Immersive molecular visualization with omnidirectional stereoscopic ray tracing and remote rendering

John E. Stone, William R. Sherman, Klaus Schulten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Immersive molecular visualization provides the viewer with intuitive perception of complex structures and spatial relationships that are of critical interest to structural biologists. The recent availability of commodity head mounted displays (HMDs) provides a compelling opportunity for widespread adoption of immersive visualization by molecular scientists, but HMDs pose additional challenges due to the need for low-latency, high-frame-rate rendering. State-of-the-art molecular dynamics simulations produce terabytes of data that can be impractical to transfer from remote supercomputers, necessitating routine use of remote visualization. Hardware-accelerated video encoding has profoundly increased frame rates and image resolution for remote visualization, however round-trip network latencies would cause simulator sickness when using HMDs. We present a novel two-phase rendering approach that overcomes network latencies with the combination of omnidirectional stereoscopic progressive ray tracing and high performance rasterization, and its implementation within VMD, a widely used molecular visualization and analysis tool. The new rendering approach enables immersive molecular visualization with rendering techniques such as shadows, ambient occlusion lighting, depth-of-field, and high quality transparency, that are particularly helpful for the study of large biomolecular complexes. We describe ray tracing algorithms that are used to optimizeinteractivity and quality, and we report key performance metrics of the system. The new techniques can also benefit many other application domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2016 IEEE 30th International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, IPDPS 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1048-1057
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781509021406
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 18 2016
Event30th IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops, IPDPSW 2016 - Chicago, United States
Duration: May 23 2016May 27 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2016 IEEE 30th International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, IPDPS 2016

Other

Other30th IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops, IPDPSW 2016
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period5/23/165/27/16

Keywords

  • Head mounted displays
  • Immersive visualization
  • Ray tracing
  • Remote visualization
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    Stone, J. E., Sherman, W. R., & Schulten, K. (2016). Immersive molecular visualization with omnidirectional stereoscopic ray tracing and remote rendering. In Proceedings - 2016 IEEE 30th International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, IPDPS 2016 (pp. 1048-1057). [7529978] (Proceedings - 2016 IEEE 30th International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, IPDPS 2016). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/IPDPSW.2016.121