Main Features:
* userfriendly and GUI based PIV tool
* multi-pass, multi-grid window deformation technique
* import bmp/ tiff/ jpeg image pairs/ series
* multiple image sequencing styles
* individual image masking and region of interest
* image pre-processing
* two different sub-pixel estimators
* multiple vector validation methods
* magnitude/ vorticity/ divergence/ shear / ...
* data smoothing, vector field highpass
* multiple colormaps
* streamlines
* extensive data extraction tools
* statistics
* synthetic PIV image generator
* Many data export features
* main features accessible via comand line scripting

Saturday, July 1, 2017

PIVlab direct download

Hi everybody! For those who do not want to register on the Matlab website in order to download PIVlab, I added a direct link to the zip archive (see the column on the right side). You can also click here to get the zipped PIVlab toolbox:

There were no updates of PIVlab since quite a while. The reason is that I am currently not working with particle image velocimetry after I finished my PhD. That is a pity. But the good thing is that I converted one of my other hobbies into a profession: Since 2014, I am working as a mechanical design engineer at TobyRich GmbH. Over there, I am responsible for the design of fixed-wing drones, which is - similar to doing PIV - a lot of fun.
I am sorry that (in most cases) I can not react to your emails or forum entries. My life is currently filled up with too many other things that require my attention.
Success with your analyses!!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

PIVlab 1.41 - now 10x faster processing!

Recently, Sergey, a Junior Researcher at the ISSP RAS contacted me and told me that he found a way to make PIVlab (specifically the DFT window deformation part) much faster. He rewrote PIV_FFTmulti.m in a way that doesn't use 'for loops' anymore. The result is a heavily improved processing speed of PIVlab. I tested MATLAB versions 2011a, 2014b and 2015a. The speed was improved by a factor between 7.9 and 10.6 for a 'standard analysis' with three passes. Improvements up to a factor of 30 seem possible.

Thanks a lot Sergey, this will save a lot of people a lot of time!!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

PIVlab 1.4

I just uploaded the 1.4 release (compatible with R2014b and earlier). Download it here:

PIVlab is now also available as 'App'. You can install it in Matlab by double-clicking on 'PIVlab.mlappinstall'.

  • MATLAB R2014b compatibility (yaay!)
  • Backwards compatible (the oldest version I could test is R2011a, but it should also work with much older releases)
  • Improved speed of FFT and the spline window deformation (due to some changes in R2014b)
  • Speed testing tool (run Testspeed.m to benchmark your hardware)
  • New default colormap Parula
  • Packaged app makes installation and execution simpler
  • Several minor fixes / improvements

Monday, March 16, 2015

Working on r2014b release...

I am making progress with the r2014 update of PIVlab, several incompatibilities are fixed already. This requires some extra attention, because PIVlab must stay compatible with earlier Matlab releases. I think that I will be ready to post a beta release of PIVlab 1.4 at the end of this week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Donation complete!

Hey, we just reached the goal of 134 Euros! Thanks! I just downloaded MATLAB and will soon start working on PIVlab v1.4 ! I already noticed that R2014b is quite fast in comparison to previous releases.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Matlab R2014b compatibility donation

Mathworks changed a lot in their latest Matlab release (R2014b), making it incompatible with PIVlab 1.35 (and probably many other toolboxes). I'd like to make it compatible, but I need access to Matlab R2014b to do the necessary changes and to find all the issues.

I already contacted Mathworks, but they are not willing to support me with an extended trial version. I am not working at the university anymore, therefore I don't have access to any academic licenses.

A "Home license" of Matlab + Image processing toolbox is 134 euros.

If you're interested in this update, then please donate as much or as little as you like. But please note that your donation does not guarantee that I will succeed in making the necessary changes. You do not receive any additional rights. Everything I do is just voluntary - just like your donation.

If I manage to receive 134 Euros until the 15. march 2015, I'll buy the license and start trying to make PIVlab compatible. If I do not manage to receive 134 Euros in total, then you will get your money back (excluding the paypal fee... sorry).

I will update the current status of the donations as often as possible in this post.

Click the Paypal button to make your donation...:

Thanks, let's see what happens...!

--UPDATE: The goal of 134 Euros was reached on the 04. february 2014. I am now working on the patch.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Forum added

Hi, due to the increasing amount of PIVlab users and questions, I enabled a forum in this blog where questions can be asked. I am hoping that this can act as a central place for all comments and questions and that I can reply faster to questions without forgetting some of them...
I disabled the comments temporarily to see if the forum could work....

Here is the link:
PIVlab forum

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

PIVlab short paper out

Thielicke, W. and Stamhuis, E.J. 2014. PIVlab – Towards User-friendly, Affordable and Accurate Digital Particle Image Velocimetry in MATLAB. Journal of Open Research Software 2(1):e30, DOI:


Saturday, October 11, 2014

PhD thesis finished

Received a couple of printed books of my dissertation today. Yaaaay!

I'll add a link to the PIVlab chapter asap when the University of Groningen has uploaded the pdf to their repository.

Monday, June 30, 2014

PIVlab update 1.35

Almost two years since the last update... Here's the list of changes:
  • Instructions on how to cite PIVlab in your publication (in the menu: 'Referencing / Help'). This will be updated again as soon as my papers got accepted.
  • Streamlines now run through user selected coordinates
  • Parameter name included in color bar
  • Region of interest can additionally be selected by entering coordinates
  • 'Wiener2' adaptive denoise filter in image pre-processing
  • Pdf file export
  • Updated link to tutorial
  • Matlab version check (I don't have access to Matlab 7.1 anymore, therefore the minimal supported version now is Matlab 7.10.0 (R2010a)
  • Several small bug-fixes / improvements
The download link: PIVlab @ Matlab FEX

Have fun!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I updated the tutorial for PIVlab.

The next release of PIVlab is in progress. It will have some additional features and some bug fixes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

PIVlab update 1.32



  • Updated analysis progress report
  • During analysis, the PIVlab main window is not forced to get the focus
  • Corrected bug: Case sensitivity for "smoothn" in newer Matlab versions (thanks to Eileen)


  • Corrected bug were u and v were confused in data validation


  • Clear all masks: Confirmation dialogue
  • Apply current mask to a custom selection of frames
  • Export data to binary VTK file for Paraview
  • Exported files now respect the "subtract flow" values
  • Quit PIVlab confirmation dialogue
  • Calculate mean vectors of a custom selection of frames
  • Corrected bug during export with filenames containing a point (".", thanks to Orest)
  • Corrected bug: Case sensitivity for "smoothn" in newer Matlab versions
  • Corrected bug when using colored calibration images
Download PIVlab 1.32 now:
PIVlab @ Matlab File Exchange

Friday, March 30, 2012

PIVlab 1.31

New / modified features in PIVlab v1.31:
  • Included units (e.g. "m", "m/s", "1/s" or "px", "px/frame", "1/frame" etc.) wherever possible
  • Export image as *.eps
  • Modified "Export to Matlab Workspace" (all data availbable now)
  • Colorbar position adjustable
  • Image import: Browse folders button
  • Image import: Regular expression filter
  • Zoom and pan buttons
Now available for download:

Friday, January 27, 2012

PIVlab 1.3

PIVlab version 1.3 is out!

New features:
  • Modify vector color
  • Apply to all frames in area / line extractions
  • Post-processing from commandline
  • Load user-generated masks
  • Plot only every nth vector
  •  Line Integral Convolution (LIC) feature from the Matlab Vector Field Visualization toolkit (
  • Add display update between individual passes
  • Image preview during image selection
  • Modified interrogation area preview
  • Several small improvements

 Screenshots of some of the changes:
Modify plot appearance

Area extractions (do extractions for all frames)

Image preview

Preview of the interrogation area

Line Integral Convolution

Line Integral Convolution

Poly line extractions (do extractions for all frames)