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Scientific Visualisation with Blender


148.jpgRalph Jimenez wrote to us about a visualisation he did of the "heme domain of FixL" molecule. The image was an entry for a competition at the University of Colorado and it was selected for an exhibition.

Ralph wrote:

I'm a faculty member in Chemistry at the University of Colorado who has been playing around with and trying to learn how to use Blender for scientific graphics, particularly of molecular models. An image I contributed to the Art in Science/Science in Art competition was selected for the exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and for the on-line gallery. The image was created in two steps: The tructure was read in the Visual Molecular Dynamics Software 1.8.4 and side-chains, cofactor, etc. were created for a wireframe of the 3D model, which was then imported into Blender 2.42 for materials, lighting, raytracing. The result is on this page.

I did mention Blender in the description of the work I submitted to the competition, but they seem to have edited that out, so I thought I'd let you know directly.

Thanks to the Blender team for creating such excellent software! I hope it finds increasing use in scientific graphics.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. hm..sad that they censored that thing that this picture is generated with belder..they think with that they can do good promotion to Visual Molecular Dynamics Software...:)But...with VMDS you can just model and that's it...

  2. Great!
    I was thinking of doing this from last week,but did not get sufficient time .
    well blender is very powerful software and python scripting is added advantage,
    one can make a good molecular viewer as well as molecular analysis software
    using blender,and i think this might be the start of that.

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