Real-time ray tracing of complex molecular scenes with BALLView and RTfact

Anna Dehof, Lukas Marsalek, Iliyan Georgiev, Daniel Stöckel, Stefan Nickels, Hans-Peter Lenhof, Philipp Slusallek, and Andreas Hildebrandt
German Conference on Bioinformatics (GCB)
Halle, Germany, Septemeber 2009



Molecular viewing and editing tools are an important part of many applications and processes in structural bioinformatics, computational chemistry, and pharmacy. Particularly important in molecular graphics is to provide the user with an accurate and informative (3D) spatial representation of molecular structural arrangements, the effective extraction of relevant information from volume data, and the fast and simple creation of publication-quality images. To this end, ray tracing is usually the method of choice; although it traditionally takes minutes to hours to produce high-quality results. However, recent developments in computer graphics have made real-time ray tracing of complex 3D scenes (polygonal based and volume data) with  high visual quality a reality.