The 11th Conference of the International Shoulder Group (ISG) will be held from 14th-16th July 2016 in Winterthur, Switzerland and will include a half-day OpenSim workshop. The workshop will be led by Dimitra Blana (Keele University, UK) and Ricardo Matias (University of Lisbon, Portugal). 

All ISG conference participants are invited to take part in the OpenSim workshop on Thursday July 14th from 13:30 - 17:45. The goal of the workshop is to introduce a newly developed shoulder model, and demonstrate how it can be used to investigate clinically relevant problems. It will feature an overview of the OpenSim software and hands-on team exercises. No prior OpenSim experience is required. 

The ISG conference provides a scientific knowledge-sharing platform among scientists, engineers, and clinicians interested in shoulder biomechanics. Besides the OpenSim workshop, other highlights include keynote speeches from Dr. med. Matthias Zumstein (Bern University Hospital) and Prof. Dr. Tobias Nef (University of Bern); eight scientific sessions with 33 oral and 10 poster presentations; and an industrial exhibition supporting the interaction between industry, clinical practice and research. To find out more and register please go to the conference website.

Interested participants should bring a PC laptop with OpenSim 3.3 installed or be prepared to team up with other participants. To reserve a place please tick the relevant box on the conference registration page


Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify components of an OpenSim model (GUI & xml)

  • Load the new shoulder model and scapulothoracic joint plugin

  • Identify the marker set used in the shoulder model

  • Import experimental data

  • Use OpenSim's Scale Tool to scale the shoulder model

  • Use OpenSim's Inverse Kinematics Tool to solve for the model's joint angles from marker data

Workshop Location

The workshop will take place in room TN E0.58, Technikumstrasse 71, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences. (The same location as the main ISG conference.) See here for a map.


The workshop will take place on Thursday July 14th, 13:30 - 17:45, before the Welcome Reception of the ISG Conference.

Introduction to OpenSim and the new shoulder model
13:30 - 14:15
Importing experimental data and scaling the model
14:15 - 14:45
Hands-on example: Model Scaling
14:45 - 15:30
Break15:30 - 16:00
Running an Inverse Kinematics analysis with OpenSim
16:00 - 16:30
Hands-on example: Inverse Kinematic16:30 - 17:15
Q&A and closing17:15 - 17:45

Preparing for the Workshop

Participants should bring a laptop running 64-bit Windows with OpenSim 3.3 installed. We require 64-bit Windows for the scapulothoracic joint plugin. If your system is different, please share with a colleague. Update: there is now a 32-bit version of the plugin, but it requires the VisualStudio 2015 redistributable. Please see the SimTK project page for more details. 

OpenSim model files and setup files are written in xml. Notepad++ is a free text editor that makes it easier to view and edit xml files.  During the tutorial we will use Notepad++ to examine OpenSim files.

Before the workshop, please download:

  1. OpenSim 3.3
  2. Notepad++ (or a text editor of your choice)
  3. The model of the scapulothoracic joint. This includes:
    1. The OpenSim model (.osim file, under 1. Model) and geometry files. You can also get these here.
    2. The scapulothoracic joint plugin (.dll file, under 2. Software). Please download the plugin built with Visual Studio 13 (VC12), or you will also need to download the VisualStudio 2015 redistributable.
  4. The data and instructions for the hands-on examples

How to install the scapulothoracic joint plugin:

  1. Put the scapulothoracic joint plugin in the plugins folder of your OpenSim installation
  2. Launch OpenSim
  3. From the Tools Menu, select User Plugins --> scapulothoracic plugin
    • This will load the plugin. You will see a message that the library has been loaded successfully.
    • Do this before loading the model, otherwise you will get an error.
    • If you choose "Always load this library on entry", you will only have to do this once.
  4. From the File menu, select Open Model --> shoulder model
    • If the plugin it not loaded, you will get an "OpenSim Model Loading Error". (In the Messages window you will see "Object type ScapulothoracicJoint not recognized".)
    • If the model loads, then the plugin has been loaded successfully. 

Workshop Slides

The workshop slides can be found here.

Workshop Staff and Contact Information

Staff: Dimitra Blana (Keele University, UK) and Ricardo Matias (University of Lisbon, Portugal)

Please direct any questions to Dimitra Blana:

Background Reading

We recommend reviewing the following resources to learn more about OpenSim:

The following paper describes the scapulothoracic joint model:

 A Biomechanical Model of the Scapulothoracic Joint to Accurately Capture Scapular Kinematics during Shoulder MovementsSeth A, Matias R, Veloso AP and Delp SL, PLOS ONE, 11(1), 2016.

Workshop Survey

 Please give us your feedback on the workshop by filling out the workshop survey.