The Cliniface platform is a desktop software application for Windows and Linux providing a suite of tools and visualisation technologies to support the analysis and processing of 3D facial images. The application is aimed primarily at medical professionals who seek to leverage 3D facial images to explore the richness of the facial surface to visualise, identify, and communicate cues of syndromic or surgical relevance. Cliniface enables collaborative consultation by bringing the ‘digital patient’ into the room – reducing the occurrence and duration of patient visits with a clinician, and augmenting and enhancing a clinician’s abilities in making timely and accurate facial assessments.
The software was initially developed in a research environment as an easy-to-use desktop tool to quickly clean and standardise raw 3D facial images captured in a variety of formats in preparation for further analysis. The flexibility in its design means that new state-of-the-art methods in 3D facial processing, visualisation, and analysis can be easily integrated.
Cliniface uses a plugin architecture to allow functionality developed by third-parties to be incorporated. This provides researchers and programmers working with 3D facial images the means to rapidly develop, test, and deploy in a practical setting new algorithms without needing to develop extraneous visualisation and file I/O routines. This mechanism offers researchers a simplified pathway for their algorithms to enter mainstream use – helping to bridge the gap between scientific and research outputs, and the employment of those state-of-the-art algorithms in clinical practice.
Cliniface and its software libraries are completely free and open-source, and are made available for use under the GNU General Public License v3.
The Cliniface platform is being continuously improved; we like to build relationships with our users whether they are clinicians, researchers, or less specialised users simply trying out our software. It is vital for us to receive your feedback so that you can help us to determine which new features and functionality should be developed for upcoming releases of Cliniface. The following is an (incomplete) list of features in the most recent version of the software:
- Import and automatically clean the geometry of 3D facial images from different model file formats (e.g. OBJ, PLY, STL, FBX, DXF).
- Model manipulation and cleaning tools such as smoothing, re-meshing, facial component finding, and facial bounding.
- Detection and manual adjustment of clinically relevant facial landmarks.
- Visualisation of the bare model surface as well as curvature and asymmetry.
- User defined surface and point-to-point distance measurements.
- Facial landmark co-registration and overlay visualisation.
- Automatic measurement and visualisation of facial metrics corresponding to possible phenotypic abnormalities that may correspond to underlying disease.
- Automatic identification and text export of possible phenotypic abnormalities as Human Phenotype Ontology terms.
- Automatic assessment and plotting on growth curve charts of facial measurements using standard datasets of normal variation in facial development.
- The ability to incorporate custom datasets of development with age for particular facial measurements.
- Automatic generation and export of “Phenotypic Analysis” PDF reports with embedded and fully manipulable 3D models (requires Adobe Reader).
- Exporting to OBJ and U3D file formats, as well as the 3DF file format – a new file format used by Cliniface to embed as a compressed archive the model’s geometric and texture data, along with metadata including demographics, landmark placement, measurement statistics, and indications of salient phenotypic traits all in easy to parse XML format.
- A flexible plugin architecture allowing for the dynamic addition of new functionality such as surface visualisations, input/output file formats, and morphological analysis and/or modification algorithms.
- Built-in help documentation – no Internet connection required.
- Doesn’t require elevated privileges to install – and can be run directly from USB memory stick!