We describe a new magnetic resonance (MR) image analysis tool that produces cortical surface representations with spherical topology from MR images of the human brain. The tool provides a sequence of low-level operations in a single package that can produce accurate brain segmentations in clinical time. The tools include skull and scalp removal, image nonuniformity compensation, voxel-based tissue classification, topological correction, rendering, and editing functions. The collection of tools is designed to require minimal user interaction to produce cortical representations. In this paper we describe the theory of each stage of the cortical surface identification process. We then present classification validation results using real and phantom data. We also present a study of interoperator variability.