12) that impact on the first object (31) and secondary rays that miss the first object

(31 ) ; and

- performing the volume rendering method (14), in par- ticular a path tracing method, using the subset of parameters for visualizing the first object (31) and the second object

(32) ,

wherein the focusing parameter used for the primary rays in the volume rendering method is different from the focusing parameter used for the secondary rays in the volume rendering method .

2. Method according to claim 1, wherein the focusing parameter is adapted for a focused visualization of the first ob- ject (31) .

3. Method according to one of the preceding claims, wherein

- the focusing parameter is an aperture size, wherein preferably the aperture size for the primary rays is set to zero in the volume rendering method (14) and/or

- the focusing parameter is a focal distance, wherein preferably the focal distance for the primary rays is set to the distance to the first object (31) in the volume rendering method (14) .

4. Method according to claim 3, wherein

- the aperture size of the secondary rays is set to a value different from zero, in particular depending on the distance to the primary rays and/or

- the focal distance of the secondary rays is set to a global focal distance defined by the user, in particular depending on the distance to the primary rays.

5. Method according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the first voxels are classified in a three-dimensional array, wherein the three-dimensional array is transferred to a two- dimensional array classifying the primary rays and secondary rays .

6. Method according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the focusing parameter is modified depending on the two- dimensional array.

7. Method according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the first voxels are classified binary in a three-dimensional array, wherein the three-dimensional array is preferably transferred to the two-dimensional array by ray casting.

8. Method according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the first voxels are classified polygonal in a three- dimensional array.

9. Method according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the first voxels are classified by a distance transformation (21) in a three dimensional array, wherein the three- dimensional array is transferred to the two-dimensional array by ray marching.

10. Method according to one of the preceding claims, the fo¬ cusing parameters for the secondary rays are modulated for smoothing (13) a transition area between the first object

(31) and the second object (32) .

11. Method according to claim 10, wherein the two- dimensional array is at least partially smoothed, wherein preferably a gauss filter and/or a convolution operator for soft focussing is used for smoothing (13) .

12. Method according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the first voxels of the image data set are identified auto¬ matically, preferably by a neuronal network.

13. System (100) for visualizing an image data set, wherein the system is configured for

- providing a three-dimensional image data set (19) in¬ cluding first voxels being assigned to the first object (31) and second voxels being assigned to the second object (32);

- identifying first voxels (11) of the three-dimensional image data set (19);

- determining a set of parameters for a volume rendering method, wherein the set of parameters includes a subset of parameters and a focusing parameter;

- identifying primary rays (12) that impact on the first object (31) and secondary rays that miss the first object (31); and

- performing the volume rendering method (14), in particular a path tracing method, using the subset of parameters for visualizing the first object (31) and the second object

(32 ) , and

- adapting the focusing parameter for the primary rays and the secondary rays .

14. Computer program product for carrying out the steps of the method according to any of claims 1 to 12 when the com- puter program product is loaded into a memory of a programma¬ ble device.

15. A computer-readable medium on which is stored a program elements that can be read and executed by a computer unit in order to perform steps of the method according to any of the claims 1 to 12 when the program elements are executed by the computer unit.

Description:
VISUALIZING AN IMAGE DATA SET WITH OBJECT-DEPENDENT FOCUSING

PARAMETER

Description

The present invention describes a method for visualizing an image data set, a system for visualizing an image data set, a computer program product and a computer readable medium.

In particular, the method deals with visualizing a medical image data set, preferably a three-dimensional (3D) or four- dimensional (4D) image data set, wherein the visualized data displays a three dimensional arrangement having a first ob ¬ ject and a second object, such as organs, vessels and/or im ¬ plants. For example, the medical image data sets are generat ¬ ed by computer tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) . Volume visualization of such medical image data sets provides a means to review anatomy in 3D.

Powerful tools of volume visualization are volume rendering methods, such as a Monte Carlo path tracing method disclosed in WO 2016 045 701 Al . These methods allow displaying the first object and the second object depending on a common set of parameters, that for example classifies a camera position, a ray direction an opening angle and a focusing parameter such as an aperture size and a focal distance. In spite of the success of these visualization methods that allow a three dimensional visualization of objects, in par ¬ ticular organs, the visualized data shown on a display or screen contain an overwhelming amount of information such that it is hard for a user, such as a clinician, to handle all information.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved method for visualizing an image data set, in par- ticular in order to simplify the handling of the displayed data for a user.

