Image Measurement and Analysis Lab

This is the home page of the scientific image analysis program IMAL (the Image Measurement and Analysis Lab).

New! version 3.7.12 released (Dec. 18, 2020)

Imal (formerly tnimage) is an open-source scientific image analysis program that allows you to create, edit, measure, and analyze images. It is particularly useful for analyzing images of SDS and agarose gels and X-ray or MRI images.

Latest DOS version: 2.2.7
Latest Unix version: 3.7.12
New Features

Imal is primarily designed for image densitometry. It incorporates several unique and sophisticated algorithms that demonstrably give superior results to other software packages. Even poor quality images that cannot be analyzed with other software can often be successfully analyzed in imal.

Imal is also useful for astrophotography images and for general image analysis.

Imal is free to use and modify and is distributed under the GPL version 2.

Version 3.7.12 (Dec 18, 2020) Improved and simplified flat field function. It is now in the Mask menu. Minor bugfix in image rotation for 16- and 24-bit grayscale images.

Version 3.7.11 (Nov 26, 2020) Minor changes to accommodate window managers that mess up window hierarchy. Fixed grayscale image handling so it's no longer necessary to set the grayscale map. Now if you set the grayscale mapping, settings are preserved. Fixed display error when mouse was moved with scroll wheel instead of up/down buttons.

Version 3.7.10 (Sep 21, 2020) minor bugfixes to enable compilation in Debian 10.5.0. See below for notes if you want to try to compile it.

Version 3.7.9 (Jun 02, 2019) minor bugfixes to enable compilation in Debian 9.9. Minor bugfixes in image calibration dialog box and elsewhere.

Version 3.7.8 (Nov. 24, 2017) was a major bugfix release. The recommended distro to use is Debian 9.2.1 or later. This distro will save you the trouble of compiling Motif. See install.txt for details on compiling imal.

New in v.3.7.7: Richardson-Lucy deconvolution
NOTICE: As of version 3.6.0, new versions will be available in source code or partially static format only. Older precompiled versions are still available.

NOTICE: To compile imal, you need Motif. This is often included in Linux and called "motif" and "motif-devel". You also must have the development files for libstdc++, freetype2 (libXft), libXrender, libjpeg, libtiff, and libpng. All of these are included in most Linux distributions. LibXbae is used if present. It is needed for the optional image spreadsheet editor. The manual gives detailed instructions for compiling for various operating systems.

WARNING: We have discovered that some Linux distributions are now including a bogus version of libjpeg known as libjpeg.8.0.2. This version uses a completely different API and is not supported in Imal. Please use only the authentic Jpeg libraries from IJG. Imal will compile in all versions of IJG libjpeg up to at least jpeg-9.

Note: some window managers handle click events in a different way from others. If this happens, the crop function may not work. To change this, select "Config . . . Configure" and check the "Buggy Window Manager" box.

New: Richardson-Lucy deconvolution, complete FITS r/w file format, 48-bit image processing, vignetting correction, and two types of binning. Major improvements for astronomical image processing.

Composite image, 3d view in Imal
Composite image, 3D surface plot in Imal

Features:

Pre-compiled Unix versions for X11-Motif for Linux (Intel), SGI Irix, Mac OS X, Solaris, and ConvexOS are also available (Click below)

Grand Tour of Imal Features

     Visual Tour of Features

Screen shots

     Screen shot of UNIX version of Imal
     Screen Shot of DOS version of Imal (old)

Software Documentation and Tutorials

     Imal manual in PDF format
     Imal manual in PostScript format
     Manual for DOS version
     Running Imal in Windows
     Compiling Imal in OSX (from V. Guerreiro)

Imal downloads

Several versions are provided. Download the version appropriate for your operating system. The dynamically-linked version will work if you have Motif and your libraries are up to date and in standard locations. If you don't have Motif, or if the dynamically-linked "linux" version doesn't work, you can either install Motif yourself, or use the "nomotif" or "static" version. OpenMotif 2.2.3 is the recommended version to use. You will also need the OpenMotif developers package to compile imal.

Note: The static version is no longer available due to an unknown change that was made to gcc.

Note: Two dynamically-linked and no-motif versions are included: imal and imal64, for 32- and 64-bit x86 Linux systems, respectively.

NOTE The source code version (imal-source.tar.gz) is the only file guaranteed to be the latest version. As of April 2011, pre-compiled versions are created only on an intermittent basis.

Conditions of use: This software is distributed under the GPL version 2. As a condition of use, users are asked to report any problems they encounter with the software.

