SETOR: hardware-lighted three-dimensional solid model representations of macromolecules

J Mol Graph. 1993 Jun;11(2):134-8, 127-8. doi: 10.1016/0263-7855(93)87009-t.


SETOR is designed to exploit the hardware lighting capabilities of the IRIS-4D series graphics workstations to render high-quality raster images of macromolecules that can undergo rotation and translation interactively. SETOR can render standard all-atom and backbone models of proteins or nucleic acids, but focuses on displaying protein molecules by highlighting elements of secondary structure. The program has a very friendly user interface that minimizes the number of input files by allowing the user to interactively edit parameters, such as colors, lighting coefficients, and descriptions of secondary structure via mouse activated dialogue boxes. The choice of polymer chain representation can be varied from standard vector models and van der Waal models, to a B-spline fit of polymer backbones that yields a smooth ribbon that approximates the polymer chain, to strict Cardinal splines that interpolate the smoothest curve possible that will precisely follow the polymer chain. The program provides a photograph mode, save/restore facilities, and efficient generation of symmetry-related molecules and packing diagrams. Additionally, SETOR is designed to accept commands and model coordinates from the standard input stream, and to control standard output. Ancillary programs provide a method to interactively edit hardcopy plots of all vector and many solid models generated by SETOR, and to produce standard HPGL or PostScript files. Examples of figures rendered by SETOR of a number of macromolecules of various classes are presented.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Graphics*
  • Computers*
  • Lighting
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Models, Molecular*


  • Macromolecular Substances