Real-Time Ray Tracing of Complex Molecular Scenes

Lukas Marsalek, Anna Katharina Dehof, Iliyan Georgiev, Hans-Peter Lenhof, Philipp Slusallek, and Andreas Hildebrandt

IV10: IVbm - 14th International Conference on Information Visualization (IV): Information Visualization in Biomedical Informatics (IVBI)
London, July 2010



Molecular visualization is one of the cornerstones in structural bioinformatics and related fields. Today, rasterization is typically used for the interactive display of molecular scenes, while ray tracing aims at generating high-quality images, taking typically minutes to hours to generate and requiring the usage of an external off-line program.

Recently, real-time ray tracing evolved to combine the interactivity of rasterization-based approaches with the superb image quality of ray tracing techniques. We demonstrate how real-time ray tracing integrated into a molecular modelling and visualization tool allows for better understanding of the structural arrangement of biomolecules and natural creation of publication-quality images in real-time.

However, unlike most approaches, our technique naturaly integrates into the full-featured molecular modelling and visualization tool BALLView, seamlessly extending a standard workflow with interactive high-quality rendering.