This object is achieved by the method according to claim 1 for visualizing an image data set, by the system according to claim 13, the computer program product according to claim 14 and by the computer readable computer medium according to claim 15. According to the present invention a method for visualizing an image data set, in particular a medical image data set, is provided, wherein the visualized data set displays a three dimensional arrangement having at least a first object and a second object, comprising the steps:

- providing a three dimensional image data set including first voxels being assigned to the first object and second voxels being assigned to the second object;

- identifying first voxels of the three dimensional image data set;

- determining a set of parameters for a volume rendering method, wherein the set of parameters includes a subset of parameters and a focusing parameter;

- identifying primary rays that impact on the first object and secondary rays that miss the first object; and

- performing the volume rendering method, in particular a path tracing method, using the subset of parameters for visu ¬ alizing the first object and the second object,

wherein the focusing parameter used for the primary rays in the volume rendering method is different from the focusing parameter used for the secondary rays in the volume rendering method .

Contrary to the state of the art the focusing parameter used for the primary rays is different from the focusing parameter used for the second rays. Consequently, it is possible to present the first object and the second object such that they are focused differently, i.e. they are presented with differ ¬ ent sharpness levels. For example a focused first object and a non-focused second object is displayed. Such a presentation assists the user in orientation and thus the user can easily identify relevant or specific parts of the visualized three- dimensional arrangement having at least the first object and the second object. Furthermore, it is possible establish an object related focussing in contrast to a plane orientated focussing as it is known by the state of the art, for in ¬ stance by taking a picture with a camera. In other words: the present invention makes it possible to choose a focused presentation of the whole first object even when the first object extends over several planes the three dimensional ar ¬ rangement. That means it is possible to display a focused outline of an object extending in three dimensions. The term "image date set" represents preferably three dimen ¬ sional (3D) image data sets or "four dimensional" (4D) image data sets. Furthermore, it is preferably provided, that the image data set is a medical image data set such as a data set generated by computer tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) . Thereby, the data set comprises a density, i.e. a den ¬ sity value, for each volume element of the first object and the second object. The density might be a physical density, an optical density, a refraction index, an intensity-value, a colour-value, a transparency-value and/or an opacity-value and might be presented as scalar value, vector or tensor. In particular a voxel represents an element in a three dimen ¬ sional array assigned to a specific volume element of the first object and/or the second object. Preferably, the first and the second object respectively extend in all three direc- tions in space. For example, the first object represents an organ or a part of an organ. Preferably, the second object represents everything else besides the first object in the visualized image data set on a display. In particular, a pro ¬ cessor or a network is provided for performing the method and the visualized data are presented on a screen, for example on a screen of a workstation, a tablet or a smartphone . Preferably, the volume rendering method is the path tracing method disclosed WO 2016 045 701 Al whose content explicitly is referred to in the context of volume rendering. The term "subset of parameters" preferably includes camera parameters of the volume rendering method such as a camera position, an opening angle and/or a viewing direction. Furthermore, it is thinkable that a data set comprises a plurality of first ob ¬ jects and a plurality of second objects. In particular, a visualization unit is provided, wherein the visualization unit comprises a processor being configured for executing the method according to the invention. For example, the visualization unit is included in the workstation of a medical imaging device recording the three dimensional image data set. Alternatively, the visualisation unit is part of a server such as a cloud or a system of servers. It is also thinkable that at least one step of the method according to the invention is performed at the server or the network.

Thereby the visualization unit is in communication with the server or the network. Furthermore, it is conceivable that the visualization unit is incorporated into a mobile unit such as a smartphone or tablet, or in means for generating a virtual reality. Preferably, the visualized data generated by the visualization unit are transferred to a display such as a screen, for example a screen of the smart phone, the tablet and/or the mean for generating the virtual reality. It is al ¬ so thinkable that the visualized data sets are saved to a memory of the server for being available to the user or operator anytime.

Particularly advantageous embodiments and features of the in ¬ vention are given by the dependent claims as revealed in the following description. Features of different claim categories may be combined as appropriate to give further embodiments not described herein.

According to a further embodiment of the present invention it is provided that the focusing parameter is adapted for a fo- cused visualization of the first object. Consequently, the first object is focused, whereas the second object is not fo ¬ cused in the visualization of the three dimensional arrange ¬ ment of the first object and the second object. That means the user, in particular the clinician, identifies the relevant first object comparatively fast. The second object or the second objects being less relevant are blurred and do not distract the user from the first object. In a further embodiment it is provided that the focusing pa ¬ rameter is an aperture size, wherein preferably the aperture size for the primary rays is set to zero in the volume ren ¬ dering method, and/or that the focusing parameter is a focal distance, wherein preferably the focal distance for the pri- mary rays is set to the distance to the first object in the volume rendering method. By setting the aperture size to zero for each primary ray or adapting the focal distance, it is possible to easily incorporate the proper focusing parameter into the volume rendering method.