     Unix source code (Latest version)
     Precompiled version (Latest version, 64-bit, compiled on a Debian 10.5.0)

Older, pre-compiled versions

     Precompiled Linux version (old) (static)
     Precompiled Linux version (old)(dynamically linked for users without Motif; 32-bit and 64-bit versions)
     Static Linux version (old)(for x86 32-bit Linux)
     Static Linux version (old)(for x86 64-bit Linux)
     Source RPM (old)
     Precompiled Linux RPM (old)
     Precompiled OS X version (ver. 3.5.11, provided by Vitor Guerreiro)
     Precompiled OS X version (ver. 3.3.9)
     DOS version of Imal

Other software

Click here for other software

GFS-View GFS view is a Windows program for generating and displaying weather forecast maps from the National Centers for Environmental Protection (NCEP) GFS data.

Notes on compiling and running imal in Debian 10.5

1. Because each windowing system in Linux handles clicks in a different way, some features will not work properly in all window managers. What happens is the window manager grabs the focus away while you're selecting an area. This interferes with selecting non-rectangular areas and certain area selection functions in densitometry. Some window managers block focus in text boxes even among different applications, turning them into modal dialog boxes that prevent entering text in another window until they are closed. The lack of adherence to windowing standards in Linux is a big problem for us developers and it needs to be addressed. For now, the only solution is to avoid noncompliant window managers.

The non-recommended window managers below may or may not adhere to the standard, but they differ from the others. Future versions of imal will have a setting to switch from one type to the other. Here is a partial list of window managers known to work:

Recommended    Not recommended (at present)    Untested
Enlightenment XFCE KDE
Cinnamon Fluxbox
Gnome Windowmaker

2. Freetype2 headers are installed in a new location and might not be found by configure. It may be necessary to copy the freetype and freetype/config headers into /usr/local/include for the time being, e.g.:

su
cd /usr/include
cp -pruv /usr/include/freetype2/* .

3. Many required packages aren't installed in Debian by default. These include: Xpm, libxft2, libxft2-dev, libxmu-dev, libxmu-headers, libfl-dev, libfl2, libXpm-dev, libxpm4, libpng-dev, libtif-dev, liftiff5-dev, libjpeg-dev, libxbae4m, flex, bison, libfl-dev, libfl2, and libmotif-dev.

4. There seems to be a problem with bison nowadays. If you get an error saying that yylex is an undefined reference, try removing -xfl from the makefile. If this doesn't work, recompile a new version of bison and configure it with an empty LEXLIB, i.e. type configure LEXLIB=.

5. DO NOT run flex against the files in this package. If you do, the files it produces will need to be manually edited according to the comments in calculator.y.

6. Some distributions do not install libXbae correctly. This means the spreadsheet function will be disabled. To fix this, become root and type
cd /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
ln -s libXbae.so.4.0.60 libXbae.so
ldconfig
Xbae include files are also needed if you want to use the spreadsheet function.


Notes

If you get the message
imal: loadlocale.c:220: _nl_load_locale: Assertion `idx % __alignof__ (u_int32_t) == 0' failed.
Type the command: export LC_ALL=POSIX before starting Imal.


If you get the message
Warning: translation table syntax error: Unknown keysym name: osfActivate
Warning: String to TranslationTable conversion encountered errors

this is caused by an incompatibility between the X11 and Motif. This will prevent all Motif applications from displaying user-entered text and will eventually cause the program to crash. To fix the problem, become the superuser and copy XKeysymDB to its proper place:
su
cd /usr/share/X11
cp XKeysymDB /usr/X11R6/lib/X11


Feedback on usability issues, suggestions for new feature, errors in the documentation, and bug reports are welcome. Send reports to
name and address


Quick links

Software Documentation and Tutorials

Imal manual in PDF format
Imal manual in PostScript format
Manual for DOS version
Running Imal in Windows

Imal downloads - current version

Unix source code (Current version)
Precompiled version (Latest version, 64-bit, compiled on a Debian 10.5.0)

Older, pre-compiled versions

Precompiled Linux version (dynamically linked; 32-bit and 64-bit versions)
Precompiled Linux version (dynamically linked for x86 64-bit Linux)
Precompiled Linux version (dynamically linked for users without Motif; 32-bit and 64-bit versions)
Source RPM
Precompiled Linux RPM
Static Linux version (for x86 32-bit Linux)
Static Linux version (for x86 64-bit Linux)
Precompiled OS X version (ver. 3.5.11)
DOS version of Imal