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GUI converter for movie data from TVIPS camerasinto other formats like .blo, .tiff and .hspy.Mainly for orientation mapping (PED) or 4D STEM experiments.

Project description

TVIPS converter

Cite TVIPS converter


What does it do?

This tool with a Qt user interface serves to convert .tvips movie files from TVIPS CCD/CMOS cameras collected with EM-Konos or EM-Scan into more convenient formats. These kinds of cameras may be found in transmission electron microscopes (TEM) and are used for recording precession electron diffraction (PED) and 4D-STEM data, as well as in-situ experiment recordings. To analyze the data with 3rd party tools, the tvips data format is highly inconvenient; this tool aims to alleviate this issue.

Currently supported export formats:

Export file format Types of experiments Analysis tools Remarks
.blo PED/4D-STEM ASTAR (NanoMegas), pyxem, hyperspy, LiberTEM results are exported as 8-bit images, which can result in a significant loss of information if the orignal images were 16 bit
.hspy PED/4D-STEM pyxem, hyperspy, LiberTEM images are exported at full depth. ASTAR does not open this file format. A .hspy file is a specially structured HDF5 file.
.tiff any Any image processing software For exporting a subset of the images individually.
converter hdf5 all TVIPSconverter An intermediate hdf5 file that contains all the TVIPS metadata and pre-processed 16-bit images. Serves to easily explore the data with HDFView. In a future version, this intermediate file may disappear or change in favor of directly making a hyperspy compatible file

In the future we aim to support:

  • USID HDF5 format

How do I install it? (recommended method)

  1. Install Anaconda.

  2. Create a new virtual environment on your system to install tvipsconverter in

    $ conda create --name tvipsconverter pip
  3. Activate the virtual environment anywhere in your system with

    $ conda activate tvipsconverter
  4. Pip install tvipsconverter

    $ pip install tvipsconverter

Note: On Windows you will have to type these commands in the Anaconda prompt

How do I use it?

  1. Activate the tvipsconverter virtual environment.
  2. Run the command $ tvipsconverter which should bring up the GUI after some time.
  3. The GUI should be self-explanatory with tool tips. However, I have also made a video briefly demonstrating the GUI. You can find it here.

How does it work?

When recording data on a TVIPS camera, it is stored as a long collection of images (a movie), separated into multiple large .tvips files. TVIPS is a small German company and their tools are still in active development. As of version 2 of the TVIPS recording software, very limited information on microscopy settings is stored in this file. In fact, the image pixel size and scan pixel dimensions are not properly recorded inside the file. You must record these settings and correct this manually! If the aim is to record a 4D-STEM or PED dataset, this format is difficult to work with. Converting the format to formats that can be read by other software is the main aim of this tool. The tool first converts the multiple .tvips files to a single easy to manage and browse .hdf5 file. In the second step, this hdf5 file can be converted to other types of files (see table above). The conversion process may depend on which acquisition tool that was used to collect the tvips data.


If the recorder software was EM-Konos, there is no direct information stored related to a scan. The only information available to correlate the images to the electron beam scan is the so called rotator index, which is stored in the header of each image. It corresponds to the index of the scan point to which the image should be mapped. The problem is that the electron beam dwell time and the frame acquisition time may not be perfectly aligned, with the result that some rotator images are repeated while some scan points have no corresponding image. In addition, the scanning control follows a snake-like meander pattern instead of a line-by-line fly-back. This causes a hysteresis artefact (offset) on the even scan lines. TVIPSconverter provides options to correct for these artefacts and as best as possible align the images to the scan. With EM-Konos data, an automatic guess is offered, but the user can also manually specify start and stop frames.


EM-Scan is the second iteration of acquisition software and does store scan info in the image headers. There is no more rotator index and scanning follows a regular fly-back pattern. At present, TVIPSconverter does not make use of this metadata. The software can be a bit buggy and the scan positions can be absent anyway. With EM-Scan data, the user will have to supply the scan information manually.

Credits and notes

This tool is not an official product of the TVIPS company. Use at your own risk. We are not responsbile for loss or corruption of data. The tool derives from python scripts originally developed by the company. We have significantly modified these scripts mainly to make the conversion process possible on a computer with regular sized RAM and support loss-less export to hdf5. The GUI is also our addition.



  • calculate and store direct beam positions in the HDF5 file
  • calculate mean and maximum images
  • added choice in how to bin the data
  • more options on export image depth
  • bugfixes


  • Added an option to crop the file along the scan directions
  • Added an option to limit the conversion between a set number of frames


  • It is now possible to export to Pyxem (Hyperspy) hdf5. The depth of the images is conserved.
  • The user can now set the scan and diffraction pattern resolution in the GUI.
  • The GUI was slightly simplified and some tooltips were updated.
  • The user can now select which frame to visualize when performing the pre-processing.


  • fixed image rebin problem


  • added support for EM-Scan data where scanning doesn't follow snake pattern
  • fixed some bugs

Project details

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