Preferably, the aperture size of the secondary rays is set to a value different from zero, in particular depending on the distance to the primary ray, and/or the focal distance of the secondary rays is set to a global focal distance defined by the user, in particular depending on the distance to the primary rays. As a consequence, the second object is less fo ¬ cused than the first object. In particular, adapting the fo ¬ cusing parameter depending on the distance of the secondary ray to the primary ray allows modulating the image sharpness across the visualization of the three dimensional arrange ¬ ment. For example second objects being located next to the first object are more focused than other second objects being located far away from the first object. Preferably, the fo ¬ cusing parameter for the secondary rays is modulated continu- ously for avoiding hard transitions of areas being focused and areas being not focused. In a further embodiment, it is provided that the first voxels are classified in a three-dimensional array, wherein the three-dimensional array is transferred to a two-dimensional array classifying the primary rays and secondary rays. Thus, the two-dimensional array can be advantageously be used for choosing the proper focusing parameter in the volume rendering method. For transferring the three dimensional array to the two dimensional array it is preferably provided that the same subset of parameter is used as it is intended for the subsequent volume rendering method. This guarantees that the volume rendering method is performed such that the first ob ¬ ject is focused and the second object is not focused. It is thinkable, that the aperture size is set to zero during the transfer of the three dimensional array to the two dimension- al array. Preferably, the transfer of the three-dimension ar ¬ ray to the two-dimensional array is performed by rendering the image data set in a two-dimensional framebuffer.

According to a preferred embodiment it is provided that the focusing parameter is modified depending on the two- dimensional array. In particular the aperture size is set to zero for primary rays and set to a value different from zero for secondary rays. Preferably, the value of the focusing pa ¬ rameter for the secondary parameter is adapted based on the corresponding values in the two dimensional array. Thus, in ¬ formation included in the two-dimensional array can be used for modulating the focusing parameters for the secondary rays. Another advantage of using a two dimensional array is that the two dimensional array can be modified or manipulated timely before performing the volume rendering method. For ex ¬ ample, the focusing parameter of specific second objects or areas can be chosen for causing an even more defocused presentation of the specific second objects. Preferably, the first voxels are classified binary in a three-dimensional array, wherein the three-dimensional array is preferably transferred to the two-dimensional array by ray casting. As a consequence, the two dimensional array compris- es the value "1" for primary rays and the value "0" for sec ¬ ondary rays. Thereby, it is preferably provided that the two- dimensional array is smoothed for avoiding hard transitions between the first object and the second object.

In another preferred embodiment it is provided that the first voxels are classified polygonal in a three-dimensional array. It is herewith advantageously possible to directly transfer the three dimensional array to the two dimensional array.

According to another preferred embodiment it is provided that the first voxels are classified by a distance transformation in a three dimensional array, wherein the three-dimensional array is transferred to the two-dimensional array by ray marching. As a consequence, the values of the two-dimensional array are provided such that the values can be used directly for modulating the focusing parameter for the secondary rays. In particular, the focusing parameter is modulated such than the second objects being far away from the first object are less focused that those objects being close to the first ob ¬ ject. As a consequence, a smooth transition between the first object and the second object can be realized by using the two dimensional array being result of the ray marching. Therefore there is advantageously no need for an additional smoothing or manipulation of the two dimensional array for realizing a smooth transition between the first object and the second ob ¬ ject .

In a further preferred embodiment, it is provided that focus- ing parameters for the secondary rays are modulated for smoothing a transition area between the first object and the second object. Thus, hard transitions between the first ob ¬ ject and the second object can be avoided. Preferably, the smoothing depends on the kind of classification of the first voxels in the three-dimensional array and/or the transfer mechanism transferring the three-dimensional array to the two-dimensional array. By adapting the smoothing process it is advantageously possible to use the proper mechanism to op- timize the transition between the first object and the second obj ect .

Preferably, the two-dimensional array is at least partially smoothed, wherein preferably a gauss filter and/or a convolu ¬ tion operator for soft focussing is used for smoothing. Thus, it is possible to adapt or modify the two dimensional array timely before performing the volume rendering method. In another embodiment, it is provided that the first voxels of the data set are identified automatically, preferably by a neuronal network. Preferably, the term "automatically" indi ¬ cates that a sub-system is trained by a machine learning mechanism for selecting the proper first voxels, for select- ing the classification and/or transferring the three- dimensional array to the two-dimensional array.

