Conic: a fast renderer for space-filling molecules with shadows

J Mol Graph. 1991 Dec;9(4):230-6, 242. doi: 10.1016/0263-7855(91)80016-s.


We present an algorithm for generating images of molecules represented as a set of intersecting opaque spheres. Both perspective and shadows are computed to provide realistic visual cues. Compared to existing programs for generating similar images, our algorithm is both more accurate and several times faster. We present in detail the mathematics used in picture generation, along with examples of the computed images.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Computer Graphics
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Protein Conformation