Raster3D Version 3.0

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Raster3D is a set of tools for generating high quality raster images of proteins or other molecules. The core program renders spheres, triangles, cylinders, and quadric surfaces with specular highlighting, Phong shading, and shadowing. It uses an efficient software Z-buffer algorithm which is independent of any graphics hardware. Ancillary programs process atomic coordinates from PDB files into rendering descriptions for pictures composed of ribbons, space-filling atoms, bonds, ball+stick, etc. Raster3D can also be used to render pictures composed in other programs such as Molscript in glorious 3D with highlights, shadowing, etc. Output is to pixel image files with 24 bits of color information per pixel.

The current version is 3.0 (last changed: 29-Sep-2020)

New in this version: works with gfortran version 10 (changed compiler flags, octal constants)

Distributed files

Source code
Source and documentation for core programs avs2ps, balls, normal3d, rastep, ribbon, rods, rings3d, stereo3d and render. Makefiles are provided for various linux, unix, OSX environments.
Latest (Sep 2020): Raster3D_3.0-7.tar.gz
CCP4 Suite
The Raster3D programs are now included in the CCP4 collection of software for macromolecular crystallography
Debian package repository
Executables for OSX
This is a tarball containing executables built using the Intel ifort compiler on 32-bit OSX version 10.5. It also contains the full source, documentation, examples, etc, and a matching shared library for libgd version 2.0.36 that the render executable is linked against. The libgd source is available here.

Contributed files

Precompiled win32 binaries for 2.6c contributed by Suhaib Siddiqi. Installation instructions are here. Totally unsupported.

Sample Images

Image Gallery
Several figures produced using Raster3D. Each is available here in either TIFF or JPEG format.
Images produced by the demonstration/verification scripts in the Raster3D distribution


original implementation:
Bacon, David J. and Anderson, Wayne F. (1988). "A Fast Algorithm for Rendering Space-Filling Molecule Pictures." Journal of Molecular Graphics 6, 219-220.
version 2.0:
Merritt, Ethan A. and Murphy, Michael E.P. (1994). "Raster3D Version 2.0: A Program for Photorealistic Molecular Graphics" Acta Cryst. D50, 869-873.
version 2.3:
Merritt, Ethan A. and Bacon, David J. (1997). "Raster3D: Photorealistic Molecular Graphics" Methods in Enzymology 277, 505-524.


Artistic License, Version 2.0


Rendering core originally written by David J. Bacon and Wayne F. Anderson; extensions, revisions, modifications, ancillary programs by Mark Israel, Stephen Samuel, Michael Murphy, Albert Berghuis, and Ethan A Merritt

Pointers to other useful programs

The contents of the current view window in a Coot session may be rendered in Raster3D using the <F8> hotkey. More complicated scripting from Coot is also possible. Coot home page
As a general tool for image viewing and manipulation (including annotation and format conversion) I recommend John Christy's ImageMagick, which is available from the ImageMagick web page at www.ImageMagick.org and is included by default in many linux distributions.
Molscript version 2.1.2 is now hosted on GitHub.
Patrick McArdle has adapted the Raster3D tools rastep and render for use with the ORTEX small-molecule package under DOS/Windows. Sample picture. Further details from web site http://www.nuigalway.ie/cryst/ortex.html.
Figure generation and analysis tool for RNA and DNA structures. X3DNA Web site: x3dna.org.
Very nice open-source crystallographic package for model-building, map-fitting, etc. with direct output to Raster3D for figure generation. XtalView web site http://www.sdsc.edu/CCMS/Packages/XTALVIEW/

Biomolecular Structure Center at the University of Washington / merritt@u.washington.edu