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Werner Bailer: Introduction to Developing ImageJ Plugins


Joanneum Research

Workshop Information

Full / Half Time Slot: Full Time Slot (180 min)

Contact / Speaker Name

Werner Bailer

Workshop Title

Introduction to Developing ImageJ Plugins


ImageJ can be extended by two different types of loadable code modules: macros and plugins. Macros are easy to record or write, but limited by the capabilities of the ImageJ macro language. Like ImageJ itself, plugins are written in Java and are thus a much more efficient and flexible choice. They allow to use the full ImageJ API and other Java based toolkits. Plugins can for example be used to implement complex processing plugins, extend the ImageJ user interface or add support for new file formats. In fact most built-in ImageJ commands are implemented as plugins.
This workshop introduces the concept of plugins in ImageJ (differences between plugins and macros, types of plugins) and the use of ImageJ as an integrated development environment for plugins. Starting from the sample code in a newly created plugins, the building blocks of a plugin are explained. During the workshop, the plugin is extended by adding example code from the topics discussed. An overview of the packages and classes of the ImageJ API, that are relevant for plugin development, is given. Core topics of the workshop are the internal image representation of ImageJ and of those classes of the API that are needed to create images, access and modify pixel values, work with regions of interest and convert images and image stacks. Finally, the interaction between a plugin and the ImageJ user interface, e.g. getting user input and writing output to the status bar and results window, is discussed.
The goal of the workshop is to provide an overview of plugin development and of related parts of the ImageJ API and enable a developer to implement own plugins using the available documentation.
Participant Requirements
The workshop is targeted at participants who are interested to start or just starting with plugin development. A user knowledge of ImageJ is required. Participants should have a basic knowledge of programming with Java or another object oriented programming language.

Biography of Speaker

It is planned to have two speakers at the workshop:

Dr. Wilhelm Burger (
MS degree in Computer Science from the University of Utah, PhD from Johannes Kepler Uni. Linz.
Researcher at Honeywell Systems and Research Center (Minneapolis), Univ. of California at Riverside.
He is Director of Studies for the “Media Technology and Design” and “Digital Media” programs at Fachhochschule Hagenberg (Austria), where he teaches programming, image processing and computer vision. He is the author of “Digitale Bildverarbeitung - Eine Einführung mit Java und ImageJ”, the first book based on ImageJ (published by Springer-Verlag in 2005).

Werner Bailer
Werner Bailer studied Media Technology and Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Hagenberg (Upper Austria). He graduated in 2002 with a diploma thesis on “Motion Estimation and Segmentation for Film/Video Standards Conversion and Restoration”. This work was performed at the Institute of Information Systems and Information Management at JOANNEUM RESEARCH, where he works since 2001 as a research engineer. His main research interests are algorithms for video content analysis and digital film restoration, metadata description of audiovisual content (with a focus on MPEG-7) and system architectures of media processing systems. He is author of the tutorial “Writing ImageJ Plugins”.

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