[Chimera-users] Exporting from Chimera to Blender - basic questions.

Greg Couch gregc at cgl.ucsf.edu
Mon Sep 21 16:06:13 PDT 2009

Turns out Matthieu Delanoe's X3D importer for Blender does get the correct 
colors from chimera.  Not being a Blender user, I didn't realize I had to 
switch the Viewport Shading mode from Solid to Textured to see the colors.

 	- Greg

On Wed, 16 Sep 2009, Greg Couch wrote:

> On Tue, 15 Sep 2009, Waight, Andrew wrote:
>> Hello all,
>>       I have recently solved the structure of a novel membrane protein,
>> and have been using chimera quite a bit for my figures and analysis. In
>> my free time I have been playing around with the 3D animation package
>> Blender which I must say is a total blast, and makes fantastic movies
>> and animations. However exporting from Chimera to Blender is a little
>> tricky, in that when using VRML2 or X3D formats while the actual 3D
>> "mesh vertices" import quite well, the colors are not imported, and
>> imported items such as cartoon helices seem to have totally random
>> materials assigned to nonsensical segments (instead of materials
>> assigned by chain for example) . Ideally I would like to perform and
>> export the coloring operations using chimera because it's obviously an
>> order of magnitude easier to select residues, chains and monomers with
>> chimera. Or at least have the grouping of objects imported correctly.
>> This is really just for fun so I'd thought I'd ask if anyone here has
>> any experience ! with importing Chimera models into Blender. Of course I
>> have no idea how VRML2 actually works. Thanks all.
>>                                                Andrew Waight
>>                                                     Wang Lab
>>                    Skirball Institute of Biomedical Sciences
>>                                       NYU School of Medicine
> This is more of a Blender question than a chimera question, in the sense
> that it is failing when you import the file into Blender, rather than when
> it is exported from chimera.  So normally, I would recommend that you ask
> in a Blender discussion group something like "Why does blender fail to
> import this VRML2/X3D file when it displays just fine in my browser?"
> But the X3D importing that Blender 2.46b does is really bad.  It only
> tries to do the subset of X3D that corresponds to VRML97.  I can't tell
> why the surface colors are lost.
> Matthieu Delanoe has a much much better X3D importer at
> <http://matthieu.delanoe.googlepages.com/blenderX3D.html>.  It needs to be
> updated for Python 2.6 by adding "# -*- coding: latin-1 -*-" as the second
> line to get it to work.  And again, the colors are lost even though there
> is code for them in the import script.
>> P.S. Extra Credit: Does anyone have any idea how to export the
>> calculated electrostatic surface into UV mapping for a Blender Object
>> (the surface mesh obviously)?
> If the surface has no holes (not true in general for molecular surfaces),
> then the mapping would be possible.  Not knowing Blender, can you say why
> you want the UV mapping?
> 	-- Greg
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