Monday, September 15, 2014

FYI: Connectome Workbench 1.0 released

The Human Connectome Project team released version 1.0 of the Connectome Workbench last week. I'll update my tutorials as I notice changes, but it doesn't look like much of a change (at least to the volume functionality) from version 0.85; version 1.0 correctly opened complicated scenes I made in version 0.85 without error or complaint.

Here's my advice for getting started with the Connectome Workbench:
  1. First, go through my tutorial on plotting a NIfTI image; it also describes installing the Workbench and using wb_command.
  2. Read my summary of the different file types.
  3. Try the official Workbench tutorial (or at least look at the manual to get an idea of the possibilities).
  4. Look at my post on using the Workbench with volumetric images.
And why bother learning Workbench? Setting aside all its surface and HCP functionality (and that's a lot to set aside), I think the ability to create "scenes" justifies the time spent learning the software.

This screenshot shows scenes in action: clicking the little button marked with yellow arrows brings up the scene dialog box. I have three scenes stored in this file, and selecting one for display changes Workbench to recreate exactly how it was when the scene was created: window size, colors and scaling, loaded images, tab layout. Creating scenes for each image that might be used in a publication can save massive amounts of time: need to adjust a threshold or change a color? Just bring up the scene and make the change, no need to start from the beginning.

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