The DISTORT program started with the general purpose of distorting digital images. The motivation comes from the field of Neuroscience, particularly from the area of Aging. Studies of the brain of the monkey are being carried out in which data exists of the same brain as MRI slices and postmortem optical thin sections of the same animal.
The scientific question is regarding the possibility of mapping an MRI image to actual anatomical regions in the monkey brain. In order to achieve this goal, co-registration of the MRI and optical sections has to be carried out, where images exist and have to be "overlapped" so as to permit "calibration" of what one sees in the MRI with what it actually is in the optical. The overlap will always entail distortion of one of the images into the other.
The algorithms and user interface of the DISTORT program are written in C++ with the help of the The Fast Light Tool Kit FLTK GUI library. The graphics are done using OpenGl. The algorithms are fast enough that interactive real-time graphics are possible.
Here is a screen capture of the program: