Track3D is a video-based system for automated tracking of animals in a three-dimensional space. It allows the researcher to record the movement of an animal in a test chamber, visualize the resulting trajectory in a three-dimensional image and calculate a number of movement parameters. The system is suitable for almost any test chamber, swim tank or wind tunnel, flexible and very cost-effective.

Examples of applications

  • Behavioral responses to olfactory stimuli (odors): plant volatile compounds, pheromones, host cues, etc. Watch video on YouTube
  • Flight navigation in relation to visual cues
  • Characterization of the swimming behavior in fish
  • Horizontal and vertical movement of animals in a cage


  • 3-D tracking — Provides a more complete description and analysis of flight patterns than two-dimensional coordinate data sets.
  • Quality — The full-size, high-resolution video allows you to record the position of the insect with high accuracy. The images from the two cameras are automatically synchronized. The software also works with infra-red lighting, allowing tracking under low-light conditions or in complete darkness. Accuracy of the three-dimensional reconstruction is around 0.5% of the dimensions of the test chamber.
  • Cost-effective — All hardware components are relatively inexpensive, so there is no need to invest in high-end motion capture equipment. The Track3D software is available as an add-on to EthoVision XT, allowing you to take advantage of prior investments. Track3D is also compatible with existing test chambers and wind tunnels.
  • Optimal for presentations — Besides the numerical analysis capabilities, Track3D helps you create a video clip of the 3D track which you can play back during a conference talk.

Track3D has been developed in collaboration with the research groups of Prof. Willem Takken (Laboratory of Entomology) and Prof. Johan van Leeuwen (Experimental Zoology Group) of Wageningen University, The Netherlands.