Seamless Visual Abstraction of Molecular Surfaces

Julius Parulek

Timo Ropinski

Ulm University

Ivan Viola


Spring Conference on Computer Graphics 2013


Molecular visualization is often challenged with rendering of large sequences of molecular simulations in real time. We introduce a novel approach that enables us to show even large protein complexes over time in real-time. Our method is based on the level-ofdetail concept, where we exploit three different molecular surface models, solvent excluded surface (SES), Gaussian kernels and van der Waals spheres combined in one visualization. We introduce three shading levels that correspond to their geometric counterparts and a method for creating seamless transition between these representations. The SES representation with full shading and added contours stands in focus while on the other side a sphere representation with constant shading and without contours provide the context. Moreover, we introduce a methodology to render the entire molecule directly using the A-buffer technique, which further improves the performance. The rendering performance is evaluated on series of molecules of varying atom counts.


	title={Seamless Visual Abstraction of Molecular Surfaces},
	author={Parulek, Julius and Ropinski, Timo and Viola, Ivan},
	booktitle={Proceedings of Spring Conference on Computer Graphics, SCCG '13, Smolenice, Slovakia, May 1-3, 2013}
	editor={Rushmeier, Holly E.}