According to a preferred embodiment, it is provided that the first object is an aorta or a stent. By choosing the aorta as first object it is advantageously possible to improve the il ¬ lustration of pathological changes, for example in the case of an aortic stenosis or aneurysma. The illustration might be used for planning an operation or for explaining a current situation to a patient. In particular, it is possible to pre- cisely determine the location of a defect. Furthermore, the illustration shows a result of an operation. Other first objects might be a kidney, an urinary tract or vessels.

Another aspect of the present invention is a system for visu- alizing an image data set, wherein the system is configured for

- providing a three dimensional image data set including first voxels being assigned to the first object and second voxels being assigned to the second object;

- identifying first voxels of the three dimensional image da ¬ ta set; - determining a set of parameters for a volume rendering method, wherein the set of parameters includes a subset of parameters and a focusing parameter;

- identifying primary rays that impact on the first object and secondary rays that miss the first object; and

- performing the volume rendering method, in particular a path tracing method, using the subset of parameters for visu ¬ alizing the first object and the second object, and

- adapting the focusing parameter for the primary rays and the secondary rays.

A further aspect of the present invention is a computer pro ¬ gram product for carrying out the steps of the method accord ¬ ing to the present invention when the computer program prod- uct is loaded inti a memory of a programmable device.

Further advantages and features will emerge from the follow ¬ ing description of preferred embodiments of the method for analysing according to the invention with reference to the accompanying drawings. Individual features of the individual embodiments can be combined with one another here within the scope of the invention.

Another aspect of the present invention is a computer- readable medium on which is stored a program elements that can be read and executed by a computer unit in order to per ¬ form steps of the method according to the present invention when the program elements are executed by the computer unit. In the drawings:

Fig. 1 shows schematically a preferred embodiment of a method for visualizing an image data set according to the present invention,

Fig. 2 shows a system for visualizing an image data set according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, Fig. 3 illustration of the visualized data set by a method for visualizing an image data set according to a first embod ¬ iment of the present invention Fig. 4 illustration of the visualized data set by a method for visualizing an image data set according to a second embodiment of the present invention

In figure 1 a preferred embodiment of a method for visualiz ¬ ing an image data set according to the present invention is illustrated. In particular, the method refers to a method for visualizing an image data set, wherein the visualized data set 16 shows or displays a three dimensional arrangement of at least a first object 31 and a second object 32. Prefera ¬ bly, the image data set is a three dimensional image data set 19, in particular a medical three dimensional image data set, such as a data set generated by CT- or MR imaging. For example, the first object 31 and/or the second object 32 repre- sents an organ or an implant. It is also thinkable that the first object 31 is a specific part of an organ and the second object 32 is another part of the same organ. Preferably, the second object 32 represents everything being not the first object 31 and being displayed in the three dimensional ar- rangements.

Essential step of visualizing the image data set is a volume rendering method 14, such as a path tracing method. For example, the volume rendering method 14 disclosed in WO 2016 045 701 Al is used for visualizing. By setting a global focussing parameter used in the volume rendering method it is possible to visualize the first object 31 and the second object 32 such that the first object 31 and the second object 32 are focussed. Preferably, a set of parameters is selected or de- fined for the volume rendering method, wherein the set of pa ¬ rameters comprises a subset of parameters, such as a camera position, ray direction or an opening angle, as well as a focussing parameter, such as an aperture size and a focal dis- tance . According to the present invention, it is intended to modify the method for visualizing the first object 31 and the second object 32 such that in the displayed visualization the first object 31 is focused and the second object 32 is not focussed. Consequently, identifying the first object 31 in the visualization is simplified for a user, since the user can concentrate on the focussed first object 31.

For establishing a focused first object 31 and a non-focused second object 32 simultaneously, in the beginning an image data set is provided, wherein the image data set comprises first voxels being assigned to the first object 31 and a sec ¬ ond voxels being assigned to the second object 32. By using a segmentation 22 the first voxels are identified and in par- ticular classified in a three-dimensional mask or array. For example, the first voxels are classified binary or polygonal. Preferably, a three-dimensional mask or array is generated for identifying the first voxels 11, wherein each element of the three-dimensional mask or array is associated to a corre- sponding classification value being result of the binary or polygonal classification. Subsequently, the three-dimensional mask is transformed to a two-dimensional mask or array, for example by a two-dimensional frame buffer using the set of parameters being intended for the volume rendering, for iden- tifying primary rays 12 that impact on the first object 31. In the case of binary classification values a ray casting method is preferably used for transferring the three- dimensional mask to the two-dimensional mask. The three- dimensional mask using a polygonal classification can be transformed directly.

