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Benjamin Schmid


Benjamin Schmid


on GitHub




Visualization, :Category:Plugins

3Dscript - Create high-quality 3D/4D animations using a natural-language based syntax

In state-of-the-art 3D rendering and animation software the user typically creates an animation by specifying a number of keyframes. While intuitive, this approach becomes tedious for complex motions like simultaneous rotations around multiple axes, and even worse for accelerated and decelerated motions: The number of required keyframes increases, and creating them becomes hardly reproducible.

In 3Dscript, animations are defined by a syntax based on natural English language, in sentences such as “From frame 0 to frame 100 rotate by 360 degrees horizontally ease-in”.


Schmid, B.; Tripal, P. & Fraaß, T. et al. (2019), “3Dscript: animating 3D/4D microscopy data using a natural-language-based syntax”, Nature methods 16(4): 278–280, PMID 30886414.


  • Click on Help>Update…
  • Click on Manage update sites
  • Check the box in front of ‘3Dscript’
  • Click on Close
  • Click on Apply changes
  • Restart Fiji

Quick start

  • Click on File>Open Samples>T1 Head
  • Click on Plugins>3D script>Interactive Animation
  • In the “Interactive Raycaster” window, click on “show” next to “Animation”
  • Click on “Start text-based animation editor”
  • In the editor window, type the following text: From frame 0 to frame 200 rotate by 360 degrees horizontally
  • Click on “Run” This will render 200 frames of a movie sequence, within which the MRI data set rotates by 360 degrees.

Rendering of 200 frames of this data set will typically take less than a minute on an OpenCL-enabled Graphics Card. The resulting stack can be saved as a video file using Fiji’s File>Save As>AVI… command.

To run the software on another data set, open a different image stack (instead of the T1 Head sample data) before running 3Dscript.

More information is available at

User documentation

See 3Dscript in action below:

More examples can be found on

A full manual as PDF.