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We present an improved ball and stick representation called HyperBalls. This type of depiction is particularly useful to represent dynamic phenomena, such as the evolution of non covalent bonds and takes advantage of GPU capabilities.

HyperBalls are now fully integrated into the UnityMol software and are actively developed in that context. You will find the most up-to-date versions of the shaders in the http://unitymol.sourceforge.net project.

Hyperballs Web Site


  • fast HyperBalls (Chavent et al., 2011) shaders for continuous representations including balls, sticks and intermediates
  • interactively control HyperBalls parameters such as shrink factor and atom/bond radii
  • navigate the sceen with a SpaceBall (for example the SpaceNavigator) or a joystick via GLUT
  • read PDB files and netCDF files from the FvNano project. Read more about netCDF usage in the appendix.
  • choose among several color schemes; define background color
  • cross-platform application tested on MacOSX, Linux and Windows with shaders in GLSL and Cg languages ; a set of internal shaders is hardcoded, but alternatively they can be read from disk


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Additional Project Details

Intended Audience

Science/Research, Education, Developers

Programming Language

C++, GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language)



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