The two-dimensional mask or array identifies primary rays that impact on the first object 31 and secondary rays that miss the first object 31 depending on the set of parameters. Preferably, the primary rays are labelled with "1" and the secondary rays are labelled with "0". For avoiding hard transitions it is also thinkable to smooth the two-dimensional mask or array. The two-dimensional mask or array might be smoothed by using an image filter, such as a Gauss filter or a filter using convolution for soft focussing, at least in a transition area next to the elements of the two-dimensional mask or array assigned to the primary rays.

Alternatively, the first voxels are classified by a distance transformation 21. It is also thinkable that the two- dimensional mask is generated by ray marching from a three- dimensional array being result of a distance transformation. As a consequence, in the two-dimensional array or mask, a minimal distance to the first object 31 is saved. As a re ¬ sult, there is no need for smoothing the two-dimensional ar ¬ ray or mask, since the smoothed transition in the two- dimensional array is generated automatically.

For visualization of the first object 31 and the second ob ¬ ject 32, it is provided that the volume rendering method, in particular the path tracing method, is performed. In the vol ¬ ume rendering method 14 the subset of the previously selected or defined set of parameters is used. However, the focusing parameter is adapted for each ray, in particular for each primary and secondary ray. Preferably, the focusing parameter is an aperture size and the aperture size is set to "0" for each primary ray and is set to a value different from "0" for each secondary ray. As a consequence, the first object 31 is visualized focused while the second object 32 is visualized unfocused. For selecting the proper aperture size value the two-dimensional mask or array is used. For example, the val ¬ ues of the two-dimensional array are multiplied with a set aperture size. As a consequence, the values in the transition area cause a smoothed transition between the focused first object 31 and the non-focused second object 32. In other word: the values of the two-dimensional mask or array are used for modulating the focusing parameter, in particular the aperture size. Alternatively to the aperture size, the focal distance can be adapted for primary and secondary rays to achieve different focusing effects. In figure 2 a system 100 for visualizing an image data set according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown. In particular, the system comprises a medical imag ¬ ing device 10, such as a computer tomography (CT) device or a magnetic resonance (MR) device. This medical imaging device 10 generates the three dimensional image data set 19 and transfers the three dimensional image data set 19 to a visu ¬ alization unit 20 comprising a processor 23 being configured for visualizing 17 an image data set, in particular according to a method described in the context of figure 1. Further ¬ more, the medical imaging device 10 comprises an input unit 15 for configuring the visualization unit 20 by a user or operator, for example by choosing a smoothing parameter such as a proper filter, a desired degree of smoothing or a degree of focussing. It also thinkable that the first object 31 is specified or chosen by the operator via the input unit 15. Moreover, it is provided that the visualization unit 20 is in communication with a server 30, for example by using the server 30 or a server system for performing at least one of the steps of the method described above. For instance, the server 30 and/or the 30 server system are used for identifying the first voxels. It is also conceivable that the visual ¬ ization unit 20 is part of the server 30 or the server sys ¬ tem. The server 30 or the server system preferably forms a network or a cloud. Alternatively, it is also thinkable that the visualisation unit 20 is incorporated into the medical imaging device 10 and is in communication with the server on demand. Furthermore, it is provided that after visualization a visualized data set 16 is transferred to a display 40, such as a screen of a workstation, a tablet, a smartphone or the like, for displaying the visualized data set 16.

In figure 3 and 4 illustration of the visualized data set by a method for visualizing an image data set are shown. For sake of simplicity instead of a three dimensional arrangement a two dimensional arrangement is shown. The first object 31 is represented by the filled squares, whereas the empty squares forms the second object 32. Further the thickness of the lines represents the degree of focussing, i. e. the de ¬ gree of focussing decreases with decreasing line width limiting the empty squares. In figure 3a the filled squares 31 represents a focussed visualization leading to a sharp con- tour of the first object 31. The empty squares forming the second object 32 have the same degree of focussing but are less focussed than the first object 31. In contrast to the figure 3a the empty squares of figure 3b do not have the same degree of focussing but are still less focussed than the first object 31. In particular, the degree of focussing de ¬ creases with increasing distance from the first object 31. Thus, a smooth transition from the first object 31 to the second object 32 is realized.