This work presents a set of tools developed to provide 3D visualization and interaction with large volumetric data that relies on recent programmable capabilities of consumer-level graphics cards. We are exploiting the programmable control of calculations performed by the graphics hardware for generating the appearance of each pixel on the screen to develop real-time, interactive volume manipulation tools. These tools allow real-time modification of visualization parameters, such as color and opacity classification or the selection of a volume of interest, extending the benefit of hardware acceleration beyond display, namely for computation of voxel visibility. Three interactive tools are proposed: a cutting tool that allows the selection of a convex volume of interest, an eraser-like tool to eliminate non-relevant parts of the image and a digger-like tool that allows the user to eliminate layers of a 3D image. To interactively apply the proposed tools on a volume, we are making use of some so known user interaction techniques, as the ones used in 2D painting systems. Our strategy is to minimize the user entrainment efforts involved in the tools learning. Finally, we illustrate the potential application of the conceived tools for preoperative planning of liver surgery and for liver vascular anatomy study. Preliminary results concerning the system performance and the images quality and resolution are presented and discussed.