[Chimera-users] Chimera export to VRML?

Thomas Goddard goddard at cgl.ucsf.edu
Tue Dec 16 10:05:26 PST 2003

Hi Morgan,

  Molecular surfaces produced by the Chimera Actions/Surface/Show menu
entry provide atomic resolution detail.  For a large structure like a
ribosome the VRML file for such a high resolution surface will be
large.  The surface might have a million triangles, and the file will
at least be 30 megabytes.  (In fact the molecular surface calculation
we use, called MSMS, crashes on some ribosome structures like 1jj2.)
Chimera provides lower resolution surfaces with the multi-scale
extension (Tools/Multiscale menu).  Examples showing some viruses and
GroEL are shown on the Chimera image gallery:


You can choose the resolution of the multi-scale surfaces.  We don't
currently have VRML output for the multi-scale surfaces but that
could be added fairly easily.  I could look into that.  The Chimera
volume viewer (Tools/Volumes menu) also uses this same type of surface
model.  So a VRML export tool could also export electron and light
microscope 3D data or crystallographic density maps displayed as


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