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Improved quadric surface impostors for large bio-molecular visualization.

Pranav D. Bagur, Nithin Shivashankar, and Vijay Natarajan.
ICVGIP 2012: Proc. Indian Conference on Computer Vision, Graphics and Image Processing, 2012, 33:1-33:8.


The shape of biomolecules, such as proteins, may be represented using different representations like space-fill, ballstick, backbone, or secondary structures. The secondary structure of proteins, comprising of sheet-like, helix-like and loops structures, represent a higher level abstraction of its structure. With ever increasing sizes of protein structure data produced by high resolution x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, biologists often rely on visualizations to better understand the overall structure of proteins. In this paper, we present a unified framework for accelerating the rendering of various representations of these structure using GPUs. The framework first produces "impostor primitives", which are simple linear element approximations of quadric objects, such as spheres, cylinders, and helices. Next, the rasterizations of the impostors are corrected to produce pixel-precise renderings of the quadric objects. We incorporate this framework into a bio-molecular visualization tool proteinvis to demonstrate quantitative and qualitative performance gains over earlier approaches for rendering various representations of proteins.


Supplementary Material:

  1. Improved Quadric Surface Impostors Video ICVGIP 2012 (Download)