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from import graphics: 3D-Visualization with Python

Florian Rhiem, Ingo Heimbach

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Increasing amounts of data have made graphical representations essential to the analysis of scientific simulations and experiments. Although there is presently no universal and efficient tool for three-dimensional data, Python is capable of scientific visualization. In this poster session, we present three applications, ranging from simple ball-and-stick molecules to complex volume rendering.


Scientific simulations and experiments often generate results that can only be interpreted with the help of computer graphics. Even though Python packages do exist for three- or higher-dimensional data visualization, they are either limited to specialized applications or too general and thus inefficient. In this poster session we present three applications that demonstrate the visualization capabilities of python and show why problems of different types require different approaches. Since still images cannot fully represent interactive applications, the poster will be accompanied by live demonstrations. The visualization of molecules is a common problem and involves neither complex data preprocessing nor elaborate graphics. Based on GR3 and the [GR framework][2], [mogli][1] serves as an example of the typical ball-and-stick representations. These can be achieved with existing tools, and developing an end user application requires comparatively little effort. However, this is not the case for the visualization of Fermi surfaces, atomic orbitals, and other implicit functions defined on unstructured point sets. The resulting surfaces can easily be rendered, but their computation from raw data requires complex and time-consuming algorithms. In analyzing neutron scattering experiments, we do not focus on the rather simple data preprocessing, but on volume rendering. Despite millions of rendered data points, acceptable frame rates can be achieved by utilizing modern graphics hardware. --- Example Images: ![][3] DNA rendered with mogli (also, see [html5 with WebGL][4]) --- ![][5] d-orbital (also, see [html5 with WebGL][6]) --- ![][7] neutron scattering data (also, see [movie][8]) [1]: [2]: [3]: [4]: [5]: [6]: [7]: [8]:
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