Visualization of Biomolecular Structures: State of the Art Revisited

B. Kozlíková, M. Krone, M. Falk, N. Lindow, M. Baaden, D. Baum, I. Viola, J. Parulek, H. C. Hege

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Structural properties of molecules are of primary concern in many fields. This report provides a comprehensive overview on techniques that have been developed in the fields of molecular graphics and visualization with a focus on applications in structural biology. The field heavily relies on computerized geometric and visual representations of three-dimensional, complex, large and time-varying molecular structures. The report presents a taxonomy that demonstrates which areas of molecular visualization have already been extensively investigated and where the field is currently heading. It discusses visualizations for molecular structures, strategies for efficient display regarding image quality and frame rate, covers different aspects of level of detail and reviews visualizations illustrating the dynamic aspects of molecular simulation data. The survey concludes with an outlook on promising and important research topics to foster further success in the development of tools that help to reveal molecular secrets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-204
Number of pages27
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported through grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of SFB 716, the Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research in Berlin, the Excellence Center at Linköping and Lund in Information Technology (ELLIIT), the French Agency for Research grants ExaViz (ANR-11-MONU-003) and Dynamo (ANR-11-LABX-0011), the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF) through project VRG11-010, the OeAD ICM through project CZ 17/2015, the Norway grants project NF-CZ07-MOP-2-086-2014 and the PhysioIllustration research project 218023 funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors Computer Graphics Forum published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • bioinformatics visualization
  • molecular visualization
  • taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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