Project Sci-Viz: Molecular Graphics in 3ds Max

Posted by Christopher Diggins, 23 November 2012 7:27 pm

Project Sci-Viz

Project Sci-Viz is a preview on Autodesk Labs of experimental technology we developed to enable popular molecular graphics toolkits written in Python, namely ePMV and autoPack, in Autodesk 3ds Max 2013. Previously ePMV and autoPack technology were only available to users of Autodesk Maya or certain other software packages that shall remain nameless on my blog.

The ePMV tool allows a user to download molecular recipes from various online databases such as the Protein Data Bank (PDB) and display various representations of them within the host 3D modeling tool.

The autoPack and cellPack tool is based on volume filling algorithms, that are useful for packing molecules into cells with biologically relevant interactions to populate massive cell models with atomic or near-atomic details

The following is a short video (2:30) that shows how to use ePMV to download and display a Polio virus.

The next video (3:30) shows autoFill being used to create a representation of an HIV virus:

If you are interested in a more in-depth tutorial on using ePMV the following video (8:00) is aimed at newcomers to molecular graphics.

For more videos and tutorials of using ePMV and autoFill see:

Even if you aren't a scientist you may still find this to be interesting technology to use and experiment with. Please let us know in the comments if you are able to make any interesting renders or animation using the tools! The thumbnail for this blog for example is a render of an HIV virus made by our very own Kelly Michels, who has been a huge help in field testing the tools.

A big thank you to Ludovic Autin and Graham Johnson for their huge efforts in writing and porting ePMV and autoPack to 3ds Max, and making the extremely useful video tutorials.



Posted 5 December 2012 12:57 pm

This looks cool and very useful for the work we do, will definitely give it a go.


Posted 13 August 2014 6:09 pm

We switched to Max 2015, will these tools be updated to work with it?

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