When you double click on the 4-D Viewer
file (executable jar file) the template with various buttons, boxes and symbols may or may not show up (1-16; Fig. 2) The numbers are explained in the following. If the template does not appear (this is the case with my computer since I recently updated the Java program), you have to click on: "open with
…" and select "Java platform SE binary
". If you don´t have the Java program on your computer, it can be downloaded from the net. A "config.cfg" file is automatically generated. This is not needed but will reappear when deleted. Thus, ignore it.
- Selects directory. Give the location on your computer or external hard drive of the film you want to see. Dependent on the performance of your computer, it may take a while (15-30 sec) until a chosen film has been uploaded. Note: Usually the desired film does not show up with the first try; if so, repeat the procedure (i.e. select video and click box to open).
A particular bug comes with the "Plectus
" video. When starting the viewer program with the Plectus
film, the up and down function does not work. Therefore, I recommend to first start with the C. elegans
or any other of the videos. Before switching to Plectu
s (i.e. selecting it in the directory and click box to open; if necessary repeat after ~15 sec) leave the previous film at a frame number of > 0. When the Plectus
video has been loaded the frame number will jump to "0" but still shows the old film. Clicking a two frames forward will switch to the Plectus
film. Then you can go back to the starting frame "0".
At least on my computer I also face the problem that switching from the "Plectus
" video to another one does not work. Therefore, in this case I close the viewer program and start it again with the desired film.
- Indicates whether the format of the video to study is .jpg or .tiff. "lwf"(Lurawave) is presently disfunctional due to copyright restrictions. Therefore, the original lwf films have been converted to jpg. You may have to change the setting from "tiff" to "jpg".
- Indicates how frequent a new stack of optical sections was recorded and thus how fast development proceeds as indicated at 17. (Important: for C. elegans and Diploscapter put this setting to 30 sec; for Plectus and Tobrilus to 60 sec to show correct timing).
- Indicates how thick each optical level is in the recording (this is not critical for most applications; here: 1.0µm, as 25 optical sections were generated in the supplied recordings and the slightly squeezed C. elegans embryo is about 25µm thick.
5+6. Generates mirror images of the embryo along the x- and y-axes. This may help to position an embryo into your favorite orientation (our standard orientation is: anterior, left, dorsal, top) if it was recorded in a different orientation. Clicking this box once does it for all images of the selected film.
7+8. These sliding bars indicate where you are in time (i.e. in the running film; 7) and space (within the embryo; 8).
9. Set checkpoint. To calculate how much time has passed between two chosen events click this button at the first event. Frame number and time will be reset to 0.
10. Snapshot. Takes photo of the visible image. Images will be stored in the 4-D viewer folder and can be transferred from there to any other location.
11+12. Single frame forward and reverse.
13+14. Fast forward and reverse (10x)
15+16 Single frame Up and Down
17. Information on frame number, level and running time
Simple handling: The most frequently used operations can be performed by using the 4 arrow keys on your keyboard. Alternatively, the mouse can be used with the mouse wheel for surfing up and down in the embryo and the left mouse button to proceed in single steps given that the arrow symbol has been placed on ">" (12).