Optomax Image Analysis Products for Science & Industry  

Sorcerer Image Analysis System

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Sorcerer Image analysis

    Sorcerer applications include:

  • Antibiotic susceptibility and MIC assays
  • Chemotaxis
  • Colony counting and sizing
  • Direct Epi-fluorescent filter technique
  • ELISPOT assay
  • Inhibition zone measurements
  • Multipoint plate scanning
  • Particle size and shape analysis
  • Plaque counts
  • Pulp and paper quality
  • Unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS)


The Sorcerer Image Analysis system is a powerful, automatic measurement system with a wide range of applications in both the life and material sciences. The system  has been developed to provide a versatile and fast analytical tool for research and quality control.


Sorcerer utilizes a monochrome CCD video camera linked to an appropriate optical device such as a Light Microscope, Petri-viewer or Macro-viewer to image samples for analysis. Various optical and illumination techniques are available to ensure an optimal image is presented for analysis. The video image is transferred to a personal computer via an image acquisition card and the computer monitor displays the live image together with status and tool bars, in a Sorcerer program window.


The system detects and measures objects by virtue of contrast differences and has a resolution of 768 x 576 square pixels and the full 256 gray level range. This allows accurate sizing of microscopic particles ranging in size from one micron diameter upwards.

An optional high resolution (1280 x 1030) version of Sorcerer is also available for particularly demanding applications.

Sorcerer utilizes a matrix detection algorithm for situations where image shading is encountered, induced by the sample or the illumination used. The image can be inverted to allow those objects which appear lighter than the background to be analyzed.  

Functionality & Ease of Use

The Sorcerer program includes a wide range of customization & measurement parameters. Once program settings have been optimized for a given application, they are saved in a named Configuration file for future use


Sorcerer Image analysis

Measurement Frames

Circular, rectangular and user-drawn measurement frames are available to suit the sample type and to select particular regions for analysis. These are positioned and their dimensions adjusted using the two button mouse.




Sorcerer Image analysis

Macro Builder

An easy to use macro builder allows you to create a sequence of operations for a particular type of analysis.

For example, to prompt the user to enter sample details, perform image processing functions, measure and transfer the data



Sorcerer Image analysis

Lock Controls

The Lock Controls dialog gives supervisors the ability to deny Users access to different system functions, in order that such functions remain unchanged whilst in routine use. It is also possible to activate prompts for GLP reasons required when deleting a measurement, or exiting without saving data etc. for compliance with Good Laboratory Practice.


Sorcerer Image analysis

Image Editor

A binary image editing facility is also available to modify the image prior to measurement, for example to remove artifacts.



Access Levels

Sorcerer has User, Advanced User and Supervisor levels of access controlled by a simple user administration interface. An optional advanced user administration program is available for use with Access or Oracle designed to comply with the FDA 21 CFR Part 11 Final Rule on Electronic Records and Electronic Signature.

Measurements & Results

Measurements, Size Distributions, Data filtering and Real time  data transfer to multiple formats


Sorcerer generates Field and Feature specific style measurements.

Morphometric data include Object Count, Area, Perimeter, Diameter, Fiber Length, Longest Dimension, Gray level and PPM.


Comprehensive software for analysis of individual objects allows objects to be classified according to their size or shape.

Size classification tables are easily defined and can include up to 50 classes in any progression and on any measurement parameter such as Diameter or Area.

Include/exclude filters with logical AND/OR combinations can be used to accept/reject objects based on any measured parameter.


Measured data are transferred directly to Microsoft Excel and can be further processed as required with user macros.
Data may also be transferred directly to Microsoft Access and Oracle database tables.

For easy import into third party applications, Sorcerer can also export data in CSV (Comma Separated Values) file format.


Images captured by the camera can also be saved to disk for future retrieval or  transfer to document processing software.

Meeting Regulatory Requirements

Sorcerer is designed to conform to international GLPs and other regulatory requirements. Encoded audit trail files automatically record all system activity and all data. The system is fully compliant with the FDA 21 CFR Part 11 Final Rule on Electronic Records and Electronic Signature. Comprehensive support is available for specific data processing requirements such as integration with bar code readers, LIMS and other third party software.

Sorcerer Image Analysis System Technical Specification

Optical Input

Light Microscope, Petri-viewer or Macro-viewer.

Resolving Power

1 um diameter with light microscope, 10 um diameter with Macro-viewer (High resolution option).

Count Speed

0-1 seconds per measurement.

System Resolution

Monochrome CDD video camera. Standard system: 256 gray levels at 768x576 pixels resolution.
High resolution system: 256 gray levels at 1280x1030 pixels resolution.

Video Invert

Selectable for objects darker or lighter than background.

Image Display

Live or frozen image of sample on screen with optional color coding of detected objects. Point & Click facility to display parameters of individual objects. Each object counted is flagged. High resolution pan and zoom window.

Detection Modes

Automatic, straight & matrix detection thresholds to overcome image shading due to uneven illumination or sample variation.

Measurement Frames

Circular & rectangular, variable in size & position. User-drawn irregular shaped frame. Programmable scanning frame for multi-point or micro-titre plate applications.

Image Processing

Automatic pre-processing of the image prior to measurement. Includes sharpen, remove, separate, erode, dilate & hole fill.

Image Editing

User interaction with the image to exclude or include specific regions of the sample to avoid interference from debris or labels. Cut, join, include, exclude, dilate, erode & fill.


A range of parameters can be used singly or in Boolean combinations to automatically discriminate between colonies or debris provided they differ in size, shape or intensity. They include circularity, axial ratio, area, diameter, longest dimension and gray level.

 Size Classification

Classification by any one of 12 parameters including area, diameter, intensity. Unlimited number of size tables with up to 50 classes in any progression.

Image Capture

Images can be saved and retrieved as Windows Bitmap files. Auto image save & save with prompt for each measurement.

Macro Builder

Simple-to-use editor to create measurement macros for specific tasks. Includes single step replay to assist development. No programming skills required.

Data Handling

Measurement data transferred directly to Microsoft Excel workbook. Highly configurable results tables based on Excel for Study details, dilution factors, sample codes, count/plate, count/ml, size distributions, date, time, user, comments etc. Measurements can be made either from Sorcerer or Excel.

Direct transfer of data to Microsoft Access and Oracle database tables

Support for third party data processing applications e.g. spreadsheets, databases, LIMS, Ames data programs Data transfer via OLE or Dynamic Link Libraries

Bar code readers can be used to enter sample details


Multiple configurations can be saved for different applications e.g. Colony counting, Chemotaxis, Particle Sizing, Print Quality

Audit Trails

Encoded audit trail files automatically record all system activity including settings, measurement data and edits. Audit data can also be sent direct to Oracle databases.

Electronic Records & Signatures

Configurable interface to a database of authorized users. Optional User Administration program available for use with Access or Oracle for compliance with the FDA 21 CFR Part 11 Final Rule on Electronic Record & Electronic Signature.

User Levels

Supervisor, Advanced User & User levels.

User Access Rights

Supervisors may lock any of the menus, or selected options within them, to deny Users & Advanced Users access to particular functions.

Minimum Specification

PC with minimum 64 MB Ram, true color display at 1024x768 pixels resolution with Microsoft Windows 98 or later. Requires one free PCI expansion slot for image